- Capitalism and Alternatives -
Greens, Fabianism and Socialism.
Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on July 19, 1999 at 14:04:33:
OK, I owe SDF thus, I've said a lot of things about the British greens, and been a bit too busy lately to substantiate them, so here goes some detail...
WR104 The Green Party's policies offer this Green perspective to each individual worker, and to working
people organised collectively. We know that most collective organisation is in trade unions, and value that.
We welcome the increasing organisation of working people in their own co-operative undertakings. Both
are ways of asserting workers' rights together, and through participation empowering individual workers.
OK, so far so good, thats a nice start, its bit wishy washy, but hey, they support Unions...
WR105 This empowering of people is a key element in the development of a Green society and economy.
The Green Party is committed to workplace democracy, whereby undertakings shall be managed
co-operatively through the involvement of those who work in them and the communities they serve.
thats good as well, co-operatives, nice, workers counciles, and workers democracy, good socialist ideas, but theres a snag...
IN617 Worker participation improves the industrial process, increases personal satisfaction and gives the
community a bigger stake. Workers' Councils should be set up along the lines of the successful German
model. The benefits of these systems should be publicised to small business. Full union rights must be
respected at all levels of the firm (see WR400).
Thats awefully wishywashy, do they really mean that they are going to set up some fig leaf accountability along the german lines, apparently so, and further:
EC632 The right of the shareholders to dividends must not be the single most important criterion for
company policy making. Those with a stake in the company's decisions must have the right to make
informed input/b> into those decisions. These 'stakeholders' include the share holders, the workers,
consumers, the local community and advocates for the local environment. New legal and institutional
structures will be created to enable these stakeholders to have a voice in the running of companies and
other relevant organisations.
This is corporatist wank, not only does it repeat the no-brainer Blairism of 'Tskaeholders', but it fundamentallly asserts that the shareholders will keep their shares, thus such democratic boards will be a sham because of teh relative power inhrent in share holding...
WR430 The Green Party believes that good industrial relations depend on the achievement of consensus
in the workplace, which recognises the interests of all those working in the undertaking. The best
approach is through the introduction of workplace democracy, and that is our aim. WR431 Meanwhile, we believe that it should be possible to reach a consensus by discussion and
negotiations between the opposing parties. Where a consensus cannot be reached, we favour the use of
conciliation and arbitration to resolve the dispute. In the public sector, we shall negotiate agreements with
trade unions which will allow either party in a dispute access to arbitration; we shall encourage
undertakings in the private sector to do likewise. We shall extend the work and facilities of the Arbitration,
Conciliation and Advisory Service of the Department of Employment.
Arch wishy-washy Liberalism at its highest, so although they back a whole raft of Laws, including legalising suport strikes, they are in fact conscerned about comprimise, and everyone being nice to one another. Here, the asbsnce of class politics is made plain.
WR432 The Green Party recognises that there are certain occupations where some forms of industrial
action would create unacceptable risks to vulnerable members of society. If the right of such workers to
take industrial action is to be restricted, they must have alternative means of obtaining fair resolution of
their claims and grievances. In the public sector, we shall seek to negotiate with trade unions representing
such workers which will provide such alternative arrangements; we shall encourage similar agreements in
the private sector. These arrangements could include pay comparability and arbitration binding on all
Ah, so Firemen, prisonwardens, and bin-men will not be allowed to strike, (and we have an incipient Fire-service strike on its way here). Charming.
But it goes further, some policies are insane:
EC750 A Citizens' Income scheme, eventually sufficient to cover basic needs, will be introduced in stages
as an integrated taxation and benefit system to replace most present social benefits and tax allowances.
The scheme will be fully implemented as soon as is practical and, subject to consultation, within the lifetime
of a single parliament
Splendid, minumum incomes, and that is meant to work within the wages system how? Exactly- this owuld mean people would fairly swiftly quit their shite jobs, and go do something more interesting- good, the greens would say, however, I suspect them tharr shareholders would have something to say in the matter. this policy is in utter contradiction to the wages system.
IN605 Sustainable industrial activity tends to be more labour intensive. For example, if all beer packaging
were returnable it would require the employment of a further 4,000 people in the UK (source: FoE). The
introduction of Citizens' Income would reduce the cost of labour to industry without pushing people into
poverty (see EC750). The Green Party supports a national minimum wage until a Citizens' Income scheme
has been fully introduced.
Ah, it all comes out now, pay such a minumum wage so that industry can cut wages, and thus make profitability Green. How dandy. this would explain:
EC725 Land Value Taxation. A system of land taxation, to be known as Land Value Taxation (LVT), will
be introduced, this will be a tax on the annual value of land (ie excluding buildings, machinery etc.). An
initial levy of LVT will be made at a fraction of the annual value as determined by preliminary assessment,
according to permitted use. Ultimately the full annual value of land will accrue to the community. (see
LD400's) EC726 Taxation on housing will be simplified by phasing out tax reliefs on mortgage interest
payments. In advance of more substantial reforms mortgage tax relief should be restricted to the basic rate
of income tax. Phasing out of the reliefs will be completed within ten years.
A tax scheme that benefits capital, as any visit to teh georgist board will tell you- and indeed, the greens seem to like teh Petit-bourgeois model of the Georgists, hence:
EC631 Smaller and more democratically structured enterprises are more open to community regulation,
ensuring that greater care is taken both of the people who work in them, and of the concerns and needs of
the local community and the environment. These forms of organisation will be promoted and encouraged
by economic legislation. Changes in Company Law, taxation, and in monopolies and mergers legislation,
will reduce the size of inappropriately large companies.
Small companies compteing in a beautiful market environment, supported by community/corporatist input to prevent the market from taking charge once more.
This will be helped by community banks:
EC642 Under the current banking system, money is created predominantly as interest-bearing debt by
commercial banks and the financial instituions. This will gradually be replaced by one in which money is
created interest-free for the benefit of the community. The place of the commercial banks in financing
enterprise will gradually be taken by mediating, non-profit local community banks providing low-cost
finance, both at district and regional levels (EC512).
This neglects that the money is in fact created by the intrest (you can't lend money you don't have), and further, nglects the fact that this simply can't work, because as soon as one debt (inevitably) goes bad, then the bank will lose money, and won't be able to recover- or if the bank is just magicking money out of no-where, then that is inherently inflationary.
The Green Party of England and Wales Not worth a vote.