With all the fuss about the non-debate, one could be forgiven for forgetting there were any parties in this election other than the main three. However, I was jolted back to reality by this article in the Times, about the concerted effort the Greens are making for this upcoming election, particularly in Brighton.
They insist they are not the part of what Charlotte Vere, the Tory candidate, describes as hard-left “eco-fascists”. Instead they say they have some serious views on serious issues, claiming that people no longer have to choose between green issues and economic growth.
I had a quick look at their website to see what these views were. They amount to little more than what the new economics foundation has been saying for much to long. They will clamp down on bonuses at banks, arguing, correctly that the current government ‘has acted completely irresponsibly’. Of course, rather than proposing sensible governmental reforms to ensure no government can act so irresponsibly in the future, they instead propose a ‘High Pay Commission’ for bankers. Naturally, the Greens know better than anyone else in history how to set price controls without destroying wealth creation. And it goes without saying that they presume to dictate how much other peoples’ labour is worth. I doubt they want to know what most people's opinion of their labour is.
They propose a large increase in the minimum wage at a time of high unemployment. If a small rise in National Insurance is attacked and debated incessantly as ‘a tax on jobs’, what will be the effect of price floors in the labour markets? It certainly won’t be to ‘eradicate poverty in Britain for good’!
As several reports from the ASI have shown over the years, there really isn’t any need to sacrifice economic growth or productivity for the sake of environmental concerns, when those concerns are addressed, not through coercive state force, but through voluntary interaction and innovation in the market. Clearly, the Greens in that respect are correct. However, there are no policies on their site that would actually do this. Instead they argue for a type of environmentalism that puts climate change at the centre of everything, and that if ever brought into reality, would wreck the economy in the process.