Greens issue "big, open, and comprehensive offer" to Lib Dems dismayed by Nick Clegg’s support of Tories

12 May 2010

Yesterday evening's announcement of a deal between the Tories and the Lib Dems should be a wake-up call to Lib Dem supporters, said Britain's Greens this morning - and the Greens issued a "big, open, and comprehensive offer" to Liberal Democrat members and voters to come and join the Greens and campaign for real democratic change, real action to tackle poverty, and real action on climate change.

The offer was made jointly by the Green Party of England and Wales and the Scottish Green Party.

Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said:

"The Lib Dems have shown themselves to be not so much a party of change as a party of changing its mind.

"The Lib Dems have made themselves known as a party of dirty tricks in election campaigns. But now, Nick Clegg has carried out the biggest Lib Dem dirty trick so far, betraying all those people who voted Lib Dem because they honestly thought it would bring about electoral reform."

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"This is an extraordinary decision by the Lib Dem leadership, and thousands of their activists and voters will feel heavily betrayed today.

"Many explicitly campaigned as the best way to keep the Tories out of power, as a party of radical change and a party of principle, and they have now been completely let down by Nick Clegg and his top team. These members and supporters did not work hard over the last weeks and months to see their party become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Tories.

"We would therefore like to make a big, open and comprehensive offer to Lib Dem supporters to come now and talk to the Greens instead. Many former Lib Dem members have already found a long-term home with the Greens, including former Lib Dem councillors. Thousands of Lib Dems will be unable to stomach this decision to put David Cameron's Tories into power, and it's time for them to consider coming home to the Greens.

Harvie continued: "On several crucial points, we have significant common ground, ground that the Tories will never concede through this Westminster stitch-up. We back true constitutional reform, not only proportional representation but also fixed-term Parliaments, a written constitution, votes at 16, limits on corporate donations to political parties, and a whole host of other measures dear to Lib Dem activists' hearts. We support a fairer taxation system too, where those on the highest incomes start to pay their fair share, something the Tories' donors will never permit them to consider. On the environment, we've stood up against a litany of climate-wrecking projects, including those which were approved by Lib Dem ministers in Scotland to the dismay of their members. We're the only political party offering an economic policy which is consistent with environmental politics.

"With the election of Caroline Lucas as the UK's first Green MP, we've shown that radical Green politics can also win popular support at all levels. We are also a truly democratic party, our members set policy in public at conference, and we can be relied on not to sell out. Above all we would never deliver power to the Tories, a party still alien and unacceptable to most Scots. This Lib Dem/Tory deal is the final confirmation that those wanting change will always be shut out by the three big parties at Westminster, and today's decision will be the death-knell for the Lib Dems here in Scotland."


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