Power to the People?

February 27, 2010 at 11:23 am 5 comments

One recent comment here from Carla Boni said, among other things “Let’s have some ideas from a party who has never been in power and never will be”. I don’t suppose this was Carla’s intention, but she got me thinking about ‘power’. Of course she’s right in the narrow historical sense, in that UK Greens have never formed a government. But most of us in the Green Party are not motivated primarily by a desire for ‘power’ (we probably wouldn’t have nailed our colours to the Green mast, if we were power-hungry!). Most Greens believe in organic change, from the bottom up, and from that point of view there’s plenty of evidence of positive change! Maybe not power as Carla means it, but a growing sphere of influence.

 It’s also perfectly possible that we could have (a) a hung parliament with Green MPs (b) proportional representation (c) Greens in a coalition government within a few years, so I’d advise Carla not to be too secure in her certainties!

 So far, so good. But there’s an unwelcome corollary, which Carla inadvertently alludes to. Those parties which do have ‘power’, in her rather narrow sense, attract the type of people who are motivated by it. This means that we’re lumbered with some rather unpleasant people at the top of the tree! I hasten to add that this doesn’t apply across the board, and most politically active people are motivated, at least in part, by a desire to ‘do good’ as they see it. But hunger for power weeds more people out the higher you go. Good Labour MPs like Alice Mahon and Chris McCafferty stay on the back benches while the likes of Jacqui Smith, Geoff Hoon and the delightful Lord Mandelson wield the ‘power’.

Just a thought…… do feel free to comment!


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Quote of the Week Making Poverty History?

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charlie Moore  |  February 27, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    “the likes of Jacqui Smith, Geoff Hoon and the delightful Lord Mandelson wield the ‘power’”

    Alongside your ‘elusive Ms Booth posts, this seems to entirely contradict other statements you have made.

    eg.”You’ll look in vain for personal attacks!”

    Oh, really. So this isn’t a personal attack?


    or this?


    You are a hypocrite and a liar Ms Sweeny, and your failure to criticise Craig Whittaker for his failings at CMBC will be your undoing. Ofsetd has again published another highly critical report on child protection services, and your silence is admonishing those in responsibility from their accountability.

    You clearly do not care about the performance of the council governing the ward you wish to represent, or that it is failing so catastrophically in as crucial and important an area as child abuse.

    All you seem to care about is getting your name in the newspaper because you were not invited (not excluded, that is a lie) to a debate. It is the democratic right of the NUT to invite who they choose to, and not your right to be invited because you want to be. And whether Hebweb spells your name correctly of course! What an ego!?

    And you want to talk about power?

    If elected, you would clearly abuse that power by not following up the growing concerns about child protection services in the constituency you represent, and focus instead on your party’s own interests..

    Shame on you.

    • 2. h0wgreenismyvalley  |  February 27, 2010 at 10:50 pm

      Ah now. Pretty abusive but I decided to post it up anyway, to add to the gaiety of nations.
      Calderdale Greens have been following the child protection affair closely. I had actually sent a letter to the Courier on the subject, but I was advised to hold off until the Ofsted report was published.

      Charlie, you may want to ask someone what ‘admonish’ means!!

      • 3. Craig  |  February 28, 2010 at 1:50 am

        Wait, stop the press!

        You were advised? By whom? The Halifax Courier by the sounds of it. That tells everyone all they need to know about how genuine and authentic you are Kate, and the depths you will plumb for your own interest, just like Cllr Whittaker.

        Charlie may not have your linguistic talent, but he sure as hell has got your number.

  • 4. onestep  |  February 28, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Can you please explain who at the Halifax Courier is giving you advice on when, and when not to speak? And why a parliamentary candidate would be taking such advice from a newspaper?

  • 5. charles gate  |  February 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    its obvious that the last few remaining Labour members in Calder Valley are getting desperate, if they think attacking Kate Sweeny will win them votes back. the Labour Government will be judged on the years since the last election and the local Labour Party on the farce of choosing their candidate and the size of their last MPs expenses.No hope for Labour really, they’ve handed Whittaker the seat on a plate.


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How cold is my valley?

Who I am

This blog started during the months before the 2010 General Election, in which I was the Green candidate for Calder Valley. It's morphed into an account of green activism...and other meanderings.

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