Here’s a letter we wrote to the Green Party, thought it might be of interest to contextualise our Labour donation.
To say this has been an interesting, even challenging week, would be an understatement. We’ve had a lot of response to our support for Labour and I think to many people it’s been either hard to understand or misunderstood. I wanted to try and explain that better here.
In our view this election is the most important, possibly in our lifetimes. That may sound a little dramatic, but I’ll explain as we go.
There is an existential threat to everything we believe in and work for at Ecotricity – renewable energy, ethical business, the wider green economy and real action on climate change. All are under threat if the Conservative Government (or a coalition with Farage….) gets a second term. The damage done in the first term is bad enough, the intent to go further is clear.
We’ve all watched as Cameron’s government systematically undermined not just the renewable energy industry in Britain but the whole green economy and, by default, efforts to combat climate change. This is in stark contrast to his pre election pledge to run the greenest government ever of course. On top of that we’ll have a referendum on Europe and probably stumble out the exit, leading to Scotland leaving the UK for sure – we’re facing the end of Britain as we know it.
We thus feel compelled to act, to get involved in the election and do whatever we can to prevent a second term Cameron government.
We have always supported the Green Party, we share your belief in a sustainable and more equal society.
The Green party has a very good chance of winning more seats at this election and of having more MPs in Parliament – and that will be good for the country. It will lay a strong foundation for the party and for the next election, and the local election campaigns in 2015.
But the Greens cannot win this election. Only two parties can do that, the Tories or Labour. And Labour are far more green and far more socially just than the Tories – they are not perfect, but there are rarely perfect choices in life or elections. They are serious about renewable energy and real carbon targets and the green economy. We have the best chance to get the things we believe in with Labour in power than we do with the Tories.
They are not as anti-Fracking as we would like, given Ecotricity’s clear stance on Fracking, but they did succeed in imposing 13 new conditions which should prevent fracking in 40% of England – a moratorium would have been better. But a government that restricts and controls Fracking is better than one that goes for it hung ho. Yes, some of you will be saying, a government that stops Fracking is best of all. I agree but this is not a choice we have in front of us at this election. There’s a very long way to go from one MP to winning a majority.
It’s not just green energy issues either – The massive rise in food banks and food poverty, the spiteful bedroom tax, the tax breaks and avoidance at the top and income cuts lower down – these things are creating a more unjust and unequal Britain, and I can’t stand by and watch that.
Ecotricity will be supporting the Green Party financially at the 2015 election. We were very pleased to provide funding for Caroline Lucas several months ago to get her campaign started early. We’d like to do more where the best chances of success exist.
But we want Labour to win this election, as the most progressive government on offer – under our flawed electoral system, it should be noted. I get the sentiment behind the ‘want green vote green’ manta, and the frustration that the current system presents – but the reality of the situation is more like ‘vote green get blue’ in the marginal constituencies that the Greens cannot win. After all, not many would-be green voters are otherwise Tory voters.
I’m being honest with you here, and direct. I think our stance is logical and pragmatic. I hope it might help explain our thinking and subsequent actions. And I hope we will see a number of new Green MPs coming from this next election – that would be real and great progress.