Greens: ‘not popular, but important’

It may not be popular in green circles but it is important to include the economy when tying social and environmental issues together.

Greens have always promoted both environmental and social reform. This is ingrained in their constitution:

GreenConstitutionObjects

Their policy headlines:

GreenPolicyheadlines

Marama Davidson is the MP in a new caucus leadership team who is ‘leading the charge’ on poverty. She has just sent out this email:

Not popular, but important

I’m most proud of being a Green MP because we’re not afraid to have important conversations, even if they are not popular. If we are serious about looking after our people and taking real action on climate change we cannot be afraid to talk about these issues.

Unless our communities feel capable and confident we can’t protect our environment. For sustainable communities our people need to be strong and have what they need. For our environment to be protected we need our people to be living good lives.

We know we need urgent action on climate change. We know our success requires not just individual actions, but bold commitments backed by real actions and plans from our politicians. Our success requires all our people to work together. By working together we will succeed. When communities on the front line feel well supported they are better able to come up with long term action on climate change. Climate action that protects the the places we love, the people we love.

It seems odd that Davidson states the Green mission as not popular.

People haven’t been ‘afraid’ to talk about social and environmental issues, there has just not been enough action on them for the Greens (and for many others).

Davidson seems to think that if people are somehow given good lives they will devote themselves to action on climate change.

She says “For our environment to be protected we need our people to be living good lives”.

To an extent she is wrong – environmental policies can be promoted and implemented without the need for social equality.

To an extent she may be right right – many of the the poorest people may be too busy just trying to survive to care about the environment.

Many of the richer people consume far more resources than they need to. They have more material possessions that they don’t really need, they use cars more, they travel by air more.

So I can sort of understand how some may think that lifting living standards for the poor and reducing them for the rich may somehow result in a society in equilibrium, and an environment in equilibrium.

But while Davidson integrates social and environmental as if they are co-dependant, she has omitted the third of the Green policy headlines – economic.

People have long advocated for social and economic equality. Some countries have tried to achieve it, like the USSR, China, Cuba, Cambodia, Venezuela. They have all been economic disasters, and have also failed on social equality and environmental purity.

The Greens get the need for better social parity. I’ve seen claims that New Zealand governments deliberately oppress people and keep them poor , but this is ridiculous. Our governments and our major political parties want to improve things for their people, they just have different ideas on how best to achieve that.

But some of the Greens, like Marama Davidson and Metiria Turei, don’t seem to grasp the necessity for an economy that will allow and enable better qualities of life for those at the bottom.

Taking more and more money off those at the top has never really succeeded anywhere. Neither has giving more and more to those at the bottom with no incentive to be productive.

It may not be popular in Green circles to talk about economic realities, but that is important if they are going to succeed in achieving better social and environmental outcomes.

A healthy society and a healthy environment needs a healthy economy.

Greens need to understand that alongside social and environmental priorities a conversation about the economy is important, no matter how unpopular.

Previous Post

18 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  August 29, 2017

    That Party is screwed. Now a Rabid/Radical Feminist-dominated deluded cabal of twittering tomtits, with a token sprinkling of neutered metrosexual males with two mums or something, spouting arrogantly self-congratulatory cliches & idealistic left wing slogans, with no feckin idea of what issues other people think – & know – are truly important.

    • Mefrostate

       /  August 29, 2017

      Since you state them as pejoratives, I’m wondering what you think is wrong with a man being metrosexual or with someone having two mums?

      • Blazer

         /  August 29, 2017

        his own insecurity I venture.Trying to over compensate ..must have a ‘man card’!Bol.

      • Gezza

         /  August 29, 2017

        Nothing, if you like that sort of thing, or if you’re someone who’s turned out like Blazer despite everybody’s best efforts to ensure that never happens. 😳

  2. Brown

     /  August 29, 2017

    I have often wondered if the poor are poor because of bad luck or their own stupidity. While I encounter some that are doing it hard because of divorce or some other catastrophe that seems to be temporary while they recover with a lesson learned. I see more that struggle because they do stupid stuff as if their brain is completely mis-wired and the decision making ability does not include the sensible option. We allegedly have nearly 100,000 kids doing nothing. I know of many from a recent experience and they are stuffed because they cannot resist stupid. It may be that they learned from their parents who couldn’t resist stupid. Green policy and gnashing of teeth won’t help them and I’m disinclined to help those demonstrably disinclined to change.

    • Blazer

       /  August 29, 2017

      just to educate you..the way capitalism works….you cannot have rich people…without a whole lot of…poor people.Pretty simple..really.

      • PDB

         /  August 29, 2017

        So much for your socialism then Blazer as they sell it that everybody will be ‘rich’ & wanting for nothing………when in reality everybody just ends up worse off.

        • Blazer

           /  August 29, 2017

          no socialism succeeds on reducing inequality…..SOE CEO’s have to get by on say $5000 a week ..instead of the joke time salaries incompetents like Elder at SE of $20,000 a week.

        • The original Winston thinks this:

          • Blazer

             /  August 29, 2017

            very articulate was Winston.The rich patronised him,he was a very useful drunk,that even had impersonators for radio broadcasts.Responsible for many military blunders and way over rated.

  3. Poor people care very much about the environment as do rich people. Likewise, both poor and rich care about fiscal prudence. Hard to really generalise, but poverty inevitably places a different emphasis on things. I’d say that rich people have the luxury to perceive they care about society in a broader sense, they make assumptions that people can “better themselves”. What some fail to grasp is that there’s an immediacy about poverty that restricts lofty long term societal vision. They’re so often just getting by and effectively reeling from the fiscal, social and emotional results of their relative poverty.

    • Blazer

       /  August 29, 2017

      is this an attempt at satire….?Whatever it is…it is a FAIL.

  4. Ray

     /  August 29, 2017

    That hungry Māori who caught the last Moa, what was he thinking about.
    When you are starving, the environment is the last thing on your mind, trust me on this.

    • Blazer

       /  August 29, 2017

      did they eat all the dinosaurs too Ray…..or was that Fred and…Barney?

  5. sorethumb

     /  August 29, 2017

    A market economy uses the principles of ecology, but all ecosystems are limited by resources. You can cry “people, people , people”, but “people” exhibit all the characteristics of a megafauna, with the exception that they can control energy produced for fossilised plant material. Therefore we should not just look at need but reproductive behaviour.
    Paul Spoonley talked about a moral panic re PI immigration but to demographers in the un-PC days the Islands were seen as “severely over populated”. Industrial societies can support large numbers but we cannot all be large manufacturing hubs. NZ is the last bus stop before Antarctica.

  1. Greens: ‘not popular, but important’ — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition