One day in the life of a blogger

Recently I wrote an article about Green ideology, and in particular, I explored the tension between environmentalism, human rights, equality and social justice. This is an important issue, because how ideologies are translated into policy often has profound and far-reaching social consequences.

I discussed the environmentalism and “blood and soil” philosophy underpinning the Volk and Nazi movements, the Nazis being an exemplar of the problematic issues I raised. I also discussed Malthus, and his ideas on population growth and the finite nature of resources. I linked some of the Green philosophy and policies with Malthus’s ideas. My point was that it is not the ideas in themselves that are problematic: it is the context, the application, the way those ideas are translated via policy and the consequences that warrants some discussion.

Malthus’s ideas both informed and were informed by a context of Social Darwinism, eugenics, laissez faire capitalism, competitive individualism, all of which were the basis of a dominant paradigm at that point in history. One consequence of that was the terrible Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834, which saw the introduction of the dreadful, punitive workhouses.

One person – Tanya Jones, a Green Party Parliamentary candidate- engaged very courteously with some of the issues raised, and said thanks for the opportunity to discuss them. That was the kind of response I had hoped for.

However, the overwhelming majority of responses that followed the article being published constituted an organised hate campaign by a group of Green supporters and Party members on Facebook, Twitter and on my blog site. Whilst I appreciate that some Green supporters – those included on my friend list, for example – engage in dialogue that is civil and cooperative, I’m finding that many others don’t.

There’s always the possibility that some of the comments and threats are not from Green supporters at all, of course, but I can say that there has been two years worth of comments on Facebook that constitute quite vicious personal attacks, and these definitely come from a known group of Green Party supporters. 

Here are a few of the comments and threats I have received:


Henry Worthington
says:
December 23, 2014 at 11:44 pm 

Thought you should know that the following has been posted about you on facebook today (not my page i should add) But a facebook user and activist with a host of contacts across Britain, all of whom will now have read this :

“And the ‘spook of the year award’ goes to Sue Jones (below). She hosts a blog under the name of ‘kittysjones’ which she uses to disemminate fabrications against organisations on the left. She appears to being ‘run’ by Scotland Yard’s Confidential Intelligence Unit. Remember her role is to collect information about you and to spread lies and plant false stories about the British left, as can be seen in her latest blog entry. Now she’s been ‘outed’ her capacity to do harm will soon thankfully be over – hope she spent her ’30 pieces’ wisely

http://powerbase.info/index.php/Confidential_Intelligence_Unit

As far as threats go, this is one of the more bizarre from the Green Party membership that I have received. Nonetheless it is still a shameful attempt at intimidation and an attempt to discredit. And furthermore, it’s a lie of course – typical of the ongoing green smear campaign that I’ve been subjected to for the past couple of years. Other smears include I have 500 fake profiles, and numerous people, some that I didn’t even know, have actually been accused of being me and have been bullied. I’ve been called a “retard,” a “tranni” and a “Labour troll” amongst many other things. 

Bravo. This Green gets the Thug of the Year Award.

Henry’s email address, which appears on my notification of his comment, along with his IP address, is: greendragonnews@gmail.com

This one was sent as a personal message on Facebook:

Conversation started Tuesday

Henry Worthington
                                                                   12/23, 11:07pm

The word is youre on a retainer from people in the british nuclear industry Ms Jones? Is this true? It’s certainly a very serious charge, and one which you should be very concerned about Ms Jones.

Nothing worse than being publicly tarred a ‘snout’ for the British State.

Have a very merry christmas wont you – and pass on yuletide regards to your friends PC Mark Kennedy and co.

Yeah, you’d think the “retainer” would have stretched to a new laptop, posh blog site and a decent fake ID, wouldn’t you. And surely I wouldn’t be a Labour Supporter, one that particularly sticks my head so conspicuously above the parapet, often. How very dare I, eh?

Then there were the threats of “libel”: 


Robert Price says:
December 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm 

As a lawyer I know what proper construction means in terms of the laws of libel; the law is clear to me in this issue. What confuses me, as someone who thought you a writer who shared many of my values and concerns for the nation we live in, is why you’ve written this. People are often more complex than the law.

In see my previous comments are still awaiting moderation. You have moderated this comment and not those. I do hope that isn’t a further attempt to misrepresent either my character, or those of other Green Party members. Sue, Ms Jones, I don’t understand why you write something so clearly defamatory.


Robert Price says:
December 23, 2014 at 3:11 pm

You’ve defamed the character of an identifiable group of which I am a member. I haven’t threatened you. Quite the opposite, I simply remain bemused you should do this, and further troubled that you choose only certain items to allow in counter argument.

It appears that is the way it must stand on this page. You have made it clear what your position is. I am most disconcerted. Perhaps the advice or counsel of a colleague might help. I don’t think I wish to informerly communicate with you further. I also believe there is little chance of you allowing the unmoderated items to be seen.

(The sheer volume of responses to moderate meant there was a huge backlog, many were abusive and some were pretty foul. It took me ages to wade through them. Those  comments made most recently are those which appear at the top of the notifications list)

This was one response:


Mike Sivier says:
December 24, 2014 at 1:32 am

I’d like to interject a word of warning to Mr Price and anyone else who wants to try their luck with defamation claims: You are not libelled by this article. Any attempt at legal action against the author would be laughed out of court if it even got that far. The laws on defamation are very clear and so are the defences against inaccurate accusations; the author of this blog is, legally, stating honest opinions based on clear evidence. If Mr Price really is a lawyer, then he should know better.

(Several commentators claimed the article was “libelous” and “defamatory”.)

And the more traditional “we know here you live” kind of threats:


copthis says:
December 24, 2014 at 8:10 am 

You think you seen bulling and threats but you aint seen nuthing yet. thats a promise. you cant hope to get away with drivel like this and not expect a payback. they are coming


Peekaboo
says:
December 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm

You dont know when to shut up do you. People like you get what they deserve and you will. We will make sure. Best put your time in looking after that Jones family. You never know whats around that dark corner do you.


growsome says:
December 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm 

stop playing the victim. Your entire peice is an appalling smear and people have a right to be angry with you. you deserve a kicking and thats what you get. its overdue. many of us hate you and your lame posts about labour but you never stop. labour are fascists with neoliberal policies and your to stupid a bint to see it. now shut the fuck up.


Mandy J Tee
says:

December 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Stinks of desperation. Drivel. Can’t take you seriously enough to even bother debating the straws you’re so obviously clutching at. Sad bitch.

In reply to Mandy:


Anonymous says:
December 26, 2014 at 10:39 am 

could not have put it better myself

Other comments were rather more crass and vulgar, I’ll spare you those. Others condoned the threats and abuse, claiming they were warranted because the article was “hysterical, smearing, desperate, shit…” (critical.)

Sample of comments on Facebook:

Rhionna Mackay  written by a deluded labour supporter I see.

Francis Farmer  Sue Jones your full of shit …. fuck you, you lying shit cunt….

I wrote a critical article, instead of engaging with the issues in the article, people largely decided to attack me, attack the Labour party, lie about them and behave like thugs. This doesn’t bode well for the Green Party’s general accountability, transparency and democratic engagement, does it? Nor does it demonstrate principles of ethics and social equality. In short, it’s not much of a “real socialist” response.

This is the only article I have written about Green ideology and I’ve written going on for 300 articles in the past couple of years. During that past couple of years, the pro-Labour articles have attracted the attention of a group of hostile Green supporters. This incident is by no means a one-off. I don’t mind debate and criticism, even “heated debate”, but this is not that. Some of the personal attacks made on me around Facebook have shocked friends (some are also Green Party members, I should add) because of how vicious and vindictive they have been. Not that it’s ever stopped me from doing what I do. And it never will.

But since when did this become acceptable behaviour? I know I am not the only person that has experienced this, too. Political beliefs and preferences are not an excuse for bullying.

Time and time again I see Green Party members lying about or misrepresenting Labour’s policies. Yet when that is reasonably challenged and evidence for that challenge is presented, abuse and threats follow, instead of reasoned debate.

It is important to contextualise ideologies, which don’t arise in a vacuum, but rather, they develop over time in a context of dominant paradigms and economic/social conditions. You don’t need me to tell you the dangers of far-right ideologies, sure, yet we live in times when fascism is again on the rise, globally, and when far-right parties such as UKIP have gained support in our own Country.

We live in times when it’s become acceptable for the poor to be left without support, and people are dying because of benefit sanctions and cuts. We live in times when it’s acceptable to demonise minority social groups all over again – to ‘other’ them. I have drawn parallels with Nazi ideology and propaganda techniques in other articles, using Allport’s scale of prejudice to indicate that the same process is unfolding here, stage by stage. As a disabled person, I feel this acutely.  We live in times when bullying and oppressing others who disagree with you is acceptable, too. That’s not remotely “socialist”: it has nothing to do with the core principles of co-operation, community ideals, rationality and solidarity. 

The Greens and Labour ought to be able to find more commonalities than differences. Both parties need to be focused on attacking the Tories and their destructive policies. Yet this past two years, at least, I have seen the Greens attack Labour rather than attempt to build bridges.

There’s another important point concerning how the current electoral system stands. Any split amongst the left-wing voters will ensure another 5 years of the Tories. That can not and MUST not happen. For me, that is the most pressing issue we face. Because if the Tories remain in Office after May 7th, 2015, there won’t be anything left of our society to fight for. If you think things are bad now, just wait until the Conservatives repeal Labour’s Human Rights Act and withdraw from the ECHR, as they have promised .

 Those same human rights were formulated internationally as the basis of establishing decent codes of conduct for democratic governments, as a response to the atrocities of world war two and fascist governments, such as the Nazis and the Stalinist regime.

I have no problem with genuine criticism, and no party is above that. However, many of the Green’s constant and often unwarranted attacks on Labour are not founded on truth and facts and are not helping to achieve anything.  For me, it’s pretty unforgivable that some people are purposefully undermining our chances of being rid of the authoritarian Tory-led Coalition. People are suffering and dying now as a consequence of policies. That did not happen under the last government. The only viable option we currently have to ensure the Tories are outed is a Labour vote. That’s basic maths and the way the current electoral system is,  which is not my doing.

We need to escape this Tory-designed perdition first, then we can discuss the finer points of personal utopias and debate what constitures “real socialist principles.” And aside from that, a genuinely socialist approach entails the basic recognition that the outcome of our own vote doesn’t simply affect ourselves: it profoundly affects everyone.

We need to learn from our collective history, too.

Related

A Few Words About Respect – Mike Sivier

The Green Party’s women problem – Neil Schofield

Sticks and stones: abusive labels, self concept – when words become weapons

  

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41 thoughts on “One day in the life of a blogger

  1. I am appalled, though not really surprised, at some of the responses to your blog. I wonder that you are not taking action against those who are making threats against you and your family. The frankly idiotic, ungrammatical, poorly spelt, and obviously false (“I’m a lawyer” er…we have solicitors in UK…) responses make my blood run cold. I suspect most of them are living the neo-nazi fantasy, tbh. Heaven help us if Tories, Ukip, and/or their ilk are elected in May. Some of the responders to your blog demonstrate a marked lack of both intellect and foresight.
    Keep up the good work!

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  2. Behind you and most grateful to you Kitty. You are not alone, and we are not alone because of you.
    Strength in Numbers and Solidarity.

    Our voices Must and Will be heard if we are to take back the control and power the Government is robbing us all of.

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  3. I was one of the people who was upset by the original article, as I did consider it to be a smear on the Green movement, and especially on the eco-socialist movement _ the reason we are in Green Left is precisely that we are AGAINST right-wing and eugenicist policies, and FOR social justice and equitable distribution of resources. However, I was if anything even more upset by some of the responses, which descended to the level of personal abuse. (1) we don’t have a right-wing and eugenicist agenda, and it is insulting to claim that we do. (2) We don’t stoop to threats and personal abuse, even if people insult us. Jane Ennis
    Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media

    Like

    1. 1. I didn’t claim the Green Party had a eugenicist agenda. I stated that Malthus was linked with the eugenicist movement, explaining the historical context. 2. Some people have stooped to personal abuse and threats, unfortunately.

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      1. “Paradoxically, while Greens argue for social justice and other left themes, environmentalism is often linked to the right. Hitler believed in a politics of hatred ordained by iron ‘laws of nature’”- Derek Wall – Darker shades of green link: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/darker-shades-of-green/

        Derek Wall traces the thread of ecofascism through the Green movement’s history. Derek is a member of the Green Party’s Anti-Fascist and Anti-Racist Network, author of Green History (Routledge 1994).

        He notes the same tension as I do, between environmentalism and social justice/human rights. He discusses the environmentalism of the Nazis and the influence of Malthus’s ideas.

        I note that Derek doesn’t get any abuse from green party members for writing about very similar ideas.

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      2. As I mentioned earlier, in other words, it’s not what you said, but the way that you said it which incited hatred. Put captions on the images, riders at the start of the text explaining the context – that way the reader has no difficulty seeing where you are really coming from. Skimming should be able to pick up the main thust – and the context – that should not be hidden in the detail.

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      3. It’s a blog, not a book! I didn’t ‘hide’ anything, people misquoted it Simon. There’s a limit to how much a person can and ought to be expected to explain something. I think I have more than obliged people who have asked. Some not very courteously, too

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      4. This is a reply to your last comment on a post of mine which actually follows this reply further down the page.

        Sorry – I used the word ‘hidden’ too loosely. I should have said -in order not to upset people, put the reasons for a blog front and center, in a non-fiction book, the intelligent reader expects to sometimes have to work to understand content. A blog is more of a chat.

        This comment is in no way an excuse for poor or deliberate misreading of your writing’s intentions – it was intended to assist you in getting some very interesting and important points across without getting them lost in the fog of war for votes.

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  4. I too was upset by your article, I too have been a candidate and as such I am always willing to discus and otherwise air opinions other than my own – mine fit the MFSS almost perfectly . Having read and been more disturbed by the replies you have received, I think we have all been the victims of an anti-Green campaign. It reads to me that you have been targeted in a deliberate attempt to devalue the social and personal values greens support at the very heart of the Party.

    Having said that, I do wonder at your reasons for your initial post. Can you please clarify that as the reasons given in the post would not have inclined me to write it. You answer questions I have never heard anyone ask and counter standpoints I have never known anyone to hold.

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      1. I have gone back to the original article and read , skimmed, the additional comments. I am impressed by your clarity of thought as expressed in your replies and wish you had made some of these rider comments in the original article. You would not have made such an impact though.

        I would not vote Labour because they all too often count as more of the same, even renamed ‘New’. Ditto Tory although I did once and have apologised – I thought a woman PM would be a good thing !

        What would it take for you to vote Green ? Your basic principles look solidly Green to me. Where do we differ ? What could the Green Party do to win your vote ? We don’t want votes so much as truly green actions, so saying something un-green won’t work 🙂

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  5. The original article was an exploration of some key Green ideas, and I took common themes and put them in a historical context. In this case it was predominantly environmentalism. I’ve used social history to explore themes and place them in contexts lots before – most particularly human rights and right-wing ideologies – I’ve written at length about UKIP and Conservatism, for example. I’ve also focused a lot on current policy, particularly concerning disabled people, and I’ve drawn on the same era – with the Poor Law Amendment Act and Malthus’s ideas, and so on, to parallel the grossly punitive measures currently at the heart of social administration. The “making work pay” mantra of the Tories, for example, can be paralleled with the Poor Law principle of “Less Eligibility. (See article called “The New New Poor Law).

    In a way, I think there is nothing new under the sun, when it comes to socio-political ideas. And one of the themes throughout my writing this past two years is that we need to grasp the lessons of history. But here we are, with a government that has undone 100 years of civil rights achievements in just 4 years. One that will scrap our Human Rights act, and withdraw from the ECHR given the opportunity – another 5 years in office. I’ve written at length on this site about how and why human rights arose, and why we need them. To undo the progressive international laws that were developed in response to the atrocities of world war 2, and in response to fascism, would be a terrible tragedy. Human rights are our protection from corrupt and fascistic governments. They are our means of protection from uncivilising forces, brutal regimes, fascism, totalitarianism, inequality, social injustices and genocide. The Coalition are currently in breach of the UN conventions of the rights of women, children and are being investigated currently for gross abuses of disabled people’s human rights. This is frankly terrifying. This is the time we live in. We have regressed so much in such a short space of time.

    One of my areas of interest is ideology. In this case, I was struck by the tension between environmentalism and human rights that is evident (to me) in Green ideology. I didn’t mention that the Human Rights Act was a Labour legislation, and that the last Labour government signed us up to the rights of disabled people’s convention . They also gave us the Equality Act, and the current government have been quietly editing that. But without those laws, we would not have won the handful of cases that we have against the current administration. I felt strongly that the tension between human rights and environmentalism needs to be addressed. This is probably because of the importance I place on human rights, to me, they are paramount – the very foundation of democracy.

    Ideology narrates and informs policies. It tells us something of what a government intends to do. Most of the people reading here are not surprised at what the Tories have done, though we are still shocked. I’ve lobbied Labour for the past few years, seeking clarity regarding their own intentions towards the most vulnerable citizens. They have responded steadily and positively. There are still some issues that need to be addressed, such as the legal aid bill. But I appreciate that review, evidence and costing have to happen before any policy repeal.

    I’m not sure if this will help you recognise any motives as such, Simon, but it probably will explain a little of where I’m coming from. My subjects are social psychology, sociology,(with politics, history of ideas, social policy and philosophy of science chucked in.) I’ve a Masters in social work, and qualification in youth and community work. That’s the background that informs a lot of my writings, I guess.

    And responses to anything I’ve written that either clearly challenge or support my perspective are always welcome.

    My position regarding the Green Party is this. They have some very good policy ideas. I’m not yet clear how they would unfold and how those policies would impact socially. There are some tensions that I would like to see addressed, such as the one I outlined in the OP.

    However, I have already said this, but will say it again. The electoral system is currently established as pretty much a two party competition. Other fringe parties have drawn support away from the main two, but have not developed enough to give us a credible, clear and viable alternative. The only way to see a positive change and protect our citizens is a Labour vote, as it stands. We don’t have an ideal situation, sure. But this is not the time to be protest voting or experimenting with radicalism, because our society as a whole is in peril, and many such as me won’t survive another Tory term, Simon. I am not prepared to take the risk of another Tory term, and I’ve yet to see a set of policy proposals, costed and evidenced, that are as clearly stated and positive as Labour’s are, to date.

    It was Sue Marsh who said something along the lines of “let’s get out of hell first, then we can work on building our utopia.” She’s right. We will never make any progress if the Tories remain in power. Ever.

    I hope that the Green Party and Labour can work on building bridges, anyway, in a way that benefits everyone. There has never been a time in our lifetime when we have needed to co-operate more with people who share our core values and principles.

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  6. Also, regarding your comment ‘moreofthesame’, well even new labour were very different from the Tories – see https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/political-parties-they-are-not-all-as-bad-as-each-other-at-all/

    The ‘allthesame myth came straight from tory HQ. BBC’s Tory correspondent Nick Robinson admitted live on air, that Cameron’s best chance of winning the next election is if people believe politicians are “all the same”. That is very clearly not the case. I think one major ploy has been to use propaganda based on an exclusively class-based identity politics aimed at the’ working class’ .

    It purposefully excludes other social groups and also sets them against each other, eg. working class unemployed attacking migrants – it’s really is divisive, anti-democratic, and quite deliberately flies in the face of labour’s equality and diversity principles. That’s the problem with identity politics: it tends to enhance a further sense of social segregation, and it isn’t remotely inclusive. Of course it also enhances the myth of’ out of touch/ ‘allthesame”. It’s a clever strategy, because it attacks Labour’s equality and inclusive principles – the very reason why the labour movement happened in the first place – and places restriction on who ought to be ‘included’. Think of that divisive strategy 1) in terms of equality. 2) in terms of appealing to the electorate 3) in terms of policy. Note how it imposes limits and is reductive.

    The Tories set this up in the media, UKIP have extended it further and the minority rival parties, including the SOME in the Green Party and the SNP have also utilised the same rhetoric tool. Yet we KNOW right wing parties have NO interest in the working class.

    Labour are focused on inequality, Miliband knows that Britain is not divided by race and culture, it’s divided by massive wealth inequalities fuelled by the Tory-led Coalition’s “austerity” policies. Blaming the unemployed, the sick and disabled and immigrants for the failings of the wealthy and the government has fuelled misperceptions that drive support for the far right.

    Lynton Crosby, who has declared that his role is to destroy the Labour Party, rather than promote the Conservatives, based on any notion of merit, is all about such a targeted “divide and rule” strategy. This is a right wing tactic of cultivating and manipulating apostasy amongst support for the opposition. It’s a very evident ploy in the media, too, with articles about Labour screaming headlines that don’t match content, and the Sun and Telegraph blatantly lying about Labour’s policy intentions regularly. Propaganda isn’t obvious, and that’s how it works. We need to be mindful of this

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    1. An excellent and enlightening reply, many thanks. Let me clarify my ‘more of the same’ comment though. ‘The same’ is – the almost total lack of attention to the infrastructure of waste and fossil fuel reliance at the core of our economy. I totally agree – and campaign in support of the policies you promote, but, after a lot of thinking realise it is almost as wasted as the effort to rearrange the Titanic deckchairs. Yes, I used another metaphor that can be misunderstood, so I’d best clarify that too.

      The fighting between the ‘grey’ parties for votes, influence and power takes precedence over environmental concerns. The “let’s get out of hell first, then we can work on building our utopia.” idea – has been tried and has not worked – ever. Anyway, Greens are not aiming at utopia, ‘hell’ is very much on the way – environmentally – which is almost non-metaphorical. ‘Society’ is like the deckchairs – it needs something solid to be under it. We have been destroying the foundations of the very infrastructure that supports human existence itself – Malthus again yes, but on a global scale. He was clearly historically wrong – but only in the ‘west’ and only while there were places left which our growth could pillage to fuel itself. These other counties and the protected areas of our own land have either run dry ( almost ) or it is too destructive to safely harvest them ( fracking, nuclear fission power ) – to say nothing of the social destruction ( resource wars, occupation ) that result.

      I am delighted by science and technology and can see multiple ways out of our mess – including replacing war with space exploration as a way to gain resources and generally show off. Oh, I long for that ! The Star Trek model shows a simplistic way in which that could work, but I hope we don’t need total collapse to bring us all together first.

      As I have written in my blogs, no one living their daily lives intends to wreak collateral damage on anyone or any thing. They (we) are almost totally unaware of the consequences of our actions, we have to grow up and open our eyes to these facts while we still can. By ‘we’ I can only mean – Governments all over the planet.

      Green Party policies intend to enable, empower, encourage and educate everyone who has any form of control over our planet’s populations’ daily lives, to further the aim of making human life itself become supportive and regenerative of the planet’s life support systems. There does not need to be any great change in what everyday people do everyday (us) – Government and industry must change the ground rules so that we are safe to think about stuff – like social justice and everything we both stand for – and carry on being blissfully ignorant of the larger environment. As it is, with ‘more of the same’, humanity could very well die out – that’s not a party I wish to be part of.

      Yes, this is social hell indeed – but, lets avoid the physical hell of environmental breakdown while we can – at the same time as dealing with all the social stuff. ‘More of the same’ deals with nothing fundamental to environmental sustainability. There is no option left – we have already tried everything else and things went brilliantly for centuries ! – for some of us in the West, but, to the determent of the countries we occupied and to the shared future that none of us can escape.

      So Global thought – Green sustainability and regeneration, Local action – do what is locally appropriate and helpful. We still have the time, resources and the freedom of a not yet broken climate in which to do this – but not for much longer. Co operation is the key. Greens will help any party ( that isn’t mad , illegal or bigoted – insert party names here ) including Labour – as long as that is the shared goal. We can get there by any of multiple directions, indeed just taking one path would lead to destruction, dogma, hatred, fear and – basically all the problems we have already. Greens don’t have all the answers – but we know who to ask ! It could be – and in part defiantly is you !

      Happy new year.

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  7. You know what they say Sue, you have to be doing something correct to create this, albeit simply outrageous responses; but I’m also very aware it isn’t as simplistic as this. Just wanted to let you know that whilst I don’t always agree 100% with everything you write, I totally support you and your work. Take Care lovely xxx

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    1. Thanks Jayne. I never expect people to agree with me on everything. But you and I know the importance of working together on common aims, which we have done 🙂 And raising awareness.Upwards and onwards, Happy New Year ! Lets hope it is a MUCH better one xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well done on the original post, and well done on outing the vileness behind the green party fanatics – I trust national HQ is paying attention.
    Scratch most fanatics and the fascist comes out – the usual little bully who tells other people what to do, while seething inside about some inadequacy or other, and erupts when challenged.

    And, yes, as with the SNP, rather than attack the Tories who are the threat to every single thing these people claim to believe in, they attack Labour who are the threat only to the political club they belong to instead.

    greendragonnews@gmail.com appears to be a green / nationalist blogger (proving Krishnamurti’s warning that all nationalism is violence):
    http://agreenwales.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Yes, that’s very well said and very true. Nationalism is so very corrosive.

      The SNP have also just upped their personal attacks on me and other Labour supporters – see Mike Sivier’s post on the Bedroom Tax smear debunked for example, on comments thread, and there’s been attacks on FB too today. I doubt that is just a timing coincidence, it’s rather too well coordinated to be anything other than organised.

      We know that the Greens and SNP are allies, too http://www.newsweek.com/snp-green-party-and-plaid-cymru-plan-form-anti-austerity-coalition-292394

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/dec/16/snp-plaid-cymru-greens-join-forces-austerity-election

      Seems they share the same negative campaigning approach and targeting campaigners for smears and bullying. If both parties can’t gain credibility on the strength of their policies, using lies and bullying to garner support, how on earth can anyone trust them in positions of power?

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  9. I’d argue that it wasn’t possible to engage with the original article as you wished, for the simple reason that you failed to make the case that Green Party policies are caused by Malthusian sentiments.

    In spite of this, the replies by Copthis, Mandy and Growsome are massively unacceptable – for democracy to work we have to keep trying to engage with those who argue against us, not try to shut down debate in this way.

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  10. Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    I have to state that I would NEVER vote Green after reading the absolute hate and vitriol that has been posted on Kittyjones blog. I thought that UKIP posters where bad, but this lot take the biscuit. I wouldn’t trust a Green now, to me they are as bad as the Conservatives.

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    1. Jaypot2012 – by their posts, they show they are trolls – green only on the skin, if that. If I had only read the sick, ill informed anti-posts, I too would not vote Green, but I know better. Give as, the real us another chance.
      I have stood myself ( as a Green ) when there was no one else I could vote for !

      Like

      1. “Paradoxically, while Greens argue for social justice and other left themes, environmentalism is often linked to the right. Hitler believed in a politics of hatred ordained by iron ‘laws of nature’”- Darker shades of green link: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/darker-shades-of-green/

        Derek Wall traces the thread of ecofascism through the Green movement’s history. Derek is a member of the Green Party’s Anti-Fascist and Anti-Racist Network, author of Green History (Routledge 1994).

        He notes the same tension as I do, between environmentalism and social justice/human rights. He discusses the environmentalism of the Nazis and the influence of Malthus’s ideas.

        I note that Derek doesn’t get any abuse from green party members for very similar ideas.

        Like

  11. Reblogged this on TheCritique Archives and commented:
    My feelings about this matter are rather more mixed than some other bloggers’ have been.

    On the one hand, yes, I condemn entirely those who resorted to threats and abuse in response to Sue Jones’ essay about the Green Party. The reasons why I condemn them are so obvious that they should not even need listing. (It’s worth mentioning the stupidity of the threats, mind you, as the thuggishness they imply only lends credence to some of the shakier points that Sue was trying to make.)

    But on the other hand, Sue really should not have published that article. It may have been worded in a roundabout-enough way for her to claim deniability, but it really did amount to a hatchet-job. While you can say that she put supporting evidence in for her claims, that’s only a half-truth; there were some insinuations of a ‘guilt-by-association’ type that had no supporting evidence at all, especially when the article effectively tried to identify the modern Green Party with the Right. Sue denies she did this, but look again and you can see that she did so all-too-clearly; there were points when the supposed association was made quite jeering and explicit e.g. accusing the Greens of, in effect, cosying up to the Tories and LibDems on local Councils.

    And even where it wasn’t explicit, there were still implicit and baseless insinuations that bordered on subject-changing irrelevance. Why, for instance, did Sue even mention Thomas Malthus, or Social Darwinism, neither of which have had any links whatever to the Green Party’s policy platform? She demonstrates no link, and she demonstrates no particular reason why such philosophies should have any place in an essay whose very title announces a specific critique of the Green Party. At best, she is pointing to environmentalist ideas, which somewhat resemble Green Party ideas, being used by the Nazis, but you can play that game with any political party e.g. “Old Labour must be like the Nazis because they believe the economy should answer to the state” or some other such silly ‘any-point-of-resemblance-means-it’s-identical’ false-equivalence fallacy.

    If Sue can demonstrate no real link, the descriptions of Malthus and Social Darwinism should not even be in there. END OF. She must have realised that she was treading on dangerous ground there, and that she was being unfair, but she put them in anyway, thus giving the reader no choice but to look upon the Green Party through a distorting lens of obsolete, eugenics-related ideology.

    Now let’s just be honest for a moment and not pretend that there was a very notable subtext to the essay. Putting those descriptions in while arguing that environmentalism stems from the same root strongly insinuates that the Greens are Social Darwinists. (As does the fact that *all* of the pictures pasted into the page were pictures about Far-Right/Tory/Eugenics ideas. Not one of the pictures she put in were from a Green Party source, which again shows that this article was not sticking it to its titled subject-matter particularly.) You can argue, “But that’s not what she said!” and word-for-word, no she didn’t. But as I say, there is such a thing as subtext, and the simple fact is that it does insinuate it, and indeed the way the article was written as a whole makes it very difficult to view it in any other way. If Sue really didn’t want the readers to look at it like that, she shouldn’t have written it like that.

    In fact, I’ll go further; she *wouldn’t* have written it like that. The only reason I can see for including it at all was that she wanted to cast the Green Party in a right-wing-extremist light, and that is simply not on. It may be insinuating rather than outright name-calling, but it was still tantamount to triggering Godwin’s Law as the opening gambit of a debate, and is not all that far removed from the Daily Mail’s smear-job on Ralph Miliband last year.

    As for Sue’s claims that she is trying to put environmentalism in an historical context, well, that’s not really true either. Putting things in context means making sure that every important and relevant condition is known before making an assessment. But Malthusian ideas and Social Darwinism are *not *relevant to the Green Party, and trying to crow-bar mentions of them into an analysis of the Greens is therefore not putting things in an historical context – it is simply putting them in a *wrong* context. As I say, they just shouldn’t have been put in the essay at all, and Sue was inviting trouble by including them. (In fact, it’s tempting to wonder whether she was actively looking for a fight by writing it; she would have to be incredibly naive not to have realised that there would be an angry backlash against what was quite a crude insult.)

    If Sue wants to complain about the Greens misrepresenting Labour policy, then focusing on that should be enough. If she wants to complain about Green supporters splitting the Labour vote, then focusing on that should be enough. But none of that has anything to do with Malthusian ideas or possible Nazi resemblances, and dragging such notions into the discussion are surely not required if vote-splitting or Greens lying about Labour policy are the big issues she feels they are.

    Even if playing the Nazi card in an oblique way wasn’t Sue’s intention (and I’m sorry, but the general pattern and tone of the article suggests to me that it genuinely was), the way the essay was written makes it almost impossible for the reader to see any separation. In that regard, whatever Sue’s real intentions were, she has no one to blame but herself that many in the Green Party got so angry with her. It doesn’t justify their responses, or make the responses look any less thuggish or feeble-minded, but they are at least understandable; some people just don’t have a big enough vocabulary to convey their objections coherently (a failing they are foolish to draw attention to, it must be said), and such faculties are further hindered when they feel they are being unduly bad-mouthed. I get angry myself when I get accused of being a ‘Stalinist’ just because I’m a socialist, but I’d get even angrier if someone weasel-worded me as a Fascist.

    I’m afraid that that my conclusion, for what it is worth, is that this is precisely what Sue Jones has done to the Green Party – found a weasel-words way of making them sound Fascistical. A lot of people owe her an apology for the way they responded, that is beyond doubt. But there are a few people out there that she owes an apology to herself, and whether it was intentional or otherwise, she really needs to acknowledge that.

    I like Sue Jones, and I admire a lot of the work on her blog, which I follow regularly. But I feel she was out-of-line writing this article, and I find her protestations that she didn’t say the things she seemingly hoped readers would think, to be a little disingenuous.

    Like

    1. “Paradoxically, while Greens argue for social justice and other left themes, environmentalism is often linked to the right. Hitler believed in a politics of hatred ordained by iron ‘laws of nature’”- Darker shades of green link: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/darker-shades-of-green/

      Derek Wall traces the thread of ecofascism through the Green movement’s history. Derek is a member of the Green Party’s Anti-Fascist and Anti-Racist Network, author of Green History (Routledge 1994).

      He notes the same tension as I do, between environmentalism and social justice/human rights. He discusses the environmentalism of the Nazis and the influence of Malthus’s ideas.

      I note that Derek doesn’t get any abuse from green party members for very similar ideas.

      Far from being ‘disingenuous and out of line’, I wrote about an issue that several others have also acknowledged and written about, including at least one member of the Green Party. I don’t see people demanding apologies from Derek Wall, nor do I see any threats, or even worse – attempts to JUSTIFY those threats.

      I owe no-one an apology for raising VALID and reasonable concerns, and for writing a truthful account. One that others have also a written about – see the end of the OP with the refs.

      Like

      1. Further post by Derek Wall – June 27, 2008 Population control — the ideology of the green right

        “Related reading:

        Population Control and Climate Change, Part One: Too Many People?
        Population Control and Climate Change, Part Two: The Socialist Alternative
        “We’re not left or right, we’re green.” That phrase has been repeated ad nauseum by green politicos who think they are being clever, but constant repetition doesn’t make it true. The green movement can’t escape politics — there are eco-socialists and eco-anarchists and eco-liberals and eco-capitalists, and many subdivisions in each current.

        A particularly nasty current in the eco-capitalist camp are the eco-racists, people who blame foreigners — especially foreigners with dark skins — for ecological problems.

        Fred Pearce, an environmental writer for New Scientist magazine, has several times recently devoted his blog (Fred’s Footprint) to what he calls Green Fascism. He, like everyone else who writes or speaks on environmental issues, is regularly asked: “Should we be trying to stop others having babies, especially people in poor countries with fast-growing populations?”

        “I must say I thought this kind of illiberal thinking had been banished from the environmental movement. But it keeps seeping back. When I give public talks on climate change, I am often asked if all the efforts in the rich world won’t be wiped out by rising populations in the poor world.

        “Isn’t overpopulation more dangerous than overconsumption? I say no. But the unpalatable truth is that a lot of environmental thinking over the past half century has been underpinned by an unhealthy preoccupation with the breeding propensity of Asians and Africans.

        “They were, it was often held, polluting the human gene pool as well as the planet. Such thinking was not fringe: it involved some of the great names of the environment movement. …

        “No matter that the average European or North American has carbon emissions 10 times greater than the average Indian or African, somehow it is those pesky breeding foreigners who are really to blame.”

        In a second column he added:

        “Every time greens stress “over-population” among the poor as an environmental threat, they are denying the much greater threat to global resources from over-consumption among the rich.

        “I do not really believe in the idea that the planet has some fixed “carrying capacity”. How many it can sustain depends on how we live on this planet rather than absolute numbers. Mahatma Gandhi wasn’t far wrong when he said there is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.”

        Pearse’s Green Fascism articles echo important issues that were discussed in more detail by Betsy Hartmann, author of Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The global politics of population control (South End Press, 1995), whom he interviewed for New Scientist in 2003. The interview, headlined “The greening of hate,” is online here (subscription required).

        The following are excerpts.What do you think is going on among environmentalists? Is the right wing taking over?
        Hartmann: I first realised that the right wing was attempting to penetrate the mainstream environment movement when I sat on a panel at an environmental meeting in the University of Oregon in 1994. Beside me was a professor and environmentalist, Virginia Abernethy of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. She seemed to me to blame immigrants for overpopulating our country and destroying our environment. Some of the audience liked her ideas but I thought they were racist.

        I started to investigate and found she wasn’t alone among conservationists. She was a leader of the group called the Carrying Capacity Network, which sounds like a benign environmental organisation but its main campaign is to halt what it calls mass migration to the US. They blame migrants for destroying pristine America. For instance, they blame Mexican migrants for starting fires in national forests near the border. This group has prominent environmental scientists on its advisory board. People like biologist Tom Lovejoy, the green economist Herman Daly and the ecologist David Pimental.”

        From: http://socialistunity.com/green-fascism-and-the-greening-of-hate/

        Like

  12. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Kittysjones here describes the venomous personal abuse she suffered as a result of posting a critical article about the Greens, linking them to Malthus and 19th century fears about population outstripping food supply, and the ‘Blut and Boden’ ideas of the German Volk and Nazi movements. The article was bound to be controversial, but it had a very solid factual basis. However, with a few honourable exceptions that Kitty mentions, her opponents have chosen instead to smear her as some kind of establishment spy, and then just simply resorted to sheer, ad hominem abuse in the most foul and vulgar terms.

    The accusations of being a government agent are actually almost par for the course for anyone expressing any kind of scepticism publicly about radical or underground politics or groups. The more extreme members of the UFO community also indulged in it with their critics. When the sceptical journalist Jim Schnabel wrote his books, Dark White, which argued that alien abductions were an internal, psychological experience, and Round in Circles, where he revealed that crop circles were faked, and that he himself had been part of a group that did so, he was immediately ‘outed’ by some of the more paranoid as a government agent. There developed an entire fantasy of a group of CIA agents called ‘The Aviary’, because they all had bird codenames. Schnabel was known as ‘the Canary’. It was all paranoid rubbish, and said far more about the weird mindset of a certain section of the Ufolks than it ever said about Schnabel.

    As for the vile personal abuse, this seems to be a product of certain aspects of internet use and culture. Because you are never in personally near the person you are addressing, it seems to me that some people go back to the infantile attitudes of the school playground, where personal abuse is seen as entirely acceptable. Quentin Letts, the right-wing columnist for the Daily Heil, has suffered the same kind of abuse. In his book ’50 People Who B*ggered Up Britain’, he includes ‘Webonymous’. He states that even the letters he received from people with clear mental problems writing in green ink usually had more personally courtesy, and were ended with ‘yours faithfully,’ and the letter writer’s name. On the internet, however, all this is discarded and the result can be what Kitty has experienced: sheer personal abuse of the vilest type. It says something about declining standards in society and the fact that so many people now confuse combating an opinion, with which they disagree, with attacking the person, and are unable to string a coherent argument together without abuse or threats.

    Like

  13. As a ditherer voter between Green and Labour, I’ve decided to vote Green in my solid Labour constituency; as a kick up the backside to Labour to, hopefully, get it’s act together regarding decent and FAIR social policies.
    There is nothing fair about the current sanctions regime running amok at the DWP. But I’m uncertain where Labour stands on this?
    However, the bulk of my family and friends live in Ester McVile’s constituency, and I’ve persuaded them to vote Labour tactically. to help to hopefully boot her out (She has a 2,500 majority.)
    This woman is either so thick, or so corrupted, she actually stated that depriving someone of their only source of income via sanctions, for the pettiest of reasons, was the equivalent of a teacher dishing out lines… out of love and concern for the student!!!
    It was reading that in the Liverpool Echo that politicized me more than anything. I’d faintly heard of sanctions before, as a kind of background noise. That article got me looking up about them; out of good old curiosity more than anything else.
    Even allowing for a degree of exaggeration, I was horrified by what I was reading via Vox Political, The Void, that Yorkshire bloke, etc.
    I just want to say that the blogs that you, and others, write give me hope. I’m not too sure how, or why, but they do.
    Maybe the fact that you present stuff the BBC doesn’t… and should.
    But your blogs are getting through to people…. they got through to me!
    Not much of an acolade, I know. But, as a famous supermarket says, “Every little helps.”
    Happy New Year XXX

    Like

    1. All you can achieve in voting Green is 5 more years of the Tories, simply because of the fact that we have a two party competition. It’s far from ideal, but it’s the reality of the electoral system as it stands. When I wanted to ‘kick Labour up the backside’ I contacted them directly and lobbied them. They have responded positively, and their policy pledges so far are excellent, all of them costed and evidenced. Nothing has been pledged that cannot be delivered – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/ed-milibands-policy-pledges-at-a-glance/

      Labour have already pledged to scrap the sanctions targets – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/rachel-reeves-promises-to-remove-sanction-targets-under-a-labour-government/

      I’ve written a few articles about sanctions too, one of them has been submitted to the UN as evidence in their investigation of government abuses of the human rights of disabled people.

      I’m always glad people read the blogs, I don’t expect people to necessarily agree with everything I write, but if it inspires thinking and understanding, well, that’s what I write for. And if it helps build a sense of solidarity, even better 🙂

      The media has muted labour’s anouncements about their policies, unfortunately, along withany other positives, so that’s another reason I write – to share information like this.

      Here’s a list of the very fair definite Labour key policies to date, there will be more to come. I hope you find this useful:

      1. Labour pledge to build 200,000 by 2020, focusing on social housing.

      2. Labour pledged to create a State-Owned Rail Company that would compete and win back Rail Franchises.

      3. Labour vow to cut business rates for small firms.

      4. Labour vowed to introduce an increased Bankers’ Bonus Tax if they win in 2015.

      5. Labour promised Free Childcare worth £5,000 a year for working parents who had children aged 3&4.

      6. Labour committed to Sacking ATOS, Serco and G4S if they win the election.

      7. Ed Miliband promised to repeal the Bedroom Tax.

      8. Ed Balls pledged to reverse the Pension Tax relief that the Tories gifted to millionaires.

      9. Labour promised to reverse the Tory Tax cut for Hedge Funds.

      10. Labour pledged they will create 200,000 Apprenticeships

      11. Ed Miliband vowed to increase the fine levied on firms not paying the Minimum Wage by 1000% to £50,000.

      12. Labour are to introduce a new Disability Hate Crime Prevention Law.

      13. Labour would freeze gas and electricity bills for every home and business in the UK for at least 20 months, the big energy firms would be split up and governed by a new tougher regulator to end overcharging.

      14. Voting age to be lowered to 16.

      15. NHS to be re-nationalised.

      16. Miliband also said that any private company that does not meet the needs of the public will be brought under state control.

      17. Labour will ban exploitative zero hour contracts.

      18. Labour have pledged to introduce a living wage.

      19. Labour have pledged to reverse the £107,000 tax break that the Tories have given to the millionaires.

      20. Labour will reintroduce the 50p tax.

      21. Labour will repeal clause 119.

      22. Labour will introduce a law making Private Companies subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

      23. Labour will introduce a Mansion Tax on properties worth more than £2 million

      24. Labour will make up the difference to the value in the minimum wage is restored, reversing the Tory cut of 5%.

      25. Labour will halt Michael Gove’s Free School Expansion Programme.

      26. Labour will abolish the Tory ban on Local Education Authorities opening State Schools once more.

      27. Labour will scrap George Osborne’s “Shares for Rights” scheme that has opened up a tax loophole of £1 billion .

      28. Labour will launch a full public inquiry into blacklisting.

      29. Labour will ensure Water Companies place the poorest households on a Social Tariff that makes it easier for them to pay their Water Bills.

      30. Labour will double the tax duty on Pay Day Lenders and will use the additional £13,000,000 that raises to help foster more Credit Unions.

      31. Labour will impose a cap on the cost of credit, setting a limit at which Pay Day Lenders can charge borrowers.

      32. Labour will regulate food labelling to simplify pricing so that Supermarkets cannot con customers.

      33. Labour plan to introduce a Bill that would ban Recruitment Consultancy firms from only hiring abroad & ban firms from paying temporary workers less than permanent staff.

      34. Labour would set up a Financial Crime Unit, with increased staffing, in the Serious Fraud Office to enable the SFO to pursue bankers who break the law.

      35. Labour will break up the banks, separating retail banking from investment banking.

      36. Labour will scrap Police Commissioners.

      37. Labour will introduce a Forces & Veterans Bill of Rights to build upon the Military Covenant.

      38. As a minimum measure, Labour will at least cut Tuition Fees by 33%.

      39. Labour will introduce measures to prevent corporate tax avoidance.

      40. Labour will also increase the Bank Levy by £800m a year.

      41. Labour will scrap the Profit Tax Cut (Corporation Tax) that George Osborne has already announced for 2015.

      42. Labour will scrap Cameron’s “Gagging” Act.

      43. Labour will ensure all MPs will be banned from receiving any income from corporations after 2015.

      44. Labour will tackle the abuse and exploitation of migrant labour that undercuts wages.

      45. Labour will extend their 2002 public interest test to protect us from exploitative multinational takeovers.

      46. Labour will end unpaid workfare

      47. Labour have pledged to scrap sanction targets.

      Wishing you the very best, Sandy, Happy New Year to you and yours. Let’s hope it’s the start of much better social and economic conditions for all xxx

      Like

  14. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…. Francis Farmer’s Facebook post on methedrone (that comes in a green pack, too, doesn’t it?):

    Francis Farmer commented on THUMP.
    8 December 2013 ·

    hee hee hee………I used to buy it at a fiver a gram to sell on to dumb fucks in wrexham for fourty pound a gram…….. It made my ex crazy though …she would get me to do all sorts of insane stuff in the bedroom when she was on it………its nasty stuff though….I stopped selling and taking it when just before teh ban because i could see the awful effects on my clients……..I see people who are addicted to it now….they stink of the stuff and look like zombies and there minds (especially whilst on it) are easy to manipulate…brrr …..stick to weed nit feels nicer and is much more fun………’sides what with all the dark moods that run through techstep its better to be mashed on ganja than edgy and hyper alert on methadrone……………
    Why I Miss Mephedrone | Thump
    It stank of piss and ruined my weekends, but I miss it (kind of).
    thump.vice.com

    Like

    1. Delightful. I can see she approves of a pharmaceutically propped up lifestyle. And likes to exploit others. Yet supports a party that claims to stand for social justice. Some people just can’t manage joined-up thinking. Let them loose on social media and the best they can come up with as critical social commentary is ” you’re a shitc*nt”. Bless.

      Like

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