An article written a new young member – Howard Green:

The future of our party is argued by some to be in jeopardy with the upcoming leadership election. But some of us seem to be forgetting that mankind’s future is at stake here. There is a disaster looming above our heads and the recent hellish events in Australia are observable proof of the catastrophe that faces us. We must enable our next leader to be directly involved in confronting the current crisis.

It’s clear that the results from the last election were not desirable and many of us cannot agree on where we went wrong, and where we shall go next. However, whether you were a supporter of Corbyn and his leadership or not, a solid fact is that green policy needs to remain as radical as it was before. The most recent manifesto is absolute proof of the need of continuation of the radical Green agenda in our party. The manifesto prioritised green issues by putting it at the very start and effortlessly incorporating the climate response this into issues related to it.

There should be a direct continuation of this, even on to more radical green policies. Here are three reasons why the next Labour Leader should be definitively Green:

1.) Environmental issues are Universal and Omnipresent: Whether it is a new migrant crisis or children dying from breathing problems in the NHS, our response to the climate crisis ultimately shapes the possibility of other catastrophes to come. Climate migration is already happening, particularly in the US. Small farming communities in Central America are already flocking to the United States borders due to desertification and non-arable land. We are as much at risk of another migrant crisis, particularly from North Africa, if this continues. Pollution directly kills 50,000 UK citizens each year, a travesty in itself. However many of these people are occupying NHS time and using their resources. It’s not wasted time but this is all preventable. There are countless examples of climate change affecting the most basic of interests. Due to the agreeable nature of the climate emergency, it is completely agreeable then to put forward a radical green agenda.

2.) Environmental issues are not a question of ideology: It is empirical, scientific and objecting against a climate change response is not only false but right-wing. You are simply not a modern Labour member if you are prepared to go out your way and reject facts presented about the climate. Working-class urban people are the biggest sufferers of climate-based health and social issues. To not stand with them is most certainly anti-Labour. There are no possible attachments that one can grasp onto or ignore because of ideology when it comes to an environmental crisis. Politics is the art of empiricism and to disregard the looming crisis is absurd. We do not have the capacity to ignore this issue, and our leader certainly should not.

3.) Electability is a dead concept during a crisis: It’s clear in the years to come that our franchise will become more climate conscious, meaning that radical green policy is most certainly electable. he youth of today will be members of the franchise very soon and their immediate concerns are environmental issues. However, even if it was not electable, would it matter? The environmental crisis is not sexy and not desirable. It is not theatrical like a war and doesn’t require anyone’s attention to continue. It cannot be romanticised and cannot be used in strategic politics. This issue is greater than any war, therefore we need to stand for it and make it our primary intention immediately.

Without trying to persuad you who to back in the leadership contest, your most important concern should be environmental issues and the future leaders willingness to confront them. The continuation of our current radical manifesto is most definitely needed. However, we must make clear that the first adjective we should be able to describe our future leader by should be ‘Green’. If we are incapable of doing that, then we might win an election but the consequences will be dire.

Howard Green
January 2020

Howard Green
Howard Green
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