The Green Party reacted to the Queen’s speech this week, highlighting the lack of climate action and the signs of Conservatives authoritarianism as they grasp for long-lasting power.
Caroline Lucas MP wrote in the Metro, saying that ‘the Queen’s Speech exposed the Tory Party’s creeping authoritarianism’:
‘In a decade that is critical for action on the climate emergency, we heard a Queen’s Speech where, astonishingly, the word ‘climate’ was not mentioned once.
There was a passing reference to the existing UK commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and yet another claim of global leadership on climate.
So what we are left with is a lot of empty pledges and more targets with little strategy or plan to deliver them.
It’s not as if the cupboard is bare when it comes to ideas. For example, together with more than 50 cross-party MPs and peers, I wrote to the prime minister in advance of the State Opening urging him to include the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill in the Queen’s Speech.
It’s been drawn up by leading climate scientists, lawyers and campaigners to chart a course to delivering the scale of emissions cuts that are needed to avert the worst impacts of the climate emergency.
What we heard instead was a pledge for a recovery from Covid-19 to make the UK ‘stronger, healthier and more prosperous’. No mention of greener or fairer, even though opinion polls over the past year have shown that this is what people want.
It’s also what encouraged a huge vote for Green candidates in last week’s local elections in England, and national polls in Wales and Scotland.
Worse, the Government’s recovery plan is based on the outdated dogma of relentless economic growth – exactly what is fuelling the climate and ecological crises. There needs to be a change of mindset and a recognition of what a sustainable future looks like: one where the wellbeing and health of people and the planet come first. On current evidence, ministers just don’t get it.’
Jenny Jones, one of our Green Peers, highlighted urged the left to unite in the face of a Conservative assault on democracy in Left Foot Forward:
‘Voter suppression. Limiting protest on the streets by banning anything that might be effective. Stopping people seeking justice in the courts when the government acts in a dictatorial way.
The Queen’s Speech is clearly designed to help the Conservatives stay in power for many decades longer.
It is time for liberals, greens and those on the left to unite around a renewal of democracy with the aim of ending a corrupt system which supports a corrupt government.
Voter ID is a solution looking for a problem. The absence of fraud is obvious, which leaves us with one question: why is the government making this a priority?
The same question has to be asked of their intention to impose First Past the Post on the Mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
Londoners have used this electoral system for over twenty years without any controversy, and the vast majority of voters used it for Police and Crime Commissioner elections last week.
It allows Greens, Lib Dems and other smaller parties to gather first preference votes from people who know that their second preference is a ‘safety vote’ for one of the two main parties. The only motivation for the government spending time on this is an attempt to cement First Past the Post as the only valid way of voting.’