In a new year message, the Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas has said that “politics does not have to be a straight choice between power and principles”. She insisted that the Greens will be a strong voice for progressive politics during 2011.
Lucas became the first Green Member of the UK Parliament when she was elected to represent Brighton Pavilion in May 2010.
She slammed the coalition government for cuts that “could put nearly a million people on the dole queue, while making it harder for many of them to claim benefits”.
Along with Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party, the Greens have criticised this week’s VAT increase. The Greens say that it will have a disproportionately harsh impact on people on low incomes and could cost 250,000 jobs.
Despite the coalition announcing their intention to be "the greenest government ever", Lucas said that 2011 has already brought “fresh assaults on the environment” from proposed nuclear power stations and new measures that will promote traffic growth in both city centres and residential areas.
She criticised increases in rail fares “that will push more people into car-dependency”.
“In our election campaign in May, the Greens did not drop any of our radical policies,” explained Lucas, “We stuck to what we believed in and against all the odds we won our first seat in Westminster”.
She insisted, “It shows that if you tell the truth and offer people something better, the public will respond. And this is what we must keep on doing.”
Lucas concluded, “We must carry our message to the growing numbers of people abandoned by the Conservatives, disillusioned by Labour and betrayed by the Lib Dems. We must grow the Green Party as the radical progressive alternative, and give ourselves a louder voice than ever before.”