Even the Green Party are arguing over immigration

…AND on Caroline Lucas: soon after she had joined the Highgate by-election canvassers in Camden, one of the gang she had just helped was standing up and – doing the unthinkable – criticising her at the Green Party conference in Sheffield. Ms Lucas was a little unsure about a conference motion which generated a fear that it would be read essentially as an open door policy on immigration. But local member Jim Jepps, you may have seen him around Highgate during the Rowell campaign or read his blogs, insisted the words of his motion should not be broken up and won the day on a heated debating floor.

A little victory, this is the motion Jim drove through:

*The Green Party reaffirms it’s commitment to a liberal immigration policy. Everyone is equal no matter what the colour of their passport.

*The Coalition’s policy of introducing an immigration cap restricts people’s rights based purely on their nationality, harms the economy and is not conducive to a free and happy society.

*The Green Party is in favour of a real review of border controls that takes in the full benefits of immigration and stops treating those who are not native to the UK as a problem.

I wasn’t there but the leadership apparently wanted the first paragraph to hit the cutting room floor. Jim said afterwards: “My argument was that diversity is something to be celebrated rather than be constantly treated as a problem. The current muddle headed Coalition policy does not even have the backing of employers and will certainly be used to restrict the rights of those who did not happen to be born in this country. To those who argue that migrants can be used to undercut wages and divide and rule I say that the answer to exploitation is not to regulate the exploited but to regulate the exploiters.”

2 Comments on Even the Green Party are arguing over immigration

  1. Hi Richard, thanks for this. Just to say I think she was criticising me rather than the other way round! It is a thrill though for a member to be able to move a motion on a highly contentious political issue, be opposed *by the leader* and still win the vote – sweet!

  2. And this has what to do with protecting the environment, exactly?

    If only we actually had a Green Party in this country.

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