Readers, the BBC, aka the Biased Brainwashing Corporation, recently stated that Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives (a constituency where my fellow Greens plan to make substantial progress), is hoping that a deal between the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party can be done for the next general election.
However, there are three main reasons why the Green Party should never accept any such deal with the Liberal Democrats.
First of all, despite claims made by supposedly 'green-minded' Liberal Democrats and 'Green Liberal Democrat' PPCs like Ros Kayes (LD PPC for Dorset West) and Jane Brophy (LD PPC for Altrincham & Sale West) , the Liberal Democrats have in practice actually harmed environmental causes whilst in coalition with the Conservatives. Only a few Liberal Democrat MPs voted in favour of a decarbonisation target, and Lib Dem MPs have consistently voted in favour of bills that endanger our environment, such as the Deregulation Bill and the Infrastructure Bill, which was first moved by a Liberal Democrat peer (and former MP for Richmond Park), Susan Kramer aka Baroness Kramer.
Secondly, Liberal Democrat MPs have no qualms about supporting the failed system of neoliberal capitalism which is fundamentally incompatible with green values. Most Liberal Democrat MPs have voted consistently in favour of austerity measures. I will also say this to Mr George:you have only rebelled a few times this Parliament, and despite your vote against the bedroom tax last year, you proved yourself rather hypocritical by voting to allow Lord Freud to keep his job as Welfare Minister when he does not deserve to. Your colleagues, Messrs Tim Farron and Julian Huppert, despite being somewhat different from the Orange Bookers that make up the majority of Liberal Democrat MPs, have started out well but then have in reality just become like every other Lib Dem MP when it comes to crucial votes.
Thirdly, the Liberal Democrats have betrayed their values and their core promises to voters in this Parliament (not just the promise to scrap tuition fees for students!) and this government has become neither liberal nor democratic under the coalition's tenure. Not only have the Liberal Democrats failed to get any electoral reform, they have also helped the Conservatives pass laws that strip many of vital legal aid entitlements for no good reason, that allow the use of secret courts, and that inhibit our right to protest and freedom of assembly. They also backed a proposal for a British invasion of Syria (which thankfully did not pass as some Conservative MPs rebelled) and for a second British invasion of Iraq when they voted against the first one back in 2003.
It is clear that the Green Party can do without the Liberal Democrats and their self-serving opportunism, and that such a proposed deal would drag the Green Party down and greatly tarnish our alternative credentials. We are already showing we are in line to win seats without the Liberal Democrats' help, especially when several of our 12 tentative targets are themselves held by Lib Dem MPs.