Friday, May 22, 2009

Libertas candidate stands down for Greens

Breaking news: It's not just Joanna Lumley who's backing the Greens. The North West's lead candidate for Libertas is standing down and supporting the Green Party's Peter Cranie for the win.

Ben Tallis, who is also the UK Policy director for Libertas, has decided to stand down for two very good reasons.

As a committed anti-racist he's decided that the battle to keep Nick Griffin out of the European Parliament has to take precedence over other concerns. That means backing the Greens.

Secondly, he'd become disturbed by some of the candidates in the Eastern European nations for the Libertas slate. Tallis has criticisms of the Lisbon treaty and EU structures, as do I, but is also a committed European and by no means sees himself as a Europhobe. However, he fears that some elements in Eastern Europe are distinctly dodgy, particularly about Jews and he felt, understandably, he could no longer lead the North West list for the organisation that makes great play of its pan-European nature.

Whilst Libertas are unlikely to make political waves here in the UK, especially now, they are a significant force in some parts of Europe - Ireland particularly - so it does matter what their politics are. Whilst there are some positive aspects to their platform (the criticism of Europe's institutions without feeling the need to blame the EU for everything, UKIP style) it is a deeply contradictory organisation.

Just a quick google search will show that for an organisation without borders they make an extraordinary number of comments on immigration, nor does there seem to be much coherence from one state to another, which is surprising given that the slates were essentially determined from the office of one wealthy businessman in Ireland.

Ben has taken a principled stand and withdrawn his candidature from the race and we sincerely thank him for his endorsement of Peter Cranie.


Kaihsu Tai said... are all over the place in terms of their substantive policies. Before they get their acts together on this one, the optimal number of candidates for them is zero.

ModernityBlog said...

Good idea, I hope that others will take such a principled stance against all forms of anti-Jewish racism.

Red Green Nick said...

Now the Sikh Federation are backing the Greens.

ModernityBlog said...

Looking into the League of Polish Families and their youth movement, much of their anti-Jewish racism was flagged up in 2005.

Was quickly researching a post and I found this

Richard Bartholomew's post is rather good.

Red Green Nick said...

There is a lot of dodgy right wing politics in Poland! Homophobia, Anti Semitism and anti Roma bigotry are all issues there.
Radio Maryja the extremist catholic radio station is pretty disgusting!

Anonymous said...

There's a more sober assessment of this development here:

I'm still not convinced that voting Green is the best way to stop the BNP mainly because I'm not confident the Greens can outpoll the BNP in the North-West. I'd love to be proved wrong though.

ModernityBlog said...

indeed RG Nick, but you might think that people in Libertas could have spotted this problem sooner?

I don't follow Polish politics and it took me 2 mins to see the problem with the LRP, shame Libertas didn't catch on before?