Caroline Lucas has stood down as head of the UK Green Party
. Lucas is her party’s first and only Member of Parliament, an honor that voters nowadays rate about as highly as being “the last person to be hanged in England.” It’s a fascinating piece of trivia, but not the most flattering way to be remembered.
With Lucas gone the Greens will set about choosing a replacement in the traditional manner: whoever can eat a four course meal in a vegan restaurant and survive wins. Expect the contest to come down to a tight race between an unshaven sociology lecturer and a dolphin called Roger. Roger will win on personality.
I lived for two years in the Green Party’s political stronghold of Brighton, a seaside town on the Sussex coast. I was still a partisan Labour man back then, so I witnessed firsthand the slow decline of socialism and its eclipse by the ecology movement. The cause was demographics. Our people were dying out or couldn’t be bothered to vote. The Greens, on the other hand, benefited from the influx of middle-class professionals and students. By nature, Brighton is a working-class town (even those bits of it that are proudly gay), but gentrification took its toll in the noughties and changed its character. I lived in a Georgian dive opposite the burnt-out pier for just £650 a month. Three minutes down the road, BBC producers were forking out £2000 for a studio flat opposite an excrement-fuelled eco garden. The future was Green.
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