Labour’s Green Suicide

Commentary, Environment, Frontier Centre

"Those who turn themselves green will be eaten by goats," says a German folk saying. Once in a while, Germany’s Labour Party is finding out that one should listen to what common people think. The Green Party, according to opinion polls, has caught up with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and, in some places, are set to overtake them. Instead of a future Red-Green coalition government, there could be a Green-Red one.

How could it have come to that? The decline of the SPD can be explained in large part by the fact that its party manifesto, to a significant extent, is a pirated carbon copy of green beliefs. The idea of progress, which once distinguished the SPD, as a party of skilled workers, engineers and technicians, was thrown overboard and replaced by a green-coloured pessimism about the future. The SPD is against nuclear power, against genetic engineering, against coal power plants, yes, most recently, even against railway stations. The SPD is generally opposed to any "big technology" and is now in favor of a society which looks like Tolkien’s Hobbit land: a pastoral idyll full of windmills.

Apparently, leading Social Democrats believe this strategy will score points with green high earners. What a mistake: These people continue to choose the original, if only for biographical reasons. For a good part of the green electorate, voting for the Green Party is a confirmation of one’s own goodness. Choose green is the easiest way to soothe the guilty conscience that plagues some because of their spoiled lifestyle. Socialist world views look quite different.

Traditional labour voters have almost nothing to do with the green elites. They often work in an industrial plant, are more likely engaged in the trade union than in the local citizens’ initiative against the construction of a bypass route. The common SPD voter experiences in his daily work the absurd mismanagement due to green eco-dogma and the resulting laws and regulations.

And there is another thing that he has understood: the green electorate puts solar panels on the roofs of their houses, and the Labour voter in the apartment building must pay for it – by a levy on electricity costs. Unfortunately the SPD leaders do not understand that this is a rather one-sided redistribution in favour of green property owners. Similarly as in the Sarrazin debate, the gentlemen on the bridge do not realize that the mood has turned on the lower deck a long ago. Many SPD supporters are tired of constantly being lectured to be green by their leadership: Whether the holiday flight to Majorca or the food from discount stores – just about every facet of their lifestyle is under attack from their own party – Pardon: their former own party.