Yesterday a motion committing the Green Party to resistance to and no collaboration with the cuts was defeated at our spring conference in Cardiff yesterday. As is often the case the arguments were rather confused and quite a few people were unsure where they stood on the issue. After a card vote it was something like 72 to 59.
The argument from the other side was that if we hold power in any council we should try our best to make the cuts less painful (We do not yet hold power in any council) . To be fair it was accepted by everyone that we should not vote for a cuts budget. Darren Johnson in Lewisham voted against Labour's cuts budget as the one Green on that council - one of the people putting the other argument across. Better not allow Eric Pickles get hold of running a council as this would make things far worse!
Essentially I think they are mistaken that the concessions we may get from central government would make enough difference in comparison to the damage done to the Green Party's image and credibility. Sectarian leftist and Labour party hypocrites are already sharpening their knives to get stuck in to us. Some Greens living outside the inner cities in wealthier areas perhaps do not fully grasp how devastating the cuts will be for Tower Hamlets, East and South Bristol, Manchester etc..
These people are good decent people, but my position is that if we are not firmly behind the anti cuts movement in action as well as rhetoric then we may be swept away and consigned to the dustbin of history (ooh Lenin misquote alert!) Some new people at conference were pleasantly surprised as to how big the left vote was.
This issue is not over in the Green Party. Lets all muck in together to build for the TUC demo on March 24th and see if we can't recreate Egypt in London!