‘I agree with the majority of socialist principles’, Zack Polanski tells campaign launch rally
Zack Polanski held his first rally as part of his bid for the deputy leadership of the Green Party of England and Wales this evening. Around 40 party members joined Polanski on Zoom to hear about his vision for the party.
In his introductory speech, Polanski emphasised three core campaign themes – getting more Greens elected, delivering a “media breakthrough” and ensuring the Green Party is “intersectional”. Following this, he also faced questions from attendees. This is when the event got more interesting, with Polanski pressed on specific issues.
One member asked whether Polanski thought the Green Party was “explicitly a socialist party”. His response was, “On a personal level I agree with the majority of socialist principles”, and said that, “we are a left wing, left of centre party”. But he also clarified, “The reason why I wouldn’t say explicitly, yes, we’re a socialist party kind of in public and as a slogan is I think that’s going to unnecessarily put people off”.
He went on to argue that in defining the Greens as a socialist party there would be a need to, “appeal to all the socialists and kind of struggle with all the people who are anti socialist who might have voted Green if we didn’t say we were socialists.” Instead of describing the Green Party in this way, Polanski instead argued that Greens should be talking about a “fair, equitable society where we make sure that everyone is looked after”, and advocating policies like a Universal Basic Income.
Attendees at the rally also heard from the former Lord Mayor of Oxford Elise Benjamin, Southwark Green Party’s Claire Sheppard and former Green Party staffer Andi Moir – each of whom explained why they are backing Polanski.
Nominations for the Green Party’s deputy leadership election close on June 30. Polanski remains at this point the sole candidate who has confirmed his candidacy. Members will be voting in the election throughout the summer.
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I wrote elsewhere that I felt that the Green Party did not really get the north. I suppose I should have written that the Green Party does not really get the barriers that it faces in terms of getting near implementing its policies. That our claims to be an a radical alternative in practice get shot to pieces. This flaw is explored in a telling article published in ‘ the Socialist’ newspaper last month. Written by the SPs full timer in Sheffield, Alistair Tice,it offers a withering critique of the Greens in power, particularly in Brighton but also in the steel city itself.
The leadership of our party( and the people who aspire to it) have to face the reality that the bourgeois state will not allow us to exercise our beliefs. They would do everything in their power to destroy us. As they did to Corbyn they would do to us.
Recognising this leads to the necessity of us being Socialist. If we cannot do that we will end up being accused as Tice points out in his article of being ‘ Tories on bikes.’
What are the minority of socialist policies he disagrees with? That must be the next question posed to him
Trotsky said “ Tell truth to class”. He was right then and we should be saying we are a socialist party. Anything else is petite bourgeois right wing opportunism!
Always a difficult line to straddle because of the way the media has demonised the term ‘socialist.’ I agree with Polanski in seeking to present Greens as something altogether different, that cuts across the traditional right/left divide. That said, I always like to think of the Green Party as representing ‘super-charged’ socialism, because we seek justice and fairness for the whole planet, not just humans.