Communism had a bad name and not surprisingly after the experiences of Russia under Stalin or China under Mao. Yet it can well be argued the first proponents of Communism were the early Christians who rejected wealth and shared equally.
Socialism was demonised by Mrs Thatcher yet Liberal David Lloyd George is credited with the saying ‘a young man who isn’t a Socialist hasn’t got a heart; an old man who is a Socialist hasn’t got a head’. Mrs Thatcher built on the latter and made sure Socialism got a bad name.
Comments in the local press would have us believe ‘green’ is the new contender for the latest politics to deserve a bad name – especially phrased as a ‘green agenda’ in connection with Twenty’s Plenty.
Yet the good citizens of Central ward elected Worthing’s first Green councillor on Thursday (May 22nd) seemingly in defiance of much quoted polls against 20 mph limits. Perhaps it’s because over 45% of residents in Central ward do not own a car, with over 40% not owning one in next door Heene where the Green Party came a creditable second.
Thursday was also Green Day in the sense several experienced councillors stood down and new ‘green’ ones took their place. Taking their bow were Liberal Democrats Christine Brown, David Chapman and Alan Rice with Conservatives Tom Wye, Nicky Waight, John Rogers and Carol Molineaux. Three other serving members lost their seats – Liberal Democrat Diane Jones and defectors to UKIP Charles James and Trevor England. UKIP were stymied in their attempt at an earthquake by a strong Conservative defence.
Ironically not green in the inexperienced sense is the new Green councillor, James Doyle, having served many years on both Worthing Borough Council and West Sussex County Council as a Liberal Democrat. The new UKIP councillor Susan Jelliss is green in this sense as are new Tories Ed Crouch (of ‘The Worthing Page’ fame), Diane Guest (Sandwitch Cafe proprietress), Kevin Jenkins, Luke Proudfoot, Sean Macdonald and LouiseMurphy. Not so green is Conservative Heather Mercer who returns after a sojourn in Cyprus.
The return of so many new councillors may hopefully bring fresh ideas to Worthing but we suspect they will be disabused of their green demeanour by an administration that prefers old unchanging ways.
Perhaps not so much a Green Day after all.
Former councillor Alan Rice is Editor of Worthing Daily