The sanctimonious duplicity and double speak of the Green Party in Norwich South

Update : Before I start, and for the sake of clarity (since some Greens reading this article keep going on about Lib Dem bar charts in the comments), can I make clear this article is not about the Greens use of bar charts. It does, however, highlight that the Greens claims that Lib Dem bar charts are wrong, and only theirs are right, is a hollow lie. Please read and address the points I have made about the Green's use of statistics from two separate elections using different voting systems and the Green Party's own stated objection to the Lib Dems doing this. Also note that the Greens are still complaining about Lib Dem claims that the Greens were in 4th place in Norwich when the result last Thursday showed that the Greens were in 4th place ? Confused ? Read on.

Main article starts 

The Green Party have been the darlings of the local media in Norwich for some time. Their success in local elections has allowed local news media outlets to have easy copy on politics issues that seems different and quirky, whilst those same media outlets never expose the Greens to cross examination of their policy, the conduct, their behaviour and their sheer duplicity which those of us who have analysed them for sometimes can see plain as day.

The media had something of a wake up call during the Norwich by-election when the Greens ramped themselves up, and the media fell for it hook, line and sinker.

BBC East gave the Green candidate Rupert "I was once a Lib Dem" Read a seat on the special by-election debate, at the expense of the UKIP candidate, whilst Radio 5, ITV and Sky News frothed with excitement as the Greens told the story of how they were going to cause a major upset.

The Green campaign also got plenty of press attention for a meaningless campaign pledge that the Lib Dems refused to sign for the simple fact that it was meaningless. The media made great play of the Lib Dems refusal to sign the pledge, but printed not one word when the Greens leaflets actually started to make personal attacks on the Lib Dems, despite the fact that the Green "campaign pledge" had supposedly promised not to make such attacks.

At the Norwich North Count, the extent to which the media had been suckered in by the Greens was evident when two reporters from Sky News asked me what was happening and the order of the finishers. When I said the Greens were in 5th place, they simply couldn't believe it and said "Poor Rupert". They had bought the lie, as had the BBC in their special debate. The UKIP candidate who was not on the debate panel came a very well placed 4th and beat the Greens by some distance.

The media had started to see the Greens as not always a trusted source of information. The Greens knew this and according to the EDP (in the print edition, not online) they brought up a high level delegation to speak to the local press and media to persuade them that the Greens could win Norwich South with the EDP going as saying that Adrian Ramsay was made deputy leader for the purpose of giving him a higher media profile). It appears the press learnt from this.

The Norwich North by-election should have been the springboard for the Greens Norwich South campaign, instead it had the opposite effect. The Greens had made fools of the media and would take their comments with a large dose of salt.

The Greens like to talk up the prominence of their councillors and how many they have in Norwich, but in all their literature, offer no solutions to the issues facing Norwich. They run petitions to save this, preserve that, stop the other, but never get round to looking for an answer or coming up with a realistic alternative. it's opposition for oppositions sake, only it isn't when it comes to council votes.

All too often the Greens fail to vote against Labour, leaving it to Lib Dems and Tories to vote against, knowing that Labour have more seats than the Lib Dems and Tories combined, whilst the Greens sit on their hands an abstain when Labour really could be beaten.

So on to this campaign, and the rank hypocrisy, insults and double speak of the Green Party that is endemic in the campaign.

For many months now the Green's have been complaining about the Lib Dems use of the 2005 general election statistics to show the Greens were not best placed to beat Labour. The Greens instead insist on using the most recent local election results or Euro election results.

I should stress, I am not moaning about the barchart. I am however making the point that the Greens moan about Lib Dem bar charts, but are no less willing to use bar charts to make whatever point they want to make. The difference is that the Greens only see it as wrong for the Lib Dems to do this, not for them !

This leaflet shows the statistics the Greens like to use.

You will note that it claims the Greens are in 34% and the Lib Dems on 25%. Theses figures are from the Euro elections.  Is this a fair or accurate figure to quote when referring to a parliamentary election ?

Well according to the Green Party's own Norwich North candidate, Rupert Read, it almost certainly isn't.

He bemoaned the use the Lib Dems made of a bar charts showing general election votes when campaigning in the Euro elections in an article he wrote for Liberal Conspiracy.

Rupert Read said using bar charts from differing electoral systems was was
"a pre-determined, deliberate attempt to undermine the Green campaign using indefensible statistics"
So we are clear, using statistics like this is considered to be wrong by the Greens. So why have they then claimed, on the basis of the Euro election results (under a form of PR) that they are therefore
 "the main challenger to Charles Clarke" 
Surely doing this is, in the words of Rupert Read, was a cynical attempt to
" misrepresent the voting system and our prospects."
Of course, as Rupert added at the end, in deliberately doing these things, people will rightly say  
"we will never let you – nor the public – forget the wrong that you perpetrate, each time you draw a misleading graph, cite an irrelevant statistic, deliberately mislead readers about another Party’s chances…" 
Indeed Rupert, these are lessons the Green Party needs to take heed of. You like to portray yourselves as cleaner than clean and above politics. Your party campaigns in Norwich almost as a "None of the Above" party, who can always be trusted. But every time you seek to criticise the opposition for being poltiical parties and fighting political campaigns, you expose your party as hypocrites.

Of course, the result from the General Election has proved very clearly that the Lib Dems assertion that the Green Party were in fourth place was completely correct, and the Green Party were wrong.

You'd think they might just accept that they made a mistake, but this has been compounded by the comments made by their defeated candidate today. Speaking on the local news today, Adrian Ramsay claimed the Green vote had doubled, and the Lib Dem and Labour vote was falling. Now this is only true if Mr Ramsay now accepts the Lib Dems use of the last general election results were correct, something that the Greens totally reject on their leaflets.

So not only do the Greens peddle leaflets with statistics that they would themselves condemn in articles if they had been delivered by another party, they then decry other parties using the correct figures and then use those correct figures when it suits them to "spin" their way out of a bad result.

And the Greens have form here.

Just a few days ago the Greens were complaining about an opinion poll that put them on 19% in Norwich South. Interestingly, the Lib Dems chose not to complain and just got on with campaigning. Interestingly, the 19% the Lib Dems were given in the poll underscored the Lib Dems final voe by 10%, but the 19% the Greens got overrated them by 2%. It's the only time in political history that a political party had complained that they were being made to look good, but it highlights the Green Party's delusions that they somehow have a divine right in Norwich South.

So it is this driven from the top or is it endemic in the Greens ?

Well if you search the blogs and twitter, you will similarly see what the Greens are like if you scratch the surface.

One comment that caught they eye was this from a Green activist who was in Norwich yesterday before the final result was announced.

When I challenged her via twitter to justify herself and explain why Simon Wright, a former teacher who has had a real job in the real world,  was a, in her words "careerist git !" where as Adrian Ramsay, a full time politician who has been on the city council since leaving university isn't a careerist

Her reply was that it was different for Adrian (presumably because he is a Green)

So ignoring the fact that Simon's family live in Norwich, he lives in Norwich, his wife is a City Councillor, he is a "careerist git".

Still worse was the Green activist's comments on Simon's unsuitability compared to Adrian Ramsay based on their life experience and professions. It seems that the Green Party don't think teachers should be MPs becaus she then wrote
To be fair, some hours later (possibly realising that twitter leaves a paper trail) she did offer her congratulations to Simon. nut it speaks volumes about the Greens' self righteous attitude that anyone else wanting to stand for the area they grew up in is a "careerist", but when a green does worse and has never had a real job and instead has devoated his whole life to one aim, that is being a politician, so long as he is a Green, that is okay.

Perhaps I should return to Rupert Read, who writes today that

"We knocked on every door – which is more than all the other Parties put together did"

Now does he know this to be true ? Can he prove it or is it a political statement based on an assertion of his ? After all if he was being 100% honest he would surely need some proof ?

And in a stunning example of ignoring the facts, he goes on to state

" a typically-untruthful LibDem campaign going on and on about the seat being allegedly a ‘two-horse race’ between them and Labour"
Er ... Rupert. Check out the result. It was a two horse race. Lib Dems were first, Labour second, Tories third and you came fourth. The problem is, only one party was fibbing when it claimed that it was "the main challenger to Charles Clarke"

Who was that again ?

 So let's finish with Rupert Read's own words in the earlier article for Liberal Conspiracy when he wrote

"Such a betrayal of trust will not easily be forgiven; at least, not without an expression of contrition and a sincere promise not to re-offend."

Of course, the difference was that Hereward Cooke, the former leader of the Lib Dem group on Norwich City Council offered an apology for anything that was misleading in Lib Dem leaflets in local elections a few years ago.

Even today, the Greens are telling lies about the Lib Dems conduct in the campaign yet totally ignoring their own double speak and lies.

Forget claiming you are better than everyone else. Politics is what it is and the Greens play as dirty as anyone else.


Left Lib said...

Instead of moaning all the time, why don't you simply make an agreement with the Greens not to misrepresent each other other in the way you describe?

Norfolk Blogger said...

We all tell versions of the truth. That is the nature of politics. The three leaders debates saw them all disagreeing, all with their own spin, all with their own version of the truth, but disagreement is needed to distinguish differences sometimes. The one difference locally is that the Greens moan all the time, for longer, and more publicly, about the very things they themselves do.

And this is my point. They are no better than the rest of us. They tell lies, its just that when you use their own words to damn them, they just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Mr Starling

There are so many things you could say about Rupert "I was at University with...(insert prominent posh boy politician's name here)" Read that it's difficult to know where to start.

The Greens are infuriating - some decent policies but some people so irritiating and pious that they annoy the hell out of me to the point of me being contrary just to wind the fuckwits up. The sort of people who lecture you about things you already know more about than they do.

Still, you've got him bang to right here Nich. Even Read would struggle to worm out of his less than honest statements, that to an onlooker are clear to see.

Wensum Voter said...

Well done for saying this. The Greens lives in a bubble of self delusion believing only they have the answers and their views are the only truth that exists.

Their lying has been caught out good and proper by the result in Norwich South.

Anonymous said...

LeftLib - You should note the Greens here attack the Lib Dems for the use of their bar graphs showing the Green Party in 4th place, then produce their own graphs showing themselves to be in first place.

They cannot go around taking the moral high ground complaining bitterly about Lib Dem bar charts that atually are correct when they produce their own bar graphs that are proven to be wrong.

Reading the link to Rupert Reads article written yesterday, he even uses the Lib Dem figures that he denounces as the basis for proving that the Lib Dem vote has doubled.

And he will still think he is right and everyone else wrong.

Simon McG said...

it sounds just like a traditional liberal campaign to me

Norfolk Blogger said...

Simon, you miss the point.

The point is that everyone, including the Greens (as I have proved) use the statistics that most support their point of view.

The difference is the Greens bleat about the Lib Dems, ignore the other parties, and claim in a pious way that they don't do it themselves when quite clearly, they do.

In today's EDP the EDP states that the Greens were delivering leaflets on polling day evening still claiming that it was a two horse race between themselves and Labour, yet still they moan that our leaflets said that, and WE WERE PROVEN RIGHT !

Adrian Windisch said...

What a distorted post. Lib Dem bar charts have become infamous. Showing a recent election with accuracy is not the problem, too often they distort or exaggerate the results. Or include the wrong area.

In the by election in Norwich North I recall the LD results were so poor they used the national ones for the bar chart!

So rather than address a real issue, or quote a Green spokesperson, you have a go at a twitterer.

Some examples, from LD candidates. Anna Pascoe leaflet swearing at a Cornish candidate. Madeleine Kirk and Baroness Tongue on the Jewish Lobby.

Johnny Norfolk said...

This is my concern about PR forgeting that so called fair votes leads to secret talks sbout how the government will be formed, it lets in parties like the Greens and BNP. I find them dangerous fanatics who are only concerned about single issues and will wreck what is left of our economy, and boy are they bad losers.

Anonymous said...


I'm afraid Norfolkblogger is spot on with this and there's no way to spin it to make it anything other than what it is.

I have more in common with Greens than Lib Dems but Rupert Read does go on (and on and on) and when he does things like this, and makes himself and the party appear hypocritical, he will obviously be called on it.

It seems that it WAS a two horse race in Norwich South (which most people knew anyway), and that by being less than honest with people, the Greens took Labour votes and let the Lib Dems in. The Lib Dems will now do a shabby deal with the Tories and we'll all pay.

..Silicon Implant!! said...

It's the nature of the beast that they offer no solutions to problems, merely wring hands harder and more despairingly than others. They are happy to condemn use of fossil fuels, nuclear power, intensive farming, despoiling of the countryside by wind farms, etc etc. If they were ever given absolute power they would be knackered. If they stopped, dismantled, banned all the thingds they have condemned as unacceptable, Britain would be an isolated economic wasteland, sitting in the dark and the cold, the scrabbling to grow our own food on every spare patch of waste ground. A very significant proportion of the population would starve to death in those circumstances. Actually, more likely there would be massive civil unrest and the Green dictatorship would need to impose its envirofascist will in a Phol Pot Year zero style...

Clearly, then, the consistent finger wagging whenever anybody breathes the air or eats anything not made entirely of home grown lentils, let alone turns a light or a radiator on, is totally dependant on nobody taking a blind bit of notice...

Anonymous said...

Love that the Green blogger is "disappointed with the voters". Ah yes, silly little voters, not matching up to Green standards of intelligence. Silly old democracy, giving plebby voters the chance to reject the Greens. Listen madam, if you couldn't convince the voters, that's your problem not theirs'. Patronising cow.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that idiots like Andrew Gilligan like to quote Rupert Read as if he is some kind of soothsayer. The truth is he is a problem for the Green Party and the sooner we are rid of him the better the chances of progress.

Anonymous said...

I am a Green Party activist. One of the reasons I was put off joining the Liberal Democrats was the repeated abuse of statistics. If the Greens start doing so as well as common practice then I will stop supporting them.

I could write quite a lot here, but instead can I pick you up on one thing? You have described the result as a two-horse race. Most people would think of that as being two horses well out in front. Regardless of what you think of the Green vote in Norwich South, the Conservative vote was not far behind and they could have won the seat with only a small swing. Hardly two-horse! Surely at least three, if not four (since while the Greens might not have had a chance in normal circumstances they *could* have won if there had been a late scandal which had swung voters away from one of the other candidates or parties in disgust).

I'm not happy with all aspects of the Green leaflet you have highlighted.

So can we try to reach some common ground? Do you agree that both the Liberal Democrats and Greens should clean up their act and never mislead people by abuse of statistics? Will you pledge to take action wherever you can within your own party to try to achieve that?

Anonymous said...

The results will surely answer your question for you. Unless you think the electorate were all fooled by the Lib Dems' graphs? But not by the Greens' graphs?

Anyone 'could' win if there were a late scandal so that point is ridiculous. Maybe all you muppets should stop producing graphs and start telling the truth. I guarantee you that neither of you will do that.

BTW, why did you 'need' to 'join' one group or the other? Perhaps if more people thought for themselves and relied less on party dogma, we'd drag this basket case nation somewhere decent.

Anonymous said...

Hello other anonymous person.

"Why did you need to 'join' one group or the other?"

I do think for myself. I joined the Greens because I very strongly support their Core Principles and I thought they campaigned ethically (I still believe the party does generally and what Norfolk Blogger is complaining about is not widespread). I don't agree with all the Green Party's policies, but I try to debate what I disagree with and suggest improvements from the inside. If the party's manifesto moves too far from what I consider acceptable then obviously I will leave, but it hasn't reached that stage yet. I think one has to be realistic - one is never going to find a party that has a wide set of policies one completely agrees with.

The Green Party does encourage more independence than most parties. It doesn't whip its elected representatives.

I would much prefer no political parties at local government level (independent candidates only), but the parties do provide support networks both for practical help and enabling one to meet more people than one would otherwise would.

Anonymous said...

You should be thanking the Greens, not ripping it out of them. The Lib Dems got less votes than 2005, and only won thanks to the Greens taking the Labour votes that would have pushed Charles ahead.

The fact that Wright actually got less votes than last time shows what a relative flop his campaign was. (note: relative to 2005)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, correct myself: He got about 7 more votes. Wowee!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sorry, that comment makes me seem stupid now. But, it still stands that after working SO HARD he should have had a MUCH bigger increase than he did.

Adrian Windisch said...

In the Norwich North byelection, the LibDems endlessly quoted a TIMES article in which Rupert Read allegedly admitted the Greens couldnt win in Norwich North. They cant have it both ways! They can't say both that we went around saying we would win, and 'admitted' we would lose!

No-one predicted Cleggmania. There is every reason to believe that the Green Party was in 2nd place in Norwich South - until Cleggmania kicked in. LD were predicting Clegg as PM, hows that for a dodgy prediction. Hindsight is everything.

Over the 5 year period Greens had grown enormously, Libdems had declined enormously. Is NS really saying that it was somehow unfair of the Greens to draw this to the electorate's attention?

Some of the Green languge in leaflets in Norwich South was perhaps too strong, in retrospect. But there is no comparison, with the endless misrepresentations in LibDem leaflets. LibDems say things like 'Tories and Greens are out of the race in Norwich'. Your comparing a bicycle with an elephant.

None of the above said...


on this one it would be better to just hold your hands up to it. Mr Read and co are clearly bang to rights here.

By trying to spin it you look just like any other politician, and that's not a good look, certainly not one that the Greens need. Your Mr Read seems something of a liability.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Adrian, you fail to address my points.

I am not arguing about whose statistics are right or wrong. The fact is that all the statistics are correct. However, only one party goes around claiming only theirs are right and the others are wrong. Only one party says it is appalling to quote results from different electoral systems as a guide to future elections and then foes ahead and does it themselves and only one party uses the statistics they claim are unfair or untrue to try and justify just how their results was a success after the election.

Your defences highlights the hypocrisy of the Greens argument.

If you want to campaign like everyone else, like you already do, then that's fine. But don't take the moral highground and claim you don't.

eyanharve said...

Thanks for sharing useful information.
-- St Austell

Steve B said...

I won't be voting Green again. I got a leaflet through my door just days before the election claiming they were set to win in Norwich. They must have known this to be untrue or their judgment is severely lacking.

To get it so wrong and come 4th in place of first either shows an enormous degree of stupidity or a massive willingness to fool voters.

David said...

Hello, I haven't commented on your blog before.

I can perhaps understand your frustration and annoyance. But seriously, wouldn't all this talk of bar charts and statistics be irrelevant if we had a sensible and fair proportional voting system?

The bar charts, after all, function to encourage tactical voting, and play on people's fear of 'wasting' their vote. They urge people to vote against particular parties rather than for whatever they believe in.

So what we need to be focusing on now is the matter at hand. How do we -- as members of the undoubted progressive/centre-left/liberal majority in this country -- co-operate to bring about electoral reform.

After all, political parties are means, not ends, right? We shouldn't lose sight of that.

(Recriminations can come later if necessary. There will be plenty of opportunities. But thing hung parliament is a once-in-several-generations chance to bring about the most significant advance in British democracy in maybe a century.

Let's get our priorities straight.

Red Star said...

I myself was (hence past tense) also a Green voter and feel that I was ill informed by the party of both their chances, and feel there is a current policy deficit in terms of responding to mainstream concerns of the British public.

Is this a failure of the Green Party to be a mainstream voice in British politics? - Sadly I feel their policies in the Green Party manifesto are too good to be true.

Red Star said...

Plus the area of concern and a lot of people feel also strongly (as coming from an area hit by drug problems since the late 1980s) is the Greens drug policy. I do agree with the reclassification of Cannabis.

The Greens use the word 'decriminalise' instead of 'legalise' but the issue still stands that they want to allow drugs (in its pure form) to be distributed to drug users. There is a very strong libertarian instinct with the Greens, but feel that even though it is ok in principle, the practicalities of such a policy is doomed to fail. Particularly on a large council estate like mine.

Quoted in the Green Party's drug policy document it states:
"Cannabis will be available through
a limited number of regulated outlets, as under the Dutch model.
Decriminalise small-scale possession of recreational drugs such as ecstasy."
[Online] available at


I feel its policies such as these which will bring more problems to Norwich. However I know we will never have to worry about a Green Party running the country, but they could end up taking control of Norwich City Council.

Just remember that!

..Silicon Implant!! said...

Actually, to the best of my knowledge, people HAVEN'T died from overdosing on MDMA (i.e. ecstasy). A couple of people have had allergic reactions and died of those, but people die of eating nuts so that's not ecstasy's fault, and a couple of people have died of drinking far too much water in an attempt to stave off the effects of dehydration, and some people have died of consuming who knows what toxic crap labelled up as ecstasy, but ecstasy itself seems remarkably benign. Somebody pointed out that paracetomol is more dangerous than ecstasy, and indeed it is, by some way. Some people are ideologically oppposed in principle to the idea of people dosing themselves up with substances in order to get some kind of artificial buzz, although many of those people drink alchohol and/or smoke.

It's a mess.

You couldn't have a situation where crack cocaine or heroine were on sale legally to anybody who wanted it because crack cocaine is highly addictive, and we already know the problems that legal potentially addictive substances cause in society, although prescriptions for those drugs to addicts at an affordable unsunsidised price should be legal. But for non-addictive, relatively harmless mood altering substances, why not regulate and tax sales? Just the savings on the cancelled 'war on drugs' would be vast!

Jeff Cumberland said...

The level of vitriol (and wilfully poor logic) in this piece and in some of the commenters seem to me to say a lot more about the author and commenters than they do about the Green Party.

Jeff Cumberland said...

Norfolk Blogger: I agree with your vitriol in your most recent post AGAINST THE CONSERVATIVES. Given that you might soon be part of a Confidence and Supply arrangement with Labour that also includes the Green Party, isn't it time to bury the hatchet somewhere other than in their heads?

Anonymous said...

I fail to see poor logic as every point made has been backed up with evidence.

It appears that the Greens have systematically aped every technique that they complain about th other parties for using, and when the result of the election has caught them and and exposed the Greens as liars, they have then continued to complain about the other parties (the Liberal Democrats), but in other news sources have used the Liberal Democrat statistics to justify their poor result.

Michal said...

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think it's on to paste somebody's tweets into a blog post like this. Politics is something people get passionate about. People get very worked up campaigning and say things that are over the top. Everyone does it. I know you are making a point about hypocrisy in the green party and that is fair enough. But I don't think it's fair to drag in an individual who is not a public figure. Especially since you are a blogger and someone striving to be aware of and improve politics. You can make your point while rising above such vitriol.

Adrian Windisch said...

Good point Michael.

Under PR we may see some very different results, the ConDems may yet deliver something.

Its wrong to use FPTP figures as a basis for claiming that the Greens couldn't win a PR election in Norwich.

Norfolk Blogger said...


Twitter is a public forum, It is not a private email. You twitter something because you want people to read it.

Adrian, you hypocrisy is stunning.

The Greens used Euro election fiugures to claim they were set to win in the General Election.

Is that wrong too because this kind of thing is what you criticise the Lib Dems for ?