This year’s Blog Action Day is on the environment (brown)

Why not? And for a smaller carbon shoe-size I’m even going local.

Barkingside 21 have been ranked as number 16 in the Daily (Maybe’s) 100, selected according to what Barkingside 21 endearingly reproduce as a “vigorous scientific process” (Matt pronounces his Rs as Vs too) based on criteria inspired by English Conservative blogger Iain Dale’s Guide to Political Blogging in the UK, namely:

“Iain marked the blogs as follows “each blog out of ten on the following 10 areas: design; frequency of posting; writing ability; personality; comment; humour; range; interaction; popularity; independence of thought. This generated a mark out of 100” and I think the only way to be fair is to stick to this (pretty reasonable) format and do it properly. So, for example, if your blog looks terrible you will get zero for design (he said having looked at some of the 50 in utter disbelief and despair!) “

Sounds fine to me. Congratulations Barkingside 21 for making the top 20. Vote for the people’s choice on the Daily (Maybe) site.

Changing the subject, as a political naïf I blinked a bit when I heard Barkingside 21 describe itself not so long ago as a green group and therefore Conservative – as if the entire green movement were and always had been Conservative (update: see comment from Barkingside 21 below for more on this). I’m used to thinking of the green movement as left-wing. But then, what do I know? And I remember a (new, for me) point made by Ellen Meiksins Wood* that capitalism:

“… may be able to accommodate some degree of ecological care, especially when the technology of environmental protection is itself profitably market-
able. But the essential irrationality of the drive for capital accumulation, which subordinates everything to the requirements of the self-expansion of capital and so-called growth, is unavoidably hostile to ecological balance.”

OK, but also:

“It has to be added, though, that the issues of peace and ecology are not very well suited to generating strong anti-capitalist forces. In a sense, the problem is their very universality. They do not constitute social forces because they simply have no specific social identity – or at least they have none except at the point where they intersect with class relations, as in the case of ecological issues raised by the poisoning of workers in the workplace, or the tendency to concentrate pollution and waste in working-class neighbourhoods rather than in privileged suburbs.”

So now I’m wondering what exactly Green Conservatism is. Recently my MP Lee Scott described himself slitherishly (but with an irresistably cheeky wink as he dashed for the centre ground) as “a true-blue Conservative with shades of different colours on different issues”. So, brown. Not to mention Brown.

*Ellen Meiksins Wood. Capitalism and Human Emancipation, Isaac Deutscher Memorial Lecture, London School of Economics, 1987.

Isaac Deutscher Memorial Lecture, delivered on 23 November 1987, at the London School of Economics.


6 thoughts on “This year’s Blog Action Day is on the environment (brown)

  1. Barkingside 21 is non-party political. It has a membership base and wider support from across the political spectrum. In May 2006, six of our members stood for Council. One Conservative [Elected], two Labour [one Elected] two LibDems [not elected] and one Green [not elected].

    The two who were elected are no longer members of B21. We do not encourage Councillors to be members as it might create a conflict of interest.

    We aim to be politically fair, balanced and objective. However, we have no option but to work with our elected representatives whatever party they belong to.

    The Green party candidate mentioned above is the Secretary of the group and editor of the blog. He is also the Grumpy Old Man over at Weggis.

    The Green Party, then the Ecology Party, was formed back in the 1970s by two disenchanted Conservative Party members. Traditional conservatism, unlike the NuCons, has a history of caring for the environment. It is embedded in the word itself – Conserve. This may be where the confusion has arisen. Greens have though drifted to the left and now most political observers put them roughly where Labour was in the 1960s. This is certainly true for the activists, but it is not for Weggis and I suspect not for the rank and file or the voters.


    Now, your comment on “slithering Lee” indicates that you may have been at our meeting on the 29th September. Bearing in mind that I was facing the audience and that I already know who most of them are, it is very easy to pick out new faces. And there was one in particular that I noticed.

  2. B21, I didn’t say “slithering Lee”. I said “slitherishly” and “irresistable wink”.

    Hey, am I going to have to start going round in disguise? Hang on – do you know where I live??! 😉

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