25 September 2010

Time to Relaunch the Love Crusade

If you caught Lovely Ed's acceptance speech you will notice that he isn't afraid to use the word 'love'. We greens were onto this way ahead of you, Ed, having launched our own political love crusade some 20 years ago now. The reason why this works so well for us is illustrated by a two-dimensional graph of where the UK parties stand that you can find on the political compass website.

Of course we greens prefer to inhabit multi-dimensional space and live in a constant awareness of the whole system (man), but even two dimensions is better than one, and when we first discussed this in the regional council strategy group some 20 years ago we thought of the east-west axis as being about justice and the north-south axis as being about love vs. fear.

If you see it this way you reach some interesting conclusions. First, it doesn't appear to be possible to be loving and not concerned about social justice - hence the empty space in the lower right quadrant. But perhaps more importantly, we concluded, the way to gain more members for our party was to love them into submission. We need to bring them down across the horizontal line with an excess of free-flowing affection.

At that point, as I recall, Labour found itself well into the upper left quadrant, but I suppose that by now most of the members that kept them there have already left and joined us, or one of the other parties that is in the upper left quadrant. The love crusade was not a great success, but as a political strategy it was more fun than marching for jobs or fighting cuts. Perhaps we should revitalise it before Ed becomes the housewife's choice and takes up all the love space himself. I can't see that message going down well with the unionists who put him into power, but it could be fun to watch.


  1. Hi Molly
    The third dimension to be added to the political compass graph is a Realism-Idealism axis. Realists take account of the existent situation, as given by e.g. climate scientists. Idealists are peeps like the free market fundamentalists who care not a jot about science if it clashes with their ideology.

    This axis would, piquantly, put us greens on the reality end of the scale.



  2. While I like your graph I must comment on your cuts and union comments. I reckon the solidarity that exists on marches and the support of joint action with the union members is one of the most loving things I do in politics. I'm sure my coach journey down to Birmingham to march at the Tory conference next week will provide a great discussion en route and the forming of many loving bonds.

  3. I think that the political compass adds a useful dimension and help to map the trend that Nicos Poulantzas predicted in the 1970's called Authoritarian Statism. Basically a greater centralisation of state management (e.g. in Whitehall)and an intensification of control and survillence of the masses(e.g. CCTV). Such states would be represented on the North East of the compass, where the majority of governments/parties now sit. This is often coupled with neo liberal rhetoric of 'rolling back' the state of the right wing governments, such as our own. http://guildsocialism.blogspot.com/2010/08/about-political-compass-in-introduction.html

    It will be interesting to see where Ed Milliband positions Labour on this North-West spetrum, considering his farthers position during the Milliband/Poulantzas debate.
    Whatever his intention, the likes of the very bias BBC have been quick out the blocks to paint him as 'Red Ed'.