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From Islamism to gender, the Greens have lost their way

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie. Credit: Getty

May 10, 2024 - 1:00pm

There was a time when voting Green was about saving the planet. If you were worried about climate change, or just fed up with Labour and the Tories, the Greens used to be a safe alternative. Not any more. The Scottish Greens have become obsessed with an ideology that damages women and children — so obsessed, indeed, that the party’s MSPs voted this week against endorsing the findings of the Cass Report.

Greens used to follow science, criticising mainstream politicians for ignoring cold, hard facts about damage to the environment. Now, however, they’ve gone so far in the other direction that leading figures can’t even bring themselves to accept the findings of a thorough study by a leading paediatrician. Meanwhile in England, the Green Party has become a magnet for a ragbag of unrelated causes.

Last week, voters who supported Green candidates in the local elections discovered they are now represented by councillors who double up as cheerleaders for Hamas. One, Mothin Ali, shouted “Allahu Akbar” in his acceptance speech, apparently unaware that local authorities are secular organisations whose job is to provide street lighting and empty bins.

The Greens have long provided a convenient protest vote, often on the assumption that they’re not likely to win. That’s no longer the case, and people tempted to support the party need to be clear about what they’re voting for. Unscientific nonsense about human beings changing sex: tick. A raft of legislation to make us “trans-inclusive”: tick. Bringing divisive religious values into politics: tick.

Except when they’re the wrong religious values, of course. In Scotland, no one proselytises more passionately than the Greens’ co-leader, Patrick Harvie, whose commitment to trans activists’ demands is not open to rational argument. Harvie was happy to belong to a coalition government led by a Muslim first minister, Humza Yousaf, whose first act was to be photographed holding prayers in his official residence.

This week, however, Harvie led his MSPs in voting against the appointment of a deputy first minister, Kate Forbes, who is a member of the socially conservative Free Church of Scotland. I’m not religious, and I don’t agree with Forbes’s views on abortion and equal marriage, but she has been clear that she will not seek to roll back legislation with which she disagrees.

Forbes is clearly the wrong sort of woman for the Scottish Greens, however: she doesn’t have a penis and she opposed the previous government’s legislation that would have allowed any man to declare himself a woman. Harvie demanded to know whether the new government, led by John Swinney,”‘is taking us back to the repressive values of the 1950s” and suggested that Forbes’s appointment was deeply worrying for LGBT people in Scotland.

Swinney responded by defending his deputy minister, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to parade his own Christian credentials. “Nothing can separate us from the love of God and we are equal in the eyes of God, every one of us,” he told presumably mystified MSPs.

There is a powerful whiff of misogyny here. It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that it’s okay for men to parade their beliefs, religious or ideological, but women should just shut up. Thank you for that, Green politicians. Many people on the centre-left will be tempted to vote for their candidates later this year, but these days the Greens’ baggage includes a great deal more than climate change.


Joan Smith is a novelist and columnist. She has been Chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board since 2013. Her book Homegrown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists was published in 2019.

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Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
10 days ago

To any person with a brain, the Greens have surely made themselves unelectable. It’s the same with many unions – once they were just concerned about workers’ pay and conditions, and were reasonably successful because of it; now they ‘attach’ a whole raft of indivisible ‘intersectional’ concerns to their demands, ranging from trans-gender rights and ‘institutional’ racism, to ‘genocide’ in Gaza. As a result, their campaigns often fail and their memberships are declining dramatically. The same will happen with the Greens, despite what people think about the climate. Nearly all parties in Britain now subscribe to the idea that action is requited over climate change – it’s no longer the preserve of the Greens. I look forward to their eventual demise.

A MacK
A MacK
10 days ago

The Greens used to be worried about the planet, true.
But they disregarded actual science when they fell for AGW dogma and went totally off track with Trans etc., true.
The image that heads this piece shows the main problem: here is a total wazzock wrapping his face in something that:
a. signals false virtue but doesn’t stop airborne viruses
b. does introduce poisonous synchem fibres into his airways (which is fine, his choice)
c. causes massive environmental pollution in the manufacturing thereof, chinese plastics etc. made from, er…. BIG OIL
d. causes massive environmental pollution once the numpty disposes of it; every piece of plastic ever made still being present somewhere globally, getting into foodchains and decidedly not “Saving The Planet”
A pox on their houses, is plastic…

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
9 days ago

One of the most outspoken against climate alarmism and net zero is the founder of Greenpeace Patrick Moore – he is also a strong advocate for nuclear energy (just not nuclear weapons).
The whole “green” agenda has sadly lost its way thanks to capture by woke ideology.

Sue Whorton
Sue Whorton
9 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Sorry hadn’t gone down far enough so also said this.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
9 days ago

I am completely in tune with Ms. Smith’s overall position (and mixing Religion with political office is downright wrong and dangerous) but how does one arrive here:

“There is a powerful whiff of misogyny here. It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that it’s okay for men to parade their beliefs, religious or ideological, but women should just shut up.”

I simply don’t see how one makes this leap from the context of this article…

El Uro
El Uro
9 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

I simply don’t see how one makes this leap from the context of this article

.
Are you married?

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
9 days ago
Reply to  El Uro

Yes
 so ?

El Uro
El Uro
9 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

Does not look like it, sorry

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 days ago

Truly deluded essay. The Greens have never been about science – ever. They have always been, and still are, all about luxury beliefs. They support all the fashionable causes rooted in emotion, not science.

Sue Whorton
Sue Whorton
9 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It is why cofounder Patrick Moore left Greenpeace

Dr E C
Dr E C
7 days ago
Reply to  Sue Whorton

The Green Party & Greenpeace are different organisations.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 days ago

The Greens trans ideology stances are completely dumb but affect relatively small numbers of people. Their anti-nuclear energy and their anti-shale energy stances however, which they have managed to push onto the agenda in many countries across Europe and the UK, is going to eventually cause mass-scale impoverishment across the continent – totally, utterly stupid and unnecessary, and I cannot understand why or how so many politicians across Europe have bought into this. Even James Lovelock was clear, if you ditch fossil fuels you have to go full nuclear; why are the Greens insisting on humanity collectively wearing a hair shirt instead, what kind of mentality causes large numbers of people to adopt such a stance?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
10 days ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

When you can be arrested for calling Bob “him,” is the effect still small?

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
9 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Point taken.

Chris J
Chris J
8 days ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

“small numbers of people”

It affects the 51% of population who are now being dismissed as a “social construct” that any male can identify as.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
10 days ago

Along the way, the Overton window has shifted to the point where an innocuous tweet or suggesting that unfettered immigration is not good faces arrest. Why must things become weapons-grade stupid before someone notices?

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
10 days ago

Good article. Thanks! There is undoubtedly mysogyny in Harvie’s criticism of Forbes, but willingnes to work alongside Youssaf. But this is also yet another example of inverse racism: leftists like Harvie apply double standards because they don’t expect those from ethnic minorities to be able to achieve their moral standards.
BTW, it wasn’t just that Mothin Ali, shouted “Allahu Akbar”. Follow the hyperlink and look at the video clip. Whilst he is ranting, he has a raised fist and a single extended finger. That is the “one caliphate” gesture used by Islamists such as Da’esh.

Brian Kneebone
Brian Kneebone
9 days ago

Given a choice between going back to the 1950’s or the 750’s give me the first every time.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
9 days ago
Reply to  Brian Kneebone

It’s all about perspective. I’m getting a warm fuzzy at the understanding people may have exhibited in the dark ages.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
9 days ago

Greens never followed science. They are snake oil salesmen, nothing more. Having grown up in Scotland in the 70s I found it quite nice. Hard to believe there is such misunderstanding of what government is supposed to do. Make sure land and labour changes hand based on law and contracts. They aren’t suited to much else.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
9 days ago

Oh Joan
 The Green Party has been a home to this kind of progressive hard-leftism for the last 20 years. Where have you been all this time?

David L
David L
9 days ago

Greens are now the party of groomers and islamofacists.

Just like Labour, come to think of it.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
9 days ago

The Greens have been complicit in holding back progress for years. They have never been engaged with reality and opposed the expansion of nuclear power when it would have sorted out many of the energy issues that we currently face. As usual, politicians have been too keen to grab the ‘green vote’ and haven’t been honest about the financial costs to the public, let alone the economy. We need politicians with a background in science in order to counter the doomsday scenarios spouted by a load of middle class eco warriors.

jane baker
jane baker
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

Unlike practically everybody nowadays I have a memory,or maybe im the only UK person who hasn’t been out of it on drugs for the last 50 years but in the 1980s at the time nuclear power plants needed to be built for NOW there was a slew of campaigns at all the proposed locations which were,of course,all rural thus were beautiful and thus had wealthy,usually educated and sophisticated residents as only people who are smart enough to have made money can afford the “in” to live in those places. The “in” is money of course and that’s not wicked. Most of those people worked hard at school,got a degree or two,worked in a demanding profession or job,saved astutely and hard,and the reward for this assiduity.that also maintained the running of our society was to earn the right to live somewhere lovely.
So all over the country all these people mounted vigorous and highly visible on the media campaigns to SAVE here,there,everywhere and they succeeded because at that time the media was not yet controlled,or not in the way it is now and these people had good informal media links or were IN THE MEDIA themselves. I had a lot of sympathy as I couldn’t see why the existing power stations couldnt be refurbished. Why cover the landscape with concrete horrors that need replacing every forty years with the old one all encased and fenced off beside it. Seems wasteful of land to me. But I could also see we were going to.face trouble ahead as indeed we now do. As Green Energy is a scam. At that time there was a very accurate and good acted representation of a campaign in the TV soap Emmerdale,it was realistic and well acted and I think I read later it was one of the scriptwriters was involved in just such a campaign in his/her village. Art mirrored Life. It’s bitterly funny that a gang of young adults may well be wearing clothes with Logos about saving the planet etc then.leave the woodland glade theyve picnicked in with all their food detritus,wrappers,drinks cans etc strewn about!

James Longfield
James Longfield
8 days ago

The premise of this article starts from a misunderstanding of the Green movement. It was never about the environment. The have always been a far left political group. Here in Australia they are called water melons – Green on the outside, red on the inside. The only new insight is that they no longer even bother to hide behind being green.

Dr E C
Dr E C
7 days ago

Maybe. But here in the UK they also used to be the only political party who gave a toss about conserving the environment- something the conservatives long stopped doing (ironic) & Labour never started.

Now, if you value clean air, clean water, trees, wildlife, keeping some tiny portion of this formerly green & pleasant land unconcreted, there is no one left to vote for.

William Brand
William Brand
8 days ago

The environmental movement got taken over by WOKE IDEOLOGY. What does climate change caused by excess carbon dioxide have to do with Gay liberation or anti-Israel propaganda? The package is crazy. I am a MAGA Republican and believe in Climate Change. Exxon propaganda led Republicans to deny climate change so now the WOKE idiots took over the issue and are mixing other causes with it.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 days ago

In the 1920s the party concerned over nature joined the Nazis and ex Red Army Faction and other violent communists joined the Green Party. Green politics appears to attract people who do not like people.