Azara Blog: Tony Juniper becomes the Green Party candidate for MP of Cambridge

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Date published: 2009/01/22

The Cambridge News says:

Cambridge could well go Green at the next General Election, claims the party's chosen parliamentary candidate.

As the News has revealed, former Friends of the Earth director Tony Juniper has been chosen to fight the election - and at a press conference he said he was not dismayed by the fact the party only picked up 1,245 votes at the last election in 2005, nearly 18,000 behind the winner, David Howarth.

Mr Juniper, who has lived in the city for 20 years, said: "The Green Party has a councillor on the city council, Margaret Wright, and I think we are now much more electable. "All the big parties are coming out with the same sort of policies, whereas we have new ideas, and ones that we are sure appeal to Cambridge's thinking electorate."

Needless to say, Cambridge is dominated by the academic middle class. The Greens and the Lib Dems are both parties of the academic middle class. So they are chasing the same votes. In the 2005 election the Lib Dems got 44% of the vote, Labour 34% and the Tories 17%, with all the other candidates lost in the noise. Having a big hitter as a candidate will presumably garner enough votes for the Greens that at least they won't lose their deposit. But every vote for the Greens is in fact a vote for the Tories, who will gain relative to the other two main parties because they stand to lose the least votes amongst the three because of this challenge.

The Lib Dems won Cambridge last time because of the Iraq War. That is no longer the dominant issue, so it's possible Labour will still pose a strong challenge (not everybody in Cambridge is academic middle class, just the people who run the place). But it's also quite possible that because of the economy and the general tiredness of the public for the Labour Party, that the Tories will become the major challenge to the Lib Dems in Cambridge. Juniper will help them in that challenge.

Juniper and the Greens, like most of the academic middle class, of course like to mouth words like "sustainability" and about how keen they allegedly are about this. Well, Juniper has lived in Cambridge for many years and worked in London for many years. One of the reasons (but by no means the only one) that Cambridge housing got so expensive (especially in the centre of town) in the 1990s and 2000s (until the recent crunch) is that London commuters were pushing up house prices. This would not be so bad but for the fact that the average London commuter not only earns more than the average Cambridge worker (so trumps them in the housing market), but also gets a whacking great subsidy from the taxpayer for taking the train.

One of the alleged claims of so-called environmentalists is that people should pay for the costs of the services they use. And they mean not only the direct costs (e.g. the cost to keep a car maintained) but also the indirect costs (e.g. the cost of pollution). But funnily enough they never apply this logic to train services. Somehow train services above everything else should be highly subsidised by government. They believe that train passengers should not pay for the service they are using. Indeed the Greens (and most of the rest of the academic middle class) believe that train services should be subsidised even more than they are already. Needless to say this just encourages people to live further from work than they otherwise would. This massive public subsidy is one reason there are literally thousands of people milling around the Cambridge train station every weekday morning. The policies of Tony Juniper and the Green Party would make that worse. (To be fair, so would the policies of the Lib Dems.)

A service cannot be deemed to be "sustainable" if the only way it can be sustained is if the taxpayer has to subsidise it. For years Tony Juniper has lived an unsustainable lifestyle. Yet he will tell you that travelling over a hundred miles a day by train (not to mention the extra journeys at both ends) is "sustainable" but driving a car a few miles around Cambridge is not. Funnily enough, he is wrong.

Many years ago the Labour government had a silly "consultation" about GM crops and GM food. As usual, this was not a real consultation, but just an excuse to let the academic middle class hijack the public debate. One of the meetings the government held was in Cambridge, and Tony Juniper was one of the main speakers against GM technology. Well, he started his first blurb by saying that he had nothing against GM technology. He then spent the rest of his considerable time saying how horrible GM technology was. No doubt a lot of his best friends are also Jewish / black / gay.

The incredibly destructive anti-GM activities of the so-called environmentalists in the UK and Europe generally has set back food science years if not decades. And not just food science, but also other related areas, such as GM trees for paper. It's quite possible that over the years billions of people will go hungry because of this blinkered approach, driven by ideology rather than anything else. It is unbelievable that in the UK it is still impossible to buy GM food, because a religious cult has stopped it.

Tony Juniper is a poster boy for what is wrong with the modern so-called environmental movement. It makes him a perfect candidate for the academic middle class as MP for Cambridge.

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