Opinion: If only the Greens could sue for copyright

Noting the similarities the leaked Labour Party manifesto has with the 2015 Green Party platform.

The Green Party is probably wishing it could have patented its 2015 manifesto, given that a significant portion of it was regurgitated by Labour in their leaked policy promises.

Copying ideas is nothing new in politics. Every party does so, and then there’s a media tug of war over who gets the best coverage. When Ed Miliband proposed a cap on energy bills, it was seen as terrifying. The media predicted wildly that there would be blackouts and a return to the (literal) dark days of the 70s. However, when the Conservatives announced a similar idea recently, it was seen as a progressive step to tackle the cost of living.

It’s this sort of inconsistent media spin that turns people off politics. The voters deserve the truth, and they should be respected enough by politicians to be told it.

The media is biased against Labour. You just have to look at the negative press coverage of their policies compared to how they poll to see that something isn’t adding up. Their policies are popular but the media is constantly willing to set them on fire.

However, if the media is biased against Labour then that is nothing to how biased it is against smaller parties (unless you’re UKIP). The Green Party have even complained to the BBC about the disproportionate coverage UKIP have received. Now the Green Party has had to deal with Labour’s platform being hailed as radical or as the bringer of doom. Either way, Labour are getting a lot of good and bad media coverage for ideas that the Green Party proposed two years ago.

A democracy is hinged on the idea that people control which ideas get discussed and then decided upon. This is clearly not the case when ideas only get attention when the richer and more mainstream parties are the ones proposing them.

Labour did at least change the name from “for the common good” to “for the many” so they deserve points for that.

You can sift through the leaked Labour manifesto and the 2015 Green Party manifesto, but here are the key overlaps:

Bees. The Greens pledged to protect bees and so have Labour. It might seem a small policy but the Greens were quick to step in to want to protect a key species upon which humanity’s existence genuinely does depend. I guess Corbyn felt he needed to build up his Green credentials after supporting coal for so long.

Raising the living wage.

Halting universal credit.

Scrapping workfare.

Caps on excessive earnings. These were at least proposed in different ways of companies vs individuals.

Establishing a new bank. There was a radical difference though. Labour wanted a National Investment Bank but the Greens simply proposed a Green Investment Bank.

Insulation. Labour proposed 4 million homes to be insulated, whereas the Greens went for 9 million.

Rent control.

Ban on fracking.

Clamp down on tax evasion and avoidance.

Childcare from cradle to the grave. Or whatever it was Labour said to evoke Attlee. However, this key policy of Labour that was rolled out to much support was actually a Green idea. The Green manifesto of 2015 highlighted the gap in child care from birth to when children are made to attend school and so wanted to fill in that gap.

Tackling school cuts. Greens and Labour both want to go back to the days before austerity.

Restore EMA.

Scrap tuition fees. To be fair to Labour, they want rid of them complete whereas the Greens just proposed scrapping fees for undergraduates.

Reintroduce grants.

End zero-hour contracts.

Scrap the bedroom tax.

Raise profile/look at expanding the Access to Work scheme.

Invest £8 billion in social care. Greens wanted £9 billion by the end of the first Parliament but with a starting point of investing £8 billion a year. So Green Party still just out-invests Labour, even when policies are almost word-for-word.

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