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Comment - Policy Miscellany

Launch of 'Green House' thinktank by Douglas Coker

The Green Party is sometimes characterised as a one issue party. The truth is we have a wide range of policy and it is updated at Conference on an ongoing basis, most recently at Sheffield where our policy on the Countryside was reviewed and updated. But we also need to think ahead and explore the space - Beyond Policy.

So at Sheffield I was encouraged by news of a new thinktank which aims to go beyond existing policy. The founders of the new Green House Think Tank explain their purpose thus: "Politics, they say, is the art of the possible. But the possible is not fixed. What we believe is possible depends on our knowledge and beliefs about the world. Ideas can change the world, and Green House is about challenging the ideas that have created the world we live in now, and offering positive alternatives."

So what have they been up to? At the meeting to launch the Think Tank Andrew Dobson outlined his paper on "Sustainability Citizenship". Andrew argues that to successfully pursue a change in people's environment-related behaviour we should engage people at the level of principle. He is not impressed by the fashionable "nudge" approach which has emerged from behavioural economics.

Molly Scott Cato and Brian Heatley's paper "Mutual Security in a Sustainable Economy" bites the bullet and tackles current definitions of poverty arguing that the notion of relative poverty needs challenging. They also raise the question of economic growth.

There is more and there will be much more I expect. Watch this space - here !

First published in the EGP members newsletter, October 2011

Published and promoted by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13 4AJ