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Founder of the British People/Ecology/Green Party dead at age 80

On August 21 Teddy Goldsmith died at the age of 80.  He was not a typical environmentalist, as the Guardian explains:

Over the years this belief cost him friends and allies as the green movement drifted gradually to the political left. His stubbornly conservative vision, and his commitment to “stability”, “tradition” and the teachings of ancient religions were at odds with the views of “progressive” green proponents of “multiculturalism” and “social justice”…

Goldsmith was a prominent figure on the radical wing of the international green movement and one of its most potent intellectual forces. Some thought he was mad. Goldsmith himself enjoyed recalling how, in the 1970s, a freezing, stinking compost lavatory at his farm in Cornwall sent several friends packing. “I have met several environmentalists who believe he is a malign force,” reported the environment journalist Fred Pearce, “but few fail to warm to him personally.”

His political career was an interesting one, as well.

n 1972 Goldsmith devoted an entire issue to a “Blueprint for Survival”, a radical manifesto for change that became an influential and successful book. It proposed, among other reforms, the formation of a movement for survival. The following year this led to the creation of the People Party, later renamed the Ecology Party and finally the Green Party.

For most of the 1970s A Blueprint for Survival, which eventually sold 750,000 copies… In 1974 Goldsmith stood for parliament on behalf of the People Party in his father’s old Suffolk constituency. He treasured a picture of himself, smiling and bearded, leading a group of hippy supporters and a camel (supplied by his friend John Aspinall) which is carrying a large sandwich-board reading: “No Deserts in Suffolk. Vote Goldsmith.”

3 Comments

  1. Levon Helm Levon Helm September 1, 2009

    Thank you for the outstanding story about another conservative Green Party member, politico, thinker, and writer.

    Greens have long had many conservatives, and centrists among them…

  2. Catholic Trotskyist Catholic Trotskyist August 29, 2009

    Rest in peace Teddy. The British Green Party is pretty good, and didn’t steal too many elections from Labor..
    This is a bad month for people named Teddy. First the hockey player Teddy Kennedy, then the great senator Teddy Kennedy, now this guy Teddy Goldsmith. Doesn’t bode well for Robert Milnes’s Teddy Roosevelt strategy.

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