What’s Next for The UK Left – 2

Part 2 – Notes For An Agricultural Revolution component of a Green New Deal.

The UK does not have its Green Industrial Revolution or Green New Deal. At least not yet. The UK does not have a leftwing, progressive, green or labour government. At least not yet. What the UK does have right now is a big opportunity opening up to fill the void that the EU Common Agricultural Policy largely filled.

The proposals for Green New Deals have primarily emerged from an urban-centric class and a scholarship alienated from the tacit knowledge of practically engaging with the nonhuman environment. These have been their most significant limitations empirically and politically.

A way to address these weaknesses and bolster a Green New Deal is to mobilize for the forthcoming Agricultural Revolution. At the same time as supporting the (i) bringing about of a revolutionary change without being in government yet, (ii) redistributing life’s means of reproduction, (iii) enabling social justice and, (iv) building a grounded movement that can take pride in their country, (v) toward healing some of the victorian and colonial legacies of land dispossession here and abroad.

An Agricultural Revolution that will fill the void in agricultural futures Brexit has opened up. This void has roughly three movements vying for it. I broadly label these as regenerative bioregionalism, progressive continuity, and externality-intensification.

The UK political left needs to seize this moment to amplify dialogue between political leaders aligned with the ideas of a Green Industrial Revolution or Green New Deal and leader of the regenerative bioregionalism movement. Otherwise, by default the urban political Left will find itself aligned with progressive continuity. However, I argue that this ‘progressive continuity’ progressively loses ground to externality-intensification, both politically beyond and within agriculture.

In sum, there is a range of movements and communities that are urban or rural centric in their engagement with the environment, that have multiple things they can contribute to each other. Two of the groups that can educate and politically support each other (not simply in voting numbers) are:

(a) A generally younger, urban living, progressively-orientated group who are digitally savvy and motivated toward environmental justice.
(b) Small and Medium-scale farming and fishing communities of practice who are experimenting with and looking for more environmentally and economically regenerative and equitable practices.

Both of these groups have particular strengths the other needs.

Click here for the earlier Part 1 of these notes A Left Land Politics in the Global North

Image Credit: Landworkers Alliance Calendar