While the Green Party manifesto is not likely to make much of a contribution to British government in practice, there are two big things to say in its favour. In the first place, it’s mercifully concise. Second, it doesn’t just give us a shopping list of policies: it starts off each section with a statement about general direction and principle. A manifesto isn’t just a list of policies: voters want to know, and are entitled to know, how a prospective government would go about judging and making decisions on the matters it doesn’t yet know about. That, realistically, covers far more decisions than any manifesto could possibly anticipate, and that’s what the Greens are telling us. Other parties take note.
There’s a commitment to a greener economy, but I think we’re supposed already to know what that means. The specific policies on ‘the economy’ are mainly concerned with tax and benefits (the foundations of a Basic Income), but the manifesto doesn’t have much to say about how the economy works or how it will change. Apart from membership of the EU, the main commitments are to public services in health, housing and education, public engagement, environmental protection, human rights and ethical foreign policy – mostly policies that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Labour party manifesto in the days before Blair.