• Meet Larry: Green Party Failure, Brother And Inspiration To Bernie Sanders

    Bernie Sanders is not the only one in his family with aspirations to fundamentally change a country — his brother Larry once had dreams of being the U.K.’s premiere socialist. Of course, he failed, but his influence has had an effect on his younger, clearly more successful brother.

    Sanders has often praised his expat brother and even told reporters in April, “Larry introduced me to a lot of my ideas.” As Sanders creeps higher in the polls his brother has taken to the airwaves to praise the man whose politics he helped shape.

    In a Monday interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News, Larry extolled his brother’s crusade against inequality. He added that Bernie’s campaign had “informal contact” with the campaign of Jeremy Corbyn, the radical socialist who is on the verge of winning the leadership of the Labour Party. Larry said that if Corbyn and Bernie Sanders met “they would get on very well.” (RELATED: Leading British Politician Calls Bin Laden’s Death ‘A Tragedy’)

    So who is Larry Sanders?

    Larry is an 80-year old retired social worker and academic who moved to the U.K. in the 1969 from New York and made his home in Oxfordshire. He was involved in Labour Party politics in the 1980s when the party was widely mocked for being on the “loony left” of the political spectrum, advocating positions like withdrawing from NATO, abandoning Britain’s nuclear weapons and nationalizing large parts of the economy.

    Larry however became disillusioned with Labour and switched to the Green Party, where he championed radical environmentalism as well as heavy taxation. Speaking to the BBC, Larry claims the agenda he and his brother espouse “isn’t very left-wing: having a proper health service, having enough money to eat, to heat your home.” Both he and his brother’s intent for massive tax increases and sky rocketing the cost of fossil fuel energy fall well outside the mainstream left. Larry is a fervent supporter of the UK model of socialized healthcare.

    After two failed bids for local office, Larry was elected to Oxfordshire County Council in 2005. The British general election in May saw only one Green member of parliament elected. Larry blames his party’s consistent failure in the electoral system on the “right wing press.”

    Larry Sanders then sought election to parliament 2015 but was decisively rejected by the electorate and was not even able to muster up enough votes to save the $765 deposit needed to stand for election, coming a miserable fifth place.

    Sanders told his Green Party acolytes before the election that “the UK has had 30 years of governments shifting resources from the vast majority to the richest one percent.” He has raged against rising inequality in the UK, despite the fact that inequality in the most recent year for which data is available 2012/13, inequality is exactly the same as it was in 1987.

    He was soundly beaten by Conservative candidate for the Oxford West & Abingdon seat, Nicola Blackwood. The Conservative Party won an unexpected but decisive victory in May’s election securing a majority in parliament.

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