Medical dictionaries, bubble machines and a ticket to a rave: the 10 weirdest things the Greens spent money on in the 2017 election

The Green Party put in a shocking performance at the 2017 General Election, getting half as many votes as in 2015 despite having twice as many leaders. But now that the Electoral Commission has published the party’s spending, perhaps it’s not so shocking after all.

The Green Party put in a shocking performance at the 2017 General Election, getting half as many votes as in 2015 despite having twice as many leaders. But now that the Electoral Commission has published the party’s spending, perhaps it’s not so shocking after all.

  1. “Mindfulness training” from zen at work – £497.50
    Nearly five hundred quid went to zen at work, a business calling itself a “happiness consultancy” that offers “mindfulness training” for staff. Sadly, it seems that Green staffers were a bit too chilled out, leaving zen at work’s promise to “measurably improve the performance of your staff” unfulfilled.
  2. Public Performance Licences – £61.99
    Most Labour members are no stranger to a street stall, but few will ever have taken part in one that required a public performance license. Clearly the Green Party equivalent is a more lively exercise, perhaps featuring a drum circle, but we find keeping our leaflets from blowing away enough of a challenge, thanks.
  3. We Are Fest – £100
    A festival ticket is just a leaflet you can dance to, man. One hundred pounds was enough to send a brave Green Party psychonaut to the We Are Festival in Upminster to convince fellow ravers to feel the love on polling day.
  4. Professional Flash Mob Dancers – £500
    Perhaps envious of Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to draw in bumper crowds of supporters, the Greens shelled out five hundred quid to “experts in unexpected entertainment” Club Mob in an effort to convince punters in London that Green voters really were amongst them.
  5. Appearance from a Comedian We’ve Never Heard of via United Agents – £550
    It’s that time towards the end of the campaign, when things are getting desperate and the celebrities come out, when Steve Coogan appears on video to plead with you to vote Labour. Well, the Greens were not to be outdone, so they enlisted the star power of err, comedian Kieran Hodgson. Oh well, it could be worse. The Tories have Jim Davidson.
  6. Vevolution – £2,000
    We have to hand it to the Greens for a clever piece of targeting on this one: £2,000 for some help from the organisers of Europe’s largest “vegan and conscious living” festival is money well spent when you’re the only party with a commitment to vegan options in every public-owned eatery in the country
  7. Columbia Road Flower Market – £20
    In the “overheads and general administration column” we find a twenty pound purchase from the Columbia Road Flower Market in the hip East End of London. Curiously, the market’s only open on Sundays, but we’ll take it on trust that our Green staffer was putting in a bit of flexible working.
  8. Goodness Direct – £48.40
    Goodness Direct is a health food shop, specialising in “all things healthy, free from, eco and organic”. Unfortunately while English Green Party staff feasted on vegan goodies, the stats reveal Wales got just £1.06, barely enough for a thimbleful of almond milk.
  9. Bubble Inc – £51.98
    Political parties each have their own approach to putting on a big event: Labour has its megaphones and placards, the Tories have black tie and filthy rich donors, and it seems the Greens have their Bubble Inc brand bubble machine. Just over fifty quid bags you a portable mini-pro bubbler, a couple of litres of bubbly liquid and some spare batteries, then sit back and watch the votes roll in.
  10. Stedman Online Medical Dictionaries – £61
    You know how it is, you’ve got hours until you launch your manifesto and turns out it’s not as easy as just copy-pasting the last one. It’s your job to write the bit on health, this whole health thing is so bloody complicated. Don’t worry, Stedman Online has you covered with its extensive range of medical, nursing and dental dictionaries.
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