The Green Party leader was rewarded for her vaguely coherent interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme by being mistakenly called Caroline Lucas by presenter John Humphrys.
Ms Bennett, whose previous interview on LBC was described as ‘car crash’ and ‘cringe worthy’ when she appeared to forget the main party policies, was speaking on the flagship news programme ahead of the general election where she said people had the chance to cause a “peaceful political revolution.”
Claiming her party, which only has one MP and three Members of the European Parliament, is the third party in British politics, Bennett tried to position the Green’s as a key player in British politics, although she occasionally seemed at odds with her own party’s manifesto pledges.
Saying that she thought membership of terrorist groups such as Isis and Al Qaeda and other “hideous” groups should be a criminal offence, Ms Bennett was challenged by Humphrys over a party policy statement. The policy said: “it should not be a crime simply to belong to an organisation or have sympathy with its aims, though it should be a crime to aid and abet criminal acts or deliberately fund such acts.”
Backtracking on the policy, which was widely condemned when the details of the party’s manifesto were examined by the media, she said “I’m not sure where you’re drawing that from” before being told once again it was on the party’s website.
In an interview on the BBC’s Sunday Politics in January, Ms Bennett was asked by presenter Andrew Neil whether this meant people would be allowed to be a member of al-Qaeda or Islamic State,
“Exactly,” she replied. “What we want to do is make sure we are not punishing people for what they think or what they believe.
“Obviously actions of inciting violence, supporting violence, those are absolutely unacceptable, illegal and should be pursued to the full extent of the law.”
“What we are talking about is a principle that you shouldn’t be punished for what you think. And we need to balance, we do not protect freedom by destroying it.”
She also admitted that the Citizens’ Income of £72 a week for every person in the country was in their manifesto, even though they would not plan to get it on the statute books during the next Parliament. “Austerity has failed. Society has to provide for everyone’s basic needs and we have to do that within the limits of our one planet,” Bennett said, before denying that the party’s most well known figure, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, had herself pointed out the policy would hit the poorest hardest.
The veteran presenter told the Australian-born journalist turned politician; “I’m struggling a bit between long term plans and what you want to happen in this country!”
“We’re saying the minimum wage should be a living wage,” she replied, saying that as an MP Ms Lucas had made “a huge impact” in British politics and with more MPs they planned to “influence the direction of the next government.”
“We need to think about how we get a more secure and stable world which means things like increasing our international aid budget to one per cent of GDP,” she added, refusing to rule out another ‘long term plan’ of the party would be to turn military bases into nature reserves.
The final part of the interview, which was edited out of the version which appeared later on the website, demonstrated the Green Party’s biggest problem when Humphrys thanked “Caroline Lucas” for the interview, quickly realising his mistake and saying “There’s a Freudian slip!”