Monday, 6 October 2014

The missing election link in 2015 – The Greens – and a truth we cannot acknowledge

When you read about the 2015 general election something is always missing - the Green Party. Recent opinion polls (http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2014/10/06/12-of-people-who-voted-liberal-democrat-in-2010-intend-to-votegreen2015/) give them 6% of the vote.

I have never voted Green in any election* despite my politics being closer to them than Labour for the last few general elections and one of the reasons I let my membership of the Labour Party lapse after fifty-three years was so that come the 2015 election I have the option to vote Green.

I also admit to being tempted by the National Health Action Party, but they have remained resolutely a single issue party and I am, at the end of the day, more concerned about housing, low-pay, local government and Trident than I am the NHS, as important as the latter is to me. As an issue the NHS has plenty of champions and seems to blind us to being angry about no less important issues.

The independence referendum in Scotland revealed just how detached Labour has become from working class voters and a 'Westminster' party first, committed to peddling Tory and Liberal lies about austerity and dressing up a minimum wage freeze as a promised 'increase' come 2020. They cannot even commit themselves to taking railways back into public ownership as private franchises come to an end, despite overwhelming public support for such a policy.

On all these issues the Green Party offer clear choices and, somehow, their policies need to be more publicised. The right-wing media has no intention of drawing attention to them, even when writing 'news' stories about voting intention opinion polls. Most of the time they ignore the Scottish National Party as well, who may well take a significant number of seats off Labour in Scotland.

In the 1970s I was having articles published about 'stable state' economics and re-distributing wealth both nationally and internationally. I naively thought Labour was up to challenge and had the vision. How wrong I have been! At 70 I no longer have the time to wait for Labour to catch up. I will try and look to the future and support those much younger than me, angry enough, to change how politics in our part of Englands works. We cannot go on with same old politics (and UKIP is very very much part of the Westminster model, cleverly being promoted as something different).

As a political activist of sorts for the last fifty-five years I believe the adage that 'Scratch a Tory and a Fascist bleeds'. The way they demonise immigrants, and penalise the poor and disadvantaged, proves my belief. UKIP are not clever or funny. They are evil and the way they court and seduce working class voters should frighten the socks off us.

Fascism is not just about racism or religion, it is how the ruling class incite society to demonise some specific groups (ie. immigrants, the unemployed, those on benefits etc) as being responsible for the poverty they, the ruling class, have inflicted on the working class to further their own, narrow, agenda. This has been Tory and Liberal policy  since May 2010 and Labour is in grave danger of behaving like a fascist party as well. The Tory leadership attack our liberties and support militarism with enthusiasm. The fact that they wear suits and not uniforms should not blind us to what they are — fascists. It is a truth we refuse to talk about or acknowledge. I write this with a heavy heart, but it has to be said.

I have known Liberal Party activists since I was fifteen and they have always been political opportunists with big egos, middle-class and so much better than the rest of us. With a few notable exceptions, I have never liked them.

Other political parties have 'outsiders' like me, unlike the company they keep. Delusion is a common affliction among political activists, as I can personally attest to. My parting company with the Labour Party nationally (locally it is a different matter) has long been foretold.

Perhaps socialists like me need to help the Greens, who already have a toehold, instead of fielding Left-Unity candidates. Over the next couple of months I will think long and hard about where I will put my energy and support in the run-up to the general election.

FOOTNOTE: * I blogged about voting Green in the 2009 Euro election (see link), but voted for Respect instead. In other Euro elections I have spoilt my ballot paper because I believe the 'list' system (which means I cannot vote for a named individual) is undemocratic.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I find my head nodding in agreement with almost everything written here, the only exception being that I still don't think it's right to describe current Tories as fascists (Nye Bevan's phrase about vermin still holds true, though).

In particular, I share your reservations about all possible voting options in the coming GE, and I hope you are going to post more thoughts about this before May.