Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Are the media ignoring the REAL Green shoots?

Are the media ignoring the REAL Green shoots that are now growing fast...?

This election is taking place in the most extraordinary political circumstances. Not only are we facing twin global crises of dangerous climate change and unpredictable global recession, we are also experiencing an unprecedented crisis of confidence in the governing classes. As I put it recently in the Morning Star [1]:

"This ought to be a time of political meltdown. The system that has governed our thinking for at least a generation is literally bankrupt. And we have probably one chance, one window, to assure our survival as a civilisation. A proportional representation election such as that on June 4 offers the chance of course for a sudden radical change in voters' preferences."

Indeed recent polling since the expenses scandal broke has shown that the Greens have been reaping the rewards of what the public perceive to be the moral bankruptcy of the main Parliamentary parties.

The situation is ever-changing and I make no claims to know what will happen on election day but things are looking very good for the Green Party with polls indicating we may even receive a result rivaling the 15% highpoint of the '89 election.

For example, a ComRes poll out at the weekend [2] put the Tories at 28%, Labour at 20%, the Lib Dems on 14%, below UKIP's 15% with the Greens on 11% and the BNP on just 4%. A YouGov poll out on Monday [3] doesn't just reinforce this message it shows this could be the tip of the iceberg of a radical, positive mood: 34% say they may vote Green at this election...

But here's the funny thing, the primary focus of the media, and the BBC in particular, has been on the BNP, a party that appears to be falling far short of its expectations. The BNP are a risk in their key seats, particularly the North West [4], which is why campaigners have rightly set their minds to combating them but why is the BBC talking up the threat? Those watching the BBC coverage could be forgiven for thinking that the only dynamic here was between the big three and the fascists.

It could be that the BBC prefers bad news to good. Perhaps they think that the prospect of fascists gaining an MEP is a sexier news story than a whole new swathe of clean, Green politicians. That might be even true, although I'm understandably excited at the prospect that I may get elected in June.

It might be the case that the BBC have a particularly low opinion of the public, believing ,quite wrongly, that just because people are angry they will automatically vote for racists, liars and scumbags. Even if that were the case, which it clearly isn't, why the BBC think it's their job to promote the BNP so relentlessly is beyond me.

We're hoping that the public will make a strong statement against a political class increasingly divorced from the electorate both financially and politically, but we hope people will also reject backwards-looking dead-ends like UKIP or the BNP. The irony of an anti-corruption vote going to UKIP has not been lost on many political activists - see e.g. http://public.easterngreenparty.fastmail.fm/Accountability or http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1434608.ece for why - although it is obviously preferable to have a do-nothing UKIPer than a British Nationalist MEP who will actively promote their malign politics.

No one has to vote for the fake [5] patriotism [6] of the BNP in order to help shake up UK politics but the BBC have already dubbed them the likely main beneficiaries of the sleaze scandal. As yet there is no evidence for this and, as long as anti-fascist campaigners keep up their excellent work, we can ensure the Beeb's dire predictions will not come true, no matter how much they seem to be trying to make it happen.

Effectively challenging the top down nature of our democracy and how it relates to the mammoth financial institutions means electing radical and forward thinking politicians who are committed to a different vision than the cozy consensus that exists in Parliament.

And anyway, obviously, this election isn't just about stopping the BNP or Parliamentary corruption - although that is the all important backdrop. When we elect MEPs for the next five years they will be called upon to tackle dangerous climate change and the impacts of Peak Oil in the context of an economic collapse. Half-hearted measures from a comfortable elite or backwards xenophobia cannot challenge social inequality and injustice.

You can guarantee that Greens aren't careerists – because self serving pocket-liners don't take the hardest route to political advancement. Greens, by definition, are principled and progressive campaigners filled with passion not desire to inflate their bank balances. The BBC and many of our newspapers may think the main story is the BNP and tend to sideline the Greens, but the UK is so much more than just the status quo on one side and angry racists on the other.

On June 4th we have an opportunity to show that there are millions of us who make up a movement for democratic change. That would really give the BBC something to talk about.

 

[Thanks to Jim Jepps of 'The Daily (Maybe)' for essential research for this piece.]

[1] http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/features/the_con_in_conservative

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/two-in-five-shun-three-main-political-parties-1686268.html

[3] http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2009-05-17-poll.html

[4] http://www.stopnickgriffin.org.uk/

[5] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bnps-british-builders-are-american-1686785.html

[6] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/18/charlie-brooker-bnp-racism



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1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: Are the media ignoring the REAL Green shoots? 4. 12. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 23. 24.

25. 26. Are the media ignoring the REAL Green shoots? 27. 28.

29.

Are the media ignoring the REAL Green shoots that are now growing fast...?

This election is taking place in the most extraordinary political circumstances. Not only are we facing twin global crises of dangerous climate change and unpredictable global recession, we are also experiencing an unprecedented crisis of confidence in the governing classes. As I put it recently in the Morning Star [1]:

"This ought to be a time of political meltdown. The system that has governed our thinking for at least a generation is literally bankrupt. And we have probably one chance, one window, to assure our survival as a civilisation. A proportional representation election such as that on June 4 offers the chance of course for a sudden radical change in voters' preferences."

Indeed recent polling since the expenses scandal broke has shown that the Greens have been reaping the rewards of what the public perceive to be the moral bankruptcy of the main Parliamentary parties.

The situation is ever-changing and I make no claims to know what will happen on election day but things are looking very good for the Green Party with polls indicating we may even receive a result rivaling the 15% highpoint of the '89 election.

For example, a ComRes poll out at the weekend [2] put the Tories at 28%, Labour at 20%, the Lib Dems on 14%, below UKIP's 15% with the Greens on 11% and the BNP on just 4%. A YouGov poll out on Monday [3] doesn't just reinforce this message it shows this could be the tip of the iceberg of a radical, positive mood: 34% say they may vote Green at this election...

But here's the funny thing, the primary focus of the media, and the BBC in particular, has been on the BNP, a party that appears to be falling far short of its expectations. The BNP are a risk in their key seats, particularly the North West [4], which is why campaigners have rightly set their minds to combating them but why is the BBC talking up the threat? Those watching the BBC coverage could be forgiven for thinking that the only dynamic here was between the big three and the fascists.

It could be that the BBC prefers bad news to good. Perhaps they think that the prospect of fascists gaining an MEP is a sexier news story than a whole new swathe of clean, Green politicians. That might be even true, although I'm understandably excited at the prospect that I may get elected in June.

It might be the case that the BBC have a particularly low opinion of the public, believing ,quite wrongly, that just because people are angry they will automatically vote for racists, liars and scumbags. Even if that were the case, which it clearly isn't, why the BBC think it's their job to promote the BNP so relentlessly is beyond me.

We're hoping that the public will make a strong statement against a political class increasingly divorced from the electorate both financially and politically, but we hope people will also reject backwards-looking dead-ends like UKIP or the BNP. The irony of an anti-corruption vote going to UKIP has not been lost on many political activists - see e.g. http://public.easterngreenparty.fastmail.fm/Accountability or http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1434608.ece for why - although it is obviously preferable to have a do-nothing UKIPer than a British Nationalist MEP who will actively promote their malign politics.

No one has to vote for the fake [5] patriotism [6] of the BNP in order to help shake up UK politics but the BBC have already dubbed them the likely main beneficiaries of the sleaze scandal. As yet there is no evidence for this and, as long as anti-fascist campaigners keep up their excellent work, we can ensure the Beeb's dire predictions will not come true, no matter how much they seem to be trying to make it happen.

Effectively challenging the top down nature of our democracy and how it relates to the mammoth financial institutions means electing radical and forward thinking politicians who are committed to a different vision than the cozy consensus that exists in Parliament.

And anyway, obviously, this election isn't just about stopping the BNP or Parliamentary corruption - although that is the all important backdrop. When we elect MEPs for the next five years they will be called upon to tackle dangerous climate change and the impacts of Peak Oil in the context of an economic collapse. Half-hearted measures from a comfortable elite or backwards xenophobia cannot challenge social inequality and injustice.

You can guarantee that Greens aren't careerists – because self serving pocket-liners don't take the hardest route to political advancement. Greens, by definition, are principled and progressive campaigners filled with passion not desire to inflate their bank balances. The BBC and many of our newspapers may think the main story is the BNP and tend to sideline the Greens, but the UK is so much more than just the status quo on one side and angry racists on the other.

On June 4th we have an opportunity to show that there are millions of us who make up a movement for democratic change. That would really give the BBC something to talk about.

 

[Thanks to Jim Jepps of 'The Daily (Maybe)' for essential research for this piece.]

[1] http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/features/the_con_in_conservative

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/two-in-five-shun-three-main-political-parties-1686268.html

[3] http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2009-05-17-poll.html

[4] http://www.stopnickgriffin.org.uk/

[5] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bnps-british-builders-are-american-1686785.html

[6] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/18/charlie-brooker-bnp-racism



30. 31. 32.