Twitter has been set alight – well, perhaps aglow is more apt – by the Green Party’s ‘Europe For The Common Good’ film a rather amusing mockery of the main political parties’ rhetoric on Europe which purposefully highlights the glaring contradictions within their policies. Good for them. Hurrah.
And we seem to enjoy this ‘common good’ theme, whatever the hell it means – another anecdotal jab at the establishment while we get our few minutes to gloat at their apparent stupidity and blatant disregard for reality in favour of the plentiful political spew that surrounds ‘Europe’.
But that is all it is; yes, the brief hilarity is over. Like the most recent lavish banker’s bonus dished out at Barclays to our collective disgust, it is yet another example of how the privileged political classes just don’t care how revoltingly they are portrayed, as long as we know our place and keep it confined to the world of screens and keyboards, not the streets. On the grand scale of things, mockery is a small act to endure when your bank balance is bulging at over £5m. Mockery as a means of empowerment is short-lived when they keep having the last laugh.
Of course the film is amusing, as a direct parody of what politics has become. Meaningless. A treadmill to destination ‘get rich’, as we slowly see differences in political policy reduced to mere methods to make ‘responsible capitalism’ seem anything more than an oxymoron. A system so cleverly subverted that what once represented us now shackles us. And we have no idea how to counteract this craziness – and make no mistake, this is crazy.
Climate change, global corporatocracies, illegal wars, resource depletion, poverty, poor education, starvation are all a result of this global political and economic system that serves the few. A race to the top leaving the poor with about the same chance of dragging themselves out of destitution as the bankers have of facing jail time. This is not freedom or any kind of democracy in action. And what are the Green Party saying about it? Not much that we haven’t heard already.
Aside from providing a bit of a chuckle, they have effectively become neutered. Bland policies lacking modernity on repeat, commandeered by the middle classes – a bit like watching impeccably preened parents crashing their offspring’s birthday party (who has inevitably come back from a gap yar) before it really gets going, telling everyone to calm down, sit down, have a spritzer, and talk about the inconvenient plight of the poor. Or Grand Designs.
Their policies may no longer be naïve, but such methods to enact them will never evoke significant change. Until the middle-class blood that runs through the veins of the party realises that it is unity with the less-privileged working and under classes (and this doesn’t include leafy Balcombe) that is needed, the continued pontification over the importance of recycling and animal health care will trundle on to no avail. The Co-operative Bank has collapsed, public services continue to be sold off while trade unions are effectively gagged, and as a result we are seeing more support for the far-right amid widespread dissatisfaction with the mainstream parties, rather than the left.
Of course, the paltry media coverage given over to alternative politics is significant in explaining low voter numbers, but surely it supports the argument that ‘softly does it’ isn’t hitting hard enough. In fact, the flailing Socialist Party warrant more respect. Despite suffering the widespread fracturing of the left that the Greens have also fallen victim to, it still retains a connection to its working class roots, remembering the class struggles and the importance of the works of Marx in laying bare the hypocrisies of capitalism. And importantly it maintains a sense of political militancy – something the Greens like to forget.
Coming across as a nicer, kinder, more democratic party just isn’t working when parties such as Ukip are seeing support rise despite being publicly racist, sexist, and xenophobic bigots. Capitalism is ruthless, and it shows here when the very voters supporting Ukip are likely those who will suffer the most if they were to ever become the ruling party. As Neal Lawson recently wrote on the Green Party in the Guardian: “You are in an amazing position, but only if you stop playing the establishment game. Liberate yourself and your imagination.” So why not liberate ourselves?
Although this coalition government may be waging a psychological war on the people as opposed to outright physical attack, the effects are just as insipid. Like a frog into a pan of water that is slowly being heated, we only realise the need to jump out after it’s too late. We need to realise soon, as do the Green Party, that any class divisions propagated by political structures only serve to disenfranchise the electorate. If not, then maybe we aren’t as clever as we like to think. (Or worse still, we just don’t care.)
If you do care, then start by actually using your vote. Take it away from the political cartel ruled by greed and twisted history and vote for change in the European elections. Hell, even vote Green – they may lack vision and strength, but are far less dangerous than a capitalist banker who has managed to successfully masquerade as a beer-swilling, fag-smoking ordinary bloke. And then maybe we really can progress to a real class revolution, leaving all the outdated parties behind and their crippling middle-class notions of political restraint with them.