Over in Bristol, candidate Deb Joffe has written a true and elegant blogpost summarising our Green message to the electorate. Deb describes the emergencies faced by people across the globe: drought and violence; she talks the depredations of austerity and the erosion of welfare. However it seems to me that she misses the urgency of our appeal, and an analysis of where that urgency comes from.
The environmental and social/economic threats she outlines are not random misfortunes. They are linked – to each other and to the widespread disillusion with politics. People aren’t wrong to sense that politicians no longer represent us and don’t relate to our concerns for social justice and a livable future. Our democracy has been marketised – the same, soulless market that externalises the costs to the environment and views people as human resources not feeling, fellow beings.
Our politics are being bought-up bit by bit. And it seems that this general election could be a crunch point for democracy. How much will be left by 2020?
This is particularly relevant to us Greens – as the only party that does not accept corporate funding, and is genuinely member-led building from the grassroots. The only party devoted to people and the planet.
This means that we are not subject to the same corporate takeover that has been experienced by the other parties at Westminster.
The ways international corporates (centred on the financial giants) have taken over have been analysed in devastating, forensic detail by George Monbiot, Owen Jones in his book The Establishment and how they get away with it, Donnachadh McCarthy in his book the Prostitute State, and this month Jaques Peretti in his BBC series the Super Rich and Us.
To start near the beginning, the BBC’s Analysis programme showed how the Establishment (the one percent, the super rich, the corporates, the elite, the political class, what-have-you) have successfully formed the message (narrowing the economics curriculum to the orthodoxy of market fundamentalism); McCarthy and Jones show how that message comes to dominate the national conversation through the media and think-tanks; and Monbiot and McCarthy show how the corporates’ will is implemented in political parties and in government. They all help to explain why the other parties appear the same, and fail to represent the people – because they represent the interests of the big winners in the market.
So well-established within our democracy is the Establishment, that it is ready to wield its coup de grâce – TTIP.
The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is the biggest, most all-encompassing deal ever envisaged in international trade. It would, if implemented, enable corporates to set the boundaries on their own behaviour. The people’s will regarding who owns the health service, whether GMOs are sold, whether workers’ rights should be upheld, or government’s decision to procure locally from ethical sources would be subject to the corporates’ writ through the threat of legal action.
Yes, we might defeat TTIP. (Today the Financial Times published an article ‘Public backlash threatens EU trade deal with US’ ), but my worry is that the other parties’ support for TTIP is so strong that the UK would be amenable to a bilateral deal with the US if the big one fails.
What to do? This is the big one.
Here’s my answer: The only option is to vote Green. Why – won’t we “be letting the Tories back in”?
Here’s why: If we vote tactically, again opting for the least worst option, we will be endorsing the corporate takeover.
But if enough people vote Green, the other parties –specifically those that were founded on democratic principles that they have abandoned (through the Orange Book Revolution, New Labour, whatever)– will see where ‘their’ votes have gone. They will row back and tread carefully so as not further to alienate their supporters. Maybe next time there will be a democracy worth voting in.
Vote Green in 2015 or be prepared not really to vote again.
#Save Our Democracy
#People and the Planet
#No to Austerity
#No to TTIP
#No to Corporate Authoritarianism