I usually vote Conservative at the local and general elections except once, pre-Brexit, when I voted for UKIP but from now on, I am voting for the Green Party for three main reasons: I like their policies (more later on this); I have no confidence in the ability of the Labour party to govern this country, now or anytime soon; and I am disgusted with Boris Johnson’s attempt to save the political career of MP Owen Paterson by proposing an overhaul of the parliamentary standards rather than demanding his resignation. Johnson’s behaviour smacked of Bullingdon Clubism, cronyism and downright sleaze. I remember well the 2009 UK parliamentary-expenses scandal and the anger it caused among the electorate and I would have thought that today’s politicians would have learnt that probity is an essential part of becoming a member of the government. But, in Boris Johnson’s case, not so and I suspect he and the Conservative Party will suffer for it at the May 2024 General Election unless, somehow, the party’s spin-doctors can pull a truly amazing damage-control/damage-reversal rabbit out of the hat.
As for the Green Party policies, I took a hard look at their manifesto in the run-up to the 2019 general election and I was impressed. You can read a summary in this November 2019 BBC article. Take a few minutes to skim through the twelve key policy headlines. My thoughts at the time were that each policy was laudable but that there was not enough electorate groundswell to cause a seismic upheaval in the balance of parliamentary government. But, COP26 and the accompanying images of all the young people currently marching the streets of Glasgow and elsewhere have, for me, changed all that. Climate change is real and we owe it to future generations to stop the mantric blah, blah, blah and start a new mantra, anet, anet, anet (Action Now, End Talk).*
Boris Johnson has seriously shot himself in the foot and opened up a terrific opportunity for the UK’s Green Party to flourish. May the roots finally take hold.
* I thought hard about a single-syllable pronounceable existing word or new acronym to update Greta Thunberg’s emotive use of blah, blah, blah in her keynote address at the 2021 Youth4Climate conference in Milan. I started with Action Now, Not Later but annl doesn’t trip off the tongue easily and, if you try to say it, sounds too close to anal for comfort. Anet, an acronym for Action Now, End Talk, is my best shot at the time of writing but I, and the world, am open to improvements. Note however that anet is an anagram of ante (Action Now, Talk Ended) and of Etna and its association with explosive activity. Also, anet is a neat word!