We all know politics is dire. Some people who become obsessed with BBC Radio 4 Today, Newsnight and BBC Question Time think there’s all there is. But of course, when you start looking at alternatives, it becomes clear just how outdated and out-of-touch modern politics is.
For example, Rob Hopkins (a permaculture teacher) co-founded the Transition Town movement, when he thought it was silly for the then-Prime Minister to worry about England running out of food, during lorry strikes (as they could not transport food from central distribution houses). He knew that we are a fertile affluent land that could grow all our own food, use local currencies and fuel towns with community solar panels. So he got to work, and now there are Transition Towns worldwide.
Compare that the backwards philosophy of ‘economic growth’ or translated by ecological writer Satish Kumar as ‘buy, buy then throw away’. We are a finite planet, and we can’t keep making stuff that we can’t get rid of to buy new things, just to make shareholders happy. We have catastrophic climate change heading our way (already seen recently with wildfires and heatwaves), yet vested interests means MPs still bang on about reducing climate rules, to help get their seats elected next time.
All the main parties are pretty uninspiring, and as none of the big parties want fair votes, it will take a big movement to get some different parties in (the reason they don’t want it). The Green Party has some good policies, but even they are obsessed with Green New Deals, rather than protecting nature and living simply. In fact, the most powerful way we can make change is to collectively buy less, do less and this in turn will ‘make the big fall’ to make line for something else. MPs can force us to do a lot of things by law – but they can’t force us to live consumerist lives and buy crap, to suit them!
We like The Peace Party, which has a pretty decent manifesto and candidates, so vote for them in local elections, if you prefer to vote tactically at general elections. Or vote for indie candidates who you think will do good, rather than just sticking to party lines.
Animal Welfare Party has a good manifesto to improve our animal welfare laws. Again it has candidates, so you may wish to support them, if someone is standing near you. In The Netherlands, a similiar fringe party got a couple of MPs elected, and managed to change national policy. So don’t think your vote won’t count.
For a good overview of how our quite complicated political system works, read The Little Book of Politics. If you want to change things, it helps to know how the MPs and House of Lords work, along with powers of local councils up to King Charles.
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato