Green broadcast – the struggle of memory against forgetting
Is it just me or was anyone else hoping that that final Caroline Lucas speech ended with “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”? Probably just as well for everyone that it didn’t, but that is of course exactly what she meant.
Though superficially this broadcast opens like the kind of vox-pop that ends with a councillor pledging to fix potholes, it is in fact a broadcast about struggle.
The voters interviewed are looking for councillors that will fight. They want someone to help them fight cuts to the arts, social services, healthcare, transport, environmental initiatives and jobs.
It has become a shibboleth of the main parties that no-one is political. That all anyone ever cares about is getting potholes fixed, as cheaply as possible. But in fact we have not lost hope in our collective ability to build a better future, nor have we lost the ability to recognise the government’s political attack on our way of life.
The reason why the Greens are increasingly the party of that movement is because we are unashamedly political. Green councillors, for whom winning every seat is a battle, are hard workers who do an exceptional job of fixing potholes. But additionally, and uniquely, they are prepared to stand against cuts and for greater equality and justice as both a matter of principle and of practice.
It’s the kind of thing most politicians think can’t be done. While they lionise the names of Wilberforce or Roosevelt or Attlee, they have forgotten how to emulate them; they even deny it’s possible. We live in a post-ideological age, they say, where politicians are managers and the best we can hope for is to slow the decline of our welfare state.
They say Green belief in the contrary is nothing but youthful naiveté. In fact the opposite is true: we remember.