Kirsten de Keyser
Image credit: Kirsten de Keyser

As the government continues its negotiations over Brexit – both with the European Union and the UK parliament – the possibility of the UK participating in the forthcoming European Parliament elections is becoming more and more likely. In light of this, regional Green Parties have begun the process of selecting candidates to fight those elections.

Bright Green is inviting all those standing to be Green candidates for these potential elections to write a short article, outlining why party members should select them. One of these candidates is Kirsten de Keyser, and this is what she had to say:

Somewhere last week, someone said “the UK could leave the EU without ever knowing what it was all about”.

And in the immortal words of Terry Pratchett: “If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going.”

So to be a solid winner, our message of the 2019 Campaign for Europe must be delivered in three parts; The Past, The Present, The Future.

The past: Shaped by traditional media

Traditional media was hostile to Europe, not least because journalists felt linguistically inferior. Only a tiny minority could understand European television, and most could not read continental newspapers.

Despite the fact that Europe’s political operators spoke several languages, and spoke English fluently, researching European stories was a chore and a bore. To satisfy the British audience’s craving for sensation, the media therefore simply settled for mocking and jibing myths of bendy bananas, curvy cucumbers and the demise of the British banger.

The population was none the wiser, this was all the information it got and its opinions were therefore entirely shaped by such tripe.

The present: Shaped by social media

But that cosy slumber was disrupted by the screeching handbrake-turn arrival of social media. Suddenly, a world of energetic international chatter and info-sharing crowded out the dead-tree-press and the old five-channel-television landscape.

For good – and for ill – the people, and primarily younger people, were now in control of the media and they shaped the debate.

The unforgiving nakedness and immediacy of these new communication paths exposed the total rot in the British political and institutional systems. It seemed that the only healthy shoot was the Green Party.

Whistleblowers blew their whistles on all manner of institutional corruption and fiddling of the public finances. Citizen journalists with smart phones provided a whole new and revealing gallery of the lifestyles of the few.

And rising out of all that, Europe finally became able to speak directly to its voters. And their young voters listened. And in 2016, they voted firmly to remain with Generation Europe.

As a last throw of the old dice, the 2016 In/Out referendum was totally corrupted by two warring establishment flanks and the message was swamped in a barrage of lies and deceit.

The future: Shaped by us and the Green agenda

In the meantime, the Green agenda is steadily and inevitably taking over the international debate and that is where we come in. We will hopefully be faced with fighting another EU election in May. And “in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”

Meaning that if we can’t even be bothered to vote, we’ll most likely get a self serving bunch of politicians, in love with the sound of their own voice and with little intention or capability to run a beverage convention in a brewery.

And on an even more serious note, abysmal voter turnout means that the result lacks democratic legitimacy. If politicians are elected by a mere handful of voters, they cannot claim to have a mandate.

So, here’s my message to you: The Green Party is your party and this election belongs to you.

We are lucky to have a formidable field of truly impressive Green candidates. Read their engaging manifestos. You could literally vote for any one of them and be sure of a truly solid MEP candidate, who would champion our Green Party agenda in the EU.

So, whoever you entrust with your vote, for goodness sake Greens, vote! Vote! Vote!

Kirsten de Keyser is a Green Party activist based in Camden. In 2018, Keyser was selected to fight the seat of Holborn & St Pancras in the event of an early general election, and narrowly missed out on being elected as a Highgate councillor in May of that year, losing by just 200 votes.

All articles from those seeking to be Green candidates for London in the European Parliament elections can be found here.