24 Nov 2008

Greens need a sense of humour

My response is below to a letter from Ian Martin who votes Green but was less happy with a couple of our recent letters in the SNJ. I think it was a very useful reminder - few things are sustainable without some fun...there is also another response below..

Photo: delicious coffee today!

Dear Madam,

Ian Martin suggests the Green party needs to rediscover humour if it is to save the planet and he warns that in recent letters we sound more like we have been changed by politics than are changing politics (letters 19/11/08). I thank him for that important warning.

For many of us, every new study about our planet, seems more terrifying than the last: the Great Barrier Reef is dying, the Arctic ice could have disappeared within five years, a third of species face extinction and millions face drought and famine. I am scared. Indeed, one could argue that if you don’t find it scary, you haven’t really understood it. It is perhaps no wonder that there is a seriousness and an urgency to Green letters.

Yet we cannot let fear paralyse or stop us from taking actions. We need to find room to digest the realities and also to see that despite the horrors there are signs of hope - but we need to act fast. We need more than a green vocabulary, we need a green agenda, like the 'New Green Deal' being advocated by ourselves and a growing number of others.

The Green party cannot afford to lose its radical edge and indeed I don't believe we have. The party is controlled by the grassroots members - not by a party elite, whips, PR Gurus or spin doctors. Both social and environmental justice have been at the heart of our policies since the 1970s and our members join peaceful direct actions when other routes are blocked. Greens, like party leader Caroline Lucas MEP, have long been on the front line for justice, years before Former US Vice President Al Gore's recent call for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of more coal plants.

We cannot allow this Government to close it's ears to the radical action that is needed. Please don't just vote Green, join us and inject some more humour into the battle to tackle climate change and the virtually Victorian levels of inequality in Britain today.

Cllr. Philip Booth, Stroud District Green Party.

Here is a different response from a Green party member - the trouble is Ian's comments were about having a sense of humour about ourselves rather than climate change or other topics....nevertheless despite being so caustic it makes a point - indeed I had toyed with ending my letter "Have you heard the one about the polar bear and the icecap?" but am sure that is not as helpful??? Anyhow here was that comment:

The Green Party notes Ian Martins request and thanks him for his support (letters 19/11/08) and will attempt some humour as suggested. If this fails to halt climate change, bring back the third of species that face extinction and feed the millions that face drought and famine (oh and perhaps we could laugh our way into peace in Middle East as well) perhaps he'll be on hand to give some further advice.

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