30 Jan 2014

Purple Politics

Purple Politics by local cartoonist Russ
There’s an idea I’ve been seeing online, a way of summing up the merging of agendas between what was once left and right: Purple politics. As Labour and the Conservatives offer fewer alternatives and fight over some (perhaps imaginary) middle ground, many of us feel there are no real differences on offer there. Both parties will stick with the same systems that have been failing us for years. There is no will to make real changes, or to think creatively. In the mingling of red and blue, we get purple politics, and nothing improves.

It’s easy to forget, as the Conservatives dish out misery, that Labour are the ones who introduced student tuition fees, failed to rein in the banks and brought us the public disasters that are Private Finance Initiatives. There’s not much to choose between, and when it comes to long term sustainability, both are so obsessed with the idea of economic growth, that they cannot get to grips with sustainable necessities.

In fiction, there is something called ‘Purple Prose’ and it isn’t a compliment to label a piece of writing that way. Purple prose is overblown, and ridiculous. It uses misleading metaphors where a bit of plain speaking would do a lot better. If you’ve got to call a penis a ‘throbbing manly edifice of joy’ you’ve got purple prose. If you over describe everything with unnecessary melodrama, you’ve got purple prose. A lot of words to no good effect. The parallels between purple prose and purple politics are many: They do not work. They are not clever. It’s really embarrassing when you run into it. The world would be a much better place without them.

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