15 Feb 2014

The Naked Emperors

The Emperor has no clothes on. The odds are the fairy story is familiar. Had it been more realistic, the Emperor would have simply shouted that yes, he was perfectly well dressed and the little boy would have been hurried off by the police, while no else one did anything. We’re nothing like as good at spotting naked emperors as we could be, even when their exposed private parts are pointed out and right in front of us.

Apparently Eric Pickles supported the Environment Agency all along. Never mind that the government has been hacking funding and slashing jobs. We are to believe him, of course.

Labour attacks the Free Schools, conveniently forgetting that they brought in Academies and student tuition fees. We should forget that too. No naked emperors here.

The Tories promised they’d be the greenest government ever, and the Liberal Democrats promised... oh so many things, that vanished as soon as a shot at some power came their way.

What is it with mainstream politicians? Why do they seem to so quickly forget what they’ve said and promised, forget even what they have done? Why do they think they can dress one thing up as another and get away with it? I’ve recently had local politician David Drew trying to persuade me on twitter (with his usual tact and charm) that closing a school doesn’t count as closing a school if you call it ‘amalgamating’. Never mind that Saul no longer has a village school and that children from Saul have to go to Frampton, and that happened under Labour. That’s amalgamation, not closure! Like the boy in the fairy story, I am naive and tactless enough to be able to point and go “but Saul doesn’t have a primary school any more”.

Being naive is important. It is naive to think, in this nasty world of modern politics, that keeping your promises matters, and that hypocrisy sucks. It is naive to think that politicians could lead for the common good and with a desire to make things better. The reality is that they’d rather blame each other for flooding and undertake costly and damaging dredging rather than tackle real problems. I am naive. Shamelessly, deliberately, wilfully naive. That allows me to do two things. I can point out when emperors are butt-naked,  and I can try and enable real change. You’d be forgiven for thinking you'd have to be pretty naive to imagine that the Green Party could really change an institution like Westminster. But here we are, and we do. Our local Liberal MEP is busy trying to persuade everyone how Green he is, clearly he knows that’s going to matter in May, and you don’t mislead people about intending to be the greenest party ever unless you think Green matters.

But the thing is, the lying-emperor only gets away with his tricks if everyone goes along with him. That’s what the fairy story is about. If everyone assembled refuses to hear the lies and the flimsy excuses, and points at what is right in front of them, and refuses to be told all is as it should be when plainly it isn’t... things change. Stand up and point. Let’s not be ruled by any more naked emperors who spin a good line about how nice their trousers are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does Stroud Green Party oppose the free school proposed in the town?