Friday, 24 June 2016

May you live in interesting times

While not actually Chinese, 'may you live interesting times' is an apposite curse that seems to have been successfully cast on the UK yesterday when the country voted to leave the EU. Who cast the curse and how it was cast is less interesting than what to do next, but it seems that a failure of political engagement with the electorate is at the core of issue and it seems that the media have led the charge to leave, trumping the political and corporate calls to remain. While it is clear that politicians of most parties have failed to engage, I think the real failure lies with Corbyn who had the best opportunity to engage with working class people but instead chose to make a half hearted stance that might go down well in Islington but is very far of the mark in places such as Maidstone, Margate and Dover. 

What to do next?

It will be a rough ride, the panic of the markets will shrink the economy quickly and jobs will be lost. The far right will get a boost and the frackers will have their way in the rape of the land. But my real fear is for peace across Europe.

We Greens have to lead the charge for a way of ensuring that peace in Europe continues; as the EU undoubtedly starts to crumble the chance of war increases. There are few alive now that remember the horror of war and I pray that war never returns. There needs to be some form of body that has as its primary purpose the power to prevent war in Europe and the UK (as the most war-like nation in Europe) needs to be a founding party to that body.

The UK's track record on the environment is woeful. There is a huge challenge for us Greens in how to turn this around without the benefit of those sensible Europeans. I can see our bee population being decimated and the frackers will get a free reign to destroy our soil and water. The scale of environmental resistance needs to notch up a few magnitudes.

With the economy crashing we have to work on cooperation and collaboration rather than hiding ourselves away (as we have demonstrated that we are so good at yesterday). Making the case for localism is essential at a time of economic collapse.

Finally we have to stand up against racism and the right wing media. There is a real danger that the far right, which has already demonstrated its ability to garner support through lies, hatred and scapegoating, will continue to gain support and will damage our communities and put people's lives in danger.

Personally, I would have preferred to live in boring times but sadly the country driven by political failure and an all powerful media have decided otherwise.

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