The title is true. I nearly joined the Green Party. Blogg-readers might have had some warning to this, I wrote a blog about sustainability, where I discussed green issues, and politically that issue is close to my heart, and as you may have seen from I Want Babies! – it’s an issue I am quite defeatist about.
Anyway, cutting this short, I spontaneously made the decision to go to an event for new and prospective Young Greens (the free lunch persuaded me, and the veggie soup didn’t let me down).
Let me explain why I ended up not joining.
Now of course, all the discussions were in Swedish, so this limited me severely. If I concentrated, I could do it, but otherwise it was hard, and there is no way you are going to concentrate for the first hour of the discussion which was about the internal structure of the Young Greens (Grön Ungdom) and the Green Party (Miljöpartiet de gröna). Boring. Nobody joined the party for that. And if they did they probably would be more at home in the Pirate Party, who love rules and regulations in the way that all computer geeks
It is typically Swedish of course to be drawn up in this level of bureaucracy.
As well, unsurprisingly there was your collection of political i-think-i-know-it-all-and-i-will-argue-my-point-to-death-even-if-we-only-differ-1percent types. Sadly though, they were the smart-13-year-old-with-slicked-back-hair-and-mummy’s-jumper type. I thought the idea of an environment that was inclusively under 26 as Grön Ungdom is would have suited me, but it may have alienated me more (perhaps because I may have explained I was a teacher when we introduced ourselves).
Finally, after another break, we finally had a discussion about what we thought we should be doing as Grön Ungdomers. I got lumbered with a group that discussed recycling old clothes, which was better than others (one for example used the chance to bring in my most hated of political words – feminism – which I have only ever witnessed as a divisive word in the 21st century. More on that another time perhaps, but for now just note that I believe all types need equal opportunity and it is so wrong for campaigners to prize one issue above another. Male and female differences need to be recognised by society, and have in place structures to minimise. That’s all we can sadly do.). Now, I thought I understood this, and my group let me take that a stage further by suggesting that we could go out and do these ourselves, to go and organise events to promote clothes swapping and start new trends. A normal idea I’ve seen at Durham many times. Our group was a bit shy, so I talked. After clarification about what I actually meant, my meaning was completely changed. We would discuss about how we would do this, but not actually do it ourselves. All the other groups ideas suggested ideas to debate at meetings, writing letters to politicians with ideas, looking more at our structures and so forth.
Sorry Green Party. I don’t have the time to waste on the chit chat. Politics for a 23-year-old teacher needs to be simple, active and making a difference. I was wasting my time in this meeting and I felt there was no way I would not be wasting my time if I was doing this more often.
The final straw that got me to excuse myself early was discussions about climate change and the environment. Our young leaders (all students) were giving us ideas about them, and how we approach them. No to nuclear power. No to fertilisers. No to this, that, or anything else. I’m a pessimist too, but political action needs to be a positive approach to get buy in. We need to preach the better world, not fear the worst one when we see our world here around us that, for now, are at an output it never has before. These ideas seemed so assumed, so crucial to being there. This shouldn’t be the case ever with such things. I’m no big fan of either of the two options above, however we don’t win a progressive, positive argument by a indefinite rejection of them. Genetic modification is something to be encouraged if done for the greater good and led by the United Nations. Do they have the knowledge about the science of nuclear fusion to know it is worthwhile supporting the research into the holy grail of power? It’s like we can debate things, but then again, only if we in agreement on them…
And thus, I didn’t hang around long enough to join them then. I do feel a little bit of itchy political feet, but I don’t feel it’s worth it here. I thought it might be like renting political space to be here with these guys, but instead it still feels to much like betrayal. My politics includes the same sentiments, but I’m afraid that it is going to be based upon people, action, progress and positivity. That doesn’t lie here, now. I’m sure I can and wish to be a supporter and help out, but let me know when the times are for action and we’ll do it then Miljöpartiet.