Wednesday, 12 March 2014

GreenAid: The Video

Employing some humour to make a point has often been the most effective way of make a message stick. And so, as covered in the last blog piece, last weekend found the Liberal Democrats' federal conference in York being offered the services of a group of enthusiastic volunteer medics from the Green Party. Styling themselves on the 1970s M*A*S*H* satire, the Greens offered a range of support to the Lib Dems, whom they assumed would by now be riddled with guilt and disoriented from nearly four years of Coalition with the Tories.

Green Eurocandidates for Yorkshire and the Humber region were on hand to offer sympathy and remedies including an organic detox centre to get clean from the Coalition. However, after engaging with a number of Lib Dems, the Greens' lead candidate, Cllr Andrew Cooper, concluded that it was a hopeless case - those who remain in the Lib Dems apparently are either in deep denial about what they have done (and even what is happening to their collapsing party) or simply have no conscience in terms of the impact of their doings on society.

York is often portrayed as a "chocolate box" city, the epitome of what England should look like (or even does look like in American TV shows). But scratch the surface and the story is very different. Over a century ago, Seebohm Rowntree's groundbreaking report exposed the widespread poverty in what, even then, was regarded as a successful town. A century later and many statistics show that very little has changed - tens of thousands of people in the city, as elsewhere, remain mired in poverty. That the Lib Dems felt it was acceptable to turn up and proclaim the supposed success of the Coalition demonstrates their detachment from the reality of Britain today. But, as the video shows, the crowds of trade unionists, Greens, socialists, physiotherapists, actors, Labrador dogs and others who rallied outside the Barbican did their best to put them right.


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