I made a decision to resign from my position as London Young Greens co-chair today. Perhaps it was reactionary, but it was a long time coming. I see myself to blame on many parts – my mental health meant that I missed many meetings at the beginning of this year, but things had gotten better. But after just about 9 months of running in this position, I wonder how much of my absence was due to mental health and how much was to do with the fact that I could not see a feasible future within that group.
Over and over again I hear of excellent actions and stunts pulled by other Young Greens/Greens groups globally. From running about shouting “sauve la riche” and throwing money everywhere (in a satirical action) to organising up Pro-Gay Marriage stunts to running squat cafes to show the plight of homelessness, most Young Greens groups have actively gone out to ensure that their message gets heard. In Britain however, we think we’re going to win by knocking on people’s doors and talking the same political rhetoric that Old Labour used to.
The fact is that power isn’t won through elections. It can be supported by elections, but in order to bring change we need to actually need to make power feel threatened. And the people who vote in elections need to believe that we can win. That is best achieved through making your voice heard – organising actions and stunts that are politically challenging, and will therefore catch headlines.
But this is not what this new generation of Young Greens is interested in. They would rather remain out of touch with “radicals” because they fear they may look bad in the (capitalist) press. So canvassing, knocking on doors, and hanging out at Green Party events has taken more importance than winning liberation, anti-cuts and migrant rights issues. Our hands have become tied down with endless meetings where we talk more than we act.
I have never been good at communicating what I think. I cannot understand why people cannot read my mind, and this leads to anger and frustration. I am not a good leader in politics because I state things as I feel them. I will continue to be politically active, but I feel I must choose my points of action. London Young Greens is clearly not one of them.
I wish London Young Greens the best of luck, and hope they will manage to succeed where I could not.