Of course there’s been a lot of criticism – the right wing tells us that hashtags don’t win elections and that elections are how you get rid of prime ministers. I don’t think that was how they relieved themselves of Margaret Thatcher but there we go. It’s internet bullying, they say because nothing is meaner than a bunch of ordinary people standing up to wealth, power and media influence to offer an alternative. They say we don’t understand the economy, and yet they are the ones who have pushed ours further into debt. It’s been an interesting ten days so far.
Of course ‘Cameron Must Go’ isn’t the half of it. I don’t think anyone using the hashtag really wants to see him replaced by another smug, overpaid suit who thinks anyone earning less than £150k is irrelevant (yes, one of them, Mark Garnier, apparently said that…). It’s not just Cameron that must go, but the whole logic of punishing the poor and the majority for the sake of a very rich few. No more selling off national assets to the lowest bidder. No more lying to us, no more expenses for MP dinners, duck houses and jollies. #Cameronmustgo is a demand for cleaner, fairer and more reasonable political thinking.
I’m not speculating when I say this – one of the things that has inspired me about this grass roots campaign is the way regular people are bringing facts to the table. All of the hideous truths in the public domain that neither media nor politicians are, for the greater part, willing to talk about. How our illegal levels of air pollution are killing thousands of people every year. How planned cuts for future spending will put us in breach of child rights, of deaths brought about by austerity, and the squandering of public money. It’s been a calm and reasoned argument thus far, with frankly a good deal less verbal abuse than the ******** deserve.
A hashtag may not win an election, but it’s meant there are a great deal activists from different parties and no parties at all reaching out to each other as never before to talk about what needs to change. Anyone who thinks that won’t make a difference, doesn’t know much about people. It is hard to fight, when you think it’s just you. It is so hard, feeling like one lone voice against the cacophony of madness, to keep speaking out – it is lonely, exhausting and demoralising. But now we know. We know there are a lot of other people out there who want to be part of a fairer, kinder society. We all know there are a lot of us who think that greed is not a virtue, and that looking after everyone should be the business of politics. There’s a sense of momentum in that.
Hopefully, other political parties are looking at this Twitter movement and realising that the UKIP/Tory agenda of immigrant bashing, isolationism and picking on the poor is not necessarily the only way to get voters interested. A lot of us do not want that world. Many of us think quality of life for all should be the focus, not the impossible, unsustainable, illogical nonsense of eternal fiscal growth. Never mind that most of the ‘growth’ seems to be in the financial sectors where the ‘wealth’ is imaginary and can disappear in a flash.
All greed gets us is destruction and misery for the majority. Greed trashes our planet and damages the things most essential to life – air, water, food supply. It encourages me to see how many people are waking up to this and demanding change, and demanding it politely and with reasoned arguments. This, people, is what a quiet revolution looks like and it is most assuredly going somewhere. When enough people decide not to support a system, that system fails. I think the time is coming.