A day in the life of: The Green society
It ain’t easy…
Given the bedlam of the upcoming CUSU elections (voting open today), it’s easy to forget that there will be an actual proper real Government election happening two weeks into next term.
With that in mind, The Tab has decided to take a look at the day-to-day lives of some of our home-grown Political Societies before the Parliamentary Hustings/Battle to the Death takes place on March 6th at the Union.
Second on our list are the Cambridge Young Greens Society
It’s hard being a walking cliché, but it’s worth it.
As I stir from a deep slumber at midday, my stretching arms brush against the radiator that has become but a lifeless art installation under my residency. I roll over, reach for my organic bamboo smartphone and read the whole of the Guardian mobile app.
It’s bad news, as ever. But there’s a glimmer of hope in the faint reflections onscreen.
Rapid breakfast: Quinoa Qrunch and a splash of almond milk. There’s unwashed dishes all over the kitchen. A collective action problem, I think, stroking the wispy hairs on my chin as I lament the selfishness of 21st-century humanity. Such a shame that my busy political diary leaves me without the time to clear away my own bowl and spoon. I race for the door, flicking the thermostat to zero as I thunder past. Time to change the world.
The Young Greens here in Cambridge are an active bunch, committed to a politics of equality and global justice, standing up to austerity and to the marketisation of learning. They had me from the first vegan cookie they handed out at freshers’ squash. But give them a sniff of injustice, and they’ll snarl after it like attack dogs. Well, more like friendly attack kittens. It’s our new mantra: what this country needs is cats, not cuts.
I head out to meet with some Greens from the local party for a canvassing session. There’s always a couple of new faces at each meet-up, thanks to the Green Surge that’s been rising like a righteous tide across the country.
I love canvassing – there’s something very refreshing about leaving the bubble and hearing real people tell you their *honest* opinions. As one particular door creaks open, an excitable dog chokes out an aggressive bark and leaps for me. Definitely a Tory. Embracing his scruffy neck, I soothe this pooch with a gentle whisper: “Vegetarian… Vegetarian…”
As if converted, the dog relaxes his taught muscles and reaches up to shake my hand with an approving nod. And so the Green Surge continues.
“Isn’t all that paper bad for the environment?”, I’m often asked. Not when the leaflets are printed with vegetable inks on recycled, sustainably-sourced paper. Name me another society whose literature counts as one of your five a day.
Finally, night falls and we’re hosting a discussion. Panellists including Lucy Siegle have come down to present their views on the question, ‘Should the Environment be a Feminist Issue?’.
The discussion fits with our umbrella theme for events this term: we want young people to understand that the Green Party is the party for feminists.
In a very superficial way, we’d hope it was pretty clear already, with our female leaders and commitment to fielding no more than 50% male candidates for Parliament in May. It features in our policies, like a 40% female quota for the boardroom and a commit to dismantling the stigmatising procedures surrounding abortion. But it’s also a foundation stone of our wider ethos: we recognise that women and historically marginalised groups are usually the first to suffer from austerity measures at home and climate chaos abroad, and we demand empowerment for them at the top table of politics.
And so, after a long day of racing about being Green, I tumble back into bed beaming with an only slightly smug glow. They’re a community of determined, lovely young people in Cambridge, debating great issues and getting mobilised to see how they can help change the planet for the better.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, I got there before it was cool.
To find out more about getting involved with Cambridge Young Greens, like their Facebook page or send them an e-mail on [email protected]