Molly Scott Cato

Greens

Blog post, May 31 2014

I have a bright green suit. I had it made when I did a stint as a Green Party campaigner in the Euro elections ten years ago and it got me onto the main TV news one evening. The cameras caught up with our ‘green bus’ (a double-decker powered by rather smelly bio-fuel) in south Devon. They filmed me stepping off the bus with an armful of election leaflets, and panned down my bright-green-ness to the sandals at ground level, and so they had an archetypal ‘green’ image which went out that evening when they wanted something different from talking heads at the official Green Party election launch.

We didn’t quite get our candidate elected that year; our vote went up by enough that if all else had been equal we’d have had a third UK Green MEP – but tens of thousands of people who hadn’t voted at all the time before turned out for UKIP. It was somewhat overwhelming. Also in south Devon I remember talking to a young man in his teens, who believed that the second world war had been fought by ‘Britain and America against Europe.’ UKIP must train them young.

Anyway, the bright green suit: the last time I wore it was for that same unsuccessful Green Party candidate’s 50th birthday party. Before I got there I was nabbed by a young friend who had just set up a new photography studio – which is where the weird photo of me on this website’s home page came from.

Next time I wear it should be for next Friday’s book launch at the Glastonbury Assembly Rooms. My history of Glastonbury’s alternative community is having a major send-off, and I’ve been wondering what to wear for the occasion.

In the mean time, there’s been another Euro election and the Green Party finally has an MEP for the south west region: Molly Scott Cato from Stroud. I met her briefly when she visited Glastonbury during the campaign, and I told her the sad tale of ten years ago. She was very sanguine. ‘Well if that’s what happens again, it happens’ she said. ‘There’s nothing we can do about it.’ I thought she’d make a good MEP, and wished her the best of luck.

She got elected, with the encouraging message that ‘Voters in the south west reject politics of fear and division.’ In fact the Green vote in the south west went up significantly whilst everywhere else it had stalled. My Green Party friend asked the question on internal Green Party email lists, as to why this had happened:

“One person wrote to say she thought it was the influence of Glastonbury and the alternative community across the whole region … so there you go, a beacon that is now changing things on a much larger stage!”

Which, happily enough, brings me back to my book (which does point out that Glastonbury has always been a player on a much larger stage), and the book launch at the Assembly Rooms: