The Guardian (Comment is free): Fed up with growth-focused politics? For real change, look left

Monday, 06 October 2014

In 2011 71% of voters said it didn’t make any difference which party was in power, up from 57% in 1994. When does it reach 95%? It can’t be long now.

The big idea of the three main parties is the same: not capitalism, or neo-liberalism, or social democracy – but growthism. This term was coined by the author Umair Haque to describe the pursuit, above all other things, of economic growth. Never mind who it benefits, who gets left behind or what it destroys; never mind if its practices are unfair or unsustainable: if the numbers go up, everyone is happy, and if they’re not happy, give them a tax break.

Green party membership is up 45% this year, over 20,000 for the first time – Natalie Bennett, the party leader, highlights a surge in Young Greens of 100% since March. But if the Greens haven’t captured the whole of the progressive side, it is because they are seen to answer only half the problem. As illustrated by the political pressure group Compass and the thinktank New Economics Foundation, current politics fails, and will always fail, to meet two challenges: climate change and inequality.

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