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The Greens and Copyright

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This is currently doing the rounds, and (understandably) getting a lot of creatives concerned.

The copyright thing is annoying, certainly, but I doubt it could ever get any real traction. First of all, it’s highly unlikely that the Greens will lead in the next decade or so – it would take at least 15-20 years for them to amass enough support for that to become a possibility. And if they happen to be the smaller party in a coalition (unlikely, but not *completely* beyond the realms of possibility), I doubt that copyright reform would be high on their list of priorities. And the likelihood of that level of copyright reform going through is pretty low, I’d say. And it would only materially affect those who rely largely on UK-based backlist royalties. Anyone whose main income is overseas will remain largely unaffected. Disney will still have to pay you for your rights if they want to produce and distribute it in the US and elsewhere. And while I don’t for a second agree with a 14 year copyright term, I do believe the current legislation is too restrictive.

And if/when the Greens *do* come into power in 15-20 years or more? It’ll be a different bunch, with different views, and decades more experience under their belts.

Voting Green this time around won’t be a vote towards copyright reform, but it will help indicate a general dissatisfaction with the current 2.5 party system we suffer under. If you’re against Lab/Con/Dem at the moment, don’t let the prospect of a discussion about copyright in 2 decades’ time dissuade you from voting with your feet.

Or your pencil.

It isn’t easy being Green…

I’ve become increasingly interested and invested in politics since the last election. The last time around I voted Lib Dem. This was partly a reaction against the Conservatives, and against Labour. The Lib Dems (at that point) were the only major (!) political party to have not yet had the opportunity to disappoint on a national scale. They promised everything (of course) and then they got into bed with the Tories, took a shit on my doorstep and tried to convince me it was chocolate. Meanwhile, the Evil League of Evil (aka the Conservative Party) took the opportunity to begin the wholesale sell-off of our national resources to their pals, their donors and themselves, all the while congratulating themselves that they managed to defraud us for so many years with their expense claims (though to be fair, that last bit was also Labour and the Lib Dems).

So, no Tory vote, that’s for sure. It would be like voting for the hordes of hell to administer the staff pension fund. Or something. It’s not a great analogy, I know. But it would be bad, ok? That’s the general gist. I have absolutely no doubt that if the Tories stayed in power, the standard of living in this country would deteriorate at an unprecedented pace.

Who else? Labour? Well, they don’t have an amazing track record over the last couple of decades, and I remain unconvinced by Millibland.

UKIP? Fuck off.

Green? Well, yes. Their policies are generally sensible, and they appear to have the national interest at heart. Their policies align more closely with my wishes for the country more than any other party.

So, Green. I joined the Green Party a few months ago – the first time in my life I’ve felt strongly enough to actually join a political party.

But isn’t Green a wasted vote?

I don’t believe so, no. Do they have a hope in hell of getting into power this term? Not a chance. But interest in the Greens has never been higher. They have more members than UKRAP, and their growth is greater than any other party. They’ll probably come 4th this year. I hope they’ll come 4th, and not the we’re-not-racist-it’s-just-our-members-that-are-racist party. But people will see how many others are voting for them, and people will see that they’re not alone in not wanting Labour/Tories to dominate. So this time Greens could come 4th. Maybe next time, too. Maybe 3rd in 8 years’ time. And in 12. And maybe in 16 years they’ll be big enough to be a real contender.

“But they don’t have any real experience at governing,” I hear you say. Well, that’s a good point – thanks for bringing it up. No, they don’t. Not yet. But as they – and their prospects – grow over the coming decade and a half, so will their experience. By the time they’re big enough, and popular enough, they’ll be ready.

If we only vote Labour/Tory we will only ever have a Labour or Tory government. That’s not democracy – that’s a trap of our own making. If we vote according to our conscience and beliefs, and not vote tactically, perhaps one day, one day, we’ll have a government that cares about us, and not one that simply wants to milk us for all we’re worth.

So, a vote for Green (or for the party of your choosing) is not a wasted vote. The only wasted vote is the one you didn’t use, or the one you didn’t believe in when you cast it.