The Green Party are a sneaky little bunch. They've managed to creep through the back door of British politics without anyone noticing. For the last 6 months, Britons have been consumed by the Labour Party, the Tories and the Lib Dems all calling each other incompetent - a rare case of truth from all involved - and the so-called 'meteoric' rise of Farage's band of EU-despising brothers. Something also happened in Scotland - although exactly what I can't quite remember. I believe they wanted to run their own country or something silly along those lines. With our focus on the usual Labour/Lib Dem/Tory divide - which isn't so divided - and on the ascendancy of UKIP and the SNP, the Green Party have been sneaking around, unnoticed.
Why haven't we noticed the rise of the Greens? Well, the media turned a rather purposeful blind eye. The tabloid press aren't too fussed about these ecological crusaders, regardless of their massive increase in membership and the so-called 'Green surge'. You see, the Greens don't concern themselves with what the tabloids consider the big issues - like immigration and the EU - but rather prate on about apparently unimportant causes like free education, affordable housing, a living wage and the prevention of ecological disaster. These issues, judging by the tabloids, will have absolutely no effect on British people. These issues ostensibly feign in comparison to the real issues, such as living next door to Romanians.
Despite this predictably flagrant lack of media attention, the Greens have been campaigning, and rather successfully too. They're now the second most popular party among young voters (18 - 24) and have just overtaken UKIP in terms of overall membership - after a rise of 123% in 2014. Nonetheless, it wasn't until David Cameron claimed he wouldn't partake in the upcoming debates unless the Greens were involved that they received their much deserved media attention. It seems that in the last week, the Greens have gone from a fringe party to a legitimate alternative. Ironically, it's taken a thoroughly right-wing leader to legitimise a thoroughly left-wing party.
I'm a Labour man. Well, I was a Labour man. It's difficult being a left-wing Labour man because the party that supposedly represents your ideals constantly contradicts your mode of thought. Furthermore, there are a ton of right-wing Labour representatives who make the whole so-called movement so utterly unattractive. I don't suppose I'm the only left-winger who feels so distant from a so-called left-wing party. Nor do I suppose that I'm the only Labour man gravitating towards the Greens.
It's only through the recent rise - and thus a kind of legitimising period - that the Greens have become a viable alternative to central-left politics. Before recently, the Greens have always appeared noble in their quest, but somehow romantic and thus unrealistic. Now, this romantic ideal is gaining credibility. People on the left are paying attention. The once unrealistic party are becoming a real threat to the traditional left-wing votes that Labour has always depended on. Cameron has realised this, of course, and thus his calls for the Greens to be included in the debates come as no surprise.
Cameron has concluded that the Greens are powerful and relevant enough to potentially split the left. I disagree with Mr. Cameron on almost everything, but on this we agree. The Greens are now a threatening political force. The sneaky rise of the Greens is over. The Greens have risen.