THE BLOG
21/05/2014 10:43 BST | Updated 21/07/2014 06:59 BST

I'm a Politician, Get Me Out of Here

Here's a thing. The UK will stay in the EU after 22 May - with or without UKIP MEP's. Even if we did leave the EU some day, we would still have to trade on EU terms, and leaving the EU within the next five years would be disastrous for Wales.

West Wales and the Valleys are as poor as Romania and attract some £2billion of EU funding to get us out of this rut - a rut incidentally, which could be smoothed over quite nicely with investment in the tremendous renewable energy potential of the region. This sort of money would not be forthcoming from Westminster no matter which way you cut the scary debt.

It's no coincidence that as soon as the media homed in on Nigel Farage - just for the entertainment value he provided - UKIP's rating went up in the polls. Politics can be entertaining that's for sure, but in the final analysis it would be wrong to vote for a party just because they liven up the news. Politics runs your laws, your life, what you eat and where you shop. Politics is a serious, intricate business and not an episode of I'm a Politician Get Me Out of Here.

It therefore may come as a shock that the Green Party has been making steady gains in spite of having next to no media coverage. It may be surprising that millions of people are quietly weighing up the issues, unimpeded by the weight of the media circus. In Wales alone the Green Party membership has increased by 12% in just 2 months and the list of supporters and volunteers has grown exponentially.

Greens are part of the fourth largest group in the European Parliament. That means we can really score results on the issues which matter. This election could return many more Greens to the EU, and we could achieve even more - like taxing bankers bonuses, binding targets for energy efficiency, ending overfishing and banning the harmful pesticides implicated in bee decline.

UKIP are part of a smaller group. But they are belligerent and damaging. In key votes over the past EU parliamentary term, they have failed to back gay rights time and again. (The record of Conservatives is not much better.) In a particularly harsh anti-EU mood they even voted against a resolution designed to combat the illegal ivory trade in Europe (and that is when they bother to turn up to vote). This is not doing anything to abolish the EU. This is defending the indefensible.

If you want hype on a hiding to nothing, vote for any of the big four parties. There is not much to choose between them and they all make promises they are happy to break.

If it's a protest vote you want, vote Green. If it's a more thoughtful politics you want, vote Green. If it's a deep down feeling that large corporations are taking over our lives, vote Green.

If you want a party which puts equality before making the wealthy even wealthier, which will not punish the poor for being poor, which fully intends to leave the environment fit for the future and which will invest heavily in the clean energy projects which will give us security, jobs and better health, vote Green.

Politics is about hope, not fear. Politics is about good policy, not light hearted banter. Above all politics is not about celebrity and soundbites.

Tomorrow voters will decide on the future direction of Europe, and that is no light task.