If You Want a Revolution Don't Listen to the Revolutionaries

So you say you want a revolution? Well get to the back of the line. I joined the queue some twenty odd years ago, like most as angry teens, and trust me, I'm nowhere near the front.

So you say you want a revolution? Well get to the back of the line. I joined the queue some 20 odd years ago, like most as angry teens, and trust me, I'm nowhere near the front.

From here I can just about spot eighties' revolutionaries but the baby boomers are so far ahead as to be out of sight. Beware if you experience the odd shuffle forwards, two-steps back inevitably follow it. I'm sorry to say that the only momentum in this queue is the cold hand of death.

The Scottish Independence referendum, the 'Green Surge' and the rise of UKIP have sparked a sense that we're due another shuffle. The political fringes have seized upon public apathy towards the traditional three parties as a sign of a forthcoming messiah.

Is Greece's swing to the radical left a sign? Yes it's a sign that it takes years of the kind of economic hardship and political meltdown that we Brit's can only have sweaty nightmares about before a public with access to Proportional Representation will make such a change.

In dear old Blighty confusion reigns; Tories change the colour of their ties from blue to purple in the least convincing disguise since Superman put on glasses. In Scotland supposed socialists raise the flag of petty nationalism whilst the Greens discover that oil is the new black.

Forgive my cynicism, but I've done the marches, sung the songs and dodged the SWP recruitment agents. These may all be important parts of democracy but let us not kid ourselves, those who hold aloft the banner of revolution appear to be those least successful at it.

You've got the aforementioned Socialist Workers Party, who having spent many decades as a newspaper-selling cult, have all but collapsed after allegations that they are rape apologists. Naturally the 'splitters' from the SWP subsequently split again.

Workers Revolutionary Party also started dissolving after rape allegations, Solidarity broke away from the Scottish Socialist party, The Militant rebranded as the Socialist Party and the less said about Workers' Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought the better.

Here are the acronyms of just some of Britain's currently existing Communist parties to emphasise the scale of the problem, the CPB, CPB(M-L), CPGB(M-L), CPGB (PPC), NCP, RCG and RCPB(M-L).

The Right has nothing to be smug about of course, there's the National Front, The BNP, BDP, Britain First and The English Democrats. These are only the current crop with many of their predecessors having almost Mayfly lengths of existence.

To the new generation, or just those of a short memory, the rise of the little guys must feel very new but it isn't the first time the big boys of politics have felt threatened. 1979 and the National Front, The Greens in the 1989 Euro Elections, the rise of the BNP and of course the SDP-Liberal Alliance who 'prepared for government' have all now been judged by history.

When there has been revolution it has been within the two party system rather than from the outside. Both the post war Labour government and Thatcher instigated radical change and redefined British Politics, for better and for worse, within this structure.

The best the SNP, Greens and UKIP can hope for is to hold the balance of power just as our yellow former friends did in 2010. Why should we believe they will be any different?

The irony of the brave new dawn of coalition politics is that we have had a form of it for years. You'd be naive to believe that either of the two major parties is a single-minded homogenous block. Labour is both the party of Tony Blair and Tony Benn. A broad alliance of people on the left seeking to work together towards shared goals.

The coalition of the right, the Conservative Party, from Free Marketeers to the Christian Right may all be shits but they are at least variety of shits. Maybe you believe that there is no difference between these two parties but simply compare their key donors, the Tories' Hedges Fund Managers versus Labour's Union backers.

Radical change is coming whether a Labour or Conservative government are elected with or without the support of coalition partners. A Conservative Government ensures the further dismantling of the Welfare state and NHS. Alternatively a Conservative collapse means they wouldn't have won a General Election in 23 years and hammers the death nail in the Thatcherite Coffin.

Those on the fringes who promise radical change are the worst placed to achieve it and, like it or not, under the electoral system that will decide our next Government, they stand little chance improving that position.

So step away from the barricades comrades because you have to ask yourself when May comes and you split the vote ensuring a Tory government, will those suffering, the poor and the vulnerable, thank you for your high-minded principles.

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