I joined the Young Conservatives because the name Conservative appealed to my ideals of conservation. It did not take me long to realise the word in the party name had nothing to do with the word in the environmental sense - so I left - and grew up.
It took me many more years before I put together the pieces of the world I saw in to a coherent whole - and longer yet to find that I was not the first person to do it - the Greens had been there long before me.
And so it is today. People join or support a political party until they see the party go against the views which drew them to it. At that point they have a choice, either to think again or to give up and just follow the flow. It is our human duty to think again - it is democracy - but it is our human nature to follow the flow that gives us an easy ride - at least as long as we keep our eyes closed.
In 1993 I stood as a Green for the parliamentary constituency of Rushcliffe. Had I not stood there would have been no party for me to vote for. I gave voters their democratic right to vote for a party of their choice by giving them a choice. There was no doubt who would win, but I hope I made the other candidates start to think.
Today, Ken Clarke is happy to say that he believes human action is at least in part the cause of admitted global warming. In 1993 he didn't. Had there not been a Green Party - had there not been a reason for a Green Party he would not have been forced to change his mind. I expect Ken would say he always thought it was true, but even if he did, he never did anything publicly about it - or we would not be in the mess we are in and can't easily get out of today.
After the election I took part in an audience television debate on the BBC, I think the topic was - 'Have you been betrayed by the Conservatives'. At the end of a heated afternoon I put my question " How can the Green Party get its policies heard, how can we be treated as a real party when the BBC ignores us. How long will it take?" John Sergent, the then leading political journalist for the BBC answered. He said it took the young Labour Party 60 years. I did not have the chance to reply that we don't have 60 years left because he had taken up the rest of the program answering me. He had taken the question very seriously.
Today, other parties have decided to state in public that they support Green concerns. In private however they have always known we were right. It has taken them this long to say anything publicly because they have been able to continue with the status quo - which supports them very well - until this point. By hiding the facts from the public the grey parties, industry, big business, the status quo have kept on doing business as usual up to the point where the realities which we warned them about decades ago stopped business being usual - forcing them to change. Only now do they admit in public what they must have always known in private.
These people are not stupid, Greens don't have the only clear vision of reality. Green though put our joint vested interests in the world environment before vested interests in businesses as usual. That's the difference.
That was the pithy point at which to stop this blog, but I have to continue. It is important to make it clear that Greens do not think that 'doing Business' is the problem, nor are the people who do it. For example, I love technology and live by and with it. Business and every day life does not have to change very much to have a very great change on the way it impacts the natural and man made environment. We can, must and shall do what the Greens have always said - because there is no choice.
Had the world listened when the problem was first noticed, then there would have been time and space for a gentle alteration of our habits over the last 40 or so years. During that time Greens have worked out what to do. The other parties have either just started thinking about the problem or are about to unleash massive packages of change which will astonish everyone and probably do more harm than good. We though have a simple set of steps, but all must be taken together, now, by all of us together, for all of us together. There is no time left for blame or recriminations, nor very much point - as long as we really do act now.