Earlier this year, the UK Green Party (actually the Green Parties of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), experienced a huge surge in membership. As voters tire of establishment parties that struggle to differentiate themselves from one another, previously "fringe" parties like the Greens (along with the right-wing, anti-immigration, anti-Europe, climate skeptic UK Independence Party, or UKIP) are likely to make significant gains in the upcoming election.
The latest ad from the Green Party looks to capitalize on voter disenchantment, casting all major party leaders – and throwing UKIP right in there with them – as interchangeable establishment figures, and making a not-so-subtle appeal for the female vote.
"It's almost as if they are in a boy band...", muses our narrator.
In terms of the election, it's a savvy strategic move. It also, I think, has cultural significance beyond party politics.
As evidenced by the record breaking (and diverse!) turnout for the biggest climate march in history, there is a growing hunger for a truly ambitious break from the status quo, and for an alternative to incrementalism.
That's why major brands are shifting to 100 percent renewable energy. It's why cities are choosing to sever ties with fossil fuels. And it's why more and more institutions are divesting from fossil fuels.
When I asked whether fossil fuel industries understand how unpopular they are, some commenters suggested that they simply don't care. The same has traditionally been true of politicians too.
As long as there was no alternative to oil, coal and gas, fossil fuel producers could afford to ignore public opinion. Similarly, as long as there were few viable alternatives to mainstream parties, politicians could afford to cozy up to Big Energy.
Both of these realities are changing. The boy band is in trouble.
At some point, one of its members will quit and go solo – launching a career based on fresh new sounds influenced by underground artists. I can't wait to hear it.