At a street stall event in Newbury Matt encounters a rude gentleman who is presumably a member of the elite, to whom he pens a short response.
Dressed in a blue suit jacket with smart black trousers and shoes, he walked with an upright posture that only an entire childhood of constant scolding can bestow upon someone. I stood on Northbrook Street holding a handful of leaflets for the Green Party, to which I gestured, “Green party leaflet, sir?”
He stopped in his tracks and looked me up and down, clearly scrutinising my attire: Hiking shoes, jeans, a bright Green Party t-shirt and a crocheted beanie hat. He looked me in the eye and his eyes betrayed what he thought of me without him ever opening his mouth. And then he did open his mouth. “Apart from being a commoner’s party“, he stressed the words with an air that suggested that being common was probably the second worst crime a person could commit, the first, presumably, being to stop this particular gentleman in the street to ask him if he’d like a leaflet, “what do you stand for?” he demanded to know.
It was a lovely sunny day, we’d had a very positive response from the people of Newbury on the whole and I was in high spirits. Now this man was trying to rain on my parade and I wasn’t going to let him. Yes he’d clearly tried his best to insult me, and I’m sure he was trying his hardest, but why should he get to ruin what had been a splendid day? And besides the Green Party tag-line is “for the common good”, so I suppose he had me bang to rights. I made the decision to ignore his rude tone and instead stay positive and polite.
I smiled back at him as I turned the leaflet over to reveal a few short paragraphs about our party and what we stand for, again gesturing to the leaflet, “As you can see we’ve got a bit of information on the back of the leaflet that answers exactly that question-”
“I wouldn’t even bother to read it!” He hissed as he interrupted me, and then stormed off into Marks and Spencer. A shop in which he presumably never meets any common people like me.
Over the course of four hours of talking to people in Newbury on Saturday he was the only person who was actively impolite. And so the whole day was a very positive experience and absolutely worthwhile. And am I upset by the interaction? Not at all.
The Green Party is a commoner’s party, and we’re proud of that fact. We’re normal everyday people who are trying to make a positive impact on politics, an impact to benefit the other 99% rather than the richest 1%. Our mission is to create a world where everybody gets treated fairly regardless of their wealth, where poverty and climate change are reversed and eradicated, and where nobody is attacked simply for being who they are.
Perhaps the rich 1% don’t like that. But only because they’re frightened of change. So they can call me any names they want, we’re not going to stop fighting for the common good.