Progressive Alliance

” … Unless something drastic and decisive happens, the next election threatens to become a contest between the Tories and Ukip: in other words, between rightwing technocrats owned by the banks and rightwing demagogues owned by Arron Banks.

What is this drastic something? A progressive alliance.

This means Labour, the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Féin and other parties agreeing to field just one candidate between them in every constituency. Whether that means a unity candidate representing all parties (perhaps chosen in an open primary, as the political innovator Paul Hilder has suggested), or making way for the party representative most likely to capture the progressive vote is a question that needs to be debated. The Greens and Lib Dems seem ready to play. What about Labour?

Joining such an alliance means giving up Scotland and giving up its hopes of a majority in England and Wales. You could see that as a lot to ask, or you could see it as accepting the inevitable. Here’s where the kinder, gentler politics is required: to abandon tribalism and strike generous bargains with old opponents. It’ll be hard, but the urgency of the task, as we confront an elite that is now empowered to tear down the remains of postwar social democracy, should be apparent to everyone. By giving up hopes of governing alone, Labour could be offered a last chance of survival – but only as part of a wider alliance.

Combined, these forces can win the next general election, whenever that might be. Apart, they will inevitably lose. A progressive alliance need win only once, then use that victory to reform our electoral system, to ensure that the parties of the left and centre never again engage in destructive competition.”

3 thoughts on “Progressive Alliance

  1. I believe that this is essentially paraphrasing a well known statement:

    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

    (The author of this is disputed and according to Wikiquotes could be Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, Sergei Bondarchuk, Plato or Albert Einstein.)


  2. I must admit that I am confused by the modern political system.

    It seems, to my mind at any rate, that the principal arguments of Brexit were to stop imigration and to invest £350 million a week into the NHS. It transpires that they wish to repudiate those arguments – in my old fashioned language, they lied. So if the principal arguments were fatally flawed, why is it we are considering that the referendum was ever valid? Why should we be bound by a vote where a resaonable external viewer could only come to the conclusion that the platform of the candidates was itself flawed.

    Surely we owe it to the electorate to conduct a proper referendum where the sides are legally compelled to deliver on the undertakings they make, and not to attempt to renege their promises by weasel words. Otherwise we, the electorate, are not in control – politicians and civil servants are in control and able to make any decisions they like no matter what ‘undertakings’ are given.

    Perhaps it does not occur to the job hunting candidates (and, dare I suggest fee hunting as well) for public office that the reason electors are tired of the current system is that they are tired, in my opinion, of the constant stream of spin, obfuscation, and studied and deliberate withholding of critical information which appears to allow groups that cannot be held to account to make decisions that the man in the Clapham omnibus would consider less than disinterested to the point of them being downright compromised.

    WS Gilbert was right when he said of MPs, “They’ve got to leave their brain outside and do just as their leaders tell them to.” Know any local MPs to whom that might apply?

    In the meantime the uncontrolled Brexit wind of change may convert a reasonable economy into a third world economy that is forced to agree to the slightest wish of big business because it is even more of a slave to the international money market than it was before.


Comments are closed.