” … 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.” …