UK grassroots progressive alliances form to stop hard-right populism
… The idea of cooperation between parties on the left and centre-left has buzzed around British politics for decades. In 1997, Labour and the Lib Dems came to an informal accord to limit their campaigning in some of each other’s target seats and tacitly encouraged anti-Tory tactical voting (in the Cheshire seat of Tatton, the two parties stood down to make way for the independent Martin Bell, who defeated the corrupt Tory MP Neil Hamilton). Over the past two decades, in Scotland and Wales, Labour has been sporadically in coalition with the Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru. Recent history has undermined the cause: the Lib Dems’ decision to govern in partnership with the Tories and the prospect of Labour coming to an agreement with the SNP at Westminster played very badly with a certain kind of English voter in the election of 2015. Now, though, in the age of Brexit, Donald Trump and a resurgent political right, the idea is back…
… Most MPs and party leaders remain either sceptical or hostile. Almost all the supportive noise about progressive alliances comes from grassroots activists and people beyond the main parties – although, as Clive Lewis proves, the idea is slowly beginning to find an outlet at Westminster.
For Lewis, the focus is on delivering a win for the political left in a fragmented political landscape and binding together people from different parties to resist the most drastic visions of Britain leaving the EU, while also opposing nasty rhetoric and policy on immigration. For others, the main issue remains a voting system that gave the Tories unchallenged power on the support of only 24% of the electorate and how cooperation between parties could bring radical change.
This is the basic position of Caroline Lucas, the co-leader of the Green party, who has long made the case for cross-party politics with the help of Compass, a campaigning organisation that grew out of the Labour party and aims to create a more equal, sustainable and democratic society. These days, it also includes people from the Lib Dems, the Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP…
Much more detail at link from John Harris…Mom Cat, CNW like this
Far an taine ‘n abhainn, ‘s ann as mò a fuaim.
Where the stream is shallowest, it is noisiest.
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