A Progressive Alliance Is the Answer to Snap General Election

Okay, so a little on UK politics here. The UK is going through a right old time just now. The turbulence is set to continue in both the short and the long term. Brexit is soon to start properly affecting us and banks and corporations are eyeing a move to mainland Europe, with the Bank of America choosing the continent over us, now. We are just about to lose the EU headquarters for medicine and banking, with the many jobs and all the influence that goes with it.

I could go on about the woes going forward for the UK in terms of Brexit. But, alas, no. Even bigger, more immediate news has hit us. Theresa May, the Grey Vampire, has hit us with a cunning plan: a snap general election. As Corbyn, a less firebrandy Bernie Sanders, has alienated the centrists in Labour, the opposition party has imploded. Though he has comfortably won two leadership challenges due to a groundswell in grassroots support, he has lost the support of many of his MPs. He may be popular with a part of the electorate further to the left, but he has lost the centre ground and his own parliamentary party. Thing is, everyone knows you win elections on the centre ground with those fickle swing voters. And none of them think he can lead the country.

Theresa May has given in to the right of her party who want to seize the massive advantage the Tories have in the poll by have an election to destroy Labour and have a proper mandate to do Brexit. After all, May wa snot voted in democratically as leader of this country.

This is then made worse by the fact that Labour got destroyed in Scotland by the socialist Scottish National Party who took 56 seats, leaving Labour with one, Lib Dems with one and the Conservatives with one. Labour were decimated beyond recognition and that’s a lot of seats to lose.

Which puts us in a pickle. Becauwe Labour need Scotland to get into power. Here is the electoral map of the UK:

2015UKElectionMap.svg

It’s embarrassing. The West Country (bottom left foot of the UK) has traditionally been a Lib Dem stronghold. Lib Dems were destroyed by the Tories in the last election. The UK is a sea of blue apart from in the many small, densely populated constituencies of the northern cities and London. But they lost some of them too. Labour are losing the working class as we become more deunionised, and immigration has become a fighting ground. Wales hs been electing too many Tories and losing their Labour heritage.

This leaves people with only one option. Let’s take my South Coast constituency of Gosport:

gosport elections

The only remote chance of unseating the Conservative candidate is to form a progressive alliance where Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens get together, select only one candidate, and field them in unified opposition to the Tories, and campaign the nuts off the area. There is talk of this in several areas already, the Isle of Wight and Canterbury (I think) being a few. It is the only way, tactically voting and working together, of defeating the incumbent government.

There is a facebook group, for what it’s worth, working to such ends:

The Green Party, not for the first time, has called for talks over this. As the Independent reports today:

The Green Party called for talks with the leaderships of Labour and the Liberal Democrats with the aim of founding a “progressive alliance” for June’s general election.

Party co-leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley say the three parties should work together and might stand aside for each other in some seats to “stop the Tories wrecking our country”.

The Greens say they believe “there is a role for some form of cooperation” in “a handful of seats” in order to stop Theresa May winning another majority.

“We’d like to meet to explore the best options for beating the Tories in June.  We understand that, in the immediate run up to an election, signalling a willingness to work with other parties might be difficult but we hope you’ll agree that the times we are living in require leaders to be courageous and visionary, to actively build a more positive politics,” the two leaders wrote in a letter to Tim Farron and Jeremy Corbyn.

Some politicians in each of the three parties have publicly suggested working more closely but the idea of closer cooperation has hit the rocks in recent months.

In February this year Lib Dem leader Mr Farron said Jeremy Corbyn was “not progressive”, ruling out any alliance with Labour.

The Greens stood aside for the Lib Dems in the Richmond by-election – but later stood a candidate at the Copeland by-election, which Labour ultimately lost.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has been cool on a progressive alliance, but other Labour MPs including Clive Lewis, Lisa Nandy and Jonathan Reynolds called for Labour to stand aside in at the Richmond by-election to maximise the chance of the Conservatives losing.

Why not? Really, why not? What do people have to lose? All that will happen is that Lib/Lab/Green votes will split each other up and down the country. Yes, Lib Dems will bounce back, and might retake the West Country, and other Remain areas in a Brexit protest vote, as they are the only clear anti-Brexit party. But in other areas, in Northern areas for example, they need to stand aside for Labour. And perhaps Greens might win in East Anglia or Bristol, and hopefully Brighton again,, so stand aside for them there.

Let’s think tactically and cleverly, shall we.

Of course, for my Conservative readers, sorry about this post.

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About Jonathan MS Pearce

Pearce is a philosopher, author, blogger, public speaker and teacher from Hampshire in the UK. He specialises in philosophy of religion, but likes to turn his hand to science, psychology, politics and anything involved in investigating reality. He is on a journey towards truth; come join him.