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Towards a progressive politics

April 18, 2017 9:21 PM
By George Miles in GLD Challenge Magazine (December 2016)

Book review of "The Alternative (towards a progressive politics), edited by Lisa Nandy (Labour), Caroline Lucas (Green), and Chris Bowers (LibDem). With contributions from members of SNP, Plaid and others.

Sarah Olney and Caroline Lucas
In Brighton at the 2016 LibDem Conference Caroline spoke not of a centrally controlled Progressive Alliance but of many alliances of progressives at many levels - local, regional, national, global. Not the old tribal politics where politicians claim their party is perfect and has all the answers and that all politicians of other parties are wrong about everything all the time. I agree with Nick.

I tried to speed read this book to review it but couldn't; it has dozens of chapters by dozens of authors on so many subjects, including Andrew George, Andrew Simms, Carys Afoko, Chris Law, David Boyle, Duncan Brack, Frances O'Grady, Indra Adnan, John Curtice, Johnathan Edwards, Johnathan Rowson, Katie Ghose, Mhairi Black, Neal Lawson, Norman Lamb, Peter Hain, Ruth Lister, Siân Berry, Stephen Joseph, Steve Reed, Tim Farron, Uffe Elbaek, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Zoe Williams and Neal Lawson.

Maybe I'll read one chapter a night.

The Conservative Party are changing electoral boundaries to their advantage and could win the next UK parliamentary elections again with a minority of the vote if the oppositions remain squabbling and fighting: with every party standing in every seat under the unfair First Past the post system. Unless, as is happening this week in the 2016 Richmond By election some parties don't field candidates, for the greater good.

They are against the small green progress made by LibDems Ministers in coalition, raising house insulation building regulations, encouraging sustainable green power generation etc, they're trashing our planet faster and faster for short term profits.

Maybe by 2020 many of the disasters of Brexit (whatever that means) will have become apparent and voters will rebel against the propaganda of the controllers of the Sun, Daily Express and Daily Mail. But billionaires will again invest millions to get their people elected.

Would the LibDem (and Labour) constitution have to be amended to allow formal and informal pacts? If in Herefordshire we have a Libdem standing in South Herefordshire and a Green in North Herefordshire (opposing 2 Tories - Bill Wiggin and Jesse Norman) would I in the north be able to got on my bike and deliver leaflets for the green half of our alliance or would that be against party rules, would I have to drive to south Herefordshire or be expelled as a traitor?

The 'leader' or 'chair' of a Parliamentary Progressive Alliance need not be the one with the most loyal MPs (Diane Abbott / Jeremy Corbyn / Hilary Benn / Dan Jarvis ) but could be a respected mediator like Caroline, Mhairi or even Anna Soubry!

George Miles dicegeorge@hotmail.com

Progressive Alliance book coverBook available from: https://www.bitebackpublishing.com/books/the-alternative