As the most important General Election for a generation approaches, the Social Liberal Forum are calling on people across the UK’s progressive parties to work together to stop a Conservative landslide victory and the hard Brexit that would follow.

We call on members of the Liberal Democrats, Labour, the Nationalist parties, the two Green parties and the Women’s Equality Party to explore and forge progressive alliances at a local level.

We recognise that such arrangements could be made within seats or across a cluster of seats. We believe that whether parties step down for each other or merely plan non-aggression pacts – targeting their firepower on the Tories and not each other – this must be decided locally, with parties and candidates planning what works best in their areas.  

We believe agreements should be based on common aims. In our view, these must include a cast-iron pledge that progressive candidates will vote to keep Britain in the single market and support the introduction of a proportional voting system for Westminster elections.

We must learn to talk to each other and work together, as already happens between progressives in different parties in many other western countries. As was demonstrated in our favour in December's Richmond Park by-election, we recognise that anti-Conservative alliance building works.

We echo Paddy Ashdown’s praise of the many Greens who are already reaching out to form arrangements with local Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. We hope progressives in different parties can recognise what unites us, can build and reciprocate goodwill, and focus on defeating Theresa May’s authoritarian Conservative Party.

If we do not, we face five years of right-wing Tory rule and the prospect of a hard Brexit, regressive environmental policies and growing inequality, with all the serious social and economic consequences that will bring.

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  • Why I think the best outcome of the UK Election is a coalition of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats – and it’s not because I’ve been smoking weed!

    Rather than a Coalition of Chaos, of Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party as depicted by the Tories, I’m predicting a Coalition of Compromise with the Conservatives and Lib Dems forming a government just as in 2010 with David Cameron as Prime Minister and Lib Dems former leader Nick Clegg as deputy PM. This means the Lib Dems need a lot of votes so they have a ‘strong and stable’ hand when negotiating with Theresa May over forming the next Government….even though I don’t agree with their policy of legalising Marijuana!

    I have long been a supporter of the centre right, yes a capitalis but with a social conscience, or liking as the Chinese say, only a profitable country can bring wealth to the people. But with the Tories lurching to the Right and Labour to the Left, the only occupier of the centre ground is the Lib Dems, and frankly speaking with the Party being decimated in the last election that’s not the best choice, but at this time the only choice. Maybe someone needs to take a leaflet out of Monsieur Macron’s book and form a new centre right Party!

    Theresa May’s near unassailable lead over Labour took a hammering this past weekend. Firstly her policy of Brexit at any cost is damaging. The EU is demanding the agreement of a Brexit Bill of €100Bn before any discussions of a favourable trade deal can even begin, this is not what the centre ground voted for, indeed remember 48% in fact voted to remain. On top of that the National Health Service and the Education system are at breaking point, the general populations’ wages are frozen or going backwards because of spiraling inflation, and her latest attack on pensioners that they should use their homes as security to take out loans to pay for their own retirement care costs, leaving a maximum of £100,000 of inheritance for their children, went down like an old set of old dentures in a glass! The question remains, does Theresa May’s decision to ask pensioners to give up their homes, instead mean she may have to indeed give up her own home……at 10 Downing Street?

    On the other hand Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, and his calamity shadow cabinet, have appealed to the masses. Pledging to hike taxes on the top 5%, to pay for huge expenditure on the NHS, Education, and other public services has been met with approval from the populace. Even though his policy to raise corporate taxes is suicidal, the UK is already reeling from Brexit to attract and retain investment from international companies, so hiking taxes, you might as well raise the drawbridge at Dover, and put up a sign saying pee off foreign investment. But his latest ace card was clever, pledging to make all university tuition free in time for the beginning of the next university year this september….if he combines that with a drop in beer tax, he’s just got 3M student votes straight away!

    So with Labour eating into the Conservatives majority, I think it will end up that Theresa May will need to form a coalition to stay in Government. The only plausible party will be the Lib Dems, and they will only do so if their key election manifesto is agreed to, to allow the British public to have a second referendum on Brexit. I agree, I think with the last referendum being so close, with people’s votes largely being influenced by misguided statements and scaremongering, this is the fairest outcome, to let the public vote again once all the facts of Brexit are known over the next 2 years.

    And who knows with the new President of France, coming to power on a pledge to reform the EU, and with the EU desperate for the UK to remain, maybe this will be the impetus to get the EU to finally compromise on their tough stand. All it would take to convince the majority of the British public to stay would be a compromise on the freedom of movement policy, something like as in Switzerland, where all EU nationals are allowed in as long as they have a job and are net contributors to the economy.

    After all the nationalist movement that has swept northern Europe, highlighted by the Brexit vote, and the far right nearly taking Government in France, Netherlands and Austria is a rebelling of the populace saying too much too soon. Because there has been a huge transfer of wealth from the richer north to the poorer south since the EU was formed, illustrated by the fact when the EU was first established, the average wage in Italy was 20% that of Germany, it is now 75%. This has come at a cost to these northern domestic economies, and now the people are showing they are fed up and want to look after their own, except for in Germany where they have the largest trade surplus in the world, propelling a huge budget surplus, so quite frankly they can afford it.

    So on the basis there is no other party in the centre right, I think the Lib Dems is the only way to vote, whereby forming a coalition with the Tories, you’ll get Theresa May as PM, which everyone agrees is the only backable candidate, a strong economy, and a second factually accurate vote on whether Britain is better off alone or to remain in a reformed EU. If the coalition turns into a disaster, at least you’ll be allowed to smoke weed, listen to Bob Marley, and ‘not worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing is gonna be alright!’

    Kamil Stender, 27nd May, 2017
  • followed this page 2017-05-27 11:56:35 +0100