Social Liberal Forum and Compass announce “coalition of progressive ideas”

Social Liberal Forum Secretary James Graham and Chair of Compass Neal Lawson have an article in Tuesday’s Guardian calling for a “coalition of progressive ideas” between social liberals and liberal socialists within the Liberal Democrats, Labour and more widely.

Progressives in all these parties are committed to greater equality and dealing with the challenge of climate change, but the binding value is pluralism. We recognise the value of difference, distinct histories and tradition but are using them to develop a shared project that is stronger because it is based on consensus-building. What we seek is not a big tent – that has been tried and failed – but a camp site where we keep our independence but grow stronger within common boundaries. This is not a coalition of parties and votes but of ideas and hope.

You can read the full article online here.

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3 comments on “Social Liberal Forum and Compass announce “coalition of progressive ideas”
  1. David Heigham says:

    Compass, as a group, have turned from the past towards the future; and towards common sense. That puts them surprisinly near to us LibDems; and as far from the New Labour leadership as they are from the mass of the Conservative Party. The ‘camp site’ may yet become to resemble Glastonbury -multitudes, mud and all.

  2. Barrie Wood says:

    At the Compass event some months ago Caroline Lucas of the Greens used the analogy of several ‘progressive’ tents rather than the unworkable attempt at the big tent creation under Blair. This potential dialogue, maybe shared initiatives on areas of common agreement will be necessary to shape a democratic left alternative to the genuinely instinctive party of ‘savage’ cuts likely to be in government next year- The Tories.

    IIRC the 10 principal demands of Compass for renewal of Labour incorporated 8 policy areas that the Greens are already on board with. The Lib Dems agree in 6 areas of policy that Compass seeks to embrace. As someone who isn’t a party tribalist lets see where this meeting of independent parties and hopefully independent minds takes us.

    My own blog has always been premised upon seeing Labour (and the Greens) as competitors for the progressive vote. The Tories remain the political ‘enemy’.

  3. frances says:

    The article
    We need a camp site not a big tent argues Neal Lawson

    was published this week in the Guardian appealing for Compass, the LibDems and the Greens to work together.

    Carerwatch know that these are the people who have been supporting us in our campaign and so we wrote to congratulate them all on this initiative.

    Neal and James and Caroline

    CarerWatch is a group of unpaid family carers.

    We would like to congratulate you on your very welcome article ‘We need a camp site not a big tent’ in the Guardian and support you in your initiative to work when possible as a progressive coalition.

    You say ‘But this emerging progressive consensus is not just confined to Lib Dems and Labour. The Green party shares many of the values.’

    We are writing to attest to that from our experience on the ground and to emphasise the desperate need for fair minded people to work together.

    We have been campaigning to protect the most seriously sick and vulnerable under ESA – especially those with enduring mental health conditions like schizophrenia and bi polar. The ideological zeal to pressurise the work shy and feckless is driving the Tory/NewLabour coalition forward blindly on this without due care and concern or even compassion for the seriously ill. Professor Gregg tells us that the ’support’ group in ESA was designed to protect the seriously ill and allow them to gain access to all back to work help free from the fear of ‘conditionality’ and benefit sanctions. This is the humane way to include the seriously sick in the Welfare Reform program. But the government is refusing to use the ’support’ group in most cases.

    Baroness Meacher is making the case to the Minister that for the mentally ill this isn’t humane or safe. Liberty advise us that it probably isn’t legal. Not protecting the enduringly and seriously sick is not even cost effective. Frightening very sick people will not get them in to work and may make them more ill. Not making their protection part of the Welfare Reform program is absolutely shaming.

    We can attest that while NewLabour and the Tories have been deaf to our pleas – Compass, the LibDems and the Greens have supported us fully. So we know how necessary it is for people who can think clearly and fairly and have compassion and common sense to work together.

    Neal and Compass have consistently supported us. Baroness Thomas of
    Winchester and other LibDems have led a fantastic campaign in the Lords to try and ameliorate the worst excesses of the Welfare Reform Bill. Caroline Lucas and Alan Wheatley are campaigning with us.

    So we know from hard experience that on the ground there is a great deal of practical, political reality behind this move for Compass, the LibDems and the Greens to work together and we congratulate you on this much needed initiative.


    Carer Watch
    A campaign group for carers across the UK run by independent, unpaid carers.

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Social Liberal Forum and Compass announce “coalition of progressive ideas”"
  1. [...] other news, the Social and Liberal Democrats have announced a tie-up with Compass. I find it hard to be surprised: there is definitely a strand in the LD party [...]

  2. [...] be obnoxious to a big strand of Liberal Democracy – the strand represented by our friends the Social Liberal Forum? (prominent ally = the Mary Whitehouse of consumerism).   That’s a pity, in my [...]

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