We need a progressive alliance against these weak and wobbly Conservatives
The Tories are reeling because of their shambolic campaign, but the system is still rigged in their favour. Progressives must vote tactically to avoid the chaos of a hard Brexit
While Theresa May hid from public scrutiny, doing nothing but robotically glitching “strong and stable” like the victim of the latest North Korean cyber attack, her avatar at last night’s debate claimed the alternative is a “coalition of chaos”.
What would be chaotic is Brexit negotiations led by this hapless cabinet and a leader who cannot stand by a commitment — “I’m for remaining in the EU”, “we’re raising national insurance contributions”, “I’m not calling a snap election”, “we’re lifting the cap on social care costs”. If she changes her mind so easily on the budget or her manifesto, what’s she going to be like in negotiations with 27 European nations?
The Conservative plan for leaving the EU is as callous as it is reckless, and it’s clear that May has neither the vision nor the skill to secure a deal that would mitigate the damage. Leaving the single market to control our borders will isolate our economy reliant on trade with Europe, and alienate those from abroad whose invaluable contributions power our public services and enrich our culture. Make no mistake, this is the hardest of Brexits, the stuff of Nigel Farage’s dreams, which explains why his Ukip party have formed a de facto‘regressive alliance’ with the Conservatives.
I do not support this belligerent, zero-sum direction, and I don’t believe the majority does either. I favour an amicable, prosperous negotiation with the EU based on the shared liberal values of openness, fairness, tolerance and freedom.
This is an approach supported by the progressive parties of the UK, whose combined votes in 2015 totalled more than the Conservatives. But because of our rigged electoral system and the unholy right-wing pact with Ukip, the only way to achieve a liberally, socially and environmentally acceptable exit from the EU is for cooperation between the parties that agree on far more than they disagree. No party has a monopoly on good ideas. Wisdom is not partisan; facts are not political; and truth is not tribal. Working together, with compromise and common ground, to find a mutually beneficial solution isn’t chaos; it’s what grown-ups do.
Theresa May went back on her word and called this election opportunistically to capitalise on the disunity of progressives. In her arrogance, she thought she wouldn’t need a serious manifesto or to make her case to the voters. Let’s unite behind what we agree on and make her regret that complacency. Vote for the progressive candidate best placed to win your constituency on 8 June. Vote for a Progressive Alliance. Vote for a Progressive Britain. ⬢