The case for a Progressive Alliance in Richmond

Leo Aylen

Friday, 18 November 2016

Christian Wolmar is standing as Labour candidate for Richmond in the December 1 by-election caused by Zac Goldsmith’s resignation.

This may be a worthy cause. But please, Mr Wolmar, please, I beg you: stand down as left wing candidate and let Sarah Olney try to win the seat from Goldsmith.

The only chance of beating the Tories is for all the left-wing pro-European Union members of the constituency to unite and throw out Tory Goldsmith who has made himself less electable by his Brexiteering stance in a constituency where a large majority voted Remain.

I know some Labour supporters will rebuke me for not condemning the Liberals. I admit it; there was a Tory-Lib-Dem coalition. But much has changed since then. And remember, in several respects – Iraq and Trident, for example – the Liberals are to the left of the Blairites. I want Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister as much as anyone here. I note incidentally that Mr Wolmar does not seem to think Jeremy Corbyn would make a good Prime Minister, though he admires his energy as a protester.

We must appeal to the vast numbers who now reckon they are in the wilderness, who have no political party. Liberals, who feel betrayed by Clegg’s misguided support of the Tories. While the Tories have been a fiercely right-wing government, it is much worse now as there are no liberals restraining the monstrous Tories. Of course, there are many Liberals who do not want to vote Lib Dem because they feel betrayed by the coalition. So let’s tell them loud and clear that a Progressive Alliance has a very different motivation.

I would also urge Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, to allocate some of the investment into infrastructure for new sources of clean electricity. The French have shown it can be done, They have had cheap, clean electricity from the Rance estuary for nearly thirty years. We have more powerful tides, and tides never fail. We have engineers, but our banks prefer to gamble on the exchange rates and refuse to invest in British industry that will generate British jobs. There could be many new jobs in non-polluting electricity industries, something Labour and the Greens agree on. A progressive alliance between them could make this a reality.

Well then, Christian Wolmar, please stand down. I know some of us think there may be a great Corbyn surge like the 2014 surge towards independence in Scotland. But there is a much better chance of Corbyn in Number 10, if he is supported by an alliance of Labour, Liberal, Green, & SNP.

Think out of the box, Labour supporters. Politics has changed. The disempowered are starting to feel empowered – just a little, but that little may grow. The Trump win was a win for people who felt disempowered.

Topics discussed:

DemocracyGood Society

Share this post


Leave a comment

We take no responsibility for the content of the comments posted on this website, which represent the views of their authors alone.

  1. Posted by Donal Young

    I absolutely agree with the writer. I have just left the Labour Party and yearn for ways of collaborating with others who want to see a society that serves the greatest number of its members. This might be described as asocial market or social democratic society with some features of the Scandinavian countries. It would be very good to make contact with others with broadly similar views without having to join a Party!