Green MP Caroline Lucas writes for The Guardian on the need for progressive bridge-building in Brexit Britain.
“Is there any waking up from this nightmare, a glimmer of light,” asks Polly Toynbee, at the end of her searing examination of the pent-up “seething anti-Westminster wrath” which found its expression last week, and which helps to explain the victory of the leave campaign (Dismal, lifeless, spineless – Corbyn let us down again, 25 June)
If there is to be any hope for progressive politics, the answer has to be yes – and the solution lies in Toynbee’s own analysis. As she acknowledges, our electoral system is responsible for the fact that the concerns of vast numbers of people routinely go unheard, while parties fight for the swing voters of the centre ground. That’s precisely why we urgently need to build a progressive alliance for electoral reform.
Having lost control in Scotland, and with constituency boundary changes on the way, it must be increasingly clear to Labour that they cannot win an outright majority at the next election, no matter who their leader is. Instead of indulging in months of introspection and infighting, this is their opportunity to recognise that a more plural politics is in both their electoral and political interests. And with the growing likelihood of an early general election, the importance of progressive parties working together to prevent the formation of a Tory-Ukip-DUP government that would seek to enact an ultra-right Brexit scenario is ever more pressing.
It’s no surprise that leave’s message to “take back control” stuck. Many people do indeed feel powerless. Ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard in our political system is the first step towards healing the deep divisions that this referendum has revealed. I call on other progressive parties to join us in fighting to achieve that.
Caroline Lucas MP
Green, Brighton Pavilion