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A Progressive Alliance Green Perspective

It’s up to Labour and the Liberal Democrats to take the lead in getting Parliamentary representation for people who don’t want the Conservatives back in next time

post by Richard Clark – Mid and East Cornwall Green Party Spokesperson for the St Austell and Newquay constituency

The meeting in Penzance on 22 February 2018 gives a glimmer of hope for the future, but it is only a flickering gleam as things sit, a long way from the furnace of all that is blue and depressing that some of us would hope it to be.

Although the narrative around progressive discussion is welcome we have to accept that recent moves behind the scenes and more recently also at PMQs on Brexit Continue reading “A Progressive Alliance Green Perspective”

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Progressive alliance and democratic renewal

Some of you may know that, wearing a separate hat, I am also campaigning for constitutional reform. Why does this matter? Because our democracy is in a serious state of disrepair. Whether we are Labour, Green, Libdem or MK, we urgently need to understand that as Graham Allen ex Labour MP says “make our democracy work or possibly lose it”.

Labour in particular needs to take this message on board because Brexit changes everything. Labour fails to understand that it is playing a dangerous game of poker with an opponent who has the power to change the rules of the game at every point (viz resurrection of electoral boundary changes before next election). And power is what this is all about. Our democracy is being rigged. It is no longer just about a broken election system but an EU Withdrawal bill which includes a massive transfer of power from Parliament to the Executive. Be in no doubt, this will eviscerate our parliamentary democracy if the bill passes in its present form.

It is just not good enough for us to ‘carry on campaigning’ for the NHS, for Labour, or whatever party we support; or disability rights, welfare rights, the environment, as though nothing had changed. This is increasingly a form of collective denial. We busy ourselves with good causes and fail to see the political earthquake taking place beneath our feet.  Our right to vote, petition, demonstrate, means nothing in a sham democracy that sees real power exercised by the few-and that is what is happening now, quietly, without too much fuss. In a very British way.

I urge you to read this article and join the cause for a citizens convention on a new, modern constitution fit for the 21st century. A written constitution directs the work of government – and not the other way round as in the UK. It must be ordinary people who come together to agree and decide the rules by which we are governed. Not constitutional experts, not politicians or political parties. It must be ‘For The People, By The People’. If we really want to #TakeControl then this is the way forward.

Labour is in the best position to do this – but slowest to take up the cause. Liberal Democrats, Green Party, MK have long arrived at this point. Will Labour  have the courage, vision and leadership to embrace this most important of issues and join the cause before it is too late?

Record of public meeting 22 Feb #Penzance #Cornwall Progressive Alliance

Note: Cornwall Progressive Alliance is one of many local progressive alliance initiatives supported by Compass, the London based Think-Do tank  who have an individual membership base in Cornwall

Panel members

Mike Tresidder     (Mebyon Kernow)

Emma Bray     (Women’s Equality Party)

Ian Flindall     (Green Party)

Andrew George   (Liberal Democrats)

Chair  David Levine

Fifty people attended the open public meeting at St John’s Hall Penzance to hear from a panel of speakers drawn from centre-left parties.

The meeting was interactive with many members of the audience airing issues, asking questions and challenging each other as well as members of the panel

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Among the key issues to emerge were the following:

Continue reading “Record of public meeting 22 Feb #Penzance #Cornwall Progressive Alliance”

How do we make our MP’s more democratically accountable?

This is a late reminder of the public meeting tomorrow at St Johns Hall Penzance 7pm – but it is also to throw out a couple of ideas which we may or may not have time to talk about.

Local Vote Swap site

The first is a local initiative for a local online vote swap site. This is purely at the ideas stage and may or may not happen. More ambitiously, the originator of this proposal (who lives in Cornwall) also suggested combining it with a “constituency multi-party based college”, one which “would include representatives of the minority leftish parties -Greens of whichever hue and MK basically“. Continue reading “How do we make our MP’s more democratically accountable?”

New chair of Progressive Alliance for Cornwall

At a special meeting on 6 December 2017, members of the alliance  elected a new chair, David Levine, who will be taking over Gavin Barker as chair. Gavin’s role will now be restricted to admin support and updating the website.

David Levine is a retired NHS consultant and is  delighted to take on the role of chair.  Here is what he had to say: Continue reading “New chair of Progressive Alliance for Cornwall”