Our Vision

There are two documents on this page. The first is the updated Common Policy Ground document which compares manifesto commitments contained in centre left party manifestos. The second is a ‘common platform’ document which is a succinct, single page documents which maps common values and a common vision embraced by parties across the centre left.

Common Policy Ground

This is an updated document based on the 2017 Manifestos of parties on the centre left:  specifically the Green Party, Labour and  Liberal Democrats. While Mebyon Kernow did not field any candidates, the values and policy principles it espouses are broadly centre left.  We see MK as very much part of a progressive alliance with a strong local identity and voice, even if it did not produce a manifesto for the 2017 election.

This updated document  does not pretend to be complete or comprehensive; nor does it seek to claim that there are no serious policy differences or distinct party identities – that is all too evident. Rather it seeks to demonstrate that there is sufficient  common ground to form the basis of dialogue and co-operation on certain key issues. Whether or not parties take the opportunity to do so is very much down to them. But lets at least put to bed the idea that such parties are poles apart and have nothing in common.

Common Platform document

This second document is a short document which highlights a  common vision and set of values embraced by the centre left. There is little or nothing here that a Liberal Democrat, MK, Labour or Green supporter would reject as alien to their aspirations for a better society. Unlike the broad policy document that maps common ground, this embeds and expresses a stronger local Cornish identity.

Common Platform 18 Oct2017

Please note: the comments below pertained to the earlier drafts, not the most updated drafts now on the website.

16 thoughts on “Our Vision

    1. It is both controversial and absolutely central to the question of what a Progressive Alliance actually means – And now I am going to duck the question and hedge my bets. We are not a political movement with a coherent set of objectives; how could we be when we have only just launched this initiative and we – all those from different centre-left parties – are coming at this with slightly different expectations and sometimes very different political values? So the only answer I can give is a personal one: I was a reluctant remainer – reluctant because while I see the EU as broadly a force for good in terms of its internationalist outlook, its defence of human rights and its protection of the environment and labour rights, it had become increasingly remote and technocratic. The #takecontrol message resonated with me and I do feel that a corporate and technocratic elite has subverted the EU with its own narrow anti-democratic agenda; and not just in Brussels but here in Westminster. Personally I wished we had stayed within the EU and fought to democratise it. I think I can say that most of us are pro-European but having other reservations about the EU – for instance the threat to the NHS of CETA and TTIP trade deals.

      At the end of the day though there is a much deeper malaise that a simple binary in-out answer fails even to begin to address. Whether it is Brexit or second referendum, there is a yawning political disconnect between ordinary people and the current party political system. They never benefited from the economic good times, utterly distrust Westminster politics, and feel their identity and connection to place and people under siege in a globalised world. Brexit is no longer an issue of trying to convince people one way or the other; it is much deeper and more serous than that: it is about capturing the voice of those who long since lost hope that anyone was listening to what they had to say. Their numbers are many and growing – as is their anger.


  1. That response is exactly my view as well Gavin. There must be room for criticism of the EU even for those of us who can see it as mainly a force for good.


  2. I think it important to focus on the common ground in order for Progressive Alliance to progress. This will involve sacrifices by supporters of different parties in order to get P A elected and a fairer system introduced so different views will eventually be heard.
    I accept that Europe may not be an issue that PA can unite around. We know things are wrong with EU but MPs have let us down by saying it will be bad for Britain but we support Brexit anyway.


  3. Given the referendum rejection of AV in 2011 I am surprised to see Proportional Representation given such high prominence. Surely it can only be a very long term objective?


  4. The fact is if do not get electoral reform, in a multi party system, the 30 odd percent who stick together, i.e. the Tories, can dominate a divided majority almost indefinately.
    If the Progressive Alliance can unite the opposition in common ground, every seat in Cornwall could be won _ and we should not be aiming for anything less.


  5. Perhaps in forming the Progressive Alliance party you should first ask why did the Liberal Party collapsed like a house of cards in the southwest, why were Labour annihilated in Scotland and in the heartland of Labour, the midlands and the north and now in Copland a safe Labour bet for the last 80 odd years. A historic defeat by more than 2000 votes. Why precisely did the majority of the people in this country vote for Brexit. (I know I am so thick that I did not know what I was voting for!) Why is there so much false rhetoric by politicians who go through the motion of now saying publicly that “we must listen to the people”? Well the silent MAJORITY of the people right across the spectrum of society voted with their feet! All the procrastination and remoaning will not change the facts. The whole point is that the majority are not divided but united the only difference being that they will no longer be bullied by anyone, politicians, the defunk left or the media. Personally as a member of the world not a political party I have the same contempt for warmonger Blair as I do for Clegg (remember tuition fees!) and Cameron who said regardless of the result of the referendum he would see it through to the end. Why did black, Hispanic and female people vote for Trump despite his diabolical views and statements or was that false news too. I wonder if it had anything to do with him not being a politician! As recently with Facebook I await to be told that I am talking s**t or insane….still that will be mild in comparison to those who have been threatened with mental and physical violence purely because they have a view…….fortunately their perpetrators are facing prison sentences and not before time.


  6. We can bemoan everything that has happened in the past resulting in disillusionment but it gets us nowhere. How about a positive vision of a better society and a practical way to achieve it which I think the Progressive Alliance can offer us.


    1. Grumpy old men are men who have lived long enough to have experienced the wars propagated by greed and politicians from all parties who have failed the people of this country. Politicians who claim to be so called Socialists while at the same time owning properties and business’s, being on company boards and soaking up all the financial benefits of their office. This includes all those implicated in the MP expenses scandal, those that have been to jail, those who spout morality while being adulterers (and I include members of all parties). Peers in an unelected house claiming £300 a day for doing nothing other than turning up at the house! For the most part these wealthy so and so’s should be donating their allowance to the homeless! But most of all those who took us to war based on lies! I agree with a positive vision and that is why I and the majority of the country voted for Brexit rather than rely on a tin pot, failing organisation made up of Johnny come lately eastern bloc countries, four countries in the EU on the verge of bankruptcy as well as the rest. My own view is that from a standing start of an alliance of losers and as with the Liberals it will take another 110 years before such a party could have any influence in the mainstream of events. With a laughable membership of 82,000 from a population of 65,000,000 and it’s MP’s reduced from 57 in 2010 to 9 in 2016 I wouldn’t hold my breath on the Liberals any time soon. I think that if the membership, the party and former Labour Party leaders had got behind Jeremy Corbyn from the start instead of stabbing him in the back he could have formed a credible and much needed alternative to the Tories in the future. How can he possibly survive when he has 150 MP’s who would not support him over the inquiry into Blair misleading parliament and the people and 47 MP’s who would not support him over the triggering of Article 50, impossible! However we all know that if the economy continues to grow, unemployment continues to fall, EU citizens already in this country are protected as I believe they will be, Brexit is a success helped by a positive rather than a negative attitude to make it work and the NHS deep seated problems are resolved and not hindered by former Labour ministers who said not a penny more on social services! the Tories could rule for another 20 years. Not my ideal I should say!


  7. I would like to see a bit more detail rather than just a one-liner saying we should have “proportional representation”. There is more than one way to change away from first past the post single member constituencies, the Alternative Vote didn’t succeed in its referendum, I suspect because it was too closely linked to Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. Are you arguing for some kind of single transferable vote in multimember constituencies, or regional or national party lists. If you’re going for regional party lists, will you give Cornwall a region of its own?
    Party list PR, where you just vote for a party rather than an MP, has a danger that you have a clique at the top of the list in each party who are completely untouchable and their seats depend on the party machine not the voters. As it is now, even in safe seats, MPs can still be unseated. Tony Benn explains this quite clearly in “Tony Benn’s Greatest Hits”.
    The composition of the government could depend primarily on coalition negotiations, so even identical numbers of MPs for each party could produce radically different governmnents. Would it become like Italy, where there is a revolving door coalition, governments fall every few months, but the same people keep coming back again, or Israel where extremist parties attached to the West Bank settler movement can hold the balance of power.


    1. hello Davydh, I am not an expert in PR and to be honest we have gone no further than agree that PR should be introduced. What type and how it should apply to Cornwall in particular is a very good question! You will see that on our list that we have Owen Winter who will be speaking specifically about PR. I am forwarding your comment to him in the hope that he can answer it directly or refer to it as part of his presentation. https://progressivealliancecornwall.com/programme-25-march-2017/


      1. Hi Davydh,

        You’re right, there are many different PR systems that could be used. I don’t think we should push for any single system but for the general principle of a more proportional system. The main ones in use in the UK are AMS and STV. It is likely that any move to PR would be one of these systems.

        AMS uses regional lists for half of the elected representatives. It is unlikely that Cornwall would be a region itself (more likely to be South West region) but Cornwall would retain constituency representatives. The party lists used in AMS would most likely be chosen by the party membership. In Scotland, for example, this has meant a broad range of views amongst the same party. For example, Neil Findlay who is far to the left of most of his parliamentary colleagues. Although I see your point about party lists being dominated by a clique, I think the same problem exists under FPTP that certain candidates are very likely to win the constituency nomination of political parties. Under AMS, voters have the option to vote for which individual will represent their constituency and which party they like most. This gives voters much more choice than under FPTP, where you are stuck with whichever candidates are standing in your constituency and the problem of having to vote ‘tactically’ so as not to waste your vote.

        STV would, as you say, use multimember constituencies. Personally I think it would be best to have a ‘Cornwall’ constituency under STV electing 5 or 6 MPs. This way, Cornwall retains its cultural boundaries whilst having a proportional range of representatives. Each individual MP would be making the case for Cornwall and work together to engage their Cornish constituents. Voters rank their choices so have the power to vote for whichever candidates, from whichever party, in whatever order. For example, in Cornwall, a voter may prefer the Liberal Democrats but also want to support an individual candidate from Labour. They could vote 1) Labour, 2) Lib Dem, 3) Lib Dem, 4) Lib Dem etc. This means you not only get to choose which party wins most seats but also influence which MPs are elected for each party.

        Italy is unusual for having so many governments. Most PR countries have stable and strong governments that last many years. In many Scandinavian countries the political parties organise into ‘blocs’ which means voters know which coalition of parties they are voting into office, whilst still being able to influence the political makeup within each alliance.

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  8. Let’s see how long this non starter lasts now there is to be a General Election and each individual member puts their own party first…….it will not be a case of a sinking ship but rather a ship that never left the port in the first place!


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