Perhaps the time has come to form a progressive alliance, with a view to forming a national coalition government? There are many urgent challenges that need to be addressed. Here are my top ten demands. Could a coalition be formed around these issues?
- Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill.
- Support: 100% renewable energy, Agro-ecological farming & rewilding.
- Reverse the disaster that is Brexit: Rejoin the EU.
- A public inquiry into the Covid pandemic.
- Electoral Reform: A Proportional system of voting is needed now.
- Reverse economic policy: higher taxes and better funded public services.
- NHS funding should be increased, for-profit health companies banned.
- Radical decentralization: funding to be focused through local authorities.
- Bring in a Universal Basic Income for all.
- Slash defence spending by 90%.
My list of ten demands may sound pretty radical. It may not be possible to unite around such an ambitious set of policies. However, something along these lines seems essential. Let us at least start the kinds of conversations that might help build a progressive alliance.
What is the best possible cabinet we could imagine? There are lots of people from outside parliament who I think would be excellent, but let us limit ourselves to just current MP’s.
Let us start with the twelve MP’s who are sponsoring the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. Caroline Lucas (Green) tabled the bill, and was supported by Alan Brown (SNP) Claire Hanna (Social Democratic and Labour Party) Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrat) Clive Lewis (Labour) Liz Saville-Roberts (Plaid Cymru) Stephen Farry (Alliance) Ben Lake (Plaid Cymru) Tommy Sheppard (SNP) Alex Sobel (Labour) Zarah Sultana (Labour) and Nadia Whittome (Labour).
These twelve represent a broad sweep of party political opinion, regional and ethnic diversity. It is far from a comprehensive list. Would some former Conservative MP’s support such a coalition? Many are deeply unhappy with the current government. Perhaps John Major or Dominic Grieve would be useful in the conversation? Having both Jeremy Corbin and Tony Blair in on this might add something?
Most important from my point of view would be to add the voices of young people, especially those in the Friday’s For Future school strikes movement, but sadly they are not represented within our existing political system. Bringing down the age of voting to 16, 14 or indeed younger might be another vital aspect of electoral reform.