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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Leaders of Britain's Green Parties call on leaders of Labour, Lib Dem and Plaid Cwmry for progressive alliance in face of snap general election

In the wake of the UK's EU Brexit referendum debacle, the leaders of 

  • the Green Party of England & Wales (Natalie Bennett)
  • the Green Party of Northern Ireland (Stephen Agnew, MLA) and
  • the Wales Green Party (Alice Hooker-Stroud)

together with Green Party of England & Wales one MP, Caroline Lucas, have jointly written an Open Letter to: 

  • Jeremy Corbyn (Leader of the Labour Party)
  • Tim Farron (Leader of the Liberal Democrats) and 
  • Leanne Wood (Leader of Plaid Cwmry [the Welsh Nationalist Party]).

The UK's biased mass media seem to be showing enormous glee at a Parliamentary Labour Party coup against a party leader chosen more by the rank and file membership than old-guard Blairites would like. Those Kilburn Unemployed members who are Labour Party members are in a different league from the Blairites that laid down foundations of the 'welfare reforms' that the Conservatives are now exploiting, and are generally much happier with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership than those Blairites who would look forward to high paid lobbying positions for global corporations on top of the prospect of seats in the House of Lords.

Against that backdrop, it is not very likely that this letter would get much publicity from the BBC, say, or Sky News, and certainly not from the Daily Mail. So without further ado, this Kwug blog editor is republishing that 'Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, and Leanne Wood' here, while 'declaring an interest in that I am a member of the Green Party of England & Wales. Perhaps it speaks more for Kwug's Labour Party members than the coup leaders against Corbyn could possibly do?

Open letter to: Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, Leanne Wood on behalf of Green Party of England and Wales
In a spirit of openness and transparency, we are writing to you as Leaders of parties which oppose Brexit, to invite you to a cross-party meeting to explore how we best rise to the challenge posed by last week’s vote to Leave the EU.  

Britain is in crisis and people are scared about the future. Never have we had a greater need for calm leadership to be shown by politicians.  

We have a UK Government in chaos, an economy facing a crisis and people up and down the country facing serious hardship. There is an urgent need to make a stand against any austerity and the slashing of environmental legislation, human and workers’ rights, that may come with Brexit. 

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.

This is an opportunity to recognise that a more plural politics is in both the Left’s electoral and political interests. This crisis exposes the absurdity of our first past the post electoral system.  Just 24 per cent of those eligible to vote elected the government that called the referendum. The only fair way to proceed is to have a proportional voting system where people can back the politicians who they believe in, rather than taking a gamble and not knowing who they will end up with.  

The idea of a progressive alliance has been floated for several years, and proposals have once again been put forward in the context of the current crisis.  We believe that the time has come to urgently consider such ideas together in the context of a Westminster Government. We recognise the very different political situation in Scotland, given the strongly pro-EU majority there. We hope that co-operation between progressive parties their can ensure that this mandate is respected, and we will support them to keep all options open.
We look forward to your response,

Natalie Bennett, Leader of The Green Party of England and WalesSteven Agnew MLA, Leader of the Green Party of Northern IrelandAlice Hooker-Stroud, Leader of Wales Green PartyCaroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion

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