Wednesday, 14 December 2016

SNP standing in England? Allies are already there.

In a Big Issue interview, Scotland's First Minister said she has had a lot of contact from people in England and has found that the London branch of the SNP is "booming".
The party has reported a jump in membership applications from south of the border after Ms Sturgeon's performance in TV debates before the 2015 general election and is said to have about 1,000 members in England.
In the interview, conducted by Scottish actor Alan Cumming, Ms Sturgeon said:
 "I'm tempted ... There are a lot (of people) in England - a lot who contact me - who feel completely disenfranchised that there is nobody speaking up for them.
"Our London branch is booming at the moment."
Its an intriguing prospect , there must be many people in England  looking at the SNP and  Plaid  MPs in Westminster and wishing they could back a similar candidate in the next election.

But in many cases they can .

The Green leader and MP Caroline Lucus is part of what could be called the Progressive Coalition  which seems at times to be the real opposition to the Tories as Labour are still at war with itself and we still wonder whether we can trust the Tories.

And there are other Parties like the Yorkshire Party and of course Meybon Kernow,

There has been much talk of a "Progressive Alliance "  and whilst I don't rule out Labour and the Liberal Democrats joining in . I suspect the former will only see it as a means of defeating the Tories and the latter as a means of regaining their former status as the third party.

In that we can see a problem in that some parties especially one that benefited from such an alliance might win so many seats in England that they would abandon the alliance immediately after the election.

It has bee done before The Gladstone–MacDonald pact of 1903 was a secret informal electoral agreement negotiated by Herbert Gladstone, Liberal Party Chief Whip, and Ramsay MacDonald, Secretary of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC). The Liberal Party agreed to withdraw parliamentary candidates in some constituencies where the LRC was also standing in order to make sure the anti-Conservative vote was not split.

There was increasing tension between the Liberal Party and the LRC since the latter's formation in 1900. For example, in the by-election for Clitheroe in 1902, local cotton weavers refused to withdraw their candidate, David Shackleton, who was not an approved Lib-Lab candidate. Gladstone therefore withdrew the Liberal candidate and Shackleton was elected unopposed.[1] This was one of the main reasons behind the formation of the pact.

In the general election of 1906 31 of the 50 LRC candidates contested seats where the Liberals agreed not to put up a candidate. 24 of the 29 LRC MPs elected in that election were in seats where the Liberals did not stand.

Arguably this in the long run only helped the Labour Party as by 1922 they has  totally replaced the Liberals  and pushed the latter to the fringes.

So any Progressive Alliance must ave red lines in the stand . I believe it should include

  • A commitment to further Devolution including within England with a special status for Kernow and a recognition of the rights of any devolved power to seek independence.
  • A reform of the Electoral system 
  • A agreed platform of measures to combat climate change and Green issues.
  • A reversal of many of the Austerity cuts by the Con-Lab and current Con  governments.
You may notice hat I have nor included Europe that is because t s likely that Brexit may well have reached a final stage where it could not be stopped and we may need a new approach.

As far as laid and the SNP are concerned  maybe they should offer articular aid to Meybon Kernow in campaign training at maybe donating such things as Office equipment.

I don't mean any insult to Dick Cole and his hardworking band but  i suspect some SNP constituency offices are better equipped than  MK Fraddon Hq.

But what ever a shape a"Progressive Alliance" looks like negotiations need to start soon ,

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