Caroline: Progressives must stop ‘infighting’ and unite

- Caroline calls for progressives to unite and build a 'progressive platform' against ‘right wing brexiteers’

- Green Party membership surges as other parties clash

- Crisis ‘exposes the absurdities of first past the post’, says Caroline

Caroline has reacted to the current crisis in both the Labour and Conservative parties. She said:

"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 - yet instead both the Tories and Labour are engaging in civil wars. At such a key moment for this country the political establishment is utterly failing the British people.  

"We have a Government in chaos, an economy facing a crisis and people up and down the country facing serious hardship - yet the Labour Party is in utter turmoil, thanks mostly to some Shadow Cabinet Ministers trying to take their party back to 1997 but also partly because Jeremy Corbyn did fail to show the passion needed in the EU referendum.

"Instead of indulging in months of introspection and infighting, this is an opportunity to recognise that a more plural politics is in both the left’s electoral and political interests.  And 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 crisis also exposes the absurdity of our first past the post electoral system. The Labour Party is no longer one natural entity and, without doubt, it would have split by now if we had a fair voting system. 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 which Labour Party they’ll end up with.

"While the other parties fight among themselves, the Green Party, and our many new members who have joined in the last few days, will take a stand against any austerity or slashing of environmental legislation that may come with Brexit. In the coming weeks we will also be holding the Establishment to account as the Chilcot inquiry is published and mounting a campaign against Trident renewal as the vote approaches.”

ENDS

Contact: Matthew Butcher on 07885 459 904 or clucasmedia@parliament.uk 

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Graham fletch f...
26th June 2016 12:44
Very well said Caroline but hardly a surprise. A consistent voice with a strong and passionate view for how Europe could be. Solid Socialist and green values and showing good leadership when it's needed as always from the back benches. Jeremy needs all the help he can get in Westminster right now. I would love to see you part of a government alongside him. Keep up the good work. We love you!
Steve P Mantle
26th June 2016 12:46
At the risk of sounding like 'outraged of Penge' please please please can Caroline get more media air time to present a progressive, sensible view of the future at this time of crisis. We need the progressives to step up and make our voices heard. this is the time for the Greens to gain ground and get our views heard amongst the madness. I know it is probably easier said than done however . Steve
Chris Gingell
26th June 2016 13:39
Not just as a committed member of the Green Party, but as a saddened and anxious parent of four young people I want to thank Caroline once again for her grace, resilience and political intuition in seeking to 'steady the Ship of State' in this crisis. I am of course ashamed of the instincts that my fellow baby-boomers have seemed to follow, with of course our 'elders and betters'! However, there are other factors and other conclusions to be drawn, and Caroline unnervingly identifies these. What a strong and, thankfully, united team we have in this party. My heart goes out particularly to my MEP, Molly Scott Cato and her colleagues who have served all of Europe so effectively.
Jan Evelyn-Wilson
26th June 2016 13:42
We need to fight for Proportional Representation!
Glyn turton
26th June 2016 18:39
I put this post on my Facebook page yesterday, where it met with quite a lot of support. I can only think of one "progressive politician with enough wit" to capitalise on the situation, and that is Caroline Lucas. "It seems to me that the only hope lies in the formation of a grand pro-Europe coalition, made up of the progressive elements of Labour, Lib Dem, Green - and, whisper it soft - Conservative parties. Like the Mighty Mekon in the 'Eagle' comic of our youth, I have been hovering over Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens for the last two decades. I want to see a progressive alliance which puts economic justice, social justice, the environment - and Europe - at the heart of a suite of policies. The camp of the Remain supporters and their anger and indignation need to be tapped into - right now. We await the progressive politician with enough wit to realise that a vast reservoir of support has just been formed. The 48% currently feel a sense of solidarity that may not last - and needs to be exploited quickly."
Stefano Marzola
26th June 2016 21:06
Dear Caroline It is high time for a coalition of progressive forces joining on a common platform to handle an exit that is favourable to people, not industrialists. Please talk to Jeremy With love and respect Stefano
Henrietta Gill
26th June 2016 21:21
Dear Caroline you are a beam of light for me in this horrible darkness... How do "ordinary" people help you achieve this?? Hope you're eating and sleeping well - we need you!
Liz Bandy
26th June 2016 22:01
We need someone to reassure and inspire us. I am impressed by Caroline's approach.
really?
27th June 2016 4:29
This is almost as exploitative as Boris's bid for PM, except he actually stands a chance. PR would see UKIP do far better than you unfortunately. PR wont create a strong, stable government and people didn't enjoy the last coalition government. Noone will vote in favour of this, so just don't bother. Also, your party policies are ridiculously unfundable and noone will ever vote for parties like yours (small and too far to left or right) in large numbers, which is why you (and probably ukip) want this so much.
John Laband
27th June 2016 8:28
I agree with a progressive movement committed to changing the voting system in the UK to be able to chose representative governments in which we can all have confidence. How can this be brought about? Perhaps by forming an opposition coalition group at Westminster to take the place of the official opposition party held by the Labour party at this time. We would have to show that the coalition group polled more votes last year than the Labour party and is therefore more entitled to being the official opposition.
C Barker-Hart
27th June 2016 8:54
Stability with the Green Party
John Laband
27th June 2016 9:13
If you add together the votes at the last election for the SNP, Lib Dems, UKIP, Plaid C, the Ulster Unionists, and the Greens then it comes to 9389955 which is more than Labour at 9347326. So why can't we have an official opposition party composed of a coalition of these parties instead of Labour?
Michael Dawes
27th June 2016 9:20
Wise words from the wise head of Caroline. The left of centre parties, which actually are not very lefty at all, must work together and not split the anti rightest vote. The current catastrophe resulting as it does from a mendacious campaign on one side , a poor performance from the other demonstrating massive demographic and consequence fault lines and poisoned by the right wing media needs to be re visited at the ballot box. David Lammy, Tim Farron and now Michael Heseltine are calling for action in parliament and there is the massive petition to re open the decision now it is clear that the brexiters have no plan and their claims regarding immigration and funding for services were false and are now disowned. We must stop this madness.
Dennis Ring
27th June 2016 10:11
Agree totally with your twitter vis-a-vis progressives forming an alliance - taking into account Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London. I just sent the following to skynews : A Plague On Both Your Houses. I can speak because I carried the nine star flag around the Grande Place in 1980. Dr. Dennis Ring now living in South Africa and consequently disenfranchised. Copying the opposition here a name should be either 'Progressive Democratic Alliance' or 'Democratic Progressive Alliance'. To combat the electoral system each constituency should put up an alliance candidate such as a 'Green' not opposing a 'Liberal Democrat' Kind Regards From Dennis Ring - one time resident of London, Brighton and County Durham.
Keith B Jones
27th June 2016 10:45
As a Green party member who voted for remain surly we must be building more bridges with Corbyn instead of stating how luke-warm he was to the EU, given that all of us are aware of its current subservience to neoliberal dominance? Also why are you so certain that those who voted leave are 'right wing? Yes some have been duped by nasty nationalist rhetoric, racism and lower common demonstrators but for some its about the only way that they could have any voice at all, given that they have been abandoned by mainstream political discourses, discourse that are characters of that very neoloberalism?
Patrick Langridge
27th June 2016 15:56
You have missed (misrepresented?) the situation Caroline, it is not progressives 'in fighting' happening inside the Labour party but the lingering Blairite die-hards fighting to oust the progressives from power. I do not believe that you are so naive as to have misunderstood that, so have to ask why you deliberately misrepresented it in your article when you supposedly want progressive unification. Maybe you are not so different a politician to those you criticise.
patricia digby
28th June 2016 8:23
I agree but feel that we need a coalition as the word party is developing a bad taste .
patricia digby
28th June 2016 8:28
For the first time in my now rather long life, I have just put a post up saying much the same as this.
patricia digby
28th June 2016 8:33
I agree that this is a reconstructive approach.
Alex
28th June 2016 13:54
Dear Caroline I would like to say that I was one of the 31.4% of those who voted for Leaving the UK and I am proud of that fact. The behaviour of those who voted remain just shows me the utter contempt they have for the democratic process. We were told that Out means Out. There can be no second referendum. Any action to interfere with that process is likely to have a detrimental affect to the country politically. By having a second referendum you effectively disenfranchise over 17 Million Voters. It is logical to assume that those 17 million voter will want political retribution for such an action. This would of course push them towards UKIP. UKIP I suspect would enjoy this and I predict that if a second referendum were to take place their first manifesto pledge would be to repeal the European Communities Act of 1972. This mean an exit from the EU without a referendum as the mandate for the people would have been given to them. Their tactical Unit would already have a list of wards that have vote leave MPs with clear majorities and they would not oppose them in those wards. One should take a lesson from the past and look at what happened electorally in Scotland after their referendum and make use of that now. Tactically if the Green Party were to finally publicly say OK we accept the democratic process and the desicion that came from that but we would like the following. 1.. Proportional representation whereby Parties with over 5% of the national vote will get the relevant amount of seats in parliament 2.. More transparency. This includes Trade Deals whereby all negotiations for trade deals must be announced and posted on the government website allowing the people a say in these negotiations These two things for your support I am sure you will get. This in fighting has to stop. To the youth I have to say something now too. Only 36% of 18-24 year old's turned out to vote. You cannot sit back and suggest that it was the older generation that made the decision. It was the lack of participation of the youth that made the decision and for this the youth must now take responsibility. It is a hard lesson to learn and perhaps some good will come of this with more young people now taking part in the democratic process.
Robin Hill
28th June 2016 15:54
Last week, before Thursday, many were still trying to come to terms with an already dire situation: a Tory Government with an unexpected majority with an energised right wing unfettered, fellow-travelling with an encouraged racist UKIP insurgency. This week the situation has got far, far worse – not only have both those forces been given fresh impetus, we have been bounced out of Europe and have an Opposition Labour Party openly tearing itself apart in Parliament. Those of us in despair now seeking a constructive way forward to give at least a glimmer of hope are desperate for a polarising progressive force which can recognise the fracturing of party politics as we have known them and try to salvage something from the rubble even before the dust has settled. Yet with a General Election looming there is now only a matter of weeks for such a polarising force to emerge to attract my support and that of many others of the 16 million Remainers plus , I suspect, the quite high number of Regrexiteers who now realise the enormity of what they have done. Perhaps, too, to allow an attachment for bruised Labour supporters now being cut adrift. It is obvious that a ‘plague on all their houses’ syndrome is compromising the chances of existing parties to provide effectively such a force, and, given the timescale, a wholly new party cannot emerge to overcome this obstacle. It would be a disaster for progressives to continue to accept the fragmentation which has allowed Tory hegemony to be reborn and added the risk of a large Tory/UKIP Parliamentary majority before Christmas. The best (perhaps only) option to avoid this is for an progressive electoral pact offering a clear joint policy stance for mitigating, if not undoing, the result of the disastrous referendum and reigning in neo-liberal Tory policies. Resolve now to act in the national interest regardless of party advantage is surely needed even more than in 2005. The Coalition Government which then emerged had weaknesses and cruel repercussions, but those should not be allowed to colour judgements as to the extreme urgency of the current situation. Nor need it replicate them. If a sufficiently wide consensus is reached and promulgated as a joint manifesto in advance of an election, rather than being a compromise negotiated afterwards, individual party identity need not be challenged for those standing both on, say, a Save Britain Alliance manifesto and individual party manifestos which spell out policies additional to the joint declaration. What the electorate now has an undeniable appetite for are clear statements of fact as to what they are voting for and what will happen after the result is declared.
Abigail Maxwell
28th June 2016 21:06
Can we oppose Brexit as the Lib Dems will? I joined the Greens in our last surge, I fear a right wing government outside the EU, 17m out of 40m is almost as poor a mandate as the Tories have.
Kevin Payne
28th June 2016 22:11
An alliance of progressives is absolutely needed, and the conversation about its objectives needs to start PDQ, and be grounded in an understanding of why people just voted as they did ( this is the best I've found so far on that subject http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/#more-14746 ). Don't get too bogged down in the "how" right now though; define the vision; and, please, please stay real and relevant, not "leave the ordinary bloke behind" by going too theoretical.
Steph
28th June 2016 22:35
As a green party supporter and one of 48.1% who voted remain last Thursday I want to say thank you for all your work. I respect you greatly and I only wish that the 52% who voted LEAVE had heard and listened to your humanity and morality. I really want you to get more media attention as I feel that we need a progressive voice to unite people instead of divide us. How can we make this happen?! The screens and papers leading up to last Thursday were filled with Tory and UKIP lies and conflicts. It became a game not a referendum. The people of this country do not need those politicians we need progressive values and strong figures like you to show people that there is a better way to be. I am saddened to witness the divisions and hatred that are occurring within our society after this referendum but I can not say enough thanks for all the work you do to try to make this country a better place - you represent so many more people than those in Brighton. Please keep going and create an opportunity out of this crisis!
Glenys Houghton
29th June 2016 10:31
Greenpeace needed us to stay in the EU to protect the planet Corbyn needed to stay in to negotiate workers rights and reform previous agreements....attempting to strike a balance of economic success for businesses to invest in our country which we are desperate for, but to banish the 0 hours contract. I saw an advert yesterday for a job with this. No wonder the health service is on overload as potential workers have to phone in at 6 am to know if they might get 2 hours work that day.It is the stuff of nervous breakdowns and not acceptable.
29th June 2016 12:39
The problems we face are bigger than any single party’s agenda, and I that think party politics can hinder a true coalition of the progressive left. My belief is that we need a consensus on the following: 1. The British electorate voted for Brexit, and we must accept their verdict 2. We must work together to ensure a fair and just deal for the people of the UK and for the wider world I would like to see a unity government with a mandate to carry out the electorate’s wishes. All those who wish to have an inclusive, open country with free trade and movement of people, with protections for the environment and working people, must band together. We cannot let the closed-door, and frankly racist arguments of the right win. Labour supporters of Corbyn, LibDems and Greens should band together under an umbrella movement, perhaps something like the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in Europe.
Diana Cole
1st July 2016 12:36
The need for an anti-brexit alliance is urgent and is the only hope we have of dealing with the chaos resulting from the referendum
Dornie Watts
1st July 2016 21:28
We can't give in. Please help us row back from the hideous events of the past 7 days. We know brexit won only because they lied consistently. We must get back into Europe and find our true place at the heart of Europe and help make the EU a better organisation. Thank you, Dornie
Dornie Watts
1st July 2016 21:31
we need an alliance of moderate liberals to get us back on track. We can't let these brexiters ruin our country and the lives of our children and grandchildren.
dornie watts
1st July 2016 21:41
we need to get back on track. we can't let these ghastly people take away our country and take us back to the 1950s, which is what they want. we belong at the heart of europe - the world's greatest ever civilisation. please help us galvanise the best and most determined people so we can make that happen. thanks, drone
Jan Rates
4th July 2016 15:03
I would like to see you lead a coalition of left and centre-left to form a new party - there are millions of us out here who've felt unrepresented for a good while now!