Zorro was interested to read the piece in the Guardian the other day in which an argument was made, particularly in light of the outcome of the general election, for progressive political alliances to be forged -
It is clear that a regressive alliance is being cobbled together between the wholly damaged Prime Minister Theresa May and her fractured Conservative party and the sectarian and reactionary Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland. It is expected that the 10 DUP MPs will provide political cover and support to allow the Conservatives to govern. To miss-apply the claim made by the Conservatives in the 2015 of “Vote Labour, get the SNP” Zorro says that this latest general election has shown “Vote Conservative, get DUP”.
This all shows how desperate Theresa May is to retain the levers of power and how fragile her hold on her party is and how politically damaged she and the Conservatives are. It surely must only be a question of time until the Conservatives put her (and the country) out of her misery and topple her to provide her party and the country with a new leader. Indeed, so precarious is the Conservatives’ hold on the country that Zorro is prepared for a further general election before the year is out. So too must those who aspire to hold seats in the House of Commons.
Zorro’s prime focus is within East Devon. Zorro argued immediately after the general election for the Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green parties to put their political weight behind Claire Wright http://www.claire-wright.org/.
Zorro has argued for several years now that in East Devon the creation of a local political progressive alliance would allow a determined and real challenge to be mounted to the Conservative party’s dominance of politics in East Devon and across the wider Devon County landscape.
Given Claire Wright’s very credible polling in this latest election she has shown that she has the qualities that many in East Devon want to see in their MP. As we know Claire mounted a strong campaign, raised the funding to support it and galvanised many hundreds of supporters behind her from a standing start in only the few weeks that the election was fought over.
As we know the Green party decided not to stand a candidate in the election. But both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties did stand candidates. Collectively the total votes cast for both Claire Wright and these two parties’ candidates would have placed her within spitting distance of causing a political earthquake in East Devon.
If there is to be a further election this year then it is imperative that there is only one candidate that provides a progressive agenda that can pull in voters who would naturally not want to have a Conservative representing them. Claire Wright is in poll position to be that candidate. But it needs the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrats to recognise that fighting for their own individual votes can only lead to one result – the further return to Parliament as East Devon’s MP, a conservative candidate.
The challenge to these three parties, as well as to Claire Wright is can a progressive alliance be formed? Because if it is to happen, it has to be decided now in order that pre-election planning and preparation can take place.
Zorro recognises that it is incredibly difficult for any political party, and indeed for members of political parties, to stand aside and allow someone who is not of their immediate tribe a freer hand to fight an election. Therefore if a progressive alliance is going to be formed and indeed be put into practice then it will involve bold debates and acceptance within the local Green, Labour and Liberal Democrats memberships.
That debate cannot be left until another day. It has to happen now based upon a clear objective – fielding a single progressive candidate in the next general election in East Devon.
As Zorro has said before – it’s time for change! And now is the time. Let’s not waste this opportunity.