Shahrar Ali, a contender for deputy leadership of the Green Party, a post he currently holds, has called for a possible internal referendum on the negotiating position the party should hold in an discussion on a Progressive Alliance with other parties.
In a Facebook posting over the weekend Ali wrote:
I've been on two leadership hustings this weekend and I must say one of the most controversial topics of engagement was on Progressive Alliances. I believe there's been a mismatch between our public pronouncements on the matter and member expectation. It's imperative we don't get the cart before the horse.He followed up this somewhat opaque statement stating:
It does frustrate me sometimes when we [the Green Party] appear to cut corners. Engagement and consultation were never meant to be easy, but it's a mistake to think of due process as an encumbrance. To the contrary, those of us in position of responsibility have obligation to engage and not circumvent. Better decisions will result.Other posters express concern that the party is moving towards a top-down model where leaders make policy rather than members, The Progressive Alliance idea was strongly backed by Green MP Caroline Lucas LINK who is a candidate for the leadership position on a job share basis with Jonathan Bartley.
Green Left, the eco-socialist grouping within the Green Party of England and Wales, adopted the following position on the Progressive Alliance at its last General Meeting:
Green Left welcomes the move to discuss campaigning and electoral alliances leading up to the next General Election.
Green Left has always promoted the idea of working together with the left, where we share values, and that, as much as possible, the Green Party should be included in this, lending support to and endorsing Eco-socialists who are members of other parties. We did this by supporting Salma Yaqoob in parliamentary elections.
This needs further discussion with members and we welcome consultations, about it, taking place.
Green Left members with our positive standing amongst others on the Left are able to positively engage people outside the GPEW who share our values and therefore should take the initiative locally in promoting discussions with individuals, progressive groups and other left parties, such as the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party.
Any left alliance must be committed to introducing PR for all future elections and the 'Best Placed Left Candidate’ should be a consideration in marginal seats.
Progressive Alliance, although not always named as such has been a topic of discussion amongst Greens for a least two years and probably longer, it's not something arbitrarily invented by C.Lucas. I'm not sure we need a referendum now, may be when there's a definite PA on offer, in the meantime a conference motion might suffice.
he's absolutely right. Not naming names but I would like people to engage more in the policy process. The only person who I've seen do this properly is GLA boss Tom Chance with his Housing & Planning Act. Less sexy areas, such as forestry, heritage, wildlife, youth, policing, disability, and equalities and diveristy, are in need of a total review via policy working groups and at Green Party conference.
On a similar theme to a 'Progressive Alliance', the non-party-political Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group has issued a statement regarding the legitimacy of Jeremy Corbyn's democratically elected leadership while it seems that the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party is calling for him to stand down. KUWG statement in support of Jeremy Corbyn's mandate as Leader of the Opposition
Regarding where political influence lies in political parties, it strikes me that the telephone canvassing conducted by Labour in LB Camden gives undue influence to a particular national business owner: a local Labour Party member once told me that Labour in LB Camden does its telephone canvassing of JML Direct in Kentish Town. JML is the acronym for 'John Mills Ltd' while John Mills is a Labour right winger. Upon Jeremy Corbyn's election as Leader of the Labour Party, he said that he would pull the plug on his funding of the Labour Party! The Camden New Journal reported: Top Labour donor John Mills ready to freeze donations in wake of Jeremy Corbyn leadership win
Further regarding 'progressive alliances', while being a Green Party member, as a member of the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group I delight in applauding LB Brent Cllr Michael Pavey's reaction to a resident's DWP interview
Alan Wheatley — aka Dude Swheatie of Kwug
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