Monday, 8 May 2017

Attempting to divert the course of business as usual politics

The day after the local election results came in and showed just how bad the Lib Dems and Labour had fared (did you know that we increased our seats - no, because the media continue to ignore us!), I wrote the email below to all the Lib Dem and Labour constituency leads in Kent that I could find emails for.

In addition to Labour and Lib Dems losing ground the Tories are polling at record levels and I believe it is time to do politics differently.

The aim is simple, work together to field a single ‘progressive’ candidate in each Kent seat, a candidate who is endorsed by all three parties. The candidates’ have two key promises, to fight for proportional representation and to stop Brexit.

Ideally the candidate should be selected via open primary, i.e. a vote by everyone in the constituency, but there is no time to do that now. Of course this approach was made a number of times across Kent and by the Green leaders too. On each occasion the Libs and Labs have said no, despite what to me is an urgent need to cooperate to win.

Sadly, as of 8am on 8th May there have been no positive responses. As none of us are strong enough to win any of the seats in Kent on our own it is almost as if they want another five years of Conservative government.  I hope the voters will remember this when they vote next month.

Email to Labour and Lib Dems in Kent constituencies on 6th May.

To Labour and Lib Dem contacts across Kent:

Nationally The Green Party have reached out to Labour and the Lib Dems to call for a progressive alliance to defeat the Tories, and at at a national level your parties have rejected this idea. Locally we have also reached out in some areas of Kent, but we have not been able to come to any meaningful agreements - although in other parts of the country grassroots agreements have been successfully reached.

The local election results have demonstrated how difficult it remains to beat the Tories while we continue to compete against one another.

Despite this being the 11th hour, we are not prepared to face another 5 years of Tory rule without one final call to bring Labour and the Liberal Democrats to the negotiating table.

Our proposal is simple - to stand independent candidates on a 'progressive' ticket with two key promises: to fight for proportional representation and to stop Brexit. We believe there is a good chance we can defeat the Tories in some Kent constituencies if all three of our parties formally back those candidates.

We live in hope that the critical situation we find ourselves in today is enough to demonstrate that continuing with tribal politics can only lead to defeat for all of us next month.

As we have only a few days before the close of nomination, we urge you to act now and talk to us.

Kind regards

Stuart Jeffery and Mandy Rossi
Co-Chairs of of the Confederation of Kent Green Parties

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