Set aside our tribal loyalties

From: Stephen Hardy, George Close, Robertsbridge

Thursday, 15th June 2017, 2:29 pm
Updated Friday, 16th June 2017, 12:18 pm
Hastings Observer letters

What last week’s election showed, at least here along parts of the Sussex coast, is that a progressive alliance of left leaning parties can work and can change the face of local politics.

It has managed to produced a vastly reinforced Labour majority in Hove, a Labour win in Brighton Kemptown, a Lib Dem victory in Eastbourne and Caroline Lucas for the Greens taking over 50 per cent of the vote in Brighton Pavilion.

But oh how much sweeter would it have been last Friday morning had the Progressive Alliance of such parties sorted their act out in Lewes to get rid of a hard line Brexiteer Conservative and in Hastings to remove Amber Rudd, someone now still at May’s top table but locally surviving with a majority of a mere 346 votes.

This was because there were people on the ground who negotiated to stand aside, to work together and to support each other.

Let us see that trend accelerate, whether at the next General Election which may be sooner than most of us would wish, when the inanity of a cobbled together union of fractious Conservatives and the political wing of the Ulster Defence Regiment, now known as the DUP, breaks up.

We also need to do the same at the local level where at least we know when elections are to be held. Let us hope that the lesson of May’s June 8 choice is learnt by future Prime Ministers.

This will also inevitably turn up the volume on the clarion call for a fair voting system. The current first past the post system clearly does not deliver ‘strong and stable’ government which has always been the main claim of its antediluvian proponents.

If we are to have a future politics of hope and cooperation, rather than one engendered in fear, hatred and isolationism, then we have to set aside our tribal loyalties and work progressively for the good of all.

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