A new ‘progressive majority’?
The ballot by Compass of its members seems to have excited alot of comment if nothing else. Left Foot Forward ponders out loud whether this will lead to a new ‘progressive majority’. Mehdi Hasan writing for the New Statesman is besides himself with glee while Polly Toynbee writing for The Guardian is simply besides herself and incredulous at the suggestion.
Let’s take Toynbee’s advice and look at some cold, hard, facts. For example, this one from the Daily Telegraph:
there are currently 18 [councils] governed by a formal Lib-Con alliance – against just seven where Team Clegg has thrown in its lot with Labour.
This includes Birmingham where the Yellow/Blue alliance is busy:
closing all its old people’s homes, some of which are being replaced with private care, and has taken on the council unions with a massive restructuring to save money on pay
I am sure the country is littered with similar such other stories; it’s certainly true that the Liberal Democrat/Conservative led alliance in Leeds has pursued similar policies. All of this makes the potential for a ‘progressive partnership’ less fulfilling. The simple truth is that proponents of a ‘Yes’ Compass vote want to sell us a certain vision of how things will be which simply isn’t supported by the established facts.
What is an established fact is the threat posed by the Liberal Democrat’s to Labour’s existence and the current success of its electoral campaign. Today’s ComRes figures show:
The Lib Dem figures are particularly strong in the North of England – this is entirely consistent with our instant poll on Thursday evening
In other words, Labour is in danger of being squeezed and is in the fight of it’s electoral life. Compass and it’s members have to decide their level of indifference to these realities and avoid the admittedly tempting lure of a fantasy new progressive paradise which only exists in their heads. The cold, hard facts speak for themselves.