News - 22 November 2019 (LeftFootForward)


Will you vote to avoid climate catastrophe, reduce inequality, or is it more important to get the Tories out? Conflicting edicts coming from all directions means it’s harder than ever for progressives to ensure their vote counts in the next General Election. Today saw cross-party campaign group More United trumpet the first 34 candidates it is backing on 12 December – early fruits of its crowdfunding campaign. “These candidates all share our values and have pledged to put country above party and work together on the issues that their constituents care about, such as mental health, urgent climate action and health and social care,” according to today’s missive. Among the 34 are not only Labour’s Mary Creagh, standing in Wakefield, Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake in Ceredigion, and new Lib Demmer Sam Gyimah for Kensington, but a Tory, Paul Masterton, who is standing in East Renfrewshire. More United kicked off in 2016, co-founded by the late Lord Paddy Ashdown. It aims to have MPs to work cross-party no matter who is in power, all over the UK. It boasts some 150,000 supporters at the time of writing and has several campaigns running on issues from saving the NHS to disability rights, plastic pollution and immigration. Just 100 seats will decide the general election on 12 December, according to the People’s Vote campaign. Many see 12 December as a Brexit election and recommend all votes should prioritise the Remain campaign – typically suggesting a vote for the LibDems as a result. Labour has long appeared ambivalent about remaining in the EU – and the impression wasn’t exactly dispelled in yesterday’s manifesto announcement. When Jeremy Corbyn was asked by Sky journalist Beth Rigby to “give us a straight answer” on one side or the other, either for Remain or Leave, he replied by pointing to the 52%:48% referendum result in 2016. He said: “We have spent a lot of time discussing Brexit. My strategy has been to understand why people voted Remain and people voted Leave. All over the country, people have the same interests at heart. “So we will negotiate, within three months of taking office, a credible agreement that doesn’t tear up every trade agreement. It would be an offer to leave with a trade agreement, one that doesn’t damage all our public services … and put that alongside Remain. Our government would accept and carry out whatever the people decided.” The Green Party’s Chris Jarvis has argued . . .

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