For some it may be comforting. To others mind-numbing. But there’s a certain cosy familiarity to this election. Claims and counter-claims mount over spending promises. Liberal Democrats make up mysterious poll findings that stretch the bounds of credibility to breaking point. Labour Party MPs stab their leader in the back. The Tory press competes to hurl the most ludicrous personal invective they can. Voters still mindlessly repeat the mantra ‘they’re all the same’, while unable to identify the policy positions that are supposedly identical.
All this helps us delude ourselves that this isn’t really a fantasy election. Soothed by the usual noise we can yet again put off the necessity for urgent, as in immediate, action to decarbonise the economy, end our unsustainable lifestyles, modernise the constitution and free the Celtic parts of Ukania.
But then something happens out of the blue. Something that may offer a tad of hope and exhilarate the flagging spirits of the jaded psephologist. And from an entirely unexpected source.
In 2017 there was much talk of a ‘progressive alliance’. It came to nothing, foundering on the rocks of Labour disinterest and distrust of the Lib Dems. However, the announcement of a tactical pact between Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru to cover 60 constituencies presents us with a novel experiment and possible template for what future we have left.
Admittedly it’s for the wrong reasons, but it is the right response. The Lib Dems can focus on their extremist position on Brexit and fulfil their real aim of winning an extra 20-30 seats so they have more clout when the next Conservative Government inevitably implodes. But it also gives two genuinely radical, green and decentralist parties 17 clear runs in England and Wales, without the tiresome distraction of the Lib Dems. It will be interesting to see whether they will be able to gather in the Lib Dem sheep.
There’s one seat in Cornwall on this list. To some surprise it’s not St Ives but less marginal North Cornwall. Perhaps Lib Dem strategists (if there are such people) are confident that Green voters, of which there must be more in St Ives, will tactically support Andrew George. Again.
At least that gives folk the chance to vote for Ian Flindall, the Green candidate in St Ives, who has come up with the best quote so far in the election in Cornwall. Humanity is ‘drinking in the last chance saloon and yet mainstream politicians continue to regard this major threat as a side issue.’
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