One election down, another probably on its way before too long. If the regressive alliance of the Conservatives and the DUP falls apart, then it's another chance to get a Labour government into power at Westminster. We need to take this chance and avoid screwing up electorally like Tory PMs do.
Let's start with the arithmetic. If you look through the last three general elections, you'll notice that the Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP and Green vote outweighs the Tory vote. Since Sinn Fein will abstain, I'm leaving Northern Ireland, though not in heart, out of this electoral equation.
2010? 16.2m for the anti-Tory parties. 10.7m for the Tories. 2015? 13.3m for the anti-Tory parties. 11.2m for the Tories. 2017? 16.5m for the anti-Tory parties. 13.6m for the Tories.
The numbers are clear: this isn't a Tory majority country. This is a positive and hopeful country that can create the change it wants to. Crucially, however, we need to play by the rules of the game: First Past The Post (FPTP). Let's leave griping about it to one side. FPTP is going to be the electoral system for the next election, so let's get what we want from it.
If the Tories and their nefarious policies are to be kept at bay, we need to act strategically. There were a number of marginals in the June 2017 election -- like Hastings -- where the Tories could have been turfed out. We need to make it happen next time.
How? Progressively-minded people of all persuasions need to pummel the Tories with brains in the ballot box. We need to appreciate that there's more in common with other like-minded parties and people. Yes, there are differences; but what could be worse than Tory rule being propped by progressive differences? They must love laughing at it while they take money away from school meals and wreck the economy.
To pummel Tories electorally we need to amplify clever cooperation. If there's no chance for a party to win a seat, then the others should back the best party who can take the Tories out.
And 'back' does not mean you have to renounce your political beliefs. This doesn't mean people need to create formal alliances or give up their own values. It's about using your voice and vote effectively. It's about using the one window of democracy we have, an election, to let the foul Tory air out and the wind of change in. This is what for the many, not the few means to me.
If the seat is a debate between two progressive parties, then fair enough: let this play out and go with your soul. As long as there's no chance of the Tories being let out of the casket, then that's fine. What matters most is whose hands power lie in when David Dimbleby reads out his results prophecy.
Dynamic Queensberry electoral rules like these would tame the Tory threat despite FPTP.
Think about it. What would you rather have? The Maybot and her ilk deciding what's going on with your economy, your schools and your elderly relatives? Or would you rather have people in power who agree with you on so many things?
As Labour's victories in Kensington and Canterbury have shown, democracy is alive and well. There's no need to be cynical and think that things can't change. Yes, they can. And they will if we work for it.
When the Tory government fails, just like it has failed this country, we must be ready to seize the moment and turf them out. It's a great opportunity, and it's coming to a ballot box near you. Let's make the most of it.Suggest a correction