Seeing lots of reaction to proposals for a progressive alliance, and have been struck by one thing.

Members and activists tend to reject it; while 'mere' supporters of opposition parties tend to embrace it. 1/7
Obviously, there are a lot more 'mere' supporters than members and activists.

But, I don't think that there can be any chance that a progressive alliance will happen without the strong support of members and activists.

So, why might the two groups think as they do? 2/7
Members/activists might oppose a progressive alliance because:
a) they are familiar with the party rules (which make it much more difficult);
b) they are likely to think their party can win; 3/7
c) they have strong negative feelings towards the rival opposition parties, as they have campaigned against each other;
d) they know and emphasise the policy/ideological differences between the parties.
(Doubtless there are many more.) 4/7
'Mere' supporters might support a progressive alliance because:
a) they feel huge frustration with the fact that Johnson wins with c 40% of the vote, and think that the majority who oppose him should be be better represented and be able to win power; 5/7
b) they can't see how any single opposition party can win alone;
c) they see policy/ideological differences as much within as between the opposition parties.
(Again, doubtless there are many more) 6/7
I'm not sure whether or how the divide can be bridged.

But, a progressive alliance is only going to happen if there is a concerted move from the leadership of the parties to transform rules and cultures.

And that doesn't seem to be on the cards (for now, at least). 7/7

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More from @syrpis

13 May
The Higher Education (Free Speech) Bill is more than a little incoherent - as @michelledonelan seems intent on demonstrating.

The Bill is here:… 1/8
It aims to secure free speech 'within the law', so... there will be debates about what the limits of the law are (see eg Prevent; IHRA anti-semitism definition etc). 2/8
It aims to stop discrimination based on an individual's 'ideas, beliefs or views' (for academics, 'within their field of expertise'), so... there will be debates about what each of those means. 3/8
Read 8 tweets
11 May
I have commented before on the hypocrisy and double standards which characterise the actions of this Govt. From that perspective, the debate about Scottish independence is going to be... an interesting watch. 1/8

The Govt, once the champion of 'sovereignty' and 'taking back control' now finds itself... defending the Union.

The contortions Ministers are going through are quite something. 2/8
So, for example, we are hearing...

1. That absent a clear majority in the popular vote, the SNP, which received 48% of the vote, lacks the mandate to have a referendum.

Remind me what % of the popular vote David Cameron won in 2015? [Answer: 37%] 3/8
Read 8 tweets
10 May
A couple of thoughts on Scottish independence and Brexit, prompted by this thread from @paulwaugh.
Self-determination and sovereignty are powerful concepts, which supporters of Brexit/Scottish independence do rely on.

Yet, they are difficult concepts, given the extent of international interdependence and cooperation (on trade and beyond) 2/
One should think about both the sovereignty gains and losses associated with participation in the relevant 'Union' (UK/EU); and also the future relationship with ex-partners after 'independence'. 3/
Read 11 tweets
9 May
Watching as the Labour party, once again, descends into uncivil war. It cannot coalesce around any policy position or agree on who is best placed to deliver it. 1/6
We've been hearing a lot from ghosts of the past - Mandelson, McCluskey, McDonnell, Pidcock, Flint, Adonis and more. Much of 'the analysis' harks back to either Blair or Corbyn. It makes for grim reading and grim viewing. 2/6
We've been hearing a lot about the need to 'learn lessons' and 'listen to the people' and 'engage with voters' real concerns'. But what if (outlandish thought this) 'the people' disagree, and are sending a range of different messages? 3/6
Read 7 tweets
7 May
The Labour party is not in a good place. On almost every issue there are strong voices within the party calling for a decisive policy/strategy move. Problem is, these voices are calling for moves in diametrically opposite directions. 1/5
If it is to recover, it needs to discover a sense of purpose and narrative. That is a huge task (and I'm not going to go there now).

But. 2/5
There are (to be simplistic) two reasons why Labour is losing. One is that the Labour offer doesn't appeal. The other - much more significant factor - is that the Johnson offer does appeal. 3/5
Read 5 tweets
4 May
My corner of twitter seems to be dominated by the internal Labour party debate between supporters of Corbyn and Starmer. I agree fully with @sturdyAlex that it is not a productive use of anyone's time.

Here though are 2 things Labour party supporters *should* be doing. 1/7
1. They should be striving to understand *why* a large % of voters (in Hartlepool and elsewhere) are still supporting Boris Johnson's government, and *what* might make them change their vote. 2/7
2. They should be thinking not only about vote shares, but also about vote distribution, and how they can *win* elections. If Johnson's vote is at c 35-45%, and is 'sticky', how can he be beaten? 3/7
Read 7 tweets

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