Well done Caroline. Now time for a progressive majority
There is a time for pointing out that Labour are the party of privatisation and the Lib Dems the party of “savage cuts”. But that time has passed. The people of Britain have spoken, and, as expected, my party does not have a majority in Parliament. We have one, glorious, hard won seat.
There is no time to stop and pause on how impressive an achievement it was for Caroline and her team in the biggest squeeze election of recent years – where even Cleggmania couldn’t protect Lib Dems from losing MPs. For the election is not over. Most people in Britain voted against Tory candidates – in fact, I imagine, given that Caroline’s main opponent was thought to be the Tory, that many of her voters sent her to Parliament to keep Charlotte Vere, and David Cameron, out.
And it’s time for us Greens to do what we can to stop the Tories from getting into Government.
Now, we only have one seat, so our vote won’t make that much of a difference (though, with the narrow balance of things, it could make a small difference). But we are also a political party which has just been given 250,00ish votes. The Tories have no majority and no automatic right to govern. If the majority of elected MPs would rather have a Labour Prime Minister, then that is what our democratic system should deliver. Alex Salmond’s loan voice calling for such a majority was rejected, foolishly by Labour, but if talks are beginning to fall apart between Lib Dems and Tories, then Nick Clegg will be looking for an exit strategy. The more that people have been reminded that Tory rule is neither inevitable, nor necessarily what people wanted, the better.
And 30 seconds of Caroline on TV over the next couple of days would help, just a little, to build that case.
I should be clear. We should not go into a coalition – with one seat, we’d quickly be stung. But Caroline could vote for a Labour Prime Minister alongside SNP, Plaid, and Lib Dems, in exchange for electoral reform and a co-operation agreement.
But, more importantly, we must do what we can to stop the media hyped momentum for a Tory government which, I believe, most MPs would rather not see – not just for the good of the party, but for the good of the country, and the world.