Closer polls a boost to tactical voting
‘Our window poster will proclaim Greens for Vince Cable’, writes Colin Hines.
Tuesday 30th May 2017
• As a supporter of a progressive alliance, I was delighted that in my Twickenham constituency and in neighbouring RichmondPark, the Green party has stood aside to give the Liberal Democrats a better chance of winning. To try in a small way to get tactical voting into the minds of the sensible majority who are not obsessed by politics, in the days before the election, our window poster will proclaim Greens for Vince Cable, and I hope local Labour supporters will do the same. In a way it’s a pity we don’t have a Lynton Crosby, hectoring our side to repeat endlessly that the weak and wobbly Tories’ pro-austerity, coalition of cruelty must be constrained, and most importantly, keep it simple: Vote ABC – Anything But Conservative.
East Twickenham, Middlesex
The bits of my letter to the Guardian that were edited out might also be of interest:
Zoe Williams’ view that nothing is certain in this election and anything could happen https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/28/uncertainty-politics-u-turns-polls is born out by the narrowing gap between ‘weak and wobbly’ May and Jeremy Corbyn, whose increased media presence appears to make many voters’ hearts grow fonder. Against this it must be remembered that for some who voted UKIP in the last election, this could well turn out to be a ‘gateway drug’ for former Labour supporters to migrate to the Tories. This will be tested by the ‘regressive alliance’ of UKIP candidates standing down to attempt to ensure that many who once voted Labour turn to their new Nigel in drag candidate, Theresa May.
NEW STATESMAN 19-25 May 2017
LETTER OF THE WEEK
The many not the few
The rupture between Tory free marketers and those that wanted to control the imports of corn in the 1840s was the defining split in the party, leading to a determination to prioritise internal solidarity as a way to ensure the power necessary to benefit their wealthy backers http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/elections/2017/05/why-tories-keep-winning
Labour’s equivalent is the division between those who now realise that opening the borders to uncontrolled immigration from eastern Europe in 2004 sowed the seeds for Brexit, versus those (to paraphrase the wonderful Four Seasons hit) who kept crooning in Corbyn’s ear ‘Jerry, Jerry baby, don’t you dare be UKIP lite’.
To prevent annihilation, Labour must use its imminent defeat as a reason to prioritise policies for managed migration and protection of local jobs. Only this approach will eventually put it in an electoral position to take power on behalf of the many, not the few. In the meantime all that can be done in the run up to this ominous election is to drop party tribalism and Vote ABC: Anything But Conservative.
Wednesday 26th April 2017
I fail to understand how you can call Macron a “progressive” (Front page, 25 April). His thin policy programme, though it claims to want to remake France’s political system, proposes the same failed policies of reducing labour rights, cutting business taxes and shrinking the public sector. In terms of Europe, he wants more federalism allied to support for the calamitous euro. Such policies helped lead to a collapse of support for the traditional right and left parties. Continue reading
Is this the beginning of the end for neoliberalism?
Friday 14 April 2017
Your editorial on the French elections (11 April), with its encouraging mention of the rise of the higher tax and spend candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, failed to mention possibly his biggest electoral draw: the fact that he is a leftwing protectionist. Prior to the 2012 election, polls showed that over 80% of French Continue reading
‘US Democrats need to consider a progressive form of protectionism that will benefit all countries,’ writes Colin Hines.
Published in the Guardian
Wednesday 15 March 2017
It’s reassuring to hear that Bernie Sanders is campaigning again (Journal, 11 March), but the examples given of his fightback are hardly likely to keep the light-sleeping President Trump awake at night. The usual emphasis on ever-more protests will soon meet Continue reading
Published in the Financial Times
March 3rd 2017
Sir, It should come as no surprise that an “America First” Trump administration is likely to override the free market strictures of the World Trade Organisation (“Trump prepared to ignore WTO rulings”, March 2). What is more disturbing from a UK perspective is how trade secretary Liam Fox’s head is still stuck in the sands of pre-2008 neoliberalism (“Fox warns of EU-UK trade barriers danger”, March 2). This means he is unable to grasp that it was the opposition to open borders to goods and capital as well as people that fuelled the Brexit result, Donald Trump’s election and the continued rise of Marine Le Pen in the French polls.
Published in the Guardian
Saturday 24 February 2017
The only way the Tories will ever be defeated and the demise of Ukip ensured is for all the other Westminster parties to unite behind a programme of progressive economic nationalism. Steve Bannon (Report, 24 February) and Marine Le Pen have their fingers on the pulse of voters far more than most elected politicians in the UK. The latter still mostly beat the drum of free movement of people within the European Union and open borders to capital and goods.
Published in the Guardian
Tuesday 31 January 2017
To temper Trump and to reverse the rise of the extreme right in Europe will not just require the “popular resistance” demanded by Owen Jones (Opinion, 31 January), but also a popular economic alternative. Donald Trump and the likes of Marine Le Pen know exactly what they and the majority want: less immigration and more protection of domestic jobs. Indeed, Trump is correct in his view that “Free trade’s no good” for the US. What most leaders fail to yet understand is that the same is true for all countries.