Greens on board for a progressive government

This morning, the New Statesman published a story claiming that Caroline Lucas MP, the Green Party’s Leader was undermining the prospects of a “progressive majority” government.

The comments string to this piece shows pretty clearly what was wrong with the analysis. As Ms Lucas herself had said to the New Statesman:

“I think we would rule out a formal coalition, but we’re very interested in talking about ways we might co-operate.”

In other words: she is ruling out being part of a formal coalition that might be formed between Labour and the Lib Dems, but openly contemplating a more informal arrangement, which could make a “rainbow” government viable.

The Green party confirmed this through its twitter account this afternoon:

“Misleading hdline … fr @newstatesman – @CarolineLucas happy to consider confidence/supply w/ reform-oriented coalition.”

This confirms my piece for Left Foot Forward on Saturday which suggested that, “a Lib-Lab coalition, with a ‘Confidence and Supply’ arrangement with the smaller Parties including the Greens – might just work.”

Now that Brown is going, and calling explicitly for a “progressive coalition government“, there is a real window for the Green Party and Caroline Lucas to play a leadership role, along with Alex Salmond and others. The Greens and the SNP are in a particularly good place to advance this agenda – because the Scottish experience of stable government operating without an overall coalitional majority, but with a “co-operation agreement” between a governing Party (in this case, the SNP) and a much smaller loosely co-operating party (in this case, the Greens) offers exactly the kind of blueprint that could see a “progressive majority” government in the whole of Britain attaining a working majority in the House of Commons.

It is notable that some Scottish Green voices have already been raising this possibility volubly, notably over at Bright Green Scotland. Scottish Green activist Ellie Pant also warns eloquently against the dangers of not seizing this progressive moment.

As this blog has been reporting, most voters and members see the Lib Dems as left-of-centre party so a progressive majority “rainbow” government would reflect the democratic popular will. The SNP and Plaid Cymru appear to be on board, ditto the Alliance Party, and the SDLP already caucus with Labour.

It is time for a progressive majority government, as Brown has boldly called for today.

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