Ashdown launches new progressive political platform

More United will raise funds for candidates that support a core set of progressive principles

Paddy Ashdown has announced the formation of a new cross-party progressive platform, More United.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning, Ashdown said that the movement is for people who ‘hate to see our country dragged away to the extremes’ and ‘want a means, not necessarily through a political party to express their views.’

More United — its name taken from the late Jo Cox’s maiden speech in parliament —will use crowdfunding to provide financial support to progressive candidates from across the party space, with a view to ‘creating a new centre of political gravity in the UK.’

The movements core principles are:

  • A fair, modern, efficient market based economy that closes the gap between rich and poor and supports strong public services
  • A modern democracy that empowers citizens, rather than politicians
  • A green economy that protects the environment and works to reverse climate change
  • An open and tolerant society where diversity is celebrated in all its forms
  • A United Kingdom that welcomes immigration, international co-operation and a close relationship with the EU

Ashdown also made clear that if a second EU referendum were to be held, More United would campaign against Brexit.

More United has not begun fundraising yet, but is inviting supporters to join. According to Ashdown, if more than 25,000 people have signed up by September, they will launch the next phase.

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15 Responses to “Ashdown launches new progressive political platform”

  1. Jim woods

    Go big, this is spot on

  2. Roy Barratt

    I find myself yet again feeling to have a lot in common with Paddy Ashdown’s viewpoint,. The basic outline he has put forward lines up very closely with my own attitude and subsequent activities while County Chairman of the Royal British Legion in Cornwall, with the result of influencing National policies on a number of points. In order to make any degree of success in such an endeavour, one must be prepared to lead from the front, without any corners behind which to hide and choose the right team with which to work. This man has what it takes to bring the country back to some degree of common sense and firm commitment, by treating the interests of the peopls as paramount, influencing the Party Policies through collation of public opinion . He has a tough fight ahead, but by choosing the right people to work as a team, I believe he can yet again achieve his goal . I wish him all the good luck in the world, as at last we have a positive goaal for which to aim, a little bit of luck is all he would need. Count on my support.

  3. CR

    Sounds very New Labour-ish and Blarite

  4. Gerhard Lohmann-Bond

    It’s not a movement, it’s a move.

  5. Richard MacKinnon

    There is nothing more toe curling than watching an old ham actor taking another curtain call when half the audience has already left the theatre.

  6. Robert Bowerman

    Its not Blairite, in fact very far from it – Blair had no beliefs or morals – he just had an amalgam of Focus Group outputs that were aimed to deliver one thing only, power, raw political power of being in office. Thus he would say whatever to took to get elected. Once in office, as we all learned from bitter experience, all earlier promises meant nothing and he was the autocrat to decide what he did next. He did not even believe in listening to the cabinet, let alone to the people. Only his opinion mattered, and that was a careful scheming, a careful balancing of forces to give him the advantage overall to get elected and reelected. The trouble with the Gang of 174 in the Labour party today is that they share Blair’s moral compass that the only thing that matters is getting elected.

  7. Frank Barber

    The core principles would have my full support

  8. Nic

    Sounds great – I’ve signed up. However I don’t think having Paddy Ashdown as pre-eminent spokesman is a good branding move for a cross-party movement.

  9. Dave Watts

    I was initially quite exited by this, it sounded interesting, then I went to the website. Disappointment
    There are some general principles that, with some caveats, I can mostly support but there is one, and only one, specific policy statement and that is that the UK should either stay in or rejoin the EU.
    So they want to “unite” by specifically excluding about half the population.
    They are not what they claim to be at all. They are just a Pro-EU lobbying group.
    I am bitterly disappointed that a real opportunity has been missed.

  10. Vivienne Peters

    Very interested. Very worried about lack of opposition to government and no viable alternative to Conseratism. Vote Stay!! Still feeling humiliated at UK choosing to leave EU.

  11. Julia Gibb

    More united. A scary prospect paving the way for the Save Labour second Tory Party.
    Take a look at the “Soft Left” background of Owen Smith
    The choice will soon be between May or Smith if the Blairites win.
    Smith is a product being sold – pleas don’t buy it. Open the link.

  12. john harrison

    Here we go Someone suggest somat new and the negative tenancy start sharpening their talons

  13. wg

    Another closing of the ranks amongst the political elite.
    And this will target the usual onside public service workers, university students, and establishment stooges.

    But the hordes who voted to leave the elitist and corporate European Union will still be outside the gates – to have a mass movement, our Paddy will have to have a ‘mass’, and the mass seems to be arming themselves with pitchforks and marching in the opposite direction.

    The party’s over Paddy – the people are looking up words like ‘Liberal’ and ‘Democrat’ and finding that the definitions are a million miles away from the European Union.

  14. PA

    A great idea! I am fed up with the two extremes of politics and heartily approve of the core principles laid out above.

  15. Roy

    Any Progressive Manifesto needs to dwell on big themes – democracy, equality, sustainability – before turning to specific policy areas. These big themes should infuse the manifesto and so link in to all policy areas.

    The issue of Equality should form a dominant theme and needs to run through any Progressive Manifesto like Blackpool through a stick of rock – not just wealth equalities but, even more so, equality of power. Inequalities – in housing, labour, consumer affairs, education, media, voting, politics – cause malfunctions in markets and gross unfairness elsewhere. Equality between the parties is essential to effective and efficient markets.

    Landlords exercise undue power over tenants; rogue employers exploit workers, leading to a race to the bottom; press barons exercise unaccountable influence on our politics; high flying executives help themselves to company profits; voters in “safe” seats exert far less influence on policy than those in marginals; the rich have far more influence than the poor; unscrupulous suppliers exploit consumers; victims of state power face the power of the state in seeking redress.

    One principal aim of democracy is to equalise power relations. That’s why our ancestors fought for it. The last 40 years have seen the over-concentration of power in Whitehall and the City and increased inequality of wealth and power elsewhere, with power ebbing away from ordinary citizens and communities. We are becoming a less just and less harmonious society as a result. “Take back control” should be a Progressive slogan. Take back control of your lives. Taking back control from the EU is an abstraction. Having a more equal power relationship with your landlord or employer should be a reality. Not just having rights but being able to enforce them.

    The Birmingham Manifesto is designed to start taking back power and distributing it more equally across society. Share it if you like it:

    The Birmingham Manifesto: 12 commitments for a Progressive Alliance:

    We shall:

    Reform the voting system so that all votes count.

    Make taxation fair so everyone pays their share.

    Strengthen the bargaining power of workers in the workplace.

    Cut the welfare bill by getting people into well paid work.

    Control excessive executive pay and bankers’ bonuses.

    Scrap austerity and promote sustainable growth through investment in infrastructure and green technologies.

    Run Utilities for the benefit of the public not the boardroom.

    Build homes for ordinary people and free local councils to build homes for all.

    Improve security of tenure for private tenants.

    Create an education system fit for the future and enabling all to develop their skills, abilities and talents to the full.

    Reform the banks and other financial services so they act in the public interest.

    Hold a second referendum when the results of the negotiations to leave the EU are known, so that we know what we’re voting for.

    That should do for five years!

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