This is a chance to redefine politics in the UK
So, all the promises of stability and putting the country first were lies. As David Cameron did before, Theresa May is setting her own chance to cement political power before what is best for the country.
Only months ago she said:
“I’ve been very clear that I think we need that period of time, that stability, to be able to deal with the issues that the country is facing, and have that election in 2020.”
Theresa May Downing Street statement outlined her thinking. By making the General Election about Brexit, she will hope to harvest the pro-Brexit vote while the Remain vote will be split by the myriad of parties on the left. Coupled with the latest opinion polls, this has inspired her rush for power.
Already the responses from each party seem to validate her thinking, be it the leader of the Greens, Liberal Democrat, Labour or SNP; they are all pushing out statements that only their party is the one to stop Brexit, which is clearly madness.
Let’s be frank: If the parties of Left continue to hold this position by 8 June, Theresa May and the Conservative Party will be back in power, with more seats and able to demand not only hard Brexit, but the dismantling of the structures of our common society.
For a second, let us remember as the late Jo Cox memorably put it ‘we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us’:
For us on the left of politics, whether we’re Green, Liberal Democrat, SNP, Plaid Cymru or a Labour supporters, if we take off our party politically tinted glasses for a moment, we will indeed see we have far more in common than divides us.
We all want to create a society that is fairer, we all agree that government should be taking the lead in providing more housing. We all agree that the privatisation of education and health care is wrong and should be stopped. We all believe that the marketisation of every part of our society is causing massive inequalities and has gone too far. We all believe in the protection of workers rights and the protection of privacy. We believe we should have a fairer more progressive tax system and that the demonisation of particular groups of society by this government, such as those with disabilities, is deeply wrong and disturbing.
We all believe that although immigration is an important issue, it is not fact, but fear that is leading the discussion. We all think that all our policies should be affected and influenced by the real and present danger of climate change and that it should be the policy that encircles all others.
We must demand that the parties of the Left work together.
We must demand that there are single preferred candidates for each seat based on current control and which party has the best candidate to challenge.
We must accept, regardless of the individual parties results that the next government will be a Green/Liberal Democrat/Labour Coalition government after the election. With the SNP only accepted if, as the next Government will defuse hard Brexit, there will be no independence vote for the term of the next parliament.
This is an opportunity, a once in a lifetime opportunity, for the political parties leaders of the left to be brave and lead. It is a chance to redefine the politics of the left in the UK
These are extraordinary times in the politics of our country and world — we need our leaders to stand up and be extraordinary, instead of insisting on politics as normal.
If they don’t, we all, every supporter of every party of the Left, must demand they do.
Ranjit Sidhu is is the founder of SiD, Statistics into Decisions. Follow him on Twitter.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.