Unity also stresses: On non-partisanship I'm please to seek acknowledgement that this should be anti-New Labour - lets not forget that there is a constituency in the Labour Party, like myself, who're just as pissed off with Blair as everyone else and have just as much to gain by joining the coalition of the willing.And I think I agree. Well, maybe not business as usual, but partizanship isn't always a bad thing...
We need the Labour dissenters as much as anyone else - not least because it will prevent us being written off as just a Lib Dem/Tory coalition.
Our aim should be for the Great Reforming Parliament - after that we can go back to business as usual on all the other stuff.
In the meantime, Andrew of Non-Trivial Solutions comes on board with a series of very important points:
I, and I'd guess a lot of other young Tories, would be in if you didn't say things like this about us:He is, of course, right. I'm couching my language bearing in mind the need to persuade people of the need to vote Tory, and why it's important to do so, to acknowledge they've changed. 6 months ago, to even consider voting Conservative was anathema. The world has changed, Cameron is making a difference, and Blair/Brown/Clarke/Blears et al are doing the rest.
'he, like me, is instinctively opposed to them, but finding that even they can't be as bad as NuLab.'
Damning us with faint praise isn't the way to build a coalition. Still, let's write it off to teething problems as we all embrace the brave new world of tripartisan co-operation and understanding. That which unites us is far more important than that which divides us at the moment.
However, an effective tactical voting campaign needs to swing both ways; we'll need to persuade the Left to vote Tory in Tory/Labour marginals, just as we'll need to persuade the Right to vote LibDem (& SNP?) in Labour/LibDem (Labour/SNP) seats. To a lot of people, that's not going to be an easy thing to do.
We have to acknowledge that and address their concerns.
Ideas:Agree; love the hyperbole there, but the point is sound, we need to concentrate and emphasise that we all oppose, those issues that we disagree on need to be left open for debate, but it's vitally important we don't allow a campaign to be hijacked.
i) Campaigning has to be very tightly focussed on the civil liberties issues we all agree on - ID cards, OTT terrorism legislation, the Civil Contingencies Act, the Leg/Reg Bill, and so on. You'll lose an enormous amount of support if the coalition comes out in favour of a wider liberal agenda, particularly on Law and Order. Us Tories still want to brutalise criminals with lengthy jail terms, punishment beatings and hard labour. Getting New Labour out isn't going to change that.
ii) The coalition needs full time resources. A writer if it becomes a blog, a campaigner if it becomes a portal, and so on. That means:Hmm. I think he may be right; if we're going to do this properly, we'll need someone actually concentrating on it full time; I know that my paid employment needs to come first for me. So, ideas? Potential backers? We're talking a civil liberties/basic freedoms campaigning group that runs effective campaignsfor the duration of this Parliament minimum, and probably organises events on the ground at the next election. Moveon.org is funded by members contributions, but the US has a much higher tradition of donations than we do; can we emulate that? Should we? Any other potential big backers?
iii) Money. Lots of it. We need it. Fuck knows how we get it.
iv) The coalition needs to be strictly non-partisan, except in its opposition to New Labour. You'll lose a lot of Tories again if you start advocating voting Lib Dem in Tory/Lib marginals, and vice versa. In fact, the coalition shouldn't even discuss that sort of situation. Even where the Tory candidate is a rabid Cornerstone member who wants to hang gays and publicly flog benefits claimants, or where the Lib wants to install revolving doors in prison cells and to legalise and make compulsory the taking of crack by 13 year olds, they'll still vote with the party whip when it comes to civil liberties issues.Again, agree, and have already said so; I live in a LibDem/Tory marginal, in such seats, the battleground is over the dividing issues; we need to ensure that the campaign itself does not try to get involved in such seats. I would, of course, hope that Cameron can keep such loons minimised, and I've never met a Lib Dem in favour of dealing drugs to kids (responsible adults can make their own minds up...)
v) Learn from the failure of Backing Blair. Being too strident and too paranoid just comes off as being extreme. We need to sound measured and sensible. This will be difficult given that most of us throw phrases like 'police state' around with impunity. Just remember how ridiculous all of those hard lefties in the Eighties sounded when they suggested that Maggie's next move would be to abolish elections to maintain tyrannical power forever. And enjoy the warm glow now that New Lab are suggesting exactly that... See - I'm already guilty of this point. I sound like a lunatic.I think he's right. As Katherine observes:
And no satire. With all due respect to Backing Blair (which I thought was funny), it ran the huge risk of alienating and/or confusing people who were just clicking through.I love the backing blair site, and there's no reason we can't link to or even endorse such humerous endeavours, but the campaign itself needs to be straight.
Learn from organisations like the Tax Payers Alliance - non-partisan grass-roots campaigning, and gaining lots of publicity.Also backed up by Jawbox:
I think Justin's right - this sort of thing is going to require someone who's worked on this kind of project before. We need to get existing web campaigns on various issues - No2ID being the obvious example - to up sticks and join the broad coalition, and at the same time any press or political coverage/support it could attract will be vital.I think I agree; there are a number of single-issue or even multi issue campaigns that could back us. Some are however bound to be strictly non-partizan and may have problems doing so; we may need to only oppose those candidates who refuse to endorse a simple, agreed upon platform, to which Bishop Hill suggests:
There are two strands we need to cover.So, on point one; vote trading has been tried in the past here and in the US, it was anti-Tory when I was last involved, and Nader traders have been at it since for awhile. Not sure on the efficacy, but it's something to consider.
1. Getting Labour out (campaigning methods and tactics)
2. Keeping the next lot in order (Constitutional stuff, what are we after?)
I suggest we start with broad areas of principle and move on to specific issues at a later date. It will be very easy to get bogged down in detail on "social rights" or the right to bear arms.
A simple, basic platform? A small unmber of key issues that we want repealed/addressed that point to opinions on wider subjects?
Backed up by a campaign to ensure Parliament is returned to its status as the controller of the Executive, not the other way around?
A rabid reformer like me can combine with a traditionalist and argue for a return to the days when Parliament was supreme and the Executive held to account by it, right?
This post is, of course, part 3 of the ongoing campaign to unite bloggers and others ont he left and right in opposition to the current government that started here.