openDemocracyUK

Hang 'em - in this week's New Statesman

The UK's leading left-wing weekly runs a major essay calling for a realignment from below
Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
18 March 2010
Hang 'Em - New Statesman cover

How should we vote? By 'we' I mean all of us who are democrats: women and men who treasure liberty, regard our fellow citizens as our moral and political equals, want honest government, honourable leaders and an economic policy not motivated primarily by the urge to make Britain fit for global finance. My answer: coordinate our voting to achieve two things: 1) defeat Brown and Mandelson, 2) frustrate Cameron and Company's desire to take their turn at exercising the monarchical power of the UK's 'to the victor the spoils' electoral system, that Labour tragically failed to reform.

We should "hang" the two main parties.

The New Statesman has given me the chance to spell out my view. I assess the character and New Labour roots of the Brown-Mandelson government under the headings of global capitalism, inequality, authoritarianism and deception. I look at the weakness of the opposition.  Gerry Hassan in an email cheerfully described my solution as a makeshift, DIY popular front: of Lib Dems, nationalists, Greens, independents along with Labour and Tory MPs who have had the gumption to rebel and even Farage.

It is not the Statesman's view. And it is great to see some audacious editing and a willingness to open up the space for debate and argument (including David Marquand's disgareement). Please comment on the New Statesman's website when the article goes live and meanwhile buy it for yourself.

The link to the article is here

New Statesman Editor Jason Cowley's Introduction is here

It was followed by a criticisms from David Marquand, Neal Lawson, Sundar Katwala and Roy Hattersley to which I replied, you can see this with the links here

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