Will a Brown led government be better than Cameron? Yes! Could collation government improve our democracy? Perhaps! But the question is: How can progressive opinion challenge the dominant ‘markets first’ approach? This needs to be asked before, during and after the election.
The prospect of a televised debate between the leaders of the three main parties may have a superficial appeal. Creating a situation where more people engage in ‘political debate’. However this approach runs the danger of seeing professional politicians as separate from the general population. At its worst it will reduce debate to a popularity contest.
Brown and Cameron will approach the election on the basis of protecting Britain in troubled economic times. Unionism will be the back-drop and taking the strong-medicine of cuts will be presented as us all pulling together. Brown might indicate a more caring response to people’s needs but this will be in the context of maintaining the City of London as a global financial centre. The social will be sacrificed for the needs of the market. Cameron suggests doing the same whilst attacking the public sector. The Liberals will suggest little more than a variation on this theme.
Salmond will attempt to get best out of a Westminster election. The degree to which in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast impact ‘London centred politics’ will be of more than mere interest. DL members will be involved in the election as members of political parties, as trade unionists, as community and campaign activist, as well as voters. Perspectives will reflect differing progressive understandings and responses. As an organisation we will provide an early opportunity for a discussion of the election’s outcome.