Friday, 23 June 2017

‘People’s Alliance: Who can join?’ a Statement by the National Liberals

The launch of the cross-party campaigning body the People’s Alliance (UK) opens up new possibilities for the UK’s small parties and Independents. Apart from the main three ‘establishment’ parties and what are seen to be ‘single-issue’ parties such as the Greens or UKIP or extreme one such as Respect and the BNP, there are a multitude of smaller centre ground groups and individuals who are unable to get their voices heard and thus stay small. Just as however, two of the largest parties have agreed to work together in a governing Coalition, then why not the smaller ones too for mutual advantage?

The People’s Alliance is not a precursor to a unified party or a supreme decision making body but a co-ordinating body allowing its’ members to benefit from a potentially nationwide coverage of an issue they can all agree on. But can anyone join?

The founders, the National Liberal and United People’s Parties, remain independent parties and both profess to be ‘nationalists’, the former nationalist Liberals the latter liberal Nationalists. In essence both believe that the nation is (should be) a positive force for good. In a world where globalisation has seen the opening up of borders the question of nationality and identity have, within Europe, become once again hot topics. We are not however ‘Traditional Nationalists’ that believe in an ethno-nationalism or racism as the basis of our ideal nation-state. We have all seen in history the dangers of promoting such a world view and the treatment of ‘outsiders’. We on the other hand see the nation as providing the glue that helps hold a people’s together (with family and community) rather than apart. We revel in its’ values of tolerance, fair play, individual liberty and patriotism. We invite all within our state to embrace those values.

If therefore ‘Traditional Nationalists’ such as the BNP would not fit in within our core values then of course those who reject the concept of nationhood out of ignorance or ideology e.g. Marxists would not fit in either. We do not and will not invite such groups to join. But what about those who do not focus or even see themselves as ‘patriotic’?

Firstly, we as National Liberals don’t profess to deal with all matters with the same vigour and interest as we do with regards to, for example, civil liberties, democratic reform or national independence. Others might focus on issues of inequality, education or ecology. We will probably agree with them too. As a rule of thumb if members do not vehemently object to the policies of other members (as they may well to those held by parties on the extreme-left/right) then there will be room within the Alliance.

Secondly, although the PA may ultimately lay the foundation for a ‘Grand Coalition of the Centre’ it is presently and primarily designed to co-ordinate national campaigns. If any of its’ members do not wish to promote a particular one they would be free not to. Although the PA may facilitate or encourage a ‘coalition’ mentality the level of co-operation will be at each member’s discretion.

So, the stage is set for an alternative ‘Coalition’ to that in Westminster. One composed of small, centrist parties that will co-operate to increase the common-sense voice of the ‘Silent Majority’. Who will join us?

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