1Young people. Most of all. The politics of the day is stealing the time of their lives away from them. Compelled to stay at school until they’re eighteen just to keep the employment figures down. Forced to take out a kind of mortgage to get further education. Unable to buy a home because the disparity in house prices and wages has become so extreme. Reviled, feared, marginalised and patronised in equal measure by the mainstream media. Young people are a vast untapped demographic who are little understood by the powers that be. Engage them and get them all registered to vote, and they could re-shape the political landscape beyond all recognition very, very quickly.
And if young people should join us, anyone who cares for them and sympathises with their plight should join us too.
Everyone who believes democracy to be a good thing.
But let’s be a bit more rigorous about the definition of the word, because it’s often used as a useless “hooray” word.
Democracy is government by the people, where the common people are considered to be the primary source of political power.
Democracy isn’t just rule by the majority – a democratic government must respect and protect the rights of the individual, whether they agree with the majority or not. A democratic government must protect freedom of speech and the ideal of an open society.
Democracy must never be allowed to become “two foxes and a chicken voting on what should be eaten for dinner”. Time for a Winston Churchill quote – ”It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”
So if you can agree to these basic principles of democracy, you’re welcome. Whatever your politics beyond that, bring your case and seek to promote it to the point where it becomes party policy. The key policy will be that everyone has an equal say, all the time, , avoiding the syndrome where the most fervent enthusiasts and higher echelons conspire to appropriate all the power. If you want your ideas adopted by the party, they’ll have to find find their way to the top of the agenda by popular consent after an honest and open debate. You’ll have to win the argument. Every time. If you like that idea, and you’d like to help make it work, join us.
People who understand and delight in the power of the internet to affect change.
People who want to see real changes made, and fast. Our politics doesn’t respond to the changes the world is presenting us with fast enough.
People who think an MP’s job is to serve the best interests of their constituents.
People who value evidence based policy.
Anyone passionate about a political issue who thinks their argument can win people around, especially if it’s something they know the main parties are too cautious to address as a result of their fear of negative stories in the mainstream press. Too many issues get that awful pious “I think this calls for a national debate” from our politicians, when what they really mean is “That issue’s a can of worms and I’m just going to kick it down the road.”
People who want to see an end to pantomime politics, and who are sick of the petty house- point scoring game the members of the main parties play in any debate.
Anyone who’s appalled by the celebration of the pursuit of short term profits at the cost of long term gains.
Anyone who wants to curtail the appalling power of the political lobbying industry.
Anyone who finds it suspicious that if you want to set up a political party, any major donors must be British – but if you want to purchase a propagandising national newspaper to further your political ends, you can be from anywhere.
Everyone from the great bulk of the disenfranchised who occupy the middle ground of British political opinion – Anyone who’s apathetic about politics, because their views are too moderate to entice them to take an interest in belonging to either of our two main parties.
Labour voters who are aghast that a Labour government would collude in a possibly illegal war with a terrifyingly right-wing US government.
Liberal Democrats voters who are shamed by their party’s reneging on their commitments to education costs.
Conservatives who find it humiliating to try and defend the ramblings of people like Gove, Osborne and Tebbit.
Anyone who thinks we should keep the BBC – a great British institution that has few friends on the political extremes that we currently find ourselves bouncing between. There is tremendous pressure to gift the BBC’s “market share” of broadcasting to the right wing propagandists of the world. Another in a long line of British things that we own, and can be proud of, being sold into private hands for far less than it’s worth.
Everyone who’s sick of politics the way it’s done at the moment.
And everyone who’s thinking… “You know what? This could work. And it could be great!”