29th June 2019
Dear Ms Hobhouse,
CALL FOR AN EMERGENCY ALLIANCE
I am writing to you as my constituency MP and a member of one of the Opposition parties that began cross party working around the time of the declaration of a climate and ecological emergency by parliament in the Spring.
I am a grassroots activist, a member of an Opposition party (the Green Party of England and Wales), a supporter of the youth strikes, and Extinction Rebellion; I am one of those arrested in the International Rebellion.
I believe our next government must work to resolve all forms of social injustice within and between nations, doing what is necessary to address the climate and ecological emergency.
A clear majority of Opposition party candidates must be returned at the next General Election, in order to form such a government.
I fear that this may not happen if the Opposition parties continue with politics-as-usual, under the First Past the Post system, and in an increasingly toxic political culture. I think the risks of this not happening, given the stakes – the existential threat to humanity, accelerating mass extinction, not to say the ascendancy of the far right – are unacceptably high.
The opportunity is there for the Opposition parties to form an Emergency Alliance committed to the above agenda, reaching satisfactory compromises over longstanding and more recent constitutional and other questions including Brexit through constructive negotiation and with the aid of citizens’ assemblies where required. We have to respect our different starting points there. We cannot however differ on the ecological imperative. That is the meaning of the emergency.
The Leader of HM Opposition described the International Rebellion as a ‘massive, and … very necessary wake-up call’. Yet, for the most part, politics-as-usual continues.
I therefore call on you and Opposition party leaders, officials, members, supporters, voters, and,
indeed youth strikers and rebels to do everything we can to bring an Alliance about, this summer, in time for a General Election.
For that reason, I am also sending a copy of this letter to the UK Student Climate Network, and the Headquarters of Extinction Rebellion. As I have done with other emergency-related correspondence, I will publish a copy online too at www.jonathanoates.net.