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Election Debate

Counterfire is organising a series of meetings around the country to discuss the election, the implications of the new situation and to prepare for action after May

Thursday night's election debate was more proof politics is changing fast. It was great to see women outnumbering (and out-arguing) men, but Westminster has been so corrupted over the last few decades its actually startling to see politicians speaking like they have principles, things they actually believe in, care about.

Most important the ground is shifting to the left.  The evening was dominated by attacks on the current economic dogma embodied by the Cameron/Clegg government and on Nigel Farage's general  backwardness. All to the great delight of the audience.

And there was a serious discussion about how to move forward. When was the last time a Labour leader was criticised by other  politicians for not being left wing enough on primetime TV? Millions of people must have been inwardly cheering when Nicola Sturgeon offered Miliband assistance 'to replace the Tories with something different, better, more progressive, because progressive change is what this country is crying out for.'

What commentators can't quite deal with is this is politics starting to move into line with public opinion. Despite the best efforts of UKIP, the Tories and the media, immigration is not the main issue in the election. Poll after poll shows that the public want more nationalisation, less inequality, fewer cuts and improved public services.

That is the main reason why the SNP look set to sweep the board in Scotland and why so many people are wishing we could vote SNP in England. Even the Today Programme had to admit that an arrangement between the Labour Party and the SNP is an attactive proposition to many voters because it could help to push Labour leftwards.

For all its uncertainties, this is going to be a landmark election. The neoliberal consensus is starting to unravel. And whatever its outcome, what ordinary people do is going to make a difference. The Tories will try and cling on to office if they can – in which case the movements will have to organise to protest to try and force them out. If Labour get in we will need to mobilise to pressure them to listen to the majority.

In the run up to the election Counterfire is organising a series of meetings around the country to discuss the election, the implications of the new situation and to prepare for action after May 7. Make sure you come to a meeting near you.

Counterfire Public Meetings

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