Jonathan Fryer

Acceptable Cross-party Activity

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 29th June, 2007

ming-campbell.jpgdavid-cameron.jpggordon-brown.jpgThere’s been quite a lot of debate these last few days about the desirability or otherwise of cross-party activity in the British political context, outside of formal coalition arrangements. Here in Vilnius, Lithuania, I’ve been experiencing one positive kind, at a seminar on interested parties relating to reform in Belarus, organised by the British Conservatives, but attended by representatives of a wide range of parties, foundations, governments and institutes, from various conservative, liberal, socialist and social democratic traditions, notably from the United States, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK. It’s been a great opportunity to share experiences and see where cooperation is appropriate in furthering our common cause in assisting democratic development in Belarus, where moves have been afoot to try to get the fragmented opposition to unite.

Domestic party political divisions have been put on one side for 48 hours, but in the case of the Brits, the Labour, Conservative and LibDem representatives have now packed our bags and are heading home, braced for the two crucial by-elections, in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield, where we will be campaigning like mad to propel our own candidates to victory. We are lucky that we live in a country where that is not only possible, but is also understood as being perfectly normal behaviour!

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