Take Back Parliament
Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 29th August, 2010
This lunchtime I spent a windy hour helping man a street stall outside Angel tube station put up by the Islington branch of Take Back Parliament, the coalition of NGOs and lobbying groups that is campaigning for a reform of Britain’s broken electoral and political system — and therefore for a ‘yes’ vote in next May’s referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV). The campaign’s colour is purple and its supporters are self-dubbed the Purple People. A big demonstration of them turned up in Smith Square in May, to lobby Nick Clegg and his LibDem colleagues to press ahead with electoral and parliamentary reforms. The Deputy Prime Minister Clegg is indeed in charge of the Coalition government’s programme of reform and will be playing a leading role in the ‘yes’ campaign in next year’s referendum. But the Take Back Parliament movement is strictly non-party political. The argument has to be won among supporters of all of Britain’s political parties, as well as the non-aligned. This lunchtime’s effort was a modest affair — a much bigger event is due to be held at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church on Tuesday evening — but every little helps. And it is imortant that the colour and the message start getting across to the British public — which is one reason why activists today and on other occasions festooned the surroundings with with purple ribbons.