In February I suggested that those who commented regularly here were offering opinions that were far too well reasoned, and important, to be consigned to the comments section of this blog. For good reason many people do not go near comments sections: they are usually far too toxic to be compatible with well-being. I have worked hard to avoid that on this blog but I suggested that there was a need for a new blog so that these opinions might attract a bigger audience, and grow into place where wider discussion could occur.
Others agreed. A dozen or so people expressed interest. Sean Danaher, Peter May and Bob Edwards took more leading roles in differing ways (and I do not wish to dismiss the offerings of others) and now Progressive Pulse is up and running. Please take a look.
My hope is that this blog will provide the opportunity for serious debate. I have a small role: the not-for-profit company that publishes the site is based at my address and I am a director because I have experience of such things and not because I am not making editorial decisions. These are being undertaken by a collective effort.
Moderation will be on the same basis and will be undertaken on a similar basis to that done here: persistent abuse or time wasting will not be tolerated. This is the only way in which discussion can occur in the face of those who think freedom is a description of the right to abuse and oppress others. Those with a proven track record of abuse here will find that they are already unwelcome on this new blog: there is no point in them trying their luck.
From the outset it was decided that the new blog should have a decided tone to it. As the 'About' page says of the motivations for the site:
- We are a centre left blog and are not affiliated to any political party but are willing to support like minded people in the Green, Labour and Lib Dem parties, and even some on the left of the Tory party.
- We do not support and actively oppose individual and parties that espouse right wing populism, totalitarianism, racism, sectarianism, bigotry or English (or any other form of) supremeism either expressed overtly or covertly. This includes the right wing of the Tory Party and UKIP.
- We believe in wider participation and electoral reform including PR and that governance and economic wealth in the UK is being increasingly skewed towards the South East of England. New structures are needed to address this.
- We very much regret Brexit and believe the UK will be impoverished Economically, Academically, Culturally and Diplomatically and that Brexit may cause the UK to break up with the loss of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Furthermore the normalisation of anti immigrant and racist rhetoric is a stain on the country, with potentially very unpleasant consequences in the future.
- We believe in society that works for the many not the few, which minimises wealth inequality, maximises education opportunity, delivers health and social care for all and provides decent housing and well-being for all its citizens.
- We believe in society that cherishes all the children of the nation equally, irrespective of race, religion, gender, age or sexual orientation.
- We believe that we hold the Earth in stewardship for future generations and that we have obligation to do what we can to enhance sustainability and combat climate change.
- We believe in a mixed economy where both the private and public sector works in partnership where for example the NHS and rail should be in public ownership and all retail and most manufacturing in private ownership.
- We believe our Society is enhanced by multiculturalism and celebrate diversity, but understand that too little has been done for areas which have been left behind by automation and international free trade over the past four decades.
- We believe in objective truth not dogma and that decisions must be made on the best available evidence. This is of increasing importance as the use of fake news and agnotology is on the rise.
- We believe new economic and social thinking is needed. Neoliberalism which came to prominence in the Thatcher/Reagan era, which puts money and markets before people, has worked for the few not the many and has been in crisis since the 2008 banking crash.
- We believe we are on a journey and there is a need to both educate and be educated, but that radically new economic and structural models are needed.
- We believe in having as close a relationship to our neighbours particularly the EU and believe in a spirit of cooperation and friendship rather than belligerence.
We are a progressive movement and know that our ideas need to evolve with the times:
— Step 1 is to provide a forum for ideas. This is here at progressivepulse.org
— Step 2 is to synthesise these ideas into a coherent vision fit for the 21st century.
— Step 3 is to develop a movement for the vision
— Step 4 is to promulgate the vision.
It's my intention to promote this new blog and I will do so, regularly.
It's also my intention to encourage people to write for it. This is a platform that will succeed if it has a regular supply of strong voices willing to put forward progressive ideas. If you want to be involved this is possible either by using the form on the Progressive Pulse site http://www.progressivepulse.org/contact-us/ or by emailing email@example.com
I am grateful to those who grabbed this idea and ran with it.
I wish the whole project well.