Purple is the new black – protest Monday at 5pm.

Purple is the new black – protest Monday at 5pm.

Date: 10 May 2010

Purple protests are springing up across the country in support of demanding a fairer electoral system – and an emergency rally has been called tonight at 5pm outside the offices where the Lib Dems are corralled in deep talks. I went to the first of these on Saturday at Trafalgar Square. There were about a thousand people – and some morris dancers – who as far as I could tell were not part of the demonstration – but made a typical rally into an eclectic or eccentric English affair. The rally itself was short but we decided to make our way from Trafalgar Square, past parliament and to Smith Square where the Lib Dems were holding talks.

It was quite amazing to see people so fired up about electoral reform, perceived as so complex and little understood that it has, until now, remained the domain of a few academics and politics geeks. Chants rang out including ‘we want to see Nick’ and ‘Fair votes now’ and ‘don’t sell out’. It was incredibly positive to see that this short notice demo had attracted people of all ages and Billy Bragg, who has campaigned for years for constitutional reform.

Nick came out to a cheering crowd – again something I was amazed by as I can’t recall a time a politician has been welcomed by rapturous applause. He addressed the crowd saying that “I’ve campaigned for a better, more open, more transparent, new politics, every single day of this general election campaign. I genuinely believe it is in the national interest.” He didn’t say much more to clarify his position or what was happening inside the negotiations. But these talks are continuing all day today and an emergency protest has been called for 5pm today, again to ensure that Nick Clegg stays strong on his demand for electoral reform and sees that people want a fairer electoral system in which our votes count. WDM has joined the coalition and will be going en masse to the protest tonight with our almost purple banner…


PS if you’re interested to see whether Cameron’s claim that there is cross over between Tory and Lib Dem policies on climate change – you can judge for yourself by looking at our report that scored the parties’ policies on issues like climate justice, aid and trade.