Progressive Versus Radical. Been thinking about this since the GP Conference. Why are we talking about a progressive alliance and not a Radical one? Does it have any significance? Of course you could say its just words and it doesn't mean anything. But in politics choice of words matters and is usually carefully thought through as a way to prepare people to accept one thought and forget another..
To my ears 'Progressive' has an American Democrat/ Blairite ring to it. "Progress' was the name of the Blaire grouping within Labour which pushed the New Labour agenda. In the Blaitire world, 'Progressive' was part of the vocabulary of leaving old labour behind and making New Labour 'electable'. Today it is still the Blairites who are the progressives and the Corbynites who are the radicals.
The name 'Progressive Alliance' was chosen in 2012 for the formation of an international alliance of 'progressive'across the world. To give you an idea of its centrist political flavour, the Greek party PASOK (who were and are in favour of the bail outs and austerity) were part of it while Syriza was not.
So it seems to me 'Progressive' has a deliberately more centrist feel.
Which seems a little odd given that the main target of our overture for an alliance is a Labour party led by Corbyn. Who one would surely classify as a radical rather than a progressive?
There is something, for me, about seeking a 'progressive' alliance which feels slightly off. Are we signalling that we are now a progressive party and pointedly no longer a radical one?