The Rebel Alliance of politics collapses before it even starts
By Daniel J. McLaughlin
It all sounds like a Star Wars movie: a Progressive Alliance, much like the Rebel Alliance, form to fight what they see as the bad guys; and Jeremy Corbyn looks a bit like Ben Kenobi, too. However, the analogy falls apart, not just because the Conservatives do not have a Death Star (as far as we are aware) nor can Theresa May fire lightning bolts from her fingers (again, unverified), but because the alliance collapses before it even starts the mission.
The Green Party is the most willing to fight for the cause, standing aside in 24 seats to help defeat the Conservatives. The number of seats other progressive parties will stand aside in to help others: two. And that's more of a quid pro quo from the Liberal Democrats, standing aside for Green Party leader Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion, in exchange for the Greens standing down in neighbouring Tory-held Kemptown. The Lib Dems are also not running in the North Yorkshire seat, Skipton and Ripon.
Like the shot Luke Skywalker took to blow up the Death Star in A New Hope, the Progressive Alliance, the Huffington Post argues, is a "once-in-a-lifetime chance that must be taken". It should also be viewed as a long-term project, instead of its sole focus on the outcome of the general election; "a progressive alliance is not just for GE2017 - it’s for life".
However, Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out a progressive alliance, in particular with the SNP in Scotland.
The Labour leader said: "There will be no coalition deal with the SNP and a Labour government.
"The SNP may talk left at Westminster, but in government in Scotland it acts right. A genuinely progressive party would not refuse to introduce a 50p top rate of income tax on the richest.
"The SNP wants to break up the UK; it has no interest in making it work better. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity in Scotland - not progressive politics.
"Only Labour or the Tories can win this election and voting Labour is the only way to remove Theresa May from office."
The national Labour Party showed their seriousness of only supporting their candidates, and no-one else's, by expelling Labour members for uniting with the Greens and Lib Dems to oust Jeremy Hunt from his seat. Three members, including Steven Williams who had supported the party for 46 years, were punished for supporting a NHS doctor who is running against the Health Secretary.
The Empire is striking back with another alliance that could deliver a blow to the rebels: an informal pact between UKIP and the Tories. While UKIP quietly pulls out of key contests - although a lot of it comes down to the fact they cannot muster enough candidates to fight every fight - their withdrawal will heavily favour the Conservatives in hyper-marginal seats. For instance, Labour came within 300 votes to win Bury North in 2015; the Conservatives won the seat with 18,970 votes, while UKIP took 5,595 votes.
The Progressive Alliance has not even made it to the opening titles without falling apart. The galaxy continues to be divided between party allegiances.