At 2251 on 17.10.2017, Jeremy Cliffe tweeted this:
Remotely interested in a possible new anti-Brexit party with transformative social-liberal policies? Email "I'm in" to: email@example.com
— Jeremy Cliffe (@JeremyCliffe) October 17, 2017
At 2316 the Twitter name @RadicalsUK was secured by me, and then I messaged Jeremy. The domain name radicalsuk.com was registered by me at 2244, and a basic WordPress powered site (even with a SSL Certificate!) was online at 0029, with a register your interest form as its main feature. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts followed. A rudimentary visual identity using Google Fonts Ubuntu (for logos) and Open Sans (text) followed. It’s a kind of pop-up political movement – for the online component at least.
Meanwhile – thanks to (re)tweets from Thomas Ilves and Emmanuel Macron, the Twitter account passed a thousand followers within four hours. Not bad for a movement that was nothing more than a tweet really…
What’s the deal here? Honestly I don’t quite know. Jeremy is a friend of mine and when he says and writes things, interesting things tend to happen. I do not know if this effort of his has any better chance of getting anywhere than James Chapman’s “The Democrats”, or Renew that was featured in the FT a few days back. I am not even sure that trying to form some sort of new political movement is even a good idea, as Tom King bluntly pointed out to me. But En Marche! wasn’t meant to work either, and did. And the Lib Dems are not exactly dynamic just now. And with Brexit negotiations at a standstill, the UK economy starting to stall, and with a ridiculous government in power, something needs to change in the UK.
At a personal level: do I want anything to do with UK politics with an initiative like this? I am not sure. I am quite content in the Grüne in Germany. But putting a couple of hours of my time into this, and hosting the first website of this movement, seemed like a decent thing to do. And thanks to this blog entry it is now at least clear what my involvement is.
Anyway, just four hours after Jeremy’s initial tweet, that’s where we are. It’s past 3am and I need to sleep a bit. What will tomorrow bring I wonder?