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Since this is my first diary, I will start by introducing myself. I'm Diana, originally from California. In 2007 I met my husband on-line. Things moved sort of quickly and we got married just a little under 2 years later. The thing is, he's British and we had to decide where to begin our lives together. It was not a hard choice. We chose to settle in the UK because we thought we would have a better quality of life here, not to mention he was still at university so it just made more sense for me to make the move. It's now been almost 4 years since I made the move. The time has whizzed by and I haven't regretted what I did.

Back in California, I threw myself into progressive causes. Went door to door for progressive candidates, fund-raised, wrote letters, you name it. After moving, all I could really do is donate money and keep up to date on Daily Kos and other progressive sites. I joined Democrats Abroad but all their events are in London (usually on week nights), which is a 2 hour train journey away.

After 4 years, I'm starting to feel like I really want to make myself more useful over here. I really hate what the Conservatives are doing to the country, to the NHS, to university students, to the benefits system, the anti-immigration rhetoric to try to placate people who they're worried may vote for one of the more far-right parties. Sticking it to the poor and workers in favor of the wealthy, same old story. I know there are progressives here. I've spoken to plenty. I think most of them are just really sick of all the main parties, as they've all been moving steadily to the right (sound familiar?).

I can't vote yet, but I will be able to in time for the next election. Anyway, what I would really like is to find some sort of progressive community or organization I could be involved in. Of course, I'm not expecting to find anything nearly as amazing as Daily Kos! I haven't found anything so far. Maybe I haven't been looking hard enough, but there just doesn't seem to be much of a progressive grassroots in these parts. Any ideas?

This first diary is sort of intended to be an introduction, a rant, and a question. I love this community - it has kept me sane for the better part of 8 years. I lurked a lot during the awful Bush years.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Progressive left died when the lib dems went (5+ / 0-)

    in to coalition with the Tories. As a former lib dem voter that kills me to write. Probably the greens are going to be as close as you get.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:28:39 PM PST

  •  I Wish I Could Help, But My Working (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dianamherrera

    knowledge of the UK is next to nothing.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:35:02 PM PST

  •  Well, I'm nearby.... in Ireland. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, dianamherrera

    But not involved with politics over here. There have got to be some Kossacks in the UK with links to groups in the UK... wish I knew some to send your way. Hope some pop up soon. If not, keep trying. sometimes it is hard to get readers to notice a diary. I have not written one for a while but back when I was writing them as a rule I did got too many readers but did get some good comments and a few good threads... but keep writing. Maybe some comparisons and contrasts between what you have seen in the US and the UK in different political areas... and likely you will start to collect some with UK interests and links.

    Put "UK" in your diary title so readers will know immediately. I found that what the title and first heading includes really makes a difference. Obvious I know... but even then it takes practice to get effective ones. Even when I thought about a title and teaser lines at first I would get misses more than hits... but eventually learned what sort of wording were more likely to catch people's attention (and topics). But I am not sure I could explain it... I just know when it is likely a good one or not when I read it.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:38:06 PM PST

    •  I meant... keep UK in your titles... (0+ / 0-)

      proofreading... very important... something I sometimes fail to do thoroughly especially after rephrasing something and not quite clearing it all up....

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:42:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome from your lurking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dianamherrera

    As IreGyre said, please keep writing and informing us of the UK view of things.  It is interesting to see how a multiparty system works comparied to our system.  It would be interesting to see what would happen to our country if we were to redesign our government to work in a similar way. One can dream.

    Two quotes I wish to live by "Strength and Honor" (Gladiator) and "Do or Do Not, There is no Try" (SW-ESB).

    by SQD35R on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 02:43:29 PM PST

  •  Speaker's corner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dianamherrera, Chi

    If you go to speaker's corner in Hyde Park on Sunday you can find some progressives there. I'm a fan of Ishmial Blagrove who runs an independent film company that makes documentaries about progressive causes around the world. Their website is here.

    Also he's by far the best speaker there and I was a big fan of his when I lived in London. Check it out:

    (In that video I'm the guy in the Tim Wakefield shirt)

  •  England has a rich history of progressive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dianamherrera

    movements.  I'm sure it's still there but probably marginalized.  Read about the early 20th century around WWI.  Absolutely inspiring and puts today progressives to shame.

    Guns don't kill people...people with GUNS kill people.

    by thestructureguy on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:16:37 PM PST

  •  Can I suggest you PM (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dianamherrera, jarbyus

    ceebs and or Brit, they are both pretty active in the UK.

    I'm a Brit too, but much lower profile.

    Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

    by AnnetteK on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 04:32:08 PM PST

  •  The Liberal Democrats still are (0+ / 0-)

    I'm on the progressive left and very happy in the Lib Dems.

    I'm also happy with a lot of the progressive things the Government is doing, particularly reducing taxes for the lower paid while increasing them on the rich, and on the environmental agenda.

    There are other Tory inspired things I'm less happy about, but that's the reality of coalition, which is what the electorate delivered last time.

    You probably disagree, in which case you might be interested in getting involved in some of the pressure groups.  38 degrees, the mainly online campaign group, run a number of progressive campaigns.  There are lots of other campaign groups on environmental issues, poverty issues etc.

  •  Depends (0+ / 0-)

    The National Secular Society and British Humanist Society are both good places to start. They are both cross party groups.

    Use your computer and you can easily find local groups of "Progressives" and the good work they do at local levels. If you have a Community Centre nearby look down there for local work groups and social groups who work in the community.

    By the way.... Brits don't tend to use that "Progressive" word in a socio/political context as much as it is in the USA. Both the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties maintain socially progressive agendas. All UK politics is a lot further left than you are used to in the US.

    Remember, by UK standards the US has two political factions:

    1) Democrats = Centre Right. A blend between the Lib Dems and (Moderate) Conservatives.
    2) Republicans = Ultra Right - the Conservative Party on steroids and crack.

    Dont get disheartened.... look around, pop along and say Hello. After the initial surprise and maybe a bit of gentle ribbing they will all be more than happy to have another set of helping hands.

    •  PS: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melo

      Also dont worry too much if you start, after a few years in the UK, developing webs between your fingers, gill like structures around the collar and a sort of bluey white tone to your skin.

      That is just your bodies natural evolutionary way of adapting your sun acclimated body to our UK soggy climate.

  •  maybe not perfect for your needs (0+ / 0-)

    but check out www.eurotrib.com

    best wishes

    why? just kos..... *just cause*

    by melo on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:34:54 AM PST

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