Platform for Change launch- what next?

Platform for Change’s website is a bit shaky at the moment – oversubscribed already perhaps? – but Conall tells us the launch went well. The Bel Tel gives it a fair wind. Its progenitor Robin Wilson has laid out the stall in an op ed piece. Elsewhere some time ago, Robin explained the ambitious aim of replacing entrenched sectarian politics with a vision of a voluntary coalition that shouldn’t excite basic insecurities. Time will tell whether this is the platform round which people and politicians exasperated by the status quo can group. It’s a neat blend of the challenging and the reassuring. The broad concept is basically a further projection of the three-stranded model we have already. Now you can hurl terrible charges at the Platform, like it’s visionary and horrors! -soft left-sounding but actually it’s pretty step-by-step consensual in approach and style. This is huge relief as it heads off the terrible danger of plunging straight away into obscure ideological disputes.We all can put our oar in here. Rather than stake all on structural refrom, I would drive hard for policy agreements across the parties. I would prefer an offer of some options and not limit the Platform to single choices in every case. But the general tenor surely chimes with a widespread public mood. As I’ve signed up, I’m all eyes to know more about next moves- always a tricky stage just after a movement launch. A big early test will be the scale of political reaction. Will the l hush-hush DUP and SF programme for cohesion, sharing and integration measure up when it’s unveiled? Finally. I’m at a loss to understand what the usually sparkling Jason is on about, with his seen-it-all cynicism ( which he certainly hasn’t) and off- the -spectrum call for direct involvement by Dublin and London-based political parties. Please clarify Jason, in a way that stays in touch with real life.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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