Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A quick trot around the political fringe

There are times when I despair of the myopic world the majority of the far left live in. Take the latest issue of Socialist Worker for example. It contains the wonderfully titled "Can we win real power" by David Hayes who tries to explain why  disenchantment with Parliamentary Democracy is at an all time low and wants to discuss what real democracy looks like.

He begins:

A common understanding of democracy is one where people exercise power by choosing their representatives in free elections.

Certainly is comrade. Hayes then goes on to make this observation:

Corruption and cover up is endemic

I really burst out laughing reading that given the cycle of scandal the Socialist Workers Party have put themselves through. The professors lynch mobs still ring bells in many peoples minds. It also gets published the same day as yet another group of SWP members in Manchester University SWSS quit:

Go to: internationalsocialistnetwork.org for their statement.

At the same time we read on the Socialist Party website about the memorial meeting for the demise of Militants hold on Liverpool Council (yeah the one that prompted that speech by Neil Kinnock. Oddly the meeting was co-sponsored by my union and originally Madame Janice Godrich, President of PCS was due to speak but was replaced by Fran Heathcote one of the more useless SP hacks in the union.

The occasion was used by the Socialist Party to push their wares as Peter Taffe their guru took full advantage of. Their website reports:

Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe, co-author of the book Liverpool - a City that Dared to Fight, then contrasted the Labour Party of the 1980s with New Labour, saying it was now a hollow shell incapable of representing the interests of working class people.

and went on to declare:

Peter told the meeting that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) can play a key role in building an alliance of all forces that are willing to fight for a socialist alternative, with the trade union movement being the bedrock of a future alternative mass party of the working class.

Given the presence of Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite and  a key supporter of the Labour Party in the trade union movement the potential for conflict must have been ever present in the comrades minds. Still its not quite clear from the carefully taken photo how many (or few) people actually turned for for what must have been a very dull evening.

Oh and of course the Militant control of Liverpool was a complete disaster by the way comrades...

Finally we get to a couple of election results for that "powerful alternative" to the Labour Party backed by Taffy, Crow & Co. The Trade Union & Socialist Coalition has given us a taster of what to expect on Thursday night.

In a misleadingly entitled article called "Edging the Tories out of Newcastle" we find that in South Eaton Ward the "first time carrier of the TUSC banner" polled a mighty 69 votes proudly trumpeted as 5.3% of the vote (Labour won with 798 votes) though the actual turnout is not stated it is likely to have been no more than a third or so like most local elections.

They don't say much about their other candidate but do tell us that he polled a staggering 47 votes in Castle ward. That's 1.8% by the way. They tell us that:

.. but even the more modest results contribute to building a working class political alternative to the pro-austerity establishment parties.

In your dreams comrades. I'm sticking with Labour!

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