Thursday, 27 June 2013

Wishful thinking on the far left

The release of Ken Loach's film and his subsequent statement has led to the establishment of yet another group to the left of the Labour Party which goes by the name of Left Unity. Not exactly original and frankly a name that is itself based in wishful thinking as one thing the far-left has never been good at is "unity".

They seem to be embarking on the road to establishing themselves as a political party with the name the Left Party now being touted around their inner circles.  They claim to have around 100 local groups though their membership does not seem to have increased much since I last wrote about them in March. Rather they have started holding meetings and are planning their first national conference to maybe agree some kind of manifesto around which the new set of comrades can agree.

Unique amongst the organised far left they do have an open and active blog which is worth dipping into on occasion. The contributions range from articles by quite genuine unaligned activists to the ridiculous, but at least they don't censor other peoples views.

What prompted me to cover this group again was an article by Will McMahon who wants an electoral alliance with the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition. The TUSC is the bastard son of the Socialist Party and has garnered not just the support of the SWP but the affiliation (and bankrolling ) of the RMT. Not that this had led to any breakthrough of any description. Not that this puts our Will off claiming:

 ....the capacity of TUSC to get credible votes in local elections (not withstanding some of its poorer votes). A series of three to five per cent plus votes in council by-elections, most recently in Southampton, in spite of the lack of serious organisational infrastructure at either local or national levels and a rather unwieldy name, indicates that the basis for an electoral vehicle for socialism still exists.

Given that the turnouts in these elections tended to be extremely low 5% of little represents nothing. has he so soon forgotten the Eastleigh by-election. But that's not all, Machon goes on to consider that:

A clear staging post on the way to a new mass socialist party establishing itself as a permanent feature in the national psyche will be the 2014 local and 2015 general elections. An electoral coalition made up of TUSC, Left Unity, local socialist groups and thousands of independent socialists, as well as the existing far left groups, that stood in over 120 constituencies in 2015, would begin to present itself as a national political alternative for the working class. The seriousness of such a project could draw to it tens of thousands of grass roots militants and campaigners alongside existing leaders of non-Labour affiliated trade unions

Given that most trade unionists and members simply want the removal of the Coalition Government , I suspect that even if the notice such an alliance, they will be voting for the candidates best placed to remove the Tories and their Lib Dem allies. The Tories will be under threat from UKIP which is also likely to attract support from sections of the disaffected working class.

Of course reference is made to previous "unity" projects on the far-left starting with the Socialist Labour Party launched by Arthur Scargill, the Socialist Alliance, and the TUSC. I leave out Respect because it seems to me to be more of a far-right formation in many ways, but that debate can take place another time when Galloway starts kicking off again. The point is all these projects failed. The reason? The involvement of the Leninist sects (SWP, SP etc) and their potential involvement worries the LU comrades.

Their discussion threads contain numerous references to what is basically the self centered and elitist nature of all these competing outfits who try to raid anything that moves to recruit them to the party. And yes it does sound a bit like a night out on the razzle.

The comrades at Left Unity are right to be worried, these groups wreck everything they get involved in (just look at my union PCS). It would be a pity if the efforts of ordinary people were wasted, so rather than found a new party that will probably cease to exist in a few years time, if that my advice is to adopt a more realistic approach.

Get involved in the unions or the Labour Party. There really is no alternative, sorry guys.

No comments:

Post a Comment