Archive for the ‘Greens’ Category
A Respectable 51 Votes Yesterday.
GUE/NGL MEP Pablo Iglesias presents his candidacy for President of the European Parliament:
“The exceptional political situation today in Europe requires not more of the same failed policies, it requires an exceptional response. Perhaps the most important lesson we can draw from the European Election results is that citizens all across Europe have rejected the status quo. People have seen that the neoliberal economic model based on greed, free market principles, and the protection of financial interests at all costs is responsible for the ravaged economies in periphery counties, particularly in the south of Europe. Hard fought for gains have been swept away: social rights, democratic principles, equality, and popular sovereignty.
“Austerity decided by the few has diminished democracy and has ruined the social fabric in southern countries and destroyed labour protection laws. You’ve seen that submission to the dictates of the Troika is economically inefficient and dramatic in terms of social and human rights and poverty.”
“All of us, as elected members, have a duty and a responsibility to defend these gains, and stop Europe being governed behind the backs of citizens. We know all too well that these methods have been proven not to work: we have a continent ruled by a self-serving group of financial elites while the majority of people from the southern countries of Europe continue to be punished by poverty, inequality, and this loss of sovereignty.”
European United Left/Nordic Green Left European Parliamentary Group
Martin Schulz (S&D, DE) 409: Mr Schulz duly elected President of the European Parliament
Sajjad Karim (ECR, UK) 101
Pablo Iglesias (GUE, ES) 51
Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA, AT) 51
Pablo Iglesias is a member of PODEMOS,
“Podemos (meaning “We can” in Spanish) is a Spanish political party created on 11 March 2014 by Spanish leftist activists associated with the 15-M movement that emerged from the 2011–12 Spanish protests. Its defacto leader is Pablo Iglesias Turrión a writer, professor of Political Science at the Complutense University in Madrid and occasional Spanish television presenter for a regional political discussion program Fort Apache.
This is the axis of their programme:
1. Recuperar la economía, construir la democracia
2. Conquistar la libertad, construir la democracia
3. Conquistar la igualdad, construir la democracia
4. Recuperar la fraternidad, construir la democracia
5. Conquistar la soberanía, construir la democracia
6. Recuperar la tierra, construir la democracia
- 1. Recovering the economy places emphasis on public control, includes poverty reduction and social dignity via a basic income for everyone. It includes lobbying controls and tax-avoidance remedies for large corporations and multinational organisations, as well as promotion of smaller enterprises.
- 2. 3. 4. Promoting liberty fraternity and equality is about breaking down barriers across Europe and allowing people to cooperate fairly without either intelligence gathering or social inhibitions which are notionally ‘counter-terrorism measures.
- 5. Redefining Sovereignty implies revoking or curtailing the Treaty of Lisbon, abandoning memoranda of understanding, withdrawing from some free trade agreements and promoting referenda on any major constitutional reform.
- 6. Recover the land deals with reduction of fossil fuel consumption, promotion of public transport and renewable energy initiatives, reduction of industrial cash crop agriculture and stimulus of local food production by Small and medium enterprises
There was a significant article in Le Monde yesterday on Pablo Iglesias and PODEMOS L’«indigné» espagnol qui veut bousculer l’Europe.
We await its equivalent in the mainstream English language media.
In the meantime International Viewpoint published this highly informative analysis of Podemos The rise of Podemos by
In the European election Podemos got 8% of the vote (5 MEPs). The other left bloc Izquierda Unida, got more votes than Podemos, at 10% (6 MEPs).
As one can imagine there is plenty of scope for controversy to explore there.
These focus on how to “construir una nueva forma de organización política.“
Weekly Worker says, economic policy is ” mishmash“.
Left Unity is encouraged, rightly in the Tendance’s view by having achieved some national resonance. 1,520 signed-up members – and 200 in the immediate run up to their Manchester Conference.
But steel-hardened cadres beware!
Peter Manson reports in the Weekly Worker.
The economics policy commission, which made up the first real business of the day, remains a mishmash of lofty aspirations and minimalist reforms. It starts by describing the effects of the global financial crisis, yet does not go on to call for the party to be committed to a campaign for an alternative society. It states: “Radical measures are necessary to ensure a transformation in the economic structure and a reversal of the damage inflicted over the last 30 years of attacks …” It calls for “an expansion of public spending in pursuit of a policy of full employment”.
…incredibly, no debate was allowed on this monstrosity of a document.
We can only be dismayed.
Except that to most people it seems a pretty good approach to take, a radical programme of structural reforms, and a positive attempt to offer an alternative to the Privatising State and Austerity.
In general Left Unity has some pretty good policies. It refused to follow the Gadarene herd into the sea of Scottish nationalism and an independent capitalist Alba. It rejected calls for ‘unity’ with groups like the SWP (which some of Left Unity’s main members recently split from acrimoniously) and the No2EU supporting Socialist Party.
It would have been interesting to see some balance-sheet of the experience of other left party initiatives, particularly a self-criticism from those who were until not so long ago part of the cabal around George Galloway’s Respect Party.
None has appeared.
Even Cde. Mason admits its policy on Europe is an excellent start,
Crouch End’s motion called for support for the statement of the European Left Party and its “refoundation of Europe on a socialist basis”. This was carried unanimously. Of course, there are big differences on what exactly is meant by that, and those around Andrew Burgin, Kate Hudson and so on who support it have very different ideas in practice on what is meant by “socialist”. But this convergence around the notion of all-Europe unity – as opposed to left nationalism – was striking.
This is a major advance for the British left.
The comrade writing in the organ of the Provisional Central Committee of the CPGB accurately observes (following no doubt the judgement of Tendance Coatesy) that the motion on racism was a load of, how shall we put this politely, cack.
Cde Mason remarks,
“It was fitting that this intersectionalist motion was moved by Richard Seymour. He was urged by comrade Macnair to accept that the motion was “framed in the wrong way” and should be referred back.”
Comrade Macnair pointed out that its sectionalist/intersectionalist basis was “inconsistent with global opposition to capitalist rule”. Blacks (or women) per se cannot lead such opposition. Secondly, it saw no difference between the racism of old and today’s “nativism”. It accepted the whole multiculturalist agenda, which was driven by the bourgeoisie and sought to divide opposition from ethnic groups by upholding their separation from each other and promoting ‘community leaders’ who claimed to speak for them and helped sideline any united class response to cuts, etc.
Quite right comrade! (we are not being facetious here)
In his reply, comrade Seymour dismissed the concern about intersectionality. The various oppressed groups “intersect”. So “what’s the problem?” As for the divisive nature of multiculturalism, that seemed to pass him by. Showing just how all-pervasive are the backward ideas associated with multiculturalist intersectionality, the CP was virtually alone in calling for a referral-back: the motion was carried overwhelmingly.
The motion passed.
This alone shows something is going wrong.
Whether Left Unity will amount to a successful intervention in national politics remains very much an open question.
One larded with doubts.
We consider that initiatives like the People’s Assembly have deeper roots and can achieve more results – fighting austerity uniting trade unionists , social movements and individuals – than a new party.
But we shall leave to conclusion to Cde. Mason.
The whole day was very tiring, but it was nowhere near as frustrating as the founding conference. But, despite some success for the “extreme left”, March 29 marked another step on the road towards Left Unity becoming a broad, “moderate” party incapable of organising consistent working class opposition to capital. However, there is a lot to play for yet.
A rather different report on the Conference in Links International.
France has a new Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, from the right-wing of the Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste).
Valls, who received a mere 5% in the party’s -primary’ to select a Presidential candidate , is known as a “social liberal”, with an authoritarian streak. Although he has progressive secularist views, and is a ferocious opponent of racists like Dieudonné, he has an illiberal streak. Valls is also accused of anti-Rom views amongst many other doubtful opinions.
He is one of the very few French politicians to refer to Tony Blair as an inspiration.
Valls is sometimes known as a “Sarkozy of the Left”.
Notable in his Cabinet is the President’s former partner, Ségolène Royal, nominated as Minister of Ecology. On the left of the Socialists, Benoît Hamon, remains but is now Education Minister.
The French Greens (EELV) have broken their coalition with the Parti Socailiste and do not participate in the new government.
This is their declaration (adapted),
The ecologists take note of the will of the President of the Republic to learn from the the municipal elections. In particular, they note that the President of the Republic has announced an end to dependence of our country on oil and nuclear power .
However, we would have hoped for a real shift in direction. The existing budget guidelines remain unchallenged and it does not seem probable that likely that a large-scale transition to new forms of energy use corresponding to our wishes, is taking place.
The ecologists will support the government whenever it engages on the path of progress and ecology, but will oppose any changes which do not meet green criteria,.
Despite the proposals made by Manuel Valls, the conditions within the government do not exist for Europe Ecologie Les Verts participation. We will, nevertheless, be vigilant partners of the government, to make sure that such a (energy) transition occurs.
Emmanuelle Cosse, National Secretary of the Executive Board and EELV
This move has proved unpopular with their own supporters, 93% of EELV backers do not agree with the decision. (93%). Daniel Cohn-Bendit has denounced their change in direction.
Reports indicate that the party is in the middle of a massive row about this step.
To outsiders it would seem that making the “transition” to a Green energy policy the principal basis for a break with the government is odd.
It is certainly not a major concern of the European left.
The reference to the budget is also far from clear.
Are they against austerity or not?
We would suggest that the stormy relations between Valls and the Greens have a more obvious origin.
The Green leader Cécile Duflot has clashed with the new Prime Minister when she was Housing Minister, and cordially detests him. They clashed last year over her stand in favour of decriminalising cannabis.
The French media has not been slow to accuse Duflot of making a “personal” choice for the rest of her party, though how far her influence extends to the EELV as a whole remains in doubt.
Does this have wider implications?
Are European Greens finally breaking with the politics of austerity pursued by centre-left leaders like France’s President François Hollande?
This is far from certain.
France’s Greens are proud of winning the town of Grenoble, with the backing of the Parti de Gauche of Jean-Luc Mélenchon against the Socialists who were allied with…..the Parti Communiste Français…
More information on that from the Alternatifs Grenoble, enfin « une ville pour tous ! »
The People’s Assembly conference on Saturday was a success.
Proudhon said that while the French working class talks, the British and German movement organise.
I would like to give respect to Jacky and to Clare for their contribution to organisation.
It was highly appropriate to begin the day with tributes to comrades Bob Crow and Tony Benn.
I was waiting for the right venue to hear and appreciate their lives and we got it – the most moving and the best tributes that you could possibly hear.
As they said, don’t mourn: organise.
We are a good Suffolk People’s Assembly.
We are based on the trade unions, and real co-operation between all the different parts of the left, from anarchists to the Labour Party.
We have had a real echo in our County.
During the day the only contentious debates were attempts to introduce a US-style ‘Occupy’ ‘consensus’ model of how we work, and a SWP attack on my union UNITE.
The former was brushed aside: we do not need lessons from a marginal US movement for how we operate.
The second was, frankly, sat on.
The People’s Assembly is open to a whole range of movements, from the campaign about climate change to (above) campaigns against Workfare. The ideology is not hard to grasp: it is democratic socialism in all its varieties.
But one thing was very a marked throughout the day: we are a working class movement.
“We will today commit ourselves to fight back in unity and solidarity in the movement as a whole, with the organised working class in the trade unions at the heart and head of our movement and demanding the right of workers to organise freely in those unions, opposing all current and further attempts to undermine our right to resist.”