Posts Tagged ‘angela merkel’
Real Left Unity.
Marxist Dentists around the UK leave copies of The Lady and Country Life to stir up class hatred.
At least that was my theory on reading Rachel Johnson’s magazine this morning waiting for an appointment.
One article about a Lady of the British Empire who could not boil an egg, had crossed the planet, swum with dolphins, holidayed in the Savanna, struck me.
I doubt if she was prepared to walk to Liddle to get 15 pence off a tin of sardines.
This, I suspect, is not a lone reaction.
Margaret Thatcher’s death and the rise of UKIP brought back a cold draft of class politics to this country.
Many realised that the Thatcher project, to make everybody stand or fall in the gales of competing on the market, and the pumped-up loathing of foreigners |(notably excepting the USA) that went with it, is alive and well.
Like many on the left, trade unionists and anti-cuts activists, I am committed to the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
This is a grand occasion for us to get together on issues that affect us all, to build a constructive left-wing alternative to the politics of hate and the priorities of the wealthy.
It will unite us with our fellows across Europe in opposing the financial forces that have imposed cuts and more privatisation in the UK, and destitution and mass unemployment in countries from Greece and Spain to Portugal – not to mention the misery brought upon UKIP’s bogies in Rumania and Bulgaria.
There is a serious debate to be had about the European Union, and the role of the ”Troika’ in pushing through austerity.
The French left is divided between those who think that Angela Merkel is at heart a pragmatist and will – eventually – see sense and launch an expansionist drive. French president Hollande’s intervention yesterday, in which he proposed a European economic “governance” went in this sense. Some on his side believe in federalism, a politically united Europe.
Others are sceptical. They want a radical overhall of the EU. A few want greater national sovereignty restored.
In the UK we have by contrast, as Seamus Milne noted in the Guardian this week, a debate on Europe whose agenda is set by the right.
This is a threat,
a successful Tory-led campaign to pull out of the EU would risk unleashing a carnival of reaction, anti-migrant hysteria, more attacks on social rights, and a further lurch to the right.
Milne states, rightly,
What has been almost entirely missing from the mainstream British public debate has been the progressive case for fundamental change that has been central to the struggle over the EU and its treaties in mainland Europe. In the 1975 referendum, the left case against the then common market was that it was a cold war customs union against the developing world that would block socialist reforms. But the modern EU has gone much further, giving a failed neoliberal model of capitalism the force of treaty, entrenching deregulation and privatisation and enforcing corporate power over employment rights.
What would be fatal would be to allow the nationalist right to continue to dictate the EU agenda and wrap itself in the mantle of democratic legitimacy. The terms of debate have to change – for the sake of both Britain and Europe.
Much of the British left remain dominated by the anti-EEC ideas of the 1970s.
They have not confronted this menace.
Indeed they think their tiny forces can intervene to make the “progressive” case for a sovereign UK outside the EU.
We need a real campaign in place of this: for a united social Europe!
The People’s Assembly could be a place to make the case of this.
Some of the left think there is a mileage in the Left Unity appeal of Kate Hudson and Ken Loach.
Recent prominent members of Respect , who failed to protest against George Galloway’ s politics, they are not in a position to preach unity to anybody least of all the ‘left’.
I merely cite this report by Tina Becker from the Weekly Worker to show that this is a dead-end,
Kate Hudson and Andrew Burgin (important driving forces) would have liked the proceedings to have gone differently. After all, the Stop the War Coalition and Respect – organisations both comrades were prominent in – were far more choreographed. But, ironically, bureaucratic coherence in fronts like these was provided by the likes of the Socialist Workers Party, part of the organised left to which LU is to a great extent a reaction. The politically decrepit Socialist Resistance – the one ‘insider’ group – is no substitute.
The proposed political platform written by Kate Hudson was circulated three days before; a proposal for the electoral procedure to the national coordination committee was sent out 20 hours before; the chairs seem to have been pre-chosen on the basis that they had no previous experience of handling big meetings (one chair was actually introduced as someone who had “never attended a political meeting before”). No wonder that quite a few times people in the room (the chairs included) did not actually know what exactly they were voting on. It was pretty chaotic, in other words.
This was also reflected in the rather uneven attendance. Local groups were supposed to send two delegates each, but where more people expressed an interest in coming, they were advised by the interim leadership to simply divide their group into smaller parts. For example, Manchester comrades – all sitting together in the same meeting, in the same room – selected five delegates from different parts of the city. Elsewhere, groups had not even met yet. Andrew Burgin admitted that about half of the “90 or 100” local groups exist only in so far as one person had volunteered to be the local contact. So the reality was that pretty much anybody who wanted to come could do so.
Unless, of course, you happened to be a representative of a political organisation. The interim organising committee had decided to bar existing groups from even sending observers – apart from a representative of the Red-Green Alliance from Denmark, who showed up halfway through the meeting. Obviously it would have been a little harsh to send this poor comrade packing after he had made such a long journey, presumably on a well-informed hunch.
Followed by the latest TUSC (Left involving the RMT, Socialist Party and SWP) election result.
Election of a Borough Councillor for Rawmarsh Ward (Rotherham) on Thursday 16 May 2013
|Baldwin, William George||British National Party||80|
|Gray, Andrew Tony||Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts||61|
|Meharban, Mohammed||Liberal Democrats||28|
|Parker, Martyn Lawton||The Conservative Party Candidate||107|
|Vines, Caven||UK Independence Party||1143 Elected|
|Wright, Lisa Marie||Labour Party Candidate||1039|
Left Alternative to French Socialist Government.
French politics are in turmoil. Opinion Polls show both the Socialist President, François Hollande and his Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on a slide. They have dropped to backing levels of 35 and 37%.
Thier handling of the Mittal group’s plans for the Florange steel plant, which many believe will not save jobs or the furnace, has been widely criticised on the left and by trade unions.
Left-wing sections of the Front de Gauche have issued a joint declaration on the wider aspects of the present situation.
They note that the strategy of the Ayrault government is far from their electoral promises of “« changement maintenant », change now.
The Minister of the Interior, Manuel Valls has not hesitated to crack down on Roms, has decided to fight by police repression, protests against the construction of the airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, and the Cabinet is wobbling about the promise to give immigrants the vote in local elections.
St the root of this, they states, is a failure to confront the austerity measures incarnated in the European Treaty drawn up principally by Sarkozy and Angela Merkel.
The European Union agreement on increased ‘compeition’, a mainstay of “ultralibéralisme”, remains unchallenged. Austerity policies, based on this outlook, are being implemented by the Ayrault government, with President Hollande’s approval.
Against this they call for a campaign in 2013 for an alternative to austerity, based on concrete measures, to help resolve the crisis. They propose that the Front de Gauche takes every possible means to mobilise protest, to show that there is an alternative on the left,a nd that cuts and austerity are not in inevitable . In this way they propose to broaden their campaign to include all those who share this strategy.
Pierre Laporte (FASE), Stéphanie Treillet (Convergences et alternative), Alain Faradji (Gauche unitaire), Ingrid Hayes (Gauche anticapitaliste)
How is the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (from which both the Gauche Unitaire and the Gauche anticapitaliste broke away) reacting?
On the Gauche anticapitaliste site this has just been posted.
Le NPA va t-il choisir un isolement supplémentaire ? Samy Johsua.
Johsua notes that the former NPA Presidential Candidate Olivier Besancenot does envisage some kind of general cooperation between different left forces opposed to the present Socialist-led government’s policies. But that in the documents for the NPA’s next year Conference there is no mention of any real « front social et politique » that could give this shape. The NPA remains fixated by hard-line opposition to ‘social liberalism’, which in its view is incarnated in the Socialist Party (PS).
If the NPA now stands for ‘left opposition’ to the Ayrault government, that is not sufficient for real unity.
Instead we see a repeat of the old – antique – opposition between « les réformistes » (Front de Gauche) et « les révolutionnaires » (the NPA). The FdG which stands for change “through the ballot box”, is not, in this view, really ‘anti-capitalist’. It does not stand for real united struggle, nor their self-organisation.
To Joshua the NPA remains stuck in the past. Its appeal for a party in which one could see “cohabiter des traditions différentes” draws narrow limits. Only the traditional far left is welcome to join.
By contrast for the Gauche anticapitaliste, a “front social et politique ” of the left of the left remains essential.
But, as yet, the NPA appears not to want to be a full part of such a united response to the crisis.