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Will the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste Continue its Lonely Path?

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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.