Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Europe, Internationalism, Socialist Alternatives (Pabloism), and…Keir Starmer.

with 9 comments


Keir Starmer, people may note, is a member of the Editorial Collective of this journal.

It would be ridiculous to say that Keir Starmer’s support for Socialist Alternatives nearly 30 years ago determines his politics today, as  Labour’s  Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

The group’s  main politics were not ‘trotskyist’, although the name above of Michael Raptis, a historic leader of a dissident libertarian self-management current within that tradition indicates ties and Maurice Najman of the Alliance marxiste révolutionnaire (AMR) indicates connections with the ‘Pabloite’ tradition.

It was, more significantly,  aligned to the European ‘alternative’ movements of the time which stood for ecology, feminism and self-management. These were forerunners of later radical green-left groups, Los Indignados, Podemos, the left of Labour and similar currents within social democratic parties.

But it is encouraging that Starmer’s politics today  are certainly in the line of the policy of fighting for an ‘alternative Europe’, and seeing Europe as the central site of struggle for the left.

How he remains within this perspective, if at all, remains to be seen.

See also: The British Pabloites


Written by Andrew Coates

August 29, 2017 at 10:48 am

9 Responses

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  1. Do you think Keir is still an anti-capitalist?


    August 29, 2017 at 11:01 am

    • “How he remains within this perspective, if at all, remains to be seen.”

      I doubt it….

      Andrew Coates

      August 29, 2017 at 11:07 am

  2. “The group’s main politics were not ‘trotskyist’,” I met KS around this time, maybe a year later, and he did self-describe as a “Trotskyist but of the Pabloite variety…”

    Rob M

    August 29, 2017 at 12:58 pm

  3. No doubt, though when they were trying to influence the Socialist Society they played that down.

    I was a member of the Fédération pour une gauche alternative (FGA) and close to the ‘Pabs’, a “compagnon de route” as they say. I knew Maurice Najman, who was the effective leader of the AMR, or, as one of the SA in the UK, who was French called him, our “ideologue”.


    I first heard of them when I was in Paris and they were at an international conference for the TMR (The ‘international’ of the ‘pBas’).

    Yes he was from a Trotskyist background, but Maurice was open to lots of things, even, unlike myself, Laclau and Mouffe!

    Andrew Coates

    August 29, 2017 at 4:38 pm

  4. WTF is Pablosim and is anyone remotely interested? This is a good blog and you raise, usually serious issues, but this is nonsense!

    Dave Roberts

    August 30, 2017 at 2:13 pm

  5. Must be the first signs of dementia creeping in, love 😉

    Old Edith

    September 1, 2017 at 3:40 pm

  6. Is this the same Keir Starmer who was formerly the Director of Public Persecutions? Anti-capitalist?

    Witchfinder General

    September 2, 2017 at 5:42 am

  7. Reblogged this on Socialist Fight and commented:
    Interesting stuff; posted for discussion without politically endorsing.


    September 9, 2017 at 6:21 am

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