Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Morning Star Tries Failed Left Populist Rhetoric against the “Political Caste” to Back Brexit.

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Last Attempt at Insurgent anti-EU politics.

As popular revolt against Brexit is growing the Morning Star has found nothing better than the warmed up rhetoric of Podemos to come to its Leave campaign.

Railing against the “political caste”, la casta, was all the range some years ago on the Spanish Left.

The ‘caste’ like la caste in French, sounds pretty odd in English.

Apparently backing the popular demand for a referendum in the new conditions is a manoeuvre by this ‘caste’.

This would not matter but the Morning Star has weight in some pro-Brexit Labour and union circles.

Speaking, modestly, for the people, the Morning Star, organ of the British Communist Party, sorry Morning Star Co-op,  talks of Parliament being given, “its marching orders from the electorate” to back Brexit.

They voice this righteous indignation:

Popular anger at a political caste that has not delivered on its promises will only increase every day that leaving the EU is postponed beyond March 29.

As shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon writes in tomorrow’s Morning Star, Labour has a huge amount to offer because it is not led by members of the political caste. Its leaders are radicals ready to transform our country in the interests of the vast majority.

But if it is to do that it has to rekindle the insurgent politics that won it millions of new voters in 2017. The commitment to securing a Brexit deal that works for workers, rather than a second referendum, which Corbyn confirmed on the Sophy Ridge show at the weekend is welcome.

But Labour and its allies at local level should look beyond Brexit to build the campaigns for public ownership, accountable politicians, a fairer economy and action on climate change that both showcase and strengthen our movement’s credentials as the vehicle for change our country needs.

Editorial May’s deal is dead. But what does that mean for Labour?

So sure of their cause why do not the Brexit Left – minus their mates in the Rotters’ Club of the ERG and Farage’s Barmy Army  – organise their own protests?

Here is a helpful suggestion:

But then what exactly are these “insurgent politics”?

Socialist Worker has the answer – Revolution!

Brexit and the sham of capitalist democracy

There is an alternative to the parliamentary farce that means we don’t just have to sit back as spectators. That alternative is fighting back—whether that’s getting out onto the streets, organising strikes or taking direct action.

That’s why it was so important to see the 1.5 million people take part globally in the climate strikes last Friday. Thousands marched around London—and defied the authority of the cops.

And the following day up to 25,000 people marched in London as part of a worldwide day of action against racism and the far right.

Movements outside parliament have the power to take on our rulers.

Whenever people take action, they begin to see that they can challenge their “betters” and make decisions for themselves.

There are always individuals who take a lead in organising action at the beginning.

But as movements grow, they face questions about how to make sure the greatest possible number take part in decision-making.

Real democracy flows from participation in action and discussion. And through taking action we can fight for an entirely different society, a socialist society, where ordinary people call the shots at every level.

NObody takes this seriously, starting from the figures of the people on the demo above.

But left Populism has been the subject of some weighty books and has convinced some groups, from the playing at left politics US Jacobin, to the people who voted for Podemos (which has a democratic, if imperfect) structure to Mélenchon’s La France insoumuise (which has largely the imperfections and is best described as a “rallying point” rather than a genuine party.

Today, left Populism, after the split of Podemos and the descent of La France insoumise to around 8% (7.5% in the very latest poll) of voting intentions for the coming European elections, is dying.

The latest in this sorry saga can be read about here:

Germany’s “left populists” collapse Ann Field

The movement was consciously designed as left-populist. But since left populism is a contradiction in terms, it was simply populist. With Wagenknecht as its figurehead, it took a decidedly anti-immigration and anti-refugee stance.

It also lacked democratic structures. Membership was free and involved no more than providing an e-mail address. Some 170,000 people did so. Thereafter it was steadily downhill.

The e-mail addresses were not the property of the movement but of a separate legal entity, also called Rise Up. Local groups could not establish themselves without the permission of the legal entity. And they could e-mail their own members only through the legal entity, which was also the owner of the Rise Up Facebook page.

Although it was run by the founders of Rise Up, including Wagenknecht herself, that legal entity was not, and was designed not to be, accountable to Rise Up members.

Few “big names” joined Rise Up. Most of those who did were “big names” from the past. Rise Up got round this problem by arguing that it was first and foremost a grassroots movement of “ordinary people”.

Rise Up garnered little support among Green and SPD activists, and only marginally more among Die Linke activists. It got round this problem by arguing that this showed just how out of touch the established political parties were with “ordinary people”.

And it attracted little support for its public activities. In fact, as a top-down creation, it lacked a focus for any activities. Not even Rise Up could get round that problem.

The public face of Rise Up was always Wagenknecht. And the disappearance of that public face will almost certainly be followed by the disappearance of Rise Up. Some of its leading figures have already publicly written off any future for the organisation.

Here is an answer to that lot:


Written by Andrew Coates

March 21, 2019 at 5:18 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Comrade James Meadway writes;

    “There should be no debate for the left about any of this. May’s deal is an abomination that, if ever passed, would represent a major defeat for the left, and all those who support an open society in a sovereign country. Remain is unambiguously better than what is on offer: better for democratic rights, better for economic democracy, better for sovereignty. If it takes a second referendum to defeat it, that option should be taken.”

    Andrew Coates

    March 21, 2019 at 6:48 pm

  2. […] Morning Star Tries Failed Left Populist Rhetoric against the “Political Caste” to Back Brexit (21 March, on the Morning Star, SWP and other Brexit […]

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