Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Archive for the ‘European Elections’ Category

French Communist Party to stand 2020 Presidential Candidate, Fabien Roussel.

leave a comment »

Image

Fabien Roussel PCF Presidential Candidate.

Présidentielle: le PCF opte pour une candidature «quoi qu’il en coûte» Mediapart (adapted).

For the first in fifteen years the French Communist Party, the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) has determined that it will present a Presidential candidate. That is, if a earth-shaking realignment does not take place on the left agrees on a united candidate.

Last weekend, during a national conference organised partly by videoconference, two-thirds of the around a thousand party delegates voted to present the candidacy of Fabien Roussel for the next presidential election. A candidacy that the national secretary of the PCF and deputy of the North promises to carry “right to its conclusion” and which must be ratified by a final vote of the members, on May 9th.

In 2017 the PCF had backed Jean Luc-Mélenchon and his Rally/Movement La France insoumise (LFI) in their bid for the Presidency. That option is, for the Communists, no long viable. Not only was the Mélenchon operation,, in common knowledge a populist leader with a “controversial” personality, a far from unifying machine, but, “Communist and LFI candidates competed in the following legislative elections, fratricidal duels, in most constituencies, especially in the red suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis and Val -de-Marne.”

The last time the PCF ran for the office of Head of State, Marie-George Buffet, in 2007, they had only got 1.9% of the votes. More recently, in the European elections of 2019, where they ended with a score of less than 3% – the threshold necessary for the reimbursement of the campaign. For the first time in the history of the European Parliament French Communist MEPs were not returned to Brussels.

Avec Fabien Roussel, les communistes retrouvent le goût du risque

Explaining their differences with Mélenchon,

 Some of the PCF cadres are still pushing for a new rapprochement with the rebels but they are in the minority in a family where every vote counts. The Communists have a strong argument: they no longer believe in the strength of the double presidential candidate (11% in 2012 and 19% in 2017). A leader said (of Mélenchon) curtly: “He can’t get the same score as the last time, it’s over, he’s burnt out.” Harsh words, shared on the left and among environmentalists. Yet les Insoumises still believe in their star.

At 11% Mélenchon is at present topping the poll for left and green candidates for the 2022 elections. The Green (EELV) Yannick Jadot is at 6% and the Socialist (PS) Anne Hidalgo is at 7%.

There are, as this Blog has reported, welcome moves for left unity in some areas, such as the Haut-de-France, for this year’s regional elections in June. How far a “dynamic” towards wider unity will spread is an open question.

Reporting on these developments the US left-populist magazine Jacobin says.

MP Fabien Roussel — national secretary of the Communist PCF — has declared his own presidential bid within his party. On Sunday a PCF national conference endorsed the idea of an independent presidential run, which would be the party’s first since 2007. The wider PCF membership, slated to vote on the project from May 7–9, will also likely have the option to vote for a competing resolution which calls on the party to build unity before the first round of the presidential election. For what it’s worth, PCF members have bucked party leadership before: In the fall of 2016, they voted to endorse Mélenchon’s campaign, rejecting the national conference’s vote for a PCF candidate.

In Northern France, A Divided Left Is Finally Coming Together Cole Stangler.

There are a number of problems with this. Conflicts between LFI and the PCF have grown since 2016. Mélenchon is an outstanding speaker in a political culture that prizes oratory. His left populism won him 7 million votes (19,58 %) in the 2017 Presidential election. But in practice the way he operates is as a one-man band with retainers and followers, unable to tolerate internal pluralism. LFI operates as an autocracy. There are no internal currents, and no mechanism for ‘supporters’ (there are no members properly speaking, except the top clique) to dissent. As Thomas Guénolé says there is “True democracy and self-management in words, but centralised and authoritarian management in reality.” (La Chute de la maison Mélenchon 2019).

A third time Mélenchon candidacy is unlikely to be backed by activists who have experience of this side of La France Insoumise. And that’s without wider political disagreements on the left.

Communist League runs ‘national slate’ of candidates in both Manchester and London.

with 5 comments

Image

Communist League’s  Andrés Mendoza Plans to Build on Past Success in New Electoral Campaign.

Here’s one for the die-hard Spotters,

Communist League candidates back labor struggles in the UK

BY ÖGMUNDUR JÓNSSON

The Communist League is running a national slate of candidates in both Manchester and London.

At the end of a successful day of campaigning in the Moston area, campaigners spoke with Vartan Lloyd Morris, an agency nurse who first met the CL at a protest following the killing of George Floyd. “I’m not surprised the bus drivers voted to strike,” she told Mendoza. “It’s no secret that they’ve been unhappy about the way they’ve been treated for a long time.”

Lloyd Morris endorsed the Communist League campaign. “This is the right time for a working-class campaign,” she said. “People’s minds are open because of what’s happening all around them.”

Seven people subscribed to the Militant and five endorsed the election campaign over the Feb. 20-21 weekend here.

The CL campaign is reaching out across the country, including to working people in small towns, to farmers and other small proprietors.

Not just ‘farmers’, an important base for a future worker-farmer government in the UK, but fisherfolk.

Solidarity with fishermen

On Feb. 12 rail worker Pamela Holmes, CL candidate for London Assembly, travelled to England’s south coast to meet with fishermen, who are being hit hard by a drop in the wholesale price of fish.

The Communist League enthusiastically backed the Bosses’ Brexit.

The Communist League is a British political party that was formed by a group of members expelled in 1988 from Socialist Action. Those members had joined the American Socialist Workers Party‘s Pathfinder tendency. It maintains a bookshop in London, originally in The Cut but now in Bethnal Green Road. The League’s members sell The Militant, the paper of the American Socialist Workers Party. The group claims that many of its members work in the meat-packing industry.

The Communist League is standing Pamela Holmes as a candidate in the 2021 London Assembly election, Peter Clifford in the 2021 Greater Manchester mayoral election and Andrés Mendoza in the 2021 London mayoral election.

2017.

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 16, 2021 at 1:30 pm

The Last Stand of the pro-Brexit Left, “Brexit could have meant more than this” Socialist Worker.

with 12 comments

Non, Je ne regrette rein.

In his Tour d’ivoire an elderly Mandarin takes a Hittite tablet from his shelves. Reading the cuneiform he smiles at the clumsy use of the ergative case and puts it back. Ten centimetre long finger-nails grasp a porcelain cup of Darjeeling. Perry Anderson turns to his latest works.

The modern Montaigne marvels at the magniloquent phrases, the elegance of the periodic style. The enemy, Perry reflects, is just what the elites of Europe themselves decry and fear most: ‘populism’. His majordome brings a wafer biscuit. Europe’s most gefeiert Marxist pauses. How true, how very veritable, “But what would Brexit actually mean for the European Union, or for Ukania in parting with it? So far, all that was clear was that ‘Blairized Britain has taken a hit, as has the Hayekianized eu’ and ‘critics of the neoliberal order have no reason to regret these knocks to it’, against which the entire global establishment had inveighed.”

He winds up the gramophone and puts an Édith Piaf disc on. A delicious reverie begins,

These apparatus must be broken as organised institutions for any revolutionary transfer of power to occur. This can only be achieved by the creation of a organs of socialist democracy, mobilising a popular force capable of undermining the unity of the coercive unity of the established state, and cancelling the legitimacy of of its parliamentary machinery….The emergence of such forms of second power, incarnating the sovereignty of a proletarian democracy alternative and antagonistic to that of bourgeois democracy must be the long term of the socialist movement. (Arguments Within English Marxism. Perry Anderson. 1980)  (1)

Socialist Worker has also entered the land of dreams.

Brexit could have meant more than this

The feeling against the elites could have led to a Brexit in the interests of working class people. 

That would have broken from the pro-business single market regime but maintained and extended workers’ freedom of movement.

It would have been linked to more money for the NHS and education, a higher minimum wage, action on climate chaos and other issues. This is what supporters of a left exit from the EU (Lexit) argued. To win such a Brexit would have required mass pressure. 

Alas,

Instead the Tories have come up with various versions of Brexit designed to make it even easier for the bosses to exploit people.

So unforeseen…..

One chap who like his peer, Perry Anderson, regrets rein, is now the darling of the Express.

GEORGE GALLOWAY has demanded a clean break from the “fading, failing EU” as Brexit trade deal negotiations were extended until the end of the weekend

“The sun is rising in the East. I want to set sail for there. Brexit Now!”

The former Labour MP, who said he supported the Brexit Party at last year’s European elections, has been a vocal critic of the time the trade negotiations between Britain and the EU have taken.

One of his supporters tweeted: “I agree. Clean break then negotiate a Free Trade Agreement as a truly independent nation.”

Mr Galloway’s calls for a clean break come as Ms von der Leyen admitted it will now be “difficult” to reach a post-Brexit trade agreement as she ordered officials to step up no deal planning.

Here is one group that takes a different view:

 

*******

(1) Perry Anderson. Ukania Perpetua. New Left Review. 2/125. Sept/Oct 2000.

The European Coup Perry Anderson  London Review of Books Vol. 42 No. 24 · 17 December 2020

Pages 194 – 195. Arguments Within English Marxism. Perry Anderson. Verso. 1980.