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A grim assessment of the UK further left November 16, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, The Left.

… can be found here at the Communist Party of Great Britain’s Weekly Worker. It’s very interesting indeed – not least in the way the author takes his hosts to task too. But what do people think, and what echoes of our own situation are there? Many thanks to the person who forwarded the link.


1. Mark P - November 16, 2012

It actually didn’t strike me as particularly interesting. Tony is a fairer minded sort of writer than the people who normally churn out gossip and tendentious nonsense about the left for the Weekly Worker, but his analysis is still ultimately one which sees the weaknesses of the left in Britain as the product of some organisational feature, or some lack of “unity”, or some other relatively minor issue internal to the left there rather than seeking to explain the problem by reference to wider and more significant factors: What’s happened to Labour and why, what’s happened to the unions and why, what the consequences of the collapse of the Stalinist dictatorships have been etc.

It’s the classic analysis of anti-sectarian sectarians, people who complain endlessly about various left groups and how they are all “sectarian” because they refuse to just merge into some lowest common denominator “left” party of some kind that the writer would find convivial, but who ultimately still place those little left groups and their doings at the centre of the political universe.


2. Jim Monaghan - November 16, 2012

And what one far left org thinks of things here. http://socialistresistance.org/4262/how-federalism-failed-the-irish-left
I prefer to think of ULA as being on life support


Mark P - November 16, 2012

That’s a genuinely dismal article, ignoring just about all of the real problems of the ULA in favour of jamming things into a little British organisation schema about how federalism is bad.


neilcaff - November 16, 2012

You’d think after the less than stellar success of the NPA our Mandelite friends would be just a little bit less strident when it comes to insisting that all left orgs should disolve themselves into a multi-platform party ASAP or be condemned as sectarian?


revolutionaryprogramme - November 16, 2012

Well it is pretty clear that the SP’s fixation with a federalist schema has played some role in the collapse of the ULA project – certainly it has been a major factor in the dropping out of many of the non-aligned who joined after the election on the basis that they were joining a project that would be moving forward towards creating a new party.


Mark P - November 16, 2012

There weren’t “many” non-aligned to drop out in the first place, for any reason.


revolutionaryprogramme - November 16, 2012

The same old story, you guys did nothing wrong, the objective factors meant it was all inevitable, the subjective factor of seeing the ULA making positive strides towards a new party would have made no difference to the hundreds of activists coming into the CAHWT in terms of the ULA being seen as a viable alternative instead of the hollow shell it now is


Jolly Red Giant - November 17, 2012

And the resident spartoid has all the answers – ‘to the barracades comrades the revolution is around the next corner’.


Mark P - November 17, 2012

Not at all, RP. I don’t claim that we or anybody else did nothing wrong. There were many things about the ULA that could have been improved.

But the notion that there were substantial numbers of people out there who were about to join and get actively involved in the ULA but decided not to because it hadn’t adopted a party form is ludicrous. It is magical thinking. It relies on the assumption that there are loads of hidden activists out there who are looking for a new working class party but hate the idea of an alliance short of a party so much that they didn’t get involved at all.

There aren’t. These are imaginary armies.


revolutionaryprogramme - November 17, 2012

JRG – you are just being silly – where have I ever argued anything like? We are merely talking about a new workers’ party. I don’t claim to have all the answers – in fact it is the SP with their objectivst crystal ball who have been much more like that…

MP – so what do you call the hundreds of working class activists who have become involved in the CAHWT? You want to go and look at how they have been described in SP articles? The BIG question is why the ULA has not been seen as an option for them? You have no answer for that at all. Maybe I am wrong and if the ULA had properly committed itself to the process of creating a new workers’ party then they still wouldn’t have been attracted to the project but we will never know will we.

It was tried your way and it has clearly failed. All I can go on is what the non-aligned who were involved and now aren’t had to say and they all blamed the lack of progress towards the creation of a new party.

I think my argument fits together and at least has an internal consistency while you have no argument that makes sense other than this rubbish about there not being a substantial number of potential members – which is exposed as untrue by the existence of the CAHWT.


Sceptical they will ever change - November 17, 2012

from that article regarding the shinners – “working people see them as a coherent party which stands in elections. This is not true of the ULA.”

Implying the ULA were not regarded as coherent by the working class. I dont think this is fair. The working class knew well that when the ULA was being set up amid great fanfare about a new movement on the left, and that in the media, it was not incoherent to explain at the same time that a new mass workers party was needed but that the ULA wasnt that party.

None of this could be regarded as incoherent by an Irish working class that knew its spartoids like it knew its own communities.

Defo a dismal article.


3. Roasted Snow - November 16, 2012

Good to see Weekly Worker orienteering to Labour aka LRC as Labour Party Marxists. Corby today on a 45% turnout shows where the class are at! Knocking doors for GOTV in South Bretton Pboro yesterday. No one wanted PCCs, we lost on the second count to the Tories in Cambridgeshire but run them close. Bt we’ll take this seat next election. Come on Labour!


Jolly Red Giant - November 17, 2012

Labour are doing a terrific job implementing ConDem cuts

In the last couple of days





FergusD - November 19, 2012

Sure Labour won in Corby, a turnout of 45% looks fantatastic against this:

“Meanwhile, in Manchester Central’s by-election, Labour’s Lucy Powell (11,507) won with a majority of 9,936. Liberal Democrat Marc Ramsbottom (1,571) was second and Conservative Matthew Sephton (754) third.

The turnout of 18.16% is believed to be the lowest in a UK parliamentary by-election since 1942”

That is pretty grim, looks to me many don’t want the Tories but Labour is not inspiring them. Why not? The Apathy Pary seems to be doing well.


que - November 19, 2012

well unless things are pretty bad and in the uk the economy is doing okay compared elsewhere then bye elections unlikely to cause a big buzz especially when the govt there has a clear command over labour. apathy or the out workings of the fpp voting system


4. greengoddess2 - November 17, 2012

What is a spartoid?


revolutionaryprogramme - November 17, 2012

Anyone from the general political tradition that came from the Spartacist League (US based Leninist-Trotskyist group who now pretty much resemble a political cult).

For instance I am one of these.

Though the term is usually just used as a throwaway insult at anyone who stands against the general watering down of politics by the reformist-in-practice groups (like the SP) that pass for Trotskyism these days.


5. Sceptical they will ever change - November 17, 2012

It seems like the points of disagreement revolve around the style of the article, and what the causes of the further left’s floundering are rather than the idea that the further left is floundering.

The comment of spartoid cheapens and degrades the person who used it.

Its a reference that tries to set Rev,Prog apart but ends up setting JRG apart – apart from ordinary people who dont know or care for such obscure factionalism which is so important to some.

Two bald men fighting over a comb – one calling the other ostensibly a revolutionary party the other throwing names out like spartoid and believing their party to be truly revolutionary.

Sums up why the further left is in trouble. It cant even go 10 comments without being at each others throats.

Now anyway onwards together all building our individual mass party of the workers


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