Sunday, 9 March 2008

Still a lot of work to be done

Hat-tip to Organised Rage for this one....

What’s the problem?

If I lived Birmingham, I would happily campaign for Salma Yaqoob, the Respect Renewal councillor. If I lived in Preston, I would happily do the same for councillor Michael Lavalette, from the other side of the Respect divide. In Coventry, I’d be with the Socialist Party and in Brighton with the Greens. There are Scots Nats as well as Scottish socialists [on both sides of the Tommy Sheridan split] who I’d be glad to knock on doors for. And of course there are still plenty of good Labour councillors and even a few MPs who I would be pleased to have representing me. I’m obviously far from being alone or none of these people would ever have been elected.

My question, in relation to the continuing inability of the left to unite in pursuit of a common purpose is this: If I and people like me have no problem with such a diversity of elected representatives, why do they all seem to have such a problem with each other?

Carol Winter


Any thoughts?


Doctor Dunc said...

Oh wow. Can. Worms. All over the place.

It's an interesting one, isn't it. I suppose the answers are partly organisational and partly personal.

Respect, the Scottish Socialists and the SLP all had problems, I suppose, in having a dominant, well-known media figure at their helm. It helped them too of course - the reason we've heard of them and not some of the other fringe parties is because of Galloway, Sheridan and Scargill. But you can't sustain a party around an individual. Furthermore, all parties (except very small, democratic-centralist groups) are essentially coalitions. But some of these coalitions were always likely to be hard to keep on together.

While, as a tribal labourist, I can't possibly endorse the voting proposals of the letter writer quoted in the post, organisationally it makes quite a lot of sense: there's perhaps no point trying to get those people into one party but there's no harm in working with all of them when we have a cause in common. Obviously, if they can all be in one party then it should be the Labour Party!

John Angliss said...

"I suppose the answers are partly organisational and partly personal."

If we are going to change our party into one which can unify, connect and enhance the influence of the left, where do we start and are there any institutional structures which need changing immediately?

Phil BC said...

Indeed - if the left outside the Labour party thought it was rewinnable, most of it would be back inside. But they don't so we have to work out ways of cooperating in the mean time, and a good place to try and work this out will be this September's Convention of the Left in Manchester.

susan press said...

If the left now outside the Labour Party got back in, we'd all be a lot better off.I'm afraid it really is that simple
The "Convention Of The Left" is an interesting initistive but we need left councillors and MPs and that ain't going to happen staying outside.. as for Tommy Sheridan well the less said the better.