Ken Loach, Independent Socialist Network and Left Unity:

Ken Loach wants a new united left party? Let's make it happen

Ken Loach wants a new united left party? Let’s make it happen

  • I have already signed that petition and I am glad the ISN unanimously support it. The fact is our class is queuing up for a non-sectarian but radical alternative to Ed Miliband’s Labour Party. TUSC has not been exploiting this alienation. The enthusiasm out there for such a party is palpable. The SWP and SP cannot afford to boycott this. We know that a substantial section of its supporters support a witch hunt against both the SWP and SP. Unless the SWP is there to put its case, the allegations will go unchallenged and the poison spread. One inevitable consequence of that would be the inevitability of the SWP (and probably the SP too) having to split the left-of-Labour vote. Many of those involved in the witch hunt have a long history of undermining the SWP’s attempts to participate in exposing Labour’s left flank in the electoral arena, including Chris Bambery and Richard Seymour while both were members of the SWP and since. They want the left-of-Labour vote split. I do not. The ISN clearly do not. That is why the SWP and SP must get involved in any negotiations because this new party will be set up with or without TUSC.

I left that comment on my Facebook page as I shared the post on the Independent Socialist Network’s blog declaring their unanimous support for Ken Loach’s initiative. I should also say that while I know many others would disagree, I personally would like olive branches to be extended to both George Galloway and Arthur Scargill. Maybe neither would respond positively, but if that turns out to be the case, then the new electoral initiative is absolved from responsibility in any split vote. First-past-the-post limits the potential of any radical party breaking through a massively anti-democratic barrier. UKIP have just proven that it can be done on the right. And it is certainly an aspiration that Ken Loach’s initiative has to take on board. The British state, their media and all of their parties (Tories, Lib Dems, UKIP and to a considerable degree the Labour Party too) want genuine representatives of the working class and all their allies within oppressed groups to split the vote, to deny us any electoral representation, to fight like ferrets in the proverbial sack. Those within our movement who like socialist parties so much they’d like two of them, or 57 if possible, are sectarians. We need unity. We need democracy, and that inevitably means factional rights within a broad socialist party. That is the only way we are going to make any progress, and take on and defeat Ed Miliband’s One Nation surrender to the priorities of a capitalism out of control and on its knees.


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