Left Unity must be a UKIP of the left:

  • Tom
  • May 9, 2013 at 11:29 am
  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
  • Left Unity is right to stand candidates against Labour. However, it is wrong to dismiss all Labour members as the same, every one as bad as the Tories, Lib Dems or UKIP. Owen Jones is not Tony Blair. John McDonnell is not John Reid. If Left Unity is to win many votes it has to relate to the socialists who are our natural constituency. That is not possible unless and until we appreciate that most of them exaggerate the difference between the rest of the pro-capitalist parties and Labour, and why exactly they do that.
  • Firstly, the likes of Owen Jones’s participation misleads them as to the prospects of the left capturing Labour, lock, stock and barrel. Secondly, they look to the history of the Labour Party, albeit a mythologized version of that history, and in particular they stress the continued relationship it has with the core organisations of the working class: the trade unions. This is key.
  • Why are the trade unions still subsidizing Ed Miliband’s party? Firstly, it is right for the trade unions to seek a political voice. Secondly, there is nothing else as far as most trade unionists are concerned that is a viable alternative option, and this is not completely untrue. Were Left Unity to leap onto the bandwagon of all the main parties of the capitalist class to call for the breaking of Labour’s trade union link regardless of any positive alternative… That is simply reactionary. Furthermore, such an opportunist approach will undermine the electoral attractiveness of any so-called left party that argues such a position.
  • The umbilical chord stretching from Ed Miliband’s PLP to the rank and file of the trade union movement creates an incentive on the part of all politicians (with the Blairites being the sole exception) to tack to the left. This is something they can and will do when their left flank is successfully exposed in the electoral arena.
  • In other words, to the extent that Left Unity succeeds in piling on votes, Labour MPs will engage in the ‘sincerest form of flattery’. They will do this if only to stop their votes leaching to Left Unity. This is a dialectical relationship, and it is far from annoying from the point of view of all of us who want not just the unity of the so-called left activist parties, but of our class.
  • Every attempt by Labour MPs to echo and amplify the rhetoric and demands of Left Unity creates a far more favorable political climate within which our class will thrive, successfully challenging the capitalist austerity agenda of Lib Dems, Tories, UKIP, and the Blairites too. We can also use opportunist Labour MPs to rein in the worst excesses of the BBC, SKY News and Channel Four News.
  • This will shift the political terrain in a way that makes still further successes by Left Unity more likely. Left Unity can start to pile up successes long before we capture  a single seat in parliament by doing what UKIP has done, doing it from the point of view of the 99%, and the working class.

[comment left on Left Unity’s website: http://leftunity.org/left-unitys-modest-flutter-a-response/]

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