Sheffield Left Unity’s open letter calling on all socialist and working class organisations to unite to challenge Ed Miliband’s Labour should be responded to positively by all socialists, including members of TUSC.
The Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party cannot afford to ignore this appeal for genuine working class unity. Even if they both think the appeal is mischievous and not serious, others will not see what the problem is. They will turn up and debate with those who initiated the appeal. TUSC has to be there too. En Masse, whatever that means these days.
Ed Miliband is not a positive factor in the current political climate. He is incompetent. His attacks on trade unions, his unconditional surrender of our social wage and the wages of employed workers, all in the name of restoring the rate of profit of British capitalism, is treachery.
Miliband’s refusal to give Labour’s core vote anything whatsoever to galvanize them forces them to do one of two things: either they abstain or they express their justified discontent in some other way. And that is likely (if the British broadcast media has its way) to mean voting for the none-of-the-above party that today serves as the only electorally credible alternative, given Britain’s outrageous first-past-the-post electoral system: Nigel Farage’s UKIP.
The ultra-Thatcherites of UKIP are deemed a relatively minor factor for many ex-Labour voters than their opposing a lot of what the EU is doing.
Some of what these workers are protesting against is positive; some of it is negative. In the absence of any alternative pole of attraction from the left that offers itself to the voters, ever more will pour their protest votes down the drain that goes by the name of the United Kingdom Independence Party. And that in turn helps the BBC, SKY News and Channel Four News justify their moving progressively to the right. And that is all the deluded Ed Miliband Shadow Cabinet needs to exacerbate the problem they started with.
All of the above gives the genuine left a massive opportunity. No less does it placed one extraordinary responsibility on our shoulders. All avenues to unite the working class against the exploiters, and all the oppressed against their oppressors have to be responded to positively. And that brings me to Sheffield Left Unity’s open letter.
This appeal from one locality may not represent the wishes of Kate Hudson or the ten person interim leadership of the organization. We simply do not know. But if the SWP and SP climb on board and make their case, if the open letter is simply a rhetorical device to split off a few dissidents from either organization, we will be able to identify those sectarians and form a genuinely united left with those already in Sheffield Left Unity who were absolutely serious, doing so with all the fresh blood brought to the organisation by this open letter.
If Kate Hudson and the rest of Left Unity’s interim leadership does not like this proposal that will enfranchise all TUSC members, then her/their attempt to strangle this unity in Sheffield will help expose all those in Left Unity’s national leadership, and give all 8,000 members an incentive to vote them out of office.
If the SWP and SP do manage to participate in Sheffield, then who is to say that this initiative cannot be replicated up and down the country?
Comrades, we are running out of time. Britain may be traveling back to the1930s a tad slower than the likes of Greece, but we are getting there.
Britain not being in the Euro complicates the patterns of decline compared to most of the rest of Europe. However, do not be fulled by the delay in the collapse of the British economy that will intensify at some point, and capitalist austerity will step up several gears. The British working class and all our natural allies are living on borrowed time. Our class enemies are preparing for battle, and so must we.
Already we find some of the most oppressed victims of austerity committing suicide. That is set to escalate. Already we are seeing a growth in the extra-parliamentary mobs whipped up by a scapegoating media: the EDL. These vermin cannot be put back into their box by the methods of liberal propaganda. We need a class alternative, not the popular front politics of the 1930s that helped the fascists take power.