“What a big smile you have, Andrew Neil”…

Ken Loach appeals for left unity

Ken Loach appeals for left unity

I tried to follow Left Unity conference streamed live yesterday. I failed. Lack of a well-publicised Twitter hashtag didn’t help. That would have helped all of us. It would have allowed everyone who signed up to Ken Loach’s appeal for a single party of the left as an alternative to Ed Miliband’s party to provide constructive criticism of the good guys, and in the process identifying anyone consciously hampering this much sought-after left unity.

Why do we need left unity? We need it because the Labour Party that Owen Jones wants socialists to join could scrape together a paltry thirteen MPs with the heart, the brains and the spine to do the right thing this week. Tory benefit cuts for us. But an unlimited amount of cash wasted on weapons of mass destruction, on illegal wars by corrupt anti-socialist bastards like Tony Blair.

More money needed for undercover cops like Bob Lambert who commit perjury, who indulge in agent provocateur activity, who queue up for the right to take part in ‘state rape’, get the female victims of their state financed sexual shenanigans pregnant to then piss off back to their wives and kids, psychologically destroying their victims… Finance the Metropolitan Police officers who destroy warehouses of evidence of their own criminality? Not a problem for Douglas Alexander, for Alan Johnson, John Reid, Jacqui Smith, Jack Straw, Charles Clarke and the rest of Tony Blair’s gang of right-wing idiots…. That is why trade unionists should not waste one more penny nor a single vote on these bastards.

Ed Miliband’s MPs, with a tiny handful of exceptions, are signed up to the capitalist cuts because that is what these people are: a party that places profit before people. A party that places the rotten interests of a capitalist state above the interests of all the exploited and oppressed.

Sorry, comrade Owen Jones, but your party offers its core vote nothing but more of the same. It is a dead end. The handful of decent MPs left will be driven into retirement. They will be witch hunted like previous generations of good socialists, like Dave Nellist.

And even if this betrayal of Labour’s core vote doesn’t prove enough to stop them winning the next general election by default, thanks in significant part, to Nigel Farage’s UKIP splitting the Tory vote (every cloud, as they say), what waits for us on the other side of an Ed Miliband government? A mere repetition of the anti-socialist nightmare that is France’s Hollande’s government? All Ed Miliband promises us, at best, is the ushering a golden dawn of the extra-parliamentary right, with their ultra-right-wing poison, possibly in the shape of Nigel Farage’s Thatcherite xenophobes. Owen Jones should have the brains to know why socialists will turn our back on this nonsense.

Like other socialists, I would be very grateful for a speedy report by one of the participants of Left Unity’s conference. I look forward to Workers Power doing that. Or maybe we can have an account by Pete McLaren or another member of the better of the two ISN groups who Andrew Neil omitted to mention in his hilariously-badly researched Life of Brian alphabet soup menu that has attached itself to Left Unity.

Everyone wanting real left unity needs to know what happened at conference. Then those of us who have not joined, and are not minded to can work out to what extent united front work and electoral pacts are possible. Before we can do that all of us need to work out who is a friend and who is not. What about Andrew Neil? What is his game?

Andrew Neil gave Salman Shaheen the kid glove treatment on Thursday’s Daily Politics for exactly the same reason that the Big Bad Wolf was so nice to Little Red Ridding Hood: lulling us into a false sense of security, trying to coax Salman into being sectarian to the left groups, which didn’t work. Salman is to be commended for that, by the way. That said, the immaturity of an organization that doesn’t have a policy on the European Union is not one that can credibly stake a claim for itself as the left of Labour franchise when it comes to elections.

While I didn’t hear all Left Unity’s conference, I heard enough. We got more confirmation that there are still sectarians infesting Left Unity, those who are less accommodating that is Salman to the left groups remaining free to maintain dual membership.

Am I the only one who thinks Salman is naive to believe this freedom would extend to the SWP should they agree to join, then act within Left Unity with the kind of same discipline as the CPGB?

In the here and now, Left Unity needs to work with the rest of the left. Those intent on splitting the socialist vote are useless for the left. These are the people Andrew Neil would like to promote to the leadership of Left Unity. Andrew needs them to keep the alternative to Ed Miliband’s anti-socialist MPs out of the picture. Having intimidated these Blairite no-hopers into joining the pro-capitalist consensus at Westminster, Andrew cannot afford to have TUSC and Left Unity actually to unite with trade unions like RMT, FBU, PCSU, UNITE, to do today what Labour tried to do a century ago. And the British working class cannot afford us not uniting. Or does anyone think I’m wrong about that?

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