In Weekly Worker (1090) Peter Manson reported on the London Left Unity members aggregate. He says “Steve Freeman preferred to talk about matters other than the question of Labour. He thought it was more important that our policies on democracy, Scotland and Wales, and the European Union were correct”.
Some clarification is needed here. I was discussing how to fight Labour, not the incessant chatter of comrades fawning over or liquidating into the Labour Party. Peter is right that I didn’t mention ‘Labour this’, ‘Labour that’ and ‘the next thing for Labour’. I leave all that to the CPGB and all those who desperate to join the Labour Party.
I spoke about the political issues and policies the working class needed to build a militant party ready and able to fight the Tories (remember them?) and Labour on democracy, Scotland and Wales, and the European Union. On these issues, so important for the ruling class, both parties line up on the same page.
My point was about getting LU policies correct. This is the litmus test. Has LU got anything useful, important and distinct to say against the Tory-Labour consensus? Too many LU members have spent too much time “talking” about how best to ingratiate ourselves with the Labour Party, before throwing themselves under the Corbyn bandwagon. Weekly Worker has done much to encourage this mood of liquidationism.
Take for example the popular front extending from Cameron, via the Liberal Democrats, Corbyn, Labour, TUC, the Green Party to Left Unity to vote ‘Remain” in the EU referendum. How can Left Unity back Cameron’s negotiated pro-City and anti-worker deal? We need a special meeting to review the policy as soon as Cameron’s negotiations are finished, and then get stuck in to a national referendum campaign. This will be more important for LU than a few local elections because it is a national electoral type campaign. A weak LU is suffering from too much localism.
Then we have Scotland and Wales where LU have been the feeblest of Unionists, refusing to criticise or oppose the Labour Party for defending Queen Anne’s the anti-democratic Act of Union. How can anybody have confidence in a party so bereft of any commitment to fighting for popular sovereignty and self determination?
Finally LU seems very serious about debating its own constitution and its own governance and has no interest in the government and constitutional laws which enable millions of working class people to be robbed and oppressed ‘democratically’ and ‘legally’.
LU will never be fit to govern because it is not interested in government. It should be fighting to change the UK’s corrupt, broken and outdated ‘democracy’ in which government is run by the Crown on behalf of the City, with Westminster as an irrelevant side show like the European parliament.
Peter concludes, “Despite the fact he (me) had stood against the LU-backed candidate in last year’s general election, I thought the reception he received was strangely polite and receptive.” This paradox may be explained by the fact that LU members are more polite or more thoughtful than the CPGB credits them.
In the Bermondsey 2015 election, I stood as a republican socialist and anti-Unionist and was opposed by the Labourite TUSC. Left Unity simply fell in behind TUSC, backed by the CPGB supporting ‘economism’ and unionism against democracy and self determination. The CPGB claim I betrayed Left Unity and I claim they betrayed the programme of working class democracy.
I like to think that the idea of a militant republican socialist party, linked with the democratic revolution of 1649, is Left Unity’s Plan B. That was before Jeremy Corbyn blew Left Unity’s Plan A (Spirit of 45) out of the water and stole many LU members including all the LU candidates in South London. So Left Unity has lost Plan A and hasn’t found a Plan B. How long will this continue? Watch this space.
Left Unity and Rise