Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sian Berry gets new backing from the left

Good news. Sian Berry, the Green London Mayoral candidate has received the backing of the socialist Fourth International.

FI members are involved in Socialist Resistance who back Respect Renewal, the section of Respect who sided with high profile figures George Galloway and Salma Yaqoob in the recent hoo-ha. They have been discussing who to back in the Mayoral elections, as Renewal has chosen not to run a candidate and has left who members back up to individual members. This part of Renewal made the decision to back Sian this weekend.

Renewal has a very focused electoral intervention in London standing in the list and just one constituency - City and East - presumably in order to fight tooth and nail to win the fast past the post election in that area.

Whilst it's obviously modest as a piece of news, I happen to be personally very happy about it as I've not just found the members of SR very personable, they have also made a very useful contribution to the de-dogmatising of the left over the last decade(ish) (apologies for the new jargon term there). So I think this is easily as heart warming as the endorsement from the teddy bear or the boss of Lush cosmetics.

I hope this is part of a more general shift among the left to see the Green Party as an acceptable alternative to the neoliberal parties of the centre.

You can read the FI statment here


Graeme McIver said...

Well the fouth international can talk nonsense as well as the rest of them. In an article on their website they say "It is one of the dangers which small mass parties like the SSP face." I don't think that they mean that it is a light party, they mean it is a party with a lot of members that, er, doesn't actually have a lot of members - at :
I'm the graeme mciver in the green party by the way, not the graeme mciver in the scottish socialist party who's mentioned in the article

Jim Jay said...

lol - in their defence this was written in 2006 when they had six MSPs and could justifiably feel they had a lot more support among the general population than their membership figures would indicate (like the Greens in fact).

But you're right it's a silly phrase - one borrowed from Tony Cliff the founder of the SWP I believe who described the SWP as the "smallest mass party in the world"

Mind you I admire that kind of chutzpah!

weggis said...

Are the writers physicists? “Mass” does not have to mean large. It can be a variable . Particles or planets can have a small mass or a large mass relatively speaking. So can parties or even demos.

Jim Jay said...

That's absolutely true - you could have a small planet with a large mass. I suppose the fact that it's gravitational pull would be the key part of the metaphor.

If your small party can pull lots of people or significant social forces in its wake then it would indeed have "mass"