Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Don't join Labour sinking ship

I've only just noticed this editorial from the leftwing newspaper Socialist Worker (I've selected the pic).

Don’t join New Labour’s sinking ship

The waves are lapping ever higher around Gordon Brown – yet many figures on the left have reacted by becoming ever more strident in demanding we cling to New Labour’s wreckage.

This week Jon Cruddas MP wrote that voters in Brighton Pavilion should back the Labour candidate rather than the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas in order to “see off the Tories”.

Yet Lucas can win the seat and has an excellent record in opposing war, racism and neoliberalism. Cruddas also voted for 42 days’ detention without charge – presumably because he felt that to do otherwise would imperil Brown’s premiership.

A more unlikely recruit to the “Rally Round Labour” camp is George Galloway MP who used his column in the Daily Record to declare that “Glasgow East should send [Labour’s] Margaret Curran to Westminster on 24 July”.

The urgent priority for the left is to build resistance to Brown’s pay cuts and to create an alternative to his free market agenda that threatens the homes and livelihoods of millions. Doing that requires breaking from the “rally round Labour at all costs” approach.

Thanks to the comrades for that. The well placed words about Caroline are appreciated, although it's a shame that the editorial is simultaneously nice about one part of the left in order to bash other left wingers.


faceless said...

I've lost a lot of respect for Galloway over this. I voted you should give up Israeli goods and McDonalds - that's not much of an effort though is it? haha

Roobin said...

I didn't see that coming. Nothing wrong with it. Would the Greens reciprocate in any way?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean we want the SNP to win the Glasgow by-election and then the Tories to win the next General Election? Only asking, like.

Jim Jay said...

faceless: I should clarify - obviously I think Galloway is wrong to back Labour in the Glasgow East byelection - particualrly when he could be supporting the Scottish Socialist Party, the Green Party or Solidarity.

roobin: I'm not sure what you're suggesting - an editorial in green world praising... someone?

I'd like to see the greens continue to and extend the amount they work with others on the left, and outside of the party more generally.

That's one of the reasons I organised a publication for the last GP conference with various voices from inside the party and on the left more generally - people like salma yaqoob, michael meacher, john marais (who's a leading member of dch) and mark steel (who was an swp member at the time)

Jim Jay said...

matthew - the snp winning glasgow east probably has very little bearing on whether the tories win the next election - if they (the snp) do, which they'd be hard pushed to do, but it's possible.

Speaking for myself I don't want the Tories to win the next election - which is why I wish Labour would hurry up and ditch Brown - but you can't force the Labour Party to be electable can you? They have to want to be.

Roobin said...

"An editorial in green world praising... someone?"

I'm not fussy. Anyway, if collaboration was out of the question in 2004 it's not going to be likely now and Spencer Fizgibbon can rest easy. The whole thing seems What's it for, to bash Cruddas? Maybe, but how big's his constituency on the left really?

Jim Jay said...

Well the only offer on the table in 2004 would have meant less Green MEPs and was hardly serious - obviously it's much too late for a deal on the Euro elections for 2009 with less than a year to go.

Anyway you wont be standing so where's the deal?

I don't know who Spencer Fizgibbon I'm afraid.

I'd say Cruddas is quite important for those on the left of the labour party - he's not a hero, and who wants them? - but he is an important figure who raises very useful issues. He also has his problems.