Saturday, 7 June 2014

Making the case for a united left movement in Britain

Ladies and gentlemen, collusion of the mainstream parties in Britain, at least at local level, has reached new lows. Labour has allied with the Conservatives and UKIP in Portsmouth to form the new administration there, and yet another grand coalition has been formed, in Yarmouth. Even though in both cases they are only shutting out another establishment party (the Lib Dems in Portsmouth and UKIP in Yarmouth), it is also clear establishment collusion elsewhere is being used to limit the impact of honest Green Party councillors as much as possible, especially in Brighton where we form the (minority) administration but where Labour and the Conservatives have regularly colluded to prevent us achieving our progressive goals there.

Although the left-wing vote in Britain is growing, it is often split, usually by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, or by other local left-wing groups such as Lewisham People Before Profit. Given that the right-wing establishment parties clearly have no qualms colluding with each other when they feel they can, and the fact they have much greater resources than we do, the left-wing resistance in Great Britain must rally round and unite together-now.

Occupy and the People's Assembly have so far been useful banners of resistance in times of austerity, but we must also unite electorally as well as on major demonstrations, because the ballot box is our greatest means of getting our voice heard, and showing people across the entire UK there is indeed an alternative to austerity after all. With only eleven months left until the next general election of the UK-which will be one of the most hotly contested in decades-and with austerity and neoliberalism getting worse and worse, and with both the Greens and TUSC having been able to field collectively, this year, (though sadly not in even informal alliances) the biggest left-wing challenge in British local elections since World War Two, this is the best chance the left within Britain has to unite, to get out the vote and end the LibLabCons' rule over us. There are many similarities between Green supporters and 'hard left' supporters (e.g. both of us oppose the current neoliberal capitalist orthodoxy, both of us want real democracy in the UK rather than the flawed democracy we have, both of us want important public services brought back into public hands) so therefore we should ally to drive back the pro-neoliberal parties.

Unity between left-wing parties in Europe is frequent, and has achieved useful results, as I have said before. It proved particularly useful in Ireland back in 2011, (as a coalition between People Before Profit, the Socialist Party of Ireland, and the Workers' Unemployed Action Group of Tipperary) allowing a socialist voice to enter the Dail for the first time in many years, and had the hard left remained united in Ireland, it would be even stronger now. I am also sure that unity between the Green Party and the better 'hard left' groups will mean that left-wing voters will have a greater chance of being properly represented, especially with the first past the post system Britain is still stuck with-and also, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which means a combined effort between us and socialists will have a greater chance at local and national level of ousting incumbents from the LibLabCons. With the rise of UKIP, the right-wing vote is split more than ever-we must not for Britain's sake allow the left-wing vote (Labour does not count as being part of it,by the way!) to continue to be split in elections.

I believe, therefore, that we Greens should use the opportunities we can to bring Left Unity (who cooperated with us in the 2014 European elections,somewhat), TUSC, and other significant left-wing parties in Britain into a red-green alliance that can collectively field candidates in every single constituency in Britain next year and be a real challenger to the LibLabCons and UKIP.
Power to the people, not to the bankers!


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