Remember how George Galloway announced he would be challenged Labour in June’s European elections with a new green-muslim-socialist-anti-war-party that would “transform the face of politics forever”?
Well I’ve been checking out how this has been progressing.
First of all, Galloway’s group now has a website blairout.com which like the new party is in the early stages of development. In fact it wouldn’t be unfair to say the site is somewhat premature given that GG’s organisation doesn’t yet have a name. The site merely refers to A Unity Coalition.
However Galloway being Galloway he has got his priorities right – there are no policy statements or manifestos other than a vague six ‘campaigning issues’ but there is a Pay Pal button so that you can send your cash to the yet to be formed Coalition. Presumably those wishing to make a more substantial donation can use other means if they wish to give their backing.
In fact yes they can. GG also sent an email around to activists with the following appeal:
Should you wish to make a donation to the movement – funds are urgently required – please make cheques payable to ‘Unity political fund’ and send them to me at the House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1 OAA. Membership applications should also be sent to me at the same address – annual subscription £10.
I wonder if this is the first party in British politics to be formed not on the basis of a grand statement of principles but on the call to send your money to me?
Their commitment to The A Unity Coalition means that the Socialist Workers Party are left with some tidying up to do with their old electoral front The Socialist Alliance which is now surplus to requirements.
Luckily for the SWP most of the SA leadership appear happy to liquidate themselves.
Workers Liberty reports that:
The Socialist Alliance Executive, meeting on 22 November, authorised Alliance chair Nick Wrack (who is close to the SWP) to sign any “declaration” for a new “unity coalition” he considers fit. According to Nick Wrack, an “organising committee” will be set up. It will include George Galloway (the “key figure”, as Wrack put it), Salma Yaqoob, George Monbiot, Ken Loach, Bob Crow, Mark Serwotka, and some Alliance people. It will convene a “convention of the left” in January next year. It should formulate a political platform in “four or five paragraphs”.
Four or five paragraphs? Seems like the Trots can’t even do verbosity anymore.
As usual the SWP are showing their commitment to democracy: All that has happened without any resolution being passed by the Alliance Executive, or even any recorded decisions or discussions by the Executive sub-committee (“Task Group”) set up specifically to deal with coalition-building.
There is lots more on the Workers Liberty site for those who are interested in the details.
Meanwhile yesterday an email from the Communist Party of Britain finds its way into my inbox.
The CPB is to hold a ‘special congress’ in January to discuss their approach to the European elections. This can mean only one thing – that the CPB leadership are looking to win membership support for backing Galloway’s venture in the Euro vote.
This will be a major change for the CPB, who like the CPGB before it, has long been committed to voting Labour and has always criticised personality or sectarian based left splits running against Labour. They even initially baulked at supporting Ken Livingstone in the London mayoral elections. But now CPB leaders like Andrew Murray and others have got on good terms with the SWP and Galloway in the Stop the War Coalition the decades long commitment could be ditched.
Given the history of British communist politics this is likely to cause some problems for the Morning Star newspaper. Although politically controlled by the CPB, The Star is not owned by the party but by small shareholding readers, many of them trade unionists and awkwardly Labour Party members.
It will be interesting to see how many of those are ready to back Galloway against Labour and back the Star if that is the line it takes.