Left Unity write a letter to the Guardian

This is a cross-post by Howard Fuller

When Ken Loach made his film Spirit of 1945 he opened one of the old wounds on the left, that of how those people who considered themselves “socialists” and were not in the Labour Party should organise. Almost immediately Ken Burgin, a former member of the long defunct (and discredited) Workers Revolutionary Party joined with others to open a Face Book Appeal.

Their “Appeal” prompted 9,000 Internet browsers to press the “Like” button.

The comrades then set up a website called simply Left Unity and opened a discussion which has led to the creation of an organisation with around 90 to 100 “local groups and possibly one thousand “members”. Already they have had a conference to decide that they (a) need to organise and (b) need some policies (great thinking comrades), which only really attracted attention because there was of controversy over the attendance (or not) of David Nellist on behalf of the so called Trade Union & Socialist Coalition.

Why they didn’t realise from the beginning that a lot of “Trot” groups like the Socialist Party (who are the guiding hand behind the TUSC)  wouldn’t start  their normal parasitical behaviour is incredulous to say the least.

Left Unity

In fact we now see factions or platforms being formed inside Left Unity despite the fact it hasn’t really established itself organisationally or frankly politically. There is a “Left” platform and a “Socialist ” one in which interested groups are making their bids to ensure that left Unity adopts the correct line on all and sundry. All this despite the obvious presence of long term independents, people describing themselves as “community activists” and a sprinkling of Anarchists who won’t toe any line they don’t want to.

The Socialist Platform is fairly typical of Trotskyist intervention. Largely backed by the laughably named Workers Power, who are so sectarian they even claim to have established the Fifth International to replace all previous incarnations, despite the fact it is mainly a figment of their imagination. It really just consists of a couple of wild-eyed trots climbing the Alps or wandering around the Australian outback. A sample reading of their submission shows it is a barely concealed attempt to replicate themselves inside a broader formation.

Undeterred the leading comrades of Left Unity have written to The Guardian newspaper to advertise their wares. Most of the signatories are recognisable as the “usual suspects” except for one. The presence of Zita Holbourne, a member of the PCS unions National Executive Committee and previously found in SWP circles, though not ever a member as far as I know.

Renowned for her dreadful poetry our Zita only really garnered my attention after the riots last year when she publicly claimed that these were actually an “uprising”. However by her own account she ended up hiding in her local Mosque when they erupted in case she got mugged by the “revolutionary masses” on their way to the nearest electrical hardware store to “liberate” the odd plasma TV and blue ray player.

I was not impressed  and wrote to Ms Holbourne demanding her resignation from the NEC as she was bringing the union into disrepute. Left Unity are welcome to these self-appointed “community leader” types like Zita.

The simple fact is that Left Unity represents an evolutionary dead-end in the world of politics.

Setting up a new party to the left of Labour is not a new idea and will fall flat on its’ proverbial face as soon as the inevitable faction fighting takes place and has seemingly already started.

Since 2000 the far left have set up the Socialist Alliance and Respect both of which have fallen apart. The leader of the Scottish Socialist Party Tommy Sheridan managed to wreck that organisation through a visit to a swingers club which bought out the prudishness of the far left. The Socialist Party though still have their TUSC with funding courtesy of the RMT but fail miserably when they stand candidates.

As for the Socialist Workers Party, well we’ve all seen what happened to them.

The only places for progressive activists are the Labour Party and the Trade Unions. Other interests can be covered by single issue pressure groups of which there are plenty to choose from.

As for anything else the immortal Monty Python phrase comes to mind.