Comments : 9 Comments »
Tags: elections, Labour, labour party, parliament
Categories : the commune, the left
Ollie Sutherland was not impressed by the common call on the left for us to vote labour.
What always strikes me as bizarre about elections is the importance the left places on them. Every few years working people get the chance to choose which part of the ruling class they wish oppress them; as it’s always the ruling class in power after the elections, why do most of the left encourage participation in them? Elections are an ideological cornerstone of capitalist ‘democracy’: that people have control over who governs the country and makes key decisions about society. Therein lies the problem: they give people the illusion of control, when people’s lives and society are actually controlled by their workplace and the economic system – not parliament or City Hall. Read the rest of this entry »
Comments : 2 Comments »
Tags: Labour, miliband, the commune
Categories : labour party
Clifford Biddulph argues that Labour will never be on our side
Striking is irrelevant for Ed Miliband. He had an awkward lesson for September’s TUC conference: trade unions should offer better relations with their employers. What Labour needed was a continuation of the partnership between business and the unions. The way forward was not negative strikes but a positive “new economy” built on the Labourite value of cooperation, not conflict in the workplace.
But this New Labour desire for social peace is traditional Labour politics as well. The Labour Representation Committee originally founded Labour on the basis of Keir Hardy’s resolution rejecting class war in favour of parliamentary representation and constitutionalism. Ramsay Macdonald, the leader of the first Labour government in 1924 advocated and acted on the commitment to growing capitalist society, not a working class alternative. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: conservatives, elections, Labour, the commune
Categories : the commune
Sheila Cohen writes on the situation after last month’s elections
The May elections have left a smirk on Cameron’s face – or perhaps we should say deepened the one that was already there. But for the left the result was, once again, a mixture of predictability and despair. While the Tories got trounced in the Northern cities – and the LibDems , of course, everywhere – any illusion of a return to sanity was flattened by the Tories’ overall performance.
ed miliband is fishing for conservative working-class support
The staunch battalions of the North, it seems, have never forgotten Thatcher and the wounds she inflicted – but in the supposedly affluent South-East, the dynasties that once fell to New Labour have once again reverted to at least the appearance of support for what our rulers love to refer to as “aspirational” policies. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: fianna fail, fine gael, ireland, Labour, the commune
Categories : ireland
Dara McHugh reflects on last week’s Irish election. The piece was written before the Labour leadership announced plans to accept a Fine Gael coalition offer
The election campaign and its aftermath have witnessed strident declarations that all has changed, changed utterly. Most prominent is the decimation of support for Fianna Fail, the party that has ruled for 60 of the last 79 years. Both Fine Gael and Labour have experienced remarkable success in the polls, unparallelled for the latter. These are not insignificant, but the context of continued economic crisis renders the changes in parliament relatively minor.
Whatever government is formed, it will share the titanic debt burden of the previous administration. Although Fine Gael made suitably statesman-like noises about ‘renegotiation’ of the interest rate on the ECB bailout, their timid overtures won only tolerant obfuscation from Frankfurt during the campaign and categorical refusals since. Read the rest of this entry »
Comments : 7 Comments »
Tags: communist students, Labour, lrc, the commune
Categories : labour party
At a Communist Students’ Exec meeting on the 13th of December, a decision was made to affiliate to the Labour Representation Committee (LRC). This statement was issued by members opposed to this decision, and we republish it here in the interests of debate.
The driving force behind this was Ben Lewis of the Provisional Central Committee of the CPGB, which has recently adopted a set of theses on the Labour Party. Some points of which would get support within the ranks of the LRC, for example the democratisation of the Labour Party. Crucially important though for the issue at hand is the dangerous conception of a permanent united front between Communists and the Labour Party contained within the theses. Where the CPGB’s contradictory perspective of simultaneously organising a political force independent of social democracy and at the same time trying to transform the Labour Party into a “real party of labour” and putting the Labour Party into office in order to expose its leadership, is made. Read the rest of this entry »
Comments : 8 Comments »
Tags: ed miliband, Labour, swp
Categories : labour party, the left
by David Broder
Yesterday afternoon Ed Miliband loomed large on a TV screen near where I was sitting. The sound was turned off, so there were only subtitles. “Whatever your view on the Iraq war it led to an appalling loss of…” A few seconds before the next word flicked up on the screen. ‘Life’, right? No. “Whatever your view on the Iraq war it led to an appalling loss of trust for us”.
But never fear, Ed, there are many on the left who opposed the war but are now pushing the anti-cuts movement towards Labour. Not just saying we need to pull Labour voters into our struggles, but focussing on the structures of the party and making plaintive appeals for Labour leaders to fight the cuts and fulfil their promises to the Trades Union Congress. Read the rest of this entry »
Comments : 12 Comments »
Tags: 2010 general election, cuts, Labour, public services, state, the commune, tories
Categories : state capitalism, the left
by David Broder
The Labour Party’s pre-election budget has focussed attention on ‘the recovery’. In his speech to the House of Commons last Wednesday Chancellor Alistair Darling outlined a plan of government action to restore economic growth and reduce the British state’s borrowing.
The Tories and Liberal Democrats have somewhat different plans to Labour about the best means of achieving these objectives. However, what is rarely challenged, or even discussed, is the underlying consensus which structures the whole debate: the very idea of ‘the economy’ and a collective national interest. So how should communists relate to this debate? Read the rest of this entry »
Comments : 3 Comments »
Tags: 2010 general election, cuts, Labour, the commune, tories
Categories : conservative party, labour party, the commune, the left
by Dave Spencer
The 2010 general election will be a watershed for the politics of the British left. Business as usual will not be an option because of the scale of the attacks on the working class that are coming. No matter which party wins the election or even if there is a hung parliament, it is clear that the ruling class has decided to make the working class pay for the economic crisis and the bailing out of the banks.
The left groups have failed over 14 years to form a united alternative to New Labour. If they use the same methods and politics as in the past, they cannot possibly be up to the tasks ahead. Read the rest of this entry »
Comments : 1 Comment »
Tags: 2010 election, anti-union laws, Labour, the commune, tories
Categories : conservative party, labour party, the commune, trade unions
by Bill Butlin
As the general election approaches both the Labour and Conservative parties aren’t saying much about what they plan to do to trade unions. Why is this?
The silence reflects a pro business consensus in the two main parties, that ‘disorderly’ and ‘illegitimate’ collective action by workers is a pathology that harms business, employees and the consumer. And was it not that son of Thatcher Tony Blair himself who boasted loudly that ‘The Labour Party is the party of modern business and industry in Britain’? Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: communism, haiti, Labour, migrant workers, pcs, revolution, the commune, trade unions, unison, unite
Categories : anti-racism, notices, organising for class struggle, strikes, the commune, the left, theory forum, trade unions
The February issue of our monthly paper The Commune is now available. Click the image below to see the PDF, or see articles as they are posted online in the list below.
To purchase a printed copy for £1 + 50p postage, use the ‘donate’ feature here. You can also subscribe (£12 a year UK/£16 EU/£20 international) or order 5 copies a month to sell (£4) online here. If you want to pay by cheque, contact email@example.com. Read the rest of this entry »