Monday, 24 January 2011

Student activist to radical leftist worker or student activist – capitalist?



With all the activity during the months of November and December 2010, you would not have been see to be insane if you made suggestions that we might have a revolution on our hands, here in the UK - or just a bit of a lefty loony perhaps, but nothing is to suggest such a position is not admirable.

This type of wishful thinking, although in the spirit a Marxist tradition, or perhaps arguably Robespierre, depending on your political sensitivities, is, from my position of analysis, a far cry from where we are at this moment in history.

Left wing parties in the UK are somewhat in disarray for many reasons, before I continue I would like to state that the work rate, and passion imbued within left wing movements of the UK are inspirational. However there are too many failures for the UK Left to be able to gain the substantial support needed to effectively operate for the inherent functioning of the Left, which I deem to be, egality.

Egality is where society exists for the purpose of the ‘commns’. A truly functional space in which all who need to can use the commons for their provisions, as opposed to what currently exists, that being; an increased privatisation of the public space. An example is in areas such as the NHS.


The Con-Dem coalition, have been and will continue to operate in a manner which favours ‘market completion’, which they believe will be a circumstance of giving GPs managerial positions. In reality this means - services which were once publicly owned close to what could be seen as a common space, although not entirely, should only be provided to those who can afford to pay ‘competitive prices’.

What this suggests is that, only those who can afford the best services are the ones who deserve the best chances of survival if taken ill. We can play a lottery with shit odds for those who are unable to stump up the capital – those with the capital have in most circumstances accumulated such wealth off the backs of exploited workers or through distorting market prices for themselves and their fellow shareholders, at the detriment of innocent people. The most alarming cases of such action are seen in what has been taking place in the global food market. There is a surplus of food but due to price inflation many poor people are struggling to pay for it!

So...back to the main focus - the cracks in the left in the UK.

Eric Hobsbawm, has, in the past week, been quoted as saying that if there is a time for the left to stand up and act, that time is now. Unfortunately although much effort is being made by the hard core collective of workers of the left, such as those involved in NCAFC, the student activist seems, for the time being, to have gone into retreat. Perhaps after going home at Christmas they got a grilling off their liberal-capitalist/neo-liberal parents for being so ‘foolish’/ liberated, and have decided to get ‘back on track’. At the end of the day they will want jobs which generate them loads of money to become rich... and fat.


I hope I’m wrong and we will see the same amount of people, if not more, turn out on the 26th and 29th of this month in protest against this illegitimate, decrepit, spineless government. What we, the Left, need now more than ever is solidarity.

Solidarity is something the Left has been lacking, between one another, for a long time, and in may cases for good reason. Within the Left groups such as the AWL (of which I am a member, although my views, here, may not reflect their political conceptions), Workers Power, Counterfire and the SWP amongst others all oppose one another over one issue or another, particularly but not solely over foreign policy perspectives. Disagreements over foreign policy are although passionately felt, are not what will engage the wider public from my understanding.

At times disagreements are certainly necessary and on the whole a healthy sign of a continuation of political freedoms we here in the UK are privileged with, here my thoughts are with those who are politically oppressed from engagement and radical change within their respective regimes, such as those living in; Iran, Israel/Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Haiti, Cuba, Congo and such like. Unfortunately I cannot expand this list here or go into detail concerning the contours which may be entailed in this list. All I can say is that each state has its own unique political oppression of opposition to the respective regimes. What this list of states constitutes is the precise point of contention. That being, the Lefts inability to truly unite and generate a united front which would enable the Left to make real pathways toward affective change, and generate a substantial numerical shift of the British population towards the Left.

The speed at which momentum of student activists has dissipated is an example that the Left must be doing something wrong. (Right wing sympathies’ might say we are doing everything wrong but such a simple depiction is easily turned on its head!). It is my understanding that the disunity displayed in the Left on contentious issues such as Palestine/Israel is doing more harm than good to the movement as a whole. Such disagreement or even energy focused on issues such as these is a reason why the left is missing its opportunity to engage wholeheartedly and solely on the counterfire to this governments assault on our commons.

Organisations such as NCAFC, is a prime example of a radical Left organisation that has been formed solely to defend our ground against the government. Why the SWP feel the need to sabotage NCAFC is a typical example of the harm they are causing to the Left in the UK. NCAFC has brought the hard core radical Left together it would be a tragedy if its efforts were thwarted or discontinued or if other groups like it, groups which unite the Left over core issues affecting the UK, did not continue to occur, merely because they disagreed on issues which no one in the UK is able to solve.

Show your solidarity for foreign struggles, but save your energies for the struggle here in the UK.

Workers of the British Left unite.    

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