I have always identified myself as being to the left of Labour. Well, that’s not hard these days with even Roy Hattersley coming across as a dangerous left-wing extremist!
The best characterisation of the left is the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian when the People’s Front of Judaea hate the “enemy” separatist faction, the Judaean People’s Front, more than they hate the Romans
So to does it sometimes appear on the left of British politics. The number of left wing factions is laughable.
The Socialist Workers Party is largely made up of middle age men, still fighting student union battles of the 70s and 80s, with slogans to match.
Disillusioned lefties, such as Dave Hill, have left Labour yet dream of great victories by gathering in new parties such as No2euYes2democracy or the Socialist Labour Party.
Even those leaders of the left during the halcyon days of the poll tax are sidelined. Whatever happened to Richard Stanton? Sheila Hall emigrated to Spain, Jean Calder ended up writing for the Argus (although she does not seem to have betrayed her feminist and left-wing credentials), and Andy Winter does little more than watch and write about cricket!
There are two main consequences of all this. Young people and campaigners are focusing their time and effort into single issue campaigns, with the wider Labour movement becoming increasingly moribund.
The rightward drift of Labour has created perfect conditions for the growth of the BNP. The rise of the far right is not the fault of the left. It is the failures of the Labour government that has caused division and disillusionment.
A strong “opposition” within the Labour Party could have prevented this.
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Andy Winter, Argus, BNP, Dave Hill, Jean Calder, Labour, Labour Party, Life of Brian, Monty Python, No2euYes2democracy, Richard Stanton, Roy Hattersley, Sheila Hall, Socialist Labour Party, Socialist Workers Party, SWP | 3 Comments »