Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Redistribute the Wealth. posted by Richard Seymour
"It is clear to me that we need a left wing alternative to New Labour. That must either emerge from a coup inside Labour, which kicks out the neoliberal impostors that currently run the party, or it will have to come from people outside of the party.
"Either way the trade unions must play a central role in the process. I think we need to keep asking them why they support the government that is attacking them, and what it would take for them to break from Labour.
"I know that either option will be hard – and that we’ve already had a few false dawns – but I don’t believe that staying with New Labour is an option."
I find this encouraging in the main, despite the lingering hope in the former option, which would exhaust itself even more rapidly than John McDonnell's bid to challenge Brown. Monbiot's argument that there can be no possibility of support for the most right-wing government since the war is an important one, and I can't see much enthusiasm anywhere for retreating to the ranks of the Labour Party, despite the obvious pressure to do so. In the immediate term, we have much to rally behind - anti-fascist work, pay strikes and, as a reasonable series of measures, John McDonnell's ten point Charter for the labour movement. But in the future, and soon, we will have to break the compact in which elected parties effectively promise to protect the property of the rich and punish the poor through surreptitious welfare cuts and tax rises.