Well! Wednesdays are for political and social comment and the most political thing that’s happening in my life right now is Left Unity. If you haven’t been following this, it’s a new movement of the left which aims to cover the ground which the Labour Party has abandoned. You can read more here:
(Incidentally if you google ‘leftunity.org.uk’ you will get a Trades-union group, which perhaps illustrates one of the things I’m going to talk about below).
So, the next meeting of Leicester LU is tonight, and it will almost certainly be interesting, though perhaps in the Chinese sense (‘may you live in interesting times’). Between far-left and Trades Union groups trying to take it in one direction and members of far-right groups like the EDL trying to infiltrate it, it will be hard to find a way through, but we have to try. There is a spiralling level of discussion on Facebook about a seemingly endless number of topics, the most mainstream of which are: how to smash the fascist bastards (not my words), what to do about the Bedroom Tax, and whether Ed Milliband should strap on a pair. But clearly one of the most significant issues we face is what to do about organisations such as the EDL and BNP. Quite apart from the problem of infiltration there is the issue of how to oppose them. The voices in LU which shout the loudest often conflate the two organisations (which is not quite fair) and label them as either Nazis or fascists or both. This is not helpful. What LU needs to be doing is what Labour has signally failed to do: to listen and take on board the concerns of the white working class. These were the very people who voted Labour into power; the people Labour used to represent before Blair got hold of them. So in my view LU needs to engage with these people and start listening to them – because if we don’t get hold of them the EDL will.
They already have.
Next week: a review of the meeting plus ‘how do we respond to global capitalism?’