social democracy: bristol reading group 25th july

The next Bristol reading group session will be on Sunday 25th July at 6pm in The Factory, Cave Street off Portland Square, Saint Pauls, Bristol. (Note the change of venue).


The session will discuss the role and demise of social democracy, the accommodation of the labour movement with capitalism and the future prospects of this truce.

Suggested background reading below. All welcome: email uncaptiveminds@gmail.com for more info. Continue reading “social democracy: bristol reading group 25th july”

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the underlying character and future of labourism

by David Bailey, University of Birmingham

As we enter the beginning of what looks like it will be a long general election campaign the various elements of Britain’s political elite are lining up to convince the various sections of the electorate that it wishes to speak to, that they, really, are the best choice. Continue reading “the underlying character and future of labourism”

the green party and the left today

an anonymous contributor explores the inner workings and direction of the Greens

Over the last decade, the Green Party has both grown in size and influence, and moved leftwards. It has a membership of nearly 10,000, and realistic chances of winning Parliamentary representation in Brighton and Norwich at the next election (with Lewisham building its chances most likely for the election after next). Outside of these generalities, however, non-Green Party activists seem to be largely in the dark as to the internal politics and ideology of an organisation which boasts hundreds, if not thousands, of activist members. It is the aim of this piece, briefly, to attempt a remedy for this situation. Continue reading “the green party and the left today”

communist recomposition and workers’ representation

by Chris Ford

We are in a time of transition: New Labour is on the way out with the almost certain ascendancy of the Tories to government in June 2010. Many certainties from the period of New Labour are also passing, and the whole working class has a right to be anxious about what to expect from a Tory Party which is sharpening the knives.

partyquestion

This should not be a time for business as usual thinking amongst activists. This should be a time of critical reflection over what has taken place over the last thirteen years. Why have the trade unions failed to reinvigorate during the period of partial recovery in the economy? Why has the response to the crisis of working class political representation staggered from one failure to another? There is a third rarely discussed question which should be important, at least for a minority of the most militant section of our movement: a crisis of communism. Continue reading “communist recomposition and workers’ representation”

where is the labour party going? 23rd november london forum

The next of The Commune’s London public forums is on the subject of the social role, degeneration and future course of the Labour Party. The meeting takes place from 7pm on Monday 23rd November at the Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road, near King’s Cross.

23rdnov

With some on the left turning back to Labour as the 2010 general election nears, and others predicting the party will turn ‘left’ in opposition to a David Cameron administration, it is important to understand the underlying characteristics of Labour in British capitalism and challenge the arguments that the workers’ movement should try and ‘reclaim’ it or create a Labour Party mark II.  Continue reading “where is the labour party going? 23rd november london forum”

electoral parties: let’s not put old wine in new bottles

by David Broder

If June’s European election results were disastrous for the traditional social democrat parties like Labour, France’s Parti Socialiste or the German SPD, they were unspectacular for the so-called ‘radical left’, despite the capitalist crisis. Yet recent general election results for Die Linke (‘The Left’) in Germany and Bloco de Esquerda (‘Left Bloc’) in Portugal have bolstered some left groups’ keen-ness to try and create something similar in Britain.

dielinke

Die Linke won more than 5 million votes; 76 of the 622 seats; and the most votes in two of Germany’s 16 states. The Bloco de Esquerda in Portugal increased its support to over 10%. Certainly these results are the envy of any coalition the British left has managed to put together: from the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Labour Party to Respect and, worst of all, ‘No2EU’, the various unity initiatives have failed to make any impact on the national political scene, despite the size of movements such as Stop the War or the significant rightwards drift of the Labour Party. Continue reading “electoral parties: let’s not put old wine in new bottles”

labour party: no return to the living dead!

by Chris Kane

The much vaunted “green shoots of recovery” from the recession have been revealed to be no more than weeds in the New Labour cabinet. The only actual recovery we have seen has been the recovery of banks by the capitalist state. For the working class unemployment continues to grow: uncertainty about wages, job security and paying the rent or mortgage is on the mind of every working class person.

brownthatcher

The main capitalist parties, Tories, New Labour and Liberals, are in disarray over the recession: they lack any clear understanding of its cause or a solution. But there is unanimity in maintaining the capitalist system and the idea that the working class should have to pay for the recession.  Yet in this dire situation, where is the alternative? We have a deep structural crisis of capital which has been expressed first in the economy then the political system of parliamentary democracy, which has revealed to millions of people that there is something deeply rotten about the capitalist system. Continue reading “labour party: no return to the living dead!”