Ken Livingstone Shows His True Colours

red-rebel red-rebel at
Sun May 7 04:40:46 MDT 2000

> I would absolutely agree that the idea that Livingstone is progressive or
> even that the London working class have illusions that he is is wrong. But
> IMHO the interests of the British working class were better served by
> having recognizable leftists (even Trots) in the London Assembly than
> by maintaining this principle. I understand the LSA did invite the SLP to
> participate, perhaps some compromise could have been reached. Certainly
> some members of the LSA also called for the LSA to stand a candidate
> against Ken Livingstone.

The Socialist Labour Party had already made it's decision to stand for the
Assembly clear long before the LSA was cobbled back together. Surely it
could just as reasonably be argued that in the name of "Unity" the LSA
should have campaigned for the SLP on the list vote and stood it's own
candidates on the constituency seats where the SLP had stated it wasn't
planning to stand?
 Either way, the SLP could not have stood as a joint list with the LSA for
the simple reason that the LSA was purely set up to provide a left cover for
Livingstone. There could be no compromise on this. Livingstone has not
broken with Labour and he made this clear from the start. He is still
pleading to be allowed back in. He constantly called for his supporters to
vote Labour and attacked both the LSA and the resistors on 1st May for fear
of scareing off the middle-class liberals and tories he was chasing.
Livingstone was a vocal supporter of Bomber Blairs nazi-style war against
Yugoslavia and has constantly crawled to the CBI to show them he is a worthy
administrator for capitalism and imperialism.
 This is hardly new ground for Ken. He was never a "Left", but a liberal
opportunisit. His reputuation as the leader of the "Looney Left" was
largely, if not solely, media inspired.
The attempts of the LSA trots to paint Livingstone with a socialist brush
were totally dishonest and utterly opportunistic. But the components of the
LSA are all groups which, since their inception, have called on workers vote
Labour (with the exception of the "CPGB" - but thats another story) ,
thereby continuing to tie the working-class to a Party of imperialism.
Voting Ken was no different. It provided the trot-left with an excuse to
continue voting Labour whilst pretending to have "Broken with Blair".

 Some members of the LSA certainly felt uncomfortable with this position,
but the leadership of the sects involved clearly didn't. And if it had not
been for the intervention of the Socialist Workers Party, it is doubtful
whether the LSA could have gone the course. After all, it was the desertion
of the SWP, who quit to call for a SLP vote, which lead to it's collapse in
the 1999 Euro-elections.Without the SWP the LSA could not have mustered
mopre than a couple of dozen activists. Lets face it, the LSA will become
the SWP much as the SSP is Militant. The SWP recognise they missed the boat
in Scotland and don't want to make the same mistake  twice. The LSA does not
represent "Left Unity" - it represents Trot desperation.

James Tait.

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