US elections/Nader

mike pearn mike at
Mon Nov 6 11:51:19 MST 2000

> Mike, what you say actually reveals the hopeless confusion of the
> workers parties' analysis you hold of Labour.
> The Democrats in the US "still retain the institutional loyalty of the
> of the unions and command the votes of the majority of politically active
> workers."  This doesn't make them a workers' party, and nor does it make
> the British Labour Party a workers' party.

At the risk of repeating myself the BLP is still a bourgeois workers party,
the phrase 'deformed workers party' is yours not mine, as it was founded by
and remains closely connected to the Trades Union movement. The overwhelming
majority of politically concious workers also retain a conciousness of it as
theirs in some way. As you write Blair wishes to transform the party into
something akin to the Democrats in the USA. The point is that the
transformation is not yet complete.
<snip>Phil then discusses the Labour parties of New Zealand and Australia
which I will refain from commenting on for reasons of time.

> I wouldn't vote for Nader in the USA or for the NDP in Australia, but your
> argument about the Greens doesn't make sense given you vote Labour.
> Everything you say about the US Greens could be said about the british
> Labour Party - and doubly!
But Phil I did not vote for the BLP nor will I at the next election. I
advocate/d a vote to those Socialist candidates who were/are credible such
as the Socialist Party (who I did vote for last General election) and the
Socialist Workers Party. I also campaigned for the SLP last time out as I
was then member of that outfit. Only where credible candidates are not
standing do I advocate a vote to Labour. No doubt reality is more complex
than your schemas but please do not assign positions to me that I do not
> Lenin once wrote that there are people who rote learn slogans without ever
> understanding the criteria for the slogans and how changes in reality lead
> to changes in political positions.  Rote-learned slogans about Labour
> a 'bourgeois workers party' (ie a deformed workers party) fail to get to
> grip with the changes that have taken place over the last 75 years since
> Lenin gave some passing advice to British commies to 'suport the Labour
> Party like a rope supports a hanged man'.  In fact British commies, both
> Stalinists and Trotskyists, have been supporting the LP more like
> scaffolding supports a shakey structure.

Indeed and in fact I have argued for some years now that the nature of the
Labour Party is undergoing deep and irreversible change. But these changes
have not as yet caused a fundamental break. That is still to come. Turning
our backs on Labour in voting terms is small potatoes but does indicate how
a political tendency views the supporters of that party when they are in
struggle and runs the risk of rejecting the united front tactic towards
reformist workers whom you must view as being no diferent from workers who
support the Liberals or Tories.

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