[Marxism] EU election results - Important!

si si at psychosisweb.com
Fri Jun 18 04:46:58 MDT 2004

Just a note to say that I went to a Respect party meeting in Birmingham 
last night, and there were
some mildly persuasive arguments against their vote having 'peaked', as 
you put it. Most prominent
was the fact that they were only formed 20 weeks ago, and achieved 
something like 4 times what
UKIP did when they were first formed a decade ago. John Rees of the SWP 
gave a ranging and
passionate speech on the results, and pointed out remarkable successes 
in certain wards of
Birmingham, London and Leicester (as I recall), where they achieved 
position ranging from first to
third in the euro elections.
    He made a dramatic analysis of the state of British politics, which 
didn't seem to be too well
founded from where I was sitting - that there was a general dissolution 
of mainstream politics in
Britain, because of centrist consensus on most major issues (war, 
privatisation, anti-unions laws etc)
which opened massive gaps on both the left and right for movement. The 
whole thing seemed
rather reminiscent of what history I've read of Luxembourg's Germany. 
However, he offered little
evidence apart from the collapse of the central vote in thursday's 
elections to substantiate his claims,
which didn't quite convince (however lovely it would be if it were true.)
    Importantly, the massive liberal assault on Respect was highlighted, 
with pro-war attack dogs
Nick Cohen, David Aaranovitch and Christopher Hitchens singled out. John 
Pilger's new statesman
piece (http://pilger.carlton.com/print/133304) was held up as a good 
analysis of all that. The
implication was that the Respect vote was not primarily a protest vote, 
since those protesting
would mainly have been the liberals most influenced by Aaranovitch and 
his ilk. Rather, they portrayed
themselves as having re-enfranchised voters who would never have voted 
Labour again, especially
left-wing workers and Muslims.Therefore, they implied, they had a solid 
long-term base from which
to work to build a new mass party.
    Sadly the main thrust of the meeting was back-patting, and there 
wasn't a single question from the floor,
or any discussion of future tactics except to 'engage with worker's 
struggle' and 'establish footings' in
places not their 'natural home' (eg outside the city-centres.) so I 
can't say much meaningful about that.

Hope I've not been too self-indulgent,

DoC wrote:

>At the same time, we see the scrubbed up neo-fascists in the British
>Nationalist Party getting 5% of the English vote - incredible!
>Similarly, in these results we have seen a dramatic rise in the vote for
>the new anti-EU party the UK Independence Party which overtook the
>Liberals in terms of percentages and almost threatened the two-party
>domination characterising modern British politics. This election result
>needs some detailed analysis - if we are serious as marxists. British
>society cannot simply deliver almost a 20% vote to the UKIP and 5% to
>the BNP without saying something of importance to us. Just compare this
>with the British far-left vote which has peaked under the RESPECT
>coalition at 1.8% this time around.

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