[Marxism] Thoughts on Left Unity’s second meeting

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Feb 5 12:56:11 MST 2013

Thoughts on Left Unity’s second meeting
February 5, 2013

Last night 25 comrades – some from left organisations and some 
individuals met at Conway Hall in central London to continue the 
discussion around the recomposition of the left. We will be carrying a 
series of short reports about the meeting from those attending.

First from Tom Walker who was until recently a full-time journalist on 
the Socialist Worker. He resigned in protest at the controversial 
decision to deal with a rape allegation by the disputes committee of the 

Tom writes, ‘I thought it was very hopeful to see people coming together 
from all sorts of different left tendencies and traditions, in a spirit 
of ‘broad left’ unity – agreeing and disagreeing, pulling this way and 
that, but always in a positive way. My fear has been – and remains – 
that the SWP’s self-destruction is going to open a vacuum on the left, 
or at least a space much bigger than some seem to expect. But the 
meeting was I think part of the jigsaw that could fill that space. Of 
course it will require plenty of discussion and trust-building. The 
question for me now is what we can start to do more concretely, and 
perhaps more ambitiously in scale, that will demonstrate in practice 
that there is ‘life after the party’, and spread the hope that we can 
start to do things differently on the left.’

Jenny Nelson features editor from Red Pepper magazine says:

red-pepper‘For me it was a very positive experience to be in a room full 
of people from different political backgrounds who listened to each 
other, left their pet projects at the door and were open-minded about 
collaborative ways forward. I was impressed by the strategic focus and 
the willingness to think creatively about tactics. Between us, we seemed 
to have a good range of experience in the group and I look forward to 
the next meeting.’left-unity2
  Simon Hardy from the Anti-Capitalist Initiative adds:

‘It is certainly a sign of the times when you can sit in a room with ex 
members of the SWP, WRP and IMG, anarchists, student activists and the 
editor of Red Pepper and all find yourselves agreeing on the necessity 
of building a credible socialist organisation together. Whilst the 
discussion is still a tentative one – people putting out feelers to see 
what the rest think, with no one wants to rush into anything or make any 
foolish leaps in a particular direction – there is a lot of agreement in 
the room to make something happen. A lot of us have been through left 
unity initiatives before, but we are not jaded or cynical. With Liam 
Byrne announcing that coalition welfare cuts will not be reversed under 
a Labour government, it is clear that there is a burning need for a 
serious left of Labour formation  today. We want to work towards that 
and I would encourage anyone serious about left unity to get involved 
and take part.’

The next discussion meeting of Left Unity will be on the 28th of 
February. Please contact us if you would like to attend

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