Tuesday, December 09, 2014
A Left Platform for the Election?
John McDonnell is right, in the link above, that there is a sizeable constituency with an appetite for the policies to the left of the main parties.
As a local government trade unionist in a Council which has already shed 29% of its workforce since 2010 I am aghast at the prospect of no more than a choice between different flavours of austerity after the next General Election.
Establishment politicians might mistake the relative quiescence of the population (and the organised workforce!) for contentment or approval, but I think cynicism bordering on despair is nearer the mark.
With the partial (and very localised) exception of the Greens, people are not turning to parties of the left because to do so requires hope and belief as well as anger. (I'm not in a position to comment on the surge of support for the SNP north of the border but it seems to me, from afar, that there is some positive motivation for their supporters).
I'm not starry eyed about our polity. I don't think we can claim a popular majority supports every policy of the left (although there is evidence that on many issues there is such support). I don't expect a Government legislating in the interests of working people in the near future.
What we can do is articulate a policy platform which a real Labour Government would pursue. We need to recover hope and belief for working class people.
That's why I was pleased to add my support for the meeting which John McDonnell has called for Saturday 7 February to do just that.
At the moment the election appears set to be a fascinating tale of coalitions. It should be about the policies we need for working people.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.