Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Reflections 3 and a bit!

Continuing, on from my last ‘Reflections’ post, which is here for those who may have missed it.

I was looking back to the promising start made some 15 years ago now, by the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) and stopped at the 1997 general election and the bid made by Brian Hopper standing in Scunthorpe. If I remember correctly Brian won 399 votes, which when all is said and done was quite a good result considering his limited resources, but it was a good campaign and, I know that for both Brian and myself we will always have the satisfaction that the right thing to do then, was swim against the New Labour incoming tide.

Now I consider, that it’s fair to say; that the SLP achieved its best results in that general election, after which unfortunately, it began to slide down hill.
And alas; one of the problems that has always dogged the left has been that descent into acrimony, disagreement and divergence. I remember a trip to Barnsley, and a meeting we had with Arthur Scargill in his Camelot office whereupon, Arthur produced a copy of a fringe left newspaper, which had subsequently been knocking his leadership style. I’ve too much respect and along with the fact it being years ago, to be critical of Arthur and have a pop at him in this post, but still over the years, many tales and narratives have been relayed about the undemocratic nature of the SLP all contributing to it’s fringe position that it now occupies on the left atlas. It had the opportunity, possibility and the chance but in the end; it failed!

During the 13 year period of New Labour we have seen the attempts; by the left to build an alternative electoral party that’s left of Labour; and they have all failed and fell apart one after the other. I’m not going to name them or even remotely attempt to engage in sectarian comrade bashing, this really serves no purpose whatsoever. However I would like to say that experience should be our guide and teacher, that we should learn the lessons of our past; in order that we face and forge ahead steadily building a new movement; not a political party, but a united new movement to end ‘World Capitalism’ as a system.

Why after a defeat do we run around; like chickens in a slaughtering house?

In this election just gone, we were not defeated, we were divided, and the parties of capitalism; this time being the Tories and Liberal Democrats; with there vested capitalist and ruling class interests, walked all over us. It’s that simple!

The world 13 years on is a very different place, the crisis of the capitalist system, it’s economic and environmental damage threatens every man, women and child on the planet, and as I write this post I realise; without any sign along the road of letting up!

The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with 40,000 barrels a gushing out and onto the sea floor killing and destroying habitats of hundreds of species of wildlife. The threatened area encompasses the coasts of four states: Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, which contain significant areas of fragile swampland. Any potential damage is likely to be exacerbated by the timing of the event, which has occurred during the spawning season for fish and the nesting season for birds and scientists are worried that once the plumes of oil rise closer to the surface, where they can be digested by aerobic bacteria, they will deplete the oxygen in the surrounding water and create huge “dead zones” suffocating marine animals who come into contact with them. This is but just one example, of the grip of greed that is slowly strangling the world. The Gulf of Mexico, the melting Ice Caps or the rapidly disappearing Rain Forests maybe along way off from some us, but make no mistake a serious crisis really does exist. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat have all become contaminated to a greater or lesser extent.

The volcanic ash cloud that has been drifting over the world grounding air-transportation tells me two things; the world is a small place and very fragile.

So what irony then’, that as the worlds Ice Caps melt and so too the capitalist systems of the world!

The world faces what may be the biggest crisis in human history. Unchecked global warming and catastrophic climate change. Financial meltdown has tipped us into economic slump.

The gap between rich and poor, both within and between nations, has become a chasm. Democracy as we know it is an illusion!

The problems are so many and so huge, the world’s leading politicians are powerless to resist or arrest the economic and political forces unleashed by ‘globalisation’.

What will happen; is going to happen; social upheavals and strife on a scale not seen before.

In Greece we have seen workers take to the streets as the Greek state, backed by the political and business elite of Europe, is committed to a frontal attack on the jobs, wages, pensions, and public services of Greek workers – the price to be paid for an EU and IMF bailout of the country’s bankrupt capitalist economy.

Last week protesters stormed the gates of the Irish parliament, the Dail, in Dublin, angry at the Irish government’s bail-outs for the banks.

About 500 people took part in a rally to demonstrate their anger at the government's plans to inject billions of euros into the banks. Sounds a wee bit familiar this bailing out of the banks

Across the globe, Governments have been bailing out their failing banks to save the world’s economy or more to the point capitalism. Over $11 Trillion has been spent on bank bailouts in the US and UK alone, and Billions more has been promised for other failing industries.

The UN’s Head of Environment Achim Steiner in an in an interview with the BBC, claimed he had campaigned for years to secure money to tackle climate change and poverty. He was surprised that such huge amounts had “suddenly been found” to tackle the credit crisis, when climate change is still a major threat; says it all really!

Capitalism and their world government’s have only one priority and that’s the self preservation of the system which we all live under; that has consistently failed the vast majority of us, simply because it exists on the income derived from private property and exploitation without the necessity of the owners to work for a living. And that is as true today, as it was yesterday, as it was yesteryear! The great majority of the world’s population, including of course the wives and children of workers, constitute the working class. It would be an impossibility for all of the population to be capitalists just as it would be impossible for all of the population under a slave system to be slave-owners. So what ever the professional politicians tell us, there still exists all over the world men and women who only work when driven to it by let’s say starvation or under threat of losing their job and their livelihood; but it is time the working class actualized their own capacity with the intelligence and the potentialities that really do exist. There is nothing fantastic in holding that the world has now attained the capacity easily to provide an abundant and varied life for all.

The only power which can change society is the democratic power of a majority of socialists acting in world co-operation. By becoming part of the action to build this movement and comradeship on a world scale we can act positively, and we can act now.

Indeed it would be in a word a 'snazzy' world!

To be continued

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