There are a number of issues over which underclassrising have frequently found ourselves to be out of step with the majority of other Anarchists. The whole anti-hunt, animal rights thing is one such issue and the perceived threat of the far right is another. Some of us have lived through Mosley’s Union Movement, Colin Jordon’s Nazi wannabes, The National Front, been at a School where there was only one afro carribean youth, spent our summer holidays with another in the Pitsmoor (The Brixton of the north) area of Sheffield in the late 1970s and early 80s. Squatted in Broomhall and Pitsmoor in the early 1990s, some of us are more black due to this, we have our tails of racism and class struggle, fights with the far right, and spooks in The form of Tim Heppel, police informers involved with The ALF of that time, at the time of The GANDALF case involved with The Green Anarchist and watched how R Hunt, a former green anarchist activist and editor of various environmentalist magazines such as Green Anarchist and Alternative Green. He was widely criticised in the anarchist community for his perceived sympathies for nationalism, and wrote an editorial for Green Anarchist expressing patriotic support for British soldiers serving in the Gulf War in Iraq. Richard Hunt continued to have political disputes with the other editors of Green Anarchist, and shortly afterwards left the editorial collective to form his own magazine. As with us all, our past our struggles in the everyday front-line form who we are..
From the murder of Steven Lawrance to
The BNP’s Derek Beacon winning a 1993 by-election in the Millwall ward of Tower Hamlets but in the full borough elections the following May Labour won it back – on an extraordinarily high turnout, for a local election, of 66.5%. ,
We have watched the utter failing of the Far Left to deal with the rise of the far right, understand the problems of The working Class and their inability to enage and deal with them.
There is no wonder of the rise of the BNP, unpleasant, racist losers all of them and in need of being put firmly in place from time to time no doubt. But threat in terms of achieving any political power? No chance, or so we have maintained up until now. We are beginning to have second thoughts?(vote nobody). Could the BNP really get MEPs elected and use the financial windfall to fund their organisation and this is where some of our £7billion pa contributions to the EU go.
Which, for 736 MEPs, works out at £1.336billion, just for expenses over the 5 year European parliament term, with subsequent publicity to enter the mainstream of British politics? Surely the time of the authoritarian buffoons is long past. Isn’t it?
You would hope so, but you stand in the middle of the social disintergration of the working class, you have been on the frontline, from the Miners Strikes of 1984/ 74 and the strikes during these times, understand how they lost the battle but continued the war against The Working Class. This is how the far right have become, an utter failing of the far left, so on June the 5th when we awake to news of the BNP MEPs, please dear Lefty and to some extent Anarchists, understand your failings in this and understand when some of us were talking about this becoming a real reality.
How you are dismissed us as paranoid loons who drank too much, smoked too much, of this we would not disagree with but on the Morning of June 5th would it be all right for us to say told you so? Will it be then we understand that self determination and organisation based on Anarchist thought and practice is the only real future the working class have and when ANTIFA said: “vote for nobody” we agree and understand the context this was said in, however, if you are going to vote on June 4th can we suggest you vote Green and remember this from http://theleftluggage.wordpress.com/
The Green Party are talking themselves up as the best hope to prevent the BNP gaining seats at next month’s Euro elections. Green candidate for the North West region Peter Cranie argues that it is Green votes, and not Labour votes, that will keep the far right out:
Anti-racist votes in the North West region for Labour, the Liberal Democrats or the Conservatives will certainly count. No one can dispute this, as those parties will claim seven out of the eight regional seats. But it’s the eighth seat that Griffin is aiming for. Calling on everyone to once again get out and vote for red/yellow/blue simply won’t work on voters already disillusioned with the Westminster parties. But those few extra thousand votes could keep the Greens ahead of the BNP – and that is the scenario with the best chance of keeping Griffin out.
This argument is correct in the sense that if the Greens get more votes than the BNP, it is they and not the fascists who will claim the final seat for the North West region. However, is the Green Party convincing as an alternative to the BNP for those “disillusioned with the Westminster parties”? This would imply that Greens are capable of winning support in working class communities by providing progressive solutions to pressing social problems.
There has long been a tension within the Green Party, and within mainstream environmentalism more generally, between left and right. Although the Green Left is active and well organised, the right of the Party has traditionally dominated, with the consequence that many see the Greens as a Middle Class party out of touch with the concerns of working class people. One Green Left activist summed up the problem incisively in a post on one of our articles:
The problem the Green Party has is not chiefly its policy, but its class composition and image – these are what make it difficult for that Party to reach out in working class areas, not people already being aware of the intricacies of its policies – though some of these still need a lot of work. Chief amongst the issues that Greens need to address are the good points made by socialists about the effects of Green Taxes, restrictions and increased costs falling chiefly on the poorest.
A kind of Bloomsbury self-righteous middle/upper class hair shirtery is unfortunately still alive and well in some quarters of the Green Party, and I speak as someone with long experience of membership of that Party!
The point about green taxes reminds us of the debate over the introduction of London’s Congestion Charge in 2003. Allegations from the right that the Charge was a “Poll Tax on wheels” can be taken with a pinch of salt, given that many of the denunciations came from those who previously idolised the inventor of the original Poll Tax. Nevertheless, there were some more thoughful analyses from those on the Left that accepted traffic congestion was a huge problem but pointed out the regressive nature of the Charge. These arguments are supported by research from 2008 that found 66% of respondents from social class DE thought the rise in Congestion Charge from £5 to £8 was “unfair”, compared to 64% from ABs. The figures appear all the more striking when we take into account that 79% of DE respondents to the same survey say they never had to pay the Charge, suggesting that they were opposed in principle.
Whether or not Greens support flat rate charges, there may be an entrenched perception that associates environmentalism with policies that call upon individuals of whatever social class to make sacrifices to protect the environment. This, in turn, may be due to what the poster cited above calls the “self-righteous middle/upper class hair shirtery” prevalent within the Green movement. Some environmentalists subscribe to a world view that sees environmental degradation as the result of a culture of materialism and greed, and places the responsibility for redressing this degradation on individuals who must make better, more moral choices.
It is certainly true that everyone has a personal responsibility to consider the environmental, as well as social and political, consequences of their actions. However, unless Greens stress that those who do most to destroy the environment – namely big businesses – must make the biggest sacrifices, their policies are unlikely to go down well in working class areas. More importantly, Greens need to facilitate community campaigns to protect and improve local, working class environments in order to build grassroots working class support for environmentalism
Neither should you vote No2EU Plenty has been written in the “blogosphere” and elsewhere online about the No2EU electoral platform formed by the RMT union, alongside the Communist Party of Britain and the Socialist Party to contest the forthcoming European elections . (Although, notably, this reasonably-sized political initiative from the Left has garnered only a single mention in the pages of Socialist Worker.)
Much of the analysis has been hostile, with highly sectarian and personal attacks on some of the activists involved in the more squalid corners of the far-left’s Internet presence. We won’t be directing your attention there. But it is worth highlighting some of the cogent arguments from the blogopshere about No2EU’s strengths and weaknesses, before outlining what we feel to be the key points.
First up is The Commune, which has a very critical analysis of No2EU, calling it “at best a diversion” and at worst “right wing and reactionary, pure and simple”. The writer, Dave Spencer, criticises the platform on a number of grounds, saying it has been called too late, criticising the platform for saying its candidates will not take up their seats in the European Parliament if elected, and saying it is bureaucratic and led in a top-down fashion. The most biting critique is over the platform’s “nationalism”, however: read more http://theleftluggage.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/a-note-on-no2eu/
If you are going to vote – then vote Green, but stay critical of them from within and the outside of them, and let’s start to build an Anarchist Movement of worth, not one of ego seeking attention seekers, backwards looking Class War Anarchists but one that involves those who have been on the front line, that is the working class, one that understands that we need to Make The Middle Class History along with the far right.