Does the left need a new political party?

Writing in today's Guardian, Left Foot Forward editor James Bloodworth rejects the idea that there is a need for a new party of the left.

Writing in today’s Guardian, Left Foot Forward editor James Bloodworth rejects the idea that we need yet another new political party on the left.

Of the newly-formed ‘Left Unity’, Bloodworth writes that it ‘misses the point’, as Labour’s current inertia in reality stems from the left ‘no longer knowing what it stands for’:

‘While it’s easy to sympathise with the sentiments behind Left Unity, it is difficult not to feel that the creation of a new party is missing the point. For, while it is correct to call Labour out for its half-baked message, the crux of Labour’s inertia is not so much due to Ed Miliband selling out, but rather down to the left no longer knowing what it stands for – a consequence of failing to get to grips with a 30-year crisis of socialism and social democracy.”

Read the full article here.

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5 Responses to “Does the left need a new political party?”

  1. Lewis Coyne

    The short answer is no, the left does not need a new party.

    It’s true that only the seriously deluded think that the Labour leadership are a real force for the left (or even centre-left). That detachment from grassroots to leadership may now be a feeling the Liberal Democrats are familiar with, and perhaps the Greens too (see the Brighton Council and binmen fiasco).

    But it’s equally true that with our electoral system Labour is the only serious challenger to the Tories, and it’s also true that Labour remains a broad church – from the warmongering, neo-liberal Blairites like Jim Murphy, to socialists like Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, and other lefties like Diane Abbott and Michael Meacher.

    Given this, it seems to me that rather than seek ideological purity in yet another splinter group – Left Unity, the Greens, the SWP, etc., etc. – a temptation which has always been the weakness of the left, it’s far more productive to join the left of Labour and fight for the soul of the party.

    If every non-Labour lefty could swallow their pride, join Labour, then join the Labour Representation Committee, a lot more good would be acheived – but there’s no denying you need a strong stomach to be in the same party as Liam Byrne and Peter Mandelson.

  2. swatnan

    No, it just needs a new Leader, for the above reasons. Byrne and Mandelsohn are losing their influence and will soon be history. And Corbyn and Abbott and Field and Hoey are just token socialists. The fact is the Labour Party ithe only viable broad based coailtion of the Left that works and will bring about change.

  3. treborc1

    Why would anyone want to join labour or the LRC , what your after money for both, good god the best bet is to leave Miliband his cronies get one with it.

    Join a Union if you like but the Tory Lite party what a waste of time.

  4. Lewis Coyne

    Well, I certainly hope you’re right about Byrne and Mandelson. And I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence, although Labour is in dire need of a democratic overhaul.

    Regarding Miliband, he’s been a mixed bag. He got it right on Syria and tax avoidance, but desperately wrong on union reform, and he needs to define his message pretty quickly. But who do you think could replace him? Tom Watson has the right instincts but he’s probably better behind the scenes. Diane Abbott is too divisive. I can’t see any other good contenders, which says a lot about this generation of professional politicans.

  5. Philip

    BS. How hard is it to say ‘full employment’? Who on the left couldn’t get behind that?

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