20 Apr 2009

Green Left listens to the climate camp!

Missed this cos I was talking at the Cuba Solidarity Day School, here is a report from my good amigo and Green Left convenor Joseph Healy. This report is from Joseph’s excellent blog here.
GL AGM on June 20th.


Green Left Meeting

I chaired the Green Left general meeting on Saturday which was well attended and addressed a number of issues. We were joined by Ben, a speaker from Climate Camp, who told us about their G20 experiences and also about some actions in the pipeline. We agreed to keep channels of communication open. We also had an observer from Socialist Resistance, the ecosocialist group attached to Respect, who told us a little bit about what they were up to. At the tail end of the meeting we were joined by a speaker from the new Anti-Capitalist Party in France, who are currently running at 15% in the polls and expected to gain anything up to 10 seats in the European Parliament, which is an astonishing achievement, if it happens, for a party only formed in 2007. He stated that they were keen to work with some of those on the Green list in France, such as Jose Bove, but not as keen about others, such as Daniel Cohn Bendit.

There was a close vote on whether to continue taking part in the Left Unity talks, but we agreed to continue doing so, although many of us think that it is not leading anywhere and many of the groups have already pulled out. We also decided to adopt ‘Workers for the World Unite’ as one of our slogans, although some of us thought that it was inappropriate and too workerist. One of my colleagues went so far as to accuse me of “mad, inverse workerism” because of my oppposition to the slogan. I think it is a great slogan and clearly draws on its famous 19th century forbear, but I think it more suitable for use by the Trade Union Group, as I believe that it could alienate those who do not see themselves as ‘workers’ or who are excluded from the labour market.

We also discussed a new pamphlet on the economic crisis which we will be launching at Housman’s radical bookshop at King’s Cross in London on May 27th, with the possible involvement of a celebrity (but I am bound to secrecy on that at present as it has not yet been confirmed). We agreed to support the People’s Charter, although many of us feel that it is designed to appeal to those who want to feel that the Labour Left are still capable of having an impact in the Labour Party and is not at all as radical as we would like. I also gave the example of Alice Mahon, the long term Labour Party member and ex-MP who resigned from the party in disgust over its policies at the weekend. My only surprise was that it had taken her so long to wake up.

Other issues included a report by me on Stop the War Coalition, the forthcoming Climate Change Trade Union planning meeting and an agreement to send a delegation, together with the Green Party Trade Union Group, to Levellers Day in Burford, Oxfordshire on May 16th. There will also be a Green Left stall there. I will not be going as my duties as a London European Parliamentary Candidate mean that I will need to be in London and will probably be taking part in the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign march on that day.

We also condemned the initative of the RMT/CPB/Socialist Party in backing ‘No to EU. Yes to Democracy’ in the European elections and regard it as a Stalinist inspired political disaster. We issued the following statement:

Green Left has been shocked and disappointed by the decision of the RMT to stand candidates in the forthcoming euro elections. We had hoped for RMT support for a coherent environmental plan, including an ecologically sustainable public and publically owned transport system.

We fear that the current RMT electoral platform does not offer this within the context of a sensible political program and may have damaging consequences such as splitting votes and allowing the election of far right racist candidates, or endangering the seats of green Euro MPs who have a very good record of promoting workers’ rights in Europe.

Inspite of this Green Left will continue to actively support the RMT’s legitimate Trade Union activities and its campaigning for an ecologically sustainable public and publically owned transport system, but we cannot currently advise a vote for RMT candidates, which would currently be a wasted and dangerous vote.

We also had news that Ian Angus will be in the UK in September and we are hoping that we can get him to speak about his new book. Ian is the editor of Climate and Capitalism and hails from Canada. More about him here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Angus

All in all it was a positive meeting and I look forward to our AGM on June 20th in London.

1 comment:

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