12 Feb 2010

Lindsey German asks what next?

What next? I intend to remain politically active in the movement and as a socialist. It is a critical time for the left, which in my view (and in the view of many other people across the left spectrum) has failed to rise to the challenges posed by the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. The left enters this election weak and divided. The lengthy downturn in class struggle and 13 years of new Labour has taken its toll. The danger for the left is that it becomes a reenactment society. Too much time is spent in nostalgia for the 70s rather than relating to the working class as it actually is, and the concerns that people have.

There are real questions about why the left has been unable to relate to mass movements like the anti war movement without it causing a crisis. There are also questions why at the first setback it retreats to a comfort zone which often cuts it off from the wider movement.

I am very proud of what socialists have achieved in the movements, and especially in STW which is still centrally important politically. I am also proud to be a socialist and have always thought that socialists have to organise and be part of a wider movement. How we do that in the 21st century is an urgent question for us all, if we are not to face the threat of barbarism.

I hope to be part of contributing to some answers on that question. I am sorry that this will no longer be done as part of the SWP. I am still committed to the ideas that I learnt from so many comrades, especially Tony Cliff with whom I worked closely for many years. I hope that I will continue to work with SWP comrades in the wider movements and that many of our differences will be resolved in practice. I hope too that we can work together in a comradely way in order to achieve the goals that we all share.

Lindsey German



EFComrade said...

i think some self reflection on the role Lindsay German herself has played over the years, there are many i could use but as she mentions STW herself then i think it is worth mentioning the role played by her in helping to hand over platforms to the lib dems rather than to those who could explain to working class people what the war will mean for them

weggis said...

What's next?
Might I suggest that Ms German tries ditching the language of the left [as per the above post] as well as the SWP and articulates her views in a way that the people she wishes to connect with actually understand and respond to?

luna17 said...

Yes, Everyone's Favourite Comrade, she must never be forgiven for allowing a Lib Dem to speak in Hyde Park on 15 February 2003. This treachery to the class must not go unpunished. (It really is strange, the nonsense that people dredge up to take a pop at someone isn't it?).

It's worth remembering that her primary audience is members of the SWP, so this is no surprise. Your point, though, is a useful reminder of something all of us political activists need to keep in mind (but I can't really see many examples of what you're criticising in Lindsey's letter).

Unknown said...

weggis: I totally agree with you that some of the oldfashioned language needs to be ditched but in this example i agree with Luna, it isnt all that bad, is it? which bit do you mean?

Both my son and my Mum love listening to Lindsey speaking and i would hardly call them die-hard-lefties. Anyway, maybe it is just us having been invoolved in SWP politics too long to be able to see the problems?!

Anonymous said...

Why should I care?

EFComrade said...

the point is asindsay german as a socialist wants to advancethingsin that direction why on earth would you hand over the platform to ali dem, a party that wasn't against the war really they wereall for it if the UN was they also support the war in afganistan.
Surely it would e in her interest to have promoted speakers who could of presented the warfor what it was a warfor money, therearecountless other examples ofthese mistakes, i say this not to attack her, how can you move forward without looking back atyour mistakes andlearning from them

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