Sunday, 14 March 2010

Breaking from Labour

All around the country, under the radar of the established political commentators, new left leaning political formations are taking shape. In Borrow a local socialist party has taken root and gained seats not only on the local council but now also the County Council. In Wellingborough, near Northampton, a local socialist group has been formed and has already a local councillor and they are planning on standing in the general election. Last August I went up to Wigan for a meeting of their local left alliance. The Wigan based Community Action Party has been gaining support, winning thousands of votes and gaining dozens of members in the face of a rotten local political situation where Labour have held unchallenged power for years. In Walsall the Democratic Labour Party have gained a seat on the council and hope to improve on their support this year. In Leeds, the Alliance for Green Socialism hope to improve on their votes gained. In Preston, it is likely Val Wise will help enhance the forces developing locally to the left of Labour, arguing for a defence of local services, supporting workers in struggle and the basic principals of trade unionism. Meetings of the left have also been taking place in Manchester and more recently in Bristol. After the election will be an important time to take a balance and review of all these significant and important developments and to assess what is needed in the coming struggles the left will face. I have suggested a conference should be called, to seek to establish a national network of progressive, community and socialist organisations. Its purpose -to share information, learn from each other, and share best practice. A national network could seek to direct and encourage the coming together into one organisation, perhaps in a loose federal structure, and help develop a new party of the left.

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