OK I’m going to say it and be done – I need to purge it!

Now the ESF is barely over and I know I am not alone in the sense of hope and belief that we can make something of the current popular political will. Consequently to see the start of some of the sectarianism rearing its ugly head already makes me a leetle pissed off. I understand old habits die hard and I have encountered it before that parties have this in-built hatred of one another but it seems to be passed on from generation to generation without any real evaluation or questioning. I would like to say one thing clearly now I AM FUCKING SICK OF IT, sick to the back teeth, sick to the pit of my stomach. In this country everyone hates the SWP and the SWP hate everyone else. They all bicker about things done in the past yet half of them don’t seem to have a clue what the others stand for. The differences are tiny if you were to compare them with their differences to say the Labour Party and yet some would rather support the Labour party than each other.

I mean speaking to some people who feel disenfranchised, like for instance the former Lady Mayor that I spoke to. One of the things she said was about the alternative to the Labour party, she was at a meeting once and it was a sort of alternative left thing – she said she was the only one not selling a different paper and that put her off, what happened was she then voted tactically rather than with her conscience. Now that to my mind is a perfect illustration of what is going wrong -of what we are doing to people who believe the same as us. Sure those of us who really like politics like to put our own point of view forward. But equally there are many who are either not interested in politics or don’t have the time or the wherewithal and it is our duty to think of them too -after all being left-wing is about wanting a system that works for the good of the collective not the individual. Many millions of people disagree with US foreign policy, they disagree with this latent capitalism, they disagree with governmental and corporate imperialism and yet they blithely vote for the parties and the politicians who practice precisely that. Why? Because they think the alternative is populated by left-wing lunatics who spend all their time bickering amongst themselves and want either to kill the rich or to turn things into a stalinist totalitarian state. Now leaving aside my view on the rich I think I can safely say that this is all the smokescreen that has been built up over years of propaganda in the West. Whilst we continue to argue amongst ourselves we allow things to just keep going as if we were as good as ignoring the problem.

To any of you party-affiliated sectarian lefties out there I mean it when I say I am by hook or by crook going to build a better world for my kids before I die and if you get in the way I’m going to string you up by the fucking goolies and history will prove me right for it. You want more examples of the consequences look at Germany in the 1930s – it was in no small part down to the failure of the Communists and Socialists to work together that allowed the NSdAP to acheive electoral success. It is due to a lack of coherent opposition to the modernising in the Labour Party throughout the 1980s and 90s that led to it now being a wholly unrepresentative party. Unity shows strength and it reinforces it. If we take the war as an example -no-one surely can have expected us to actually stop the war in Iraq, I certainly didn’t -but I do believe we have at worst stalled any actions against Iran or Syria by the US or the UK, of course there is always Israel but they don’t listen to anyone they’ll just butcher whoever they can get away with. The other key point with the large scale anti-war protests is that according to a University of Cairo professor the muslim world saw that there were millions who were fundamentally opposed to the ‘clash of civilisations’ bollocks there was not a polarised christian West against the muslim East and that sham has apparently been shattered, hopefully for good.

What baffles me is our politics in general is about ameliorating the circumstances of the many putting aside the few and yet we seem unable to put this into practise at even the most fundamental of levels. The anti-war movement has thrown together people who previously would not have worked together and forced them to do so and in the process evaluate how they feel about one another and yet when it comes to putting forward a political force to represent the people on the streets the Greens think it’s not green enough, the Communists think it’s dominated by the SWP and so not red enough, the SWP think that if the certain groups are going to get involved then it won’t amount to anything because those groups are lunatics. Then there’s people like me who watch all this fiasco from the sidelines thinking ‘hang on, we all know who the enemy is and the system that exacts control over us, we all know that it needs to be brought down.’ The vast majority of us believe that it needs to be brought down by some degree of force whether a more passive persuasive force or an active more hands-on one is open to debate – I believe that the failure of the first one leads to the second one anyway so it seems clear. As for the SWP -I am not an SWP member but I find it baffling that people will turn up at an event where the SWP are at the forefront of the organising committee and claim to be surprised at the SWP involvement. The SWP is one of the largest parties on the genuine left in this country with one of the largest user bases and consequently financial resources. I would therefore find it more astonishing if the SWP were not at the forefront of such activities and for anyone to believe that this constitutes a stich up is living in cloud cuckoo land. As an individual I don’t have the resources to set up meetings and print information on a grand scale whereas like-minded groups like the SWP do. If you think that Respect is likely to be dominated by SWP politics then turn up say your piece and listen to the politics.

I am deeply concerned in that I know many people who think that the system cannot be changed and they think and act within the confines of that system, if we on the left do not show these people that it can be changed and that we are willing to do so then how can we expect them to believe it. We run the risk of losing the greatest impetus for social change that I have seen in my lifetime, if it is not seized I fear it could be a long time before such an opportunity comes along again. Capitalism’s greatest strength is its ability to encompass and engulf everything for its own ends regardless of the boundaries imposed by anyone. If we constrain ourselves to remain within these boundaries we will slowly allow ourselves to be eaten up bit by bit. We all know the Pastor Niemoeller quote and it will come to pass again. You don’t believe me? Look at the US – how many people now think that the only way to exact change is to vote for John Kerry? The man whose advisors are already questioning Bush on why he isn’t dealing with the ‘nuclear threat’ of Iran. How many of us on the left outside the US genuinely believe that were Kerry to be elected that anything would change in terms of US foreign policy? Would the people behind the scenes change? Would the corporations have any less influence?

I once heard an American political analyst say “Every revolution is impossible until it happens and then it’s inevitable.” By revolution I do not necessarily mean rioting in the streets and heads being cut off leaders but rather people breaking out of those confines of thought as to what is and isn’t possible in the modern world. Another world is possible but the capitalists have no reason to want that other world and they will not allow its construction easily.

Song Of The Day – Smashmouth ~ Walking On The Sun

Original Comments:

Rachel made this comment,
(i’ve heard of that song too, go figure.)
i agree with you on the politics. i mean, i think everyone who is against george bush is not looking at exactly who john kerry is, everyone just wants to get bush OUT! right now, that’s the main thing. it’s great how you want to make a better world for your kids. i’d love to do something that would make a difference, even if it’s just change the mind of a few miss-lead republicans.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 21st October 2004, 03:02 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
Just like all the Yankees fans were yelling, “Who’s your daddy?” tonight to the Red Sox when the Yankees thought that they still had a chance to win this game, Bush and his supporters will be hearing “Who’s your daddy?” from me and everyone else if Kerry wins the election!
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 21st October 2004, 05:49 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
I’m not quite sure what brought all that on… basically, I agree with you about sectarianism: but isn’t one of the main conclusions from the ESF that sectarianism is being squashed at the minute? I thought it was extremely positive to see all manner of different organisations working together so well (and I don’t think it’s right to say the SWP “hate everyone else”; life is too short to get into small-group political bunfighting, if nothing else). The real die-hards still managed to stuff things up on two occasions, but I think that just indicated their isolation.
James M [jmeadway@fastmail.fm]

[Redbaron responds – Hi James yes to a large extent you are quite right and my summation of the ESF was overwhelmingly positive there were only a couple of instances as you said, but relating to reports on Indymedia about the demo and the arrests and such like I sawe some of the in-fighting coming to the fore and a rant on it has been brewing for a while hence it needed to out. I guess I am just over-sensitive that we have a big chance at the moment to really do something and I don’t want to see it wasted.]

comment added :: 21st October 2004, 11:54 GMT+01
Lizard Breath made this comment,
don’t worry, lizard isn’t dead – simply hybernating. missing you all terribly. keep up the writing, ranting and raving – it’s awesome.

comment added :: 22nd October 2004, 21:19 GMT+01