Good article here wich to be fair Left Unity have posted on their site:
For the last couple of weeks I have made several attempts at putting down a few thoughts on Ken Loach, the Spirit of 45, and Left Unity. Regarding Left Unity – admittedly I have been cynical from the first time I heard mention of the project. How would it be different to the Socialist Alliance, Respect, or TUSC? In fact, doesn’t TUSC already occupy the territory that Left Unity wish to operate within?
My initial cynicism was exacerbated by the announcement of the countless local groups that popped up almost overnight. All of which had ready-made, centrally appointed organiser’s parachuted in – before any local meetings or discussion had taken place.
Whilst struggling to articulate my thoughts, I came across a few paragraphs written by a comrade on a social networking site. It summed up perfectly how I feel about Left Unity, so rather than write something else, I have reproduced his words here.
“More folk trotting round the fool’s parade of representative democracy. So you plan to represent us, to work within the existing hierarchy to ameliorate our conditions of exploitation, to answer the big questions for us?
Be known or unbeknown, you have begun again, again, a path that leads to the treachery of the working class. You isolate yourselves in Left Unity, separated from community, except when elections come around, you’ll no doubt surface for oxygen.
Another top-down organisation to think, see, hear, feel, and walk for us? No thanks, we’ll fight for ourselves; we’ll take matters into our own hands. We do not need another fucking bourgeois party making our dinner for us. And we don’t need another set of proto-politicians running around town cocking things up.
Not even a whisper of decentralisation and autonomy; not a murmur of bottom up, horizontal organisation. Nope, Left Unity has gone straight for the authoritarian model of capitalist democratiks…. And you call yourselves socialists?
Left Unity has been created following an appeal by the film director, Ken Loach, to build an alternative to the Labour Party.
His recent film ‘the Spirit of 45’ apparently – “Gives us a perspective on the achievements of the post-war generation, transforming the lives of ordinary people by bringing improved health, housing, education and social security to the people of Britain”. What Ken Loach, Left Unity, and the many people who report being “brought to tears” after watching his film (phoney emotion if I have ever heard it), fail to mention is the true spirit of 45……
Comparisons of the 1945 economic circumstances to the current ‘deficit’ are disingenuous at best.
Whilst Labour and their apologists may ‘wax lyrical’ about the 1945 government, about Clem Atlee, the NHS, the welfare state, the house building programme – and then question why the Conservatives cannot achieve the same in similar economic circumstances – they do not mention how in 1945 the UK had access to several cash cows, ripe for milking.
They claim to have built modern Britain despite being bankrupt, yet they never mention how between 1945 and 1951 they raped and pillaged the colonies at a level never seen before at any time in history.
In the years of that first Atlee government over 60% of all exports from the UK to the US were commodities such as rubber and tin, stolen from the colonies. There is no mention in the film of how the UK was able to hugely augment its GDP in the post-war period, by subjecting the working class of the colonies to horrific oppression, and stealing of their produce. There is no mention in the film, of the Atlee sanctioned concentration camps in Malaya, used to house disruptive trade unionists that had the audacity to complain about the UK stealing all of the rubber they produced, which was then sold at a 1500% mark up in the international market?
Is there any mention of how Atlee’s government sanctioned the massacre of striking workers on a plantation in Malaya, so that the flow of money into the UK did not slow down?
Another key feature of the true Spirit of 45 that is omitted is how on at least 18 occasions Clem Atlee sanctioned the use of troops to attack workers in order to break their strikes.
Bizarrely, in the weeks after Thatcher’s death, many Labourites and trade unionists, whilst criticising Thatcher for her vendetta against trade unions – use the image of Clem Atlee as their profile picture on social networking sites… Are these people fucking stupid?
By not documenting the truth about the 1945 government in the film, Ken Loach has not only produced what is little more than a Stalin style propaganda clip, but has given people the false impression that (under capitalism) you can build a welfare state, NHS, and homes with no money. It is much easier to create those things if you are able to pillage the globe, ruining the lives of millions of people, or order to pay for it….
Ah….get me a butchers apron, I am getting all nostalgic and starry eyed for Clem Atlee and his ‘socialist’ labour government of imperialists, anti-trade union, anti-working class, gangsters.
What we need is a new workers party……..fuck off, you can keep your endless black and white scenes of miners, imperialism, the spirit of 45, Ken Loach, and Left Unity.
I have no wish to participate in yet another expensive vanity project for parasites like Rees and German, and the usual union tops, to be kept in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
In two years’ time, after a couple of national A-B marches (yawn yawn) endless newsletters, newspapers, glossy placards – all of which paid for by ordinary members – there will be the inevitable ego issues, splits, and the whole project will collapse….
If it does collapse, I have an idea…. We should create another new workers party!!!! Meanwhile Labour and the political elite are laughing up their sleeves at us.