Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Time for a new workers’ party?


There is an interesting new article titled Time for a New Workers' Party? by our friends in Permanent Revolution, which has just been posted on their website. Most of the article is spent debunking the political projects of the Socialist Party, Respect and company. Depressingly little of substance is provided by way of an alternative to these projects.

Within the article PR outline the need to "pursue the vital task of patiently building a revolutionary socialist party". How? We're told: "by direct action, by uniting rank and file militants and activists, by building from the base, by ensuring democratic control of our organisations". What do these things actually mean - if not just the internal party-building of another left-wing sect? I rather suspect you'd be hard pressed to find many leftists who wanted a disunited and undemocratic union-movement. Fairly unsubstantial stuff. We are told that the "numbers of working class militants that can be won to revolution and a communist organisation is small at the moment" perhaps reviving the not unusual argument that during this period the revolutionary party (presumably this is Permanent Revolution?) has to ready itself and build with gradual growth for periods of greater struggle.


Depressingly, when asked about the Campaign for a Marxist Party, a supporter referring to PR as 'we' replies "who are they?". While commenting on the Mcdonnell campaign, the curious remark is made that it is "largely SP dominated". This the Socialist Party that disaffiliated from the Labour Party in 1991? Perhaps Socialist Action is the group they had in mind. The general feeling I was left with was that Permanent Revolution doesn't know what the Permanent Revolution thinks:
I'm not sure either that the impetus for a new mass party will come out of the Labour Party.... yes such a struggle would have to intersect with any mass bourgeois workers' party and split it. That's one possible scenario- but you can't second guess the class struggle surely?

I should point out that this is a 'comment' and may not actually reflect the opinions of PR. Though If this is reflective of the views of a membership showing the advanced sections of the working class the forward, I could make a general guess about prospects for class struggle! Another member replies, also largely suggesting a turn away from the Labour Party:
"not least because the Labour Party is a profoundly unfriendly place for those us trying to build communism...from my experience anyway members of the LP are so far from sympathetic to communism there's really little point in being a member."
Hardly a new phenomena, this hasn't dissuaded Communists from involvement in the Labour Party prior to now. The suggestion that Communists would make the decisions on which organisations they involve themselves in on the basis of popularity seems a tad ahistorical to say the least. Though, as i've pointed out previously, this may not actually reflect the opinions of the Permanent Revolution grouping.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Mob beat cross-dresser in Jamaica

I wanted to draw attention to an article on the Jamaica Observer website:

Mob beats cross-dresser in Jamaica
A cross-dreser was set upon and severely beaten by a mob in Falmouth's Water Square yesterday morning.
The news of the man's presence in the community spread rapidly and in a matter of minutes scores of angry residents converged on the scene and began to rain blows all over the cross-dresser's body with sticks, stones and whatever weapon they could find...

Full article here

The only LGBT rights organization in Jamaica is the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays - J-FLAG. As a recent TUC article highlights, J-Flag are opperating in a dire political and economic context, with "appalling financial difficulties" faced by the organisation. Any donation you can spare would i'm sure be warmly welcomed by the organisation.