Left Unity meeting – brief report
Some notes from a meeting on Monday night initiated by Kate Hudson and Andrew Burgin on left unity. Activists from the ACI were glad to attend and strongly agree with the emphasis activists present were putting on political discussion, reflection, creating forums where ideas could be exchanged, without just announcing another left unity initiative and presenting it as a fait a compli to the wider movement. If it is done patiently, democratically and in a participatory way, this new project could play an exciting role in cohering a new left.
The deepening economic crisis and accelerating attacks on working people are compelling us to work in new ways. That was the conclusion reached by a number of people from a range of left backgrounds who came together yesterday to share views on overcoming the weaknesses of the left. Fragmentation, division, hostility – these have become normalised amongst political forces that actually share common political goals.
But many of us have detected a new mood – to be more creative and expansive about our politics – and to begin to discuss realignment of the left in the broadest sense. Last night’s discussion was only one of many that are doubtless taking place across the country: how to come together to take the working class forward; how to demonstrate that such a project is not only necessary but possible and achievable.
Our basic principles and common practice are a good place for discussion to start: opposition to capitalism, imperialism, war and racism; defence of the welfare state and articulation and advance of redistributive social and economic policies. And a democratic, diverse and inclusive practice with open dialogue and new ways of working – respect and mutual tolerance of differences of analysis.
Those present were united in the commitment to help take this process forward, working widely to explore and develop this political space. We will, very shortly, launch a new website to generate and embrace the necessary dialogue.
We will welcome contributions and online debate from across the left, from individuals and organisations. Building on that participation we then plan to facilitate discussion meetings that will bring people together, to help meet the needs of the movement. Above all, to share a vision and bring it into reality, of unity, solidarity and action which will enable us to break out of the current catastrophic impasse.