Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Other Campaign - exactly what we need

Gordon Brown has announced that the General Election will take place on the 6th May, the same date as the local council elections. This has kicked off a frenzy of coverage and speculation in the media and seen political leaders head off on the campaign trail.

As advertising campaigns warn people to make sure they're registered to vote, each party is trying desperately to convince the British public that their brand of pro-business, anti-worker authoritarianism is better than the other parties' version of same. Understandably, then, people are becoming more and more disillusioned with the entire process.

They should be. Voting is a sham and, as Emma Goldman once said, if it changed anything they'd abolish it.

As such, in the midst of the media's election fever and the public's disillusioned apathy, my comrades at the Liverpool Solidarity Federation have kick-started the perfect response. Under the heading of The Other Campaign, they have come up with an initiative that is long overdue; educating people on why the anarchist slogan of "don't vote - organise" is the only rational response to electoral politics.

Rather than try and paraphrase it, I'll let their mission statement speak for itself;

The Other Campaign 2010 was initiated by Liverpool Solidarity Federation.

The aim is to build a loose network of anti-capitalist, libertarian groups and individuals who believe that:
  1. Politics must be liberated from the rotten influence of politicians and bureaucrats. As individuals we must take back control over of our lives and not allow power to be exercised on our behalf.
  2. The anti-working class agenda of our corrupt political elite (such as the imminent wave of public sector cuts) will not be defeated through the ballot box, but on the streets and picket lines.
In response to the inevitably grotesque spectacle of the upcoming General Election campaign in the UK, we will promote ideas including:
  • Direct action
  • Working-class anti-fascism
  • Mutual aid
  • Solidarity
  • Non-hierarchical community/workplace activism
To find out more, add your organisation to the list of sponsors or associate your local activities with the campaign, please email theothercampaign@hotmail.co.uk

Whether we are in the Solidarity Federation, the Anarchist Federation, Class War, or any other anarchist / libertarian group, our aim is working class organisation and direct action to fight back in the class war. The Other Campaign is the perfect umbrella for that and, unlike the Trots, our belief in local autonomy and voluntary federation should allow us to disagree on the details without it derailing the entire project whilst we shout "splitter" at one another.
It has long been a problem that anarchists who (rightly) have derided elections have lacked any coherent response to the spectacle they represent. We now have one. It seems to me that we should take it.