Saturday, 1 May 2010

An anarchist election hustings

As promised in an earlier post, what follows is "an in-depth critique of all of the significant parties (left and right) standing in the election."

This is not a comprehensive rundown of every single party. That would take an age, given the sheer volume of single-issue parties, localised parties, and sub-sub-sub-divisions of irrelevant splinter groups that exist on the margins. Rather, to quote myself, "the point of this [is] to emphasise the limits of change within hierarchical power structures and to offer a perspective on the matter that goes beyond "The Big Three" to point out the folly of political parties, full stop."

British National Party 

In a nutshell, fascist lunatics who detest the working class.

Recently, I dissected their manifesto. They offer the usual slew of cuts to jobs and services promised by the other parties. Alongside which they promise a return to the age of penal colonies, aggressive military expansionism that can only be for empire building or martial law, abolishing the Human Rights Act, legalising guns, institutionalising racism, forcing people to work longer so as not to be a "burden," and destroying health and safety legislation and workers' rights.

Do say: "With its comprehensive 2010 manifesto, the BNP is definitely the main rival to the LibLabCon."

Don't say: "All you've done is made your fascism more comprehensive. You're still Thatcher in jackboots."

Definitely don't say: "Fancy an egg, Nick?"


The party of the rich, the scum who gave us Thatcher, and the enemies of the working class.
They have exactly the same "national citizen service" policy as the BNP. Basically, force teenagers to work as slave labour. If that didn't say it all, then the promise of £20 billion of spending cuts, all at the expense of the poor, workers, and public services, should. Business leaders back his proposals, because they all save money out of it. And, even though the Tories have started using words such as "direct democracy" and "cooperatives," ordinary people (and foxes, for that matter) can only lose.

Do say: "Dave's done a bang-up job of modernising the party, hasn't he?"

Don't say: "All you're doing is chucking me onto the dole to give your mate a tax cut."

Definitely don't say: "Today, Dave, you're the fucking fox!"

English Democrats

Built around the fight for an English Parliament, the English Democrats consider themselves the English equivalent of the Scottish National Party in Scotland and Plaid Cymru in Wales. They have sensible policies on rebuilding the country's manufacturing base, but fall down by blaming house prices on immigration and advocating a strengthening of Thatcher's anti-trade union laws. Ultimately, another populist but anti-worker party.

Democratic Unionist Party 

Northern Ireland's largest Unionist party, most notable for being linked to Protestant fundamentalists, though they did mellow enough to enter a power-sharing agreement with Sinn Fein. As well as the loyalist politics, their deep-seated religious lunacy has driven right-wing campaigns such as "Save Ulster from Sodomy" and seen a leading DUP politician compare homosexuality to child abuse. To be avoided.

Green Party

The most progressive of all the parties on offer in this election. However, as I've already noted, they are likely to follow the example of Greens elsewhere and fit neatly into the existing system if elected. Caroline Lucas has already brought the party into the mainstream by winning the campaigns to create and to become a single elected leader.


Our "beloved" incumbents.

Much of Labour's support at present is built upon fear of the Tories. That fear is, of course, justified. However, we shouldn't forget that it was Labour - not the Conservatives - who continued the privatisation of the NHS and social housing, led us into two illegal wars, built up a relentlessly brutal immigration system, and launched all-out war on the working class as a way to combat the effects of the recession. The Labour Party truly are Thatcher's children.

Do say: "Of the three main parties, Labour are undoubtedly the best."

Don't say: "Sorry, what's the difference between you and the Tories again?"

Definitely don't say: "Don't smile, Gordon. You look like you're having a stroke."

Liberal Democrats

Tories for the yoof, or Labour for the middle class. Take your pick.

InVinceCable we shouldn't trust sums up the main points about the Lib Dems. They're not an alternative to Labour or the Tories, but just a third wing of the anti-worker, pro-big business consensus amongst the political classes. Their main base appears to be young people and students who have a social conscience but lack class consciousness, as the lack of uproar over Vince Cable's anti-union views demonstrates/

Do say: "That Clegg chap is such a refreshing antidote to Brown and Cameron."

Don't say: "Just cause we hate the Tories more doesn't mean we like you."

Definitely don't say: "Nice or not, you're still on the wrong side of the class war."

Liberal Party

What the Lib Dems used to be before they met the Social Democratic Party. Little distinguishes the two.

Libertarian Party

An extremely small party, but worth mentioning as they are quite big across the blogosphere. Market fundamentalists with a zealous hatred of trade unionists and every strawman version of socialism they can conjour up. Like the Tea Party Movement in America, their rhetoric about "freedom" masks reactionary politics which will only harm the working class.

Plaid Cymru 

The Welsh nationalist party are, as left-wing social democrats, able to offer a largely agreeable set of populist policies such as making everybody "pay their fair share" in taxes, electoral reform, and opposition to the banking bailouts. They also made a good name for themselves by refusing to cross picket lines during the PCS strike. However, making the existing system "fair" is as far as they can go in terms of anything approaching a class agenda. Their support for small British bosses over large foreign ones also still leaves the working class as wealth creators for the ruling class.


The archetypal authoritarian left party. Respect has an unsavoury relationship with Islamists. George Galloway, the "coalition's" only MP, has acted as an effective apologist for the Iranian execution of queers. His party has courted Islamic bigots as donors, and pandered to Islamist bigotry by holding sexually-segregated meetings. This all aside from it being another cross-class front for the Socialist Workers' Party.

Scottish National Party

The SNP are Scotland's ruling party, and a supposedly left-leaning, social democratic outfit.  Some sensible policies, including an anti-nuclear stance, but not enough to distinguish them from the spectrum of established power. Their willingness to accept donations from businessmen in exchange for policy shifts, suggests that they are as corruptible as any other party. Their focus on nationalism, even of the left-wing variety, also means that they are not a class-focused party and offer nothing new.

Sinn Fein 

Sinn Fein should need no introduction. The major Irish republican organisation, they have been involved in the struggle for Irish independence and re-unification for almost a century. Their policies are on the same broad left-populist praxis as the SNP and Plaid Cymru. Like them, it is also a party without any significant class consciousness and so unable to speak up for the working class beyond what is already on offer.

Socialist Labour Party

Formed in a split from Labour and led by former union leader Arthur Scargill, the SLP may seem a tempting choice for those who have become disillusioned with New Labour. It is also noteworthy that Scargill is aware of and has taken measures against the entryism of the myriad of Trotskyist groups that exist in Britain. However, its ideological line is simply to be a more leftist Labour party, and so it is worth remembering that Old Labour was no party of the workers, attacking strikers and favouring business as much as its "New" counterpart.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Basically, the No2EU coalition reformed, TUSC has the Socialist Party and Socialist Workers' Party at its core. Unlike respect, it is not a front for class-collaboration, and there are some individual candidates who may well be worth supporting. However, it is largely composed of Trotskyite vanguard parties and union bureaucrats, on an ultimately reformist platform. Not bad in terms of some individual candidates, but beyond the pale in terms of others. This matters because TUSC is a coalition, and so each candidate has their own platform. One to be extremely wary of.

UK Independence Party

A party of complete fruitbats.

UKIP's founding principle is opposition to the EU, but they also represent the same line of thinking as the Tories. i.e. Slash taxes to the rich, support big business, and oppose trade union organisation. Essentially, they are Thatcher-era conservatives, with a more Eurosceptic line. Unquestionably enemies of the working class and to be avoided at all costs.

Do say: "It's about time we had a party with the balls to pull us out of the EU."

Don't say: "Farage and your other MEPs sure are fond of that European gravy train."

Definitely don't say: "Whatever happened to that Kilroy-Silk chap?"

So, there you have it. If you must exercise your right to vote and want to pick the best of that lot, go Green, but without any illusions of serious change. If you believe that, since one of the big three is gaining power either way and so voting for anybody else is pointless, then Labour - utter worthless parasites that they are - are the least worst.

If you want the best outcome for the working class, then stop thinking that you can implement change by marking a cross on a piece of paper. Abandon the polling station and be prepared to fight for real progress using direct action.

Don't vote - organise!