Monday, 28 June 2010

Why the mainstream "left" is increasingly irrelevant

Over at Liberal Conspiracy, Rupert Read offers this gem;
If our criticisms of the LibDems result in their weakness to such an extent that the political reforms that Clegg is tasked with become hobbled or defeated, then this will be a disastrous own-goal.

For all that the coalition’s economic policies are regressive and disastrous, their promised reforms of the electoral system could yet transform the possibilities of British politics for the better.

We on the Left will be hoist on our own petard, if we undermine changes in the electoral system without which the mission of Liberal Conspiracy will remain mostly a pipedream.
There are two problems with this analysis.

One is that electoral reform is a dead-end road. Instead of hoping that a different element of the ruling class will treat working people better, we need to be arguing for mass participation in grassroots politics and direct action.

The other is the phrase "for all that the coalition’s economic policies are regressive and disastrous."

The coalition government is waging class war against the poor and the working class. We need to be orchestrating a serious fightback at ground level in defence of the people who generate society's wealth. Not excusing this on the grounds that it might give the Left's "politicians of the future" a greater chance at positions of power and privilege.

This kind of pragmatism does nothing for anybody except career politicians. It explains why the electoral left is no only increasingly irrelevant but also philosophically bankrupt.