The British Left at a Crossroads

Published on DISSENT, by James Stafford and Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, March 16, 2017 [updated version of an editorial first published in Renewal].

… Wherever illiberal leaders have gained access to the resources of post-9/11 security states, liberals, greens, and socialists may find themselves numbered among the “enemies of the people” as the right works to cement its power. This process is already underway in Poland and Hungary. Nascent left-populisms are currently too weak to stop the right, although they could benefit in the short-term from increasing political polarization. Many media organizations enjoy less popular legitimacy than the politicians they scrutinize. Whatever their constitutional settings, judiciaries are too easily bypassed to be relied upon. In short, there is no reason to believe that advanced capitalist societies are immune to authoritarianism by virtue of superior institutions, economies, or national characters.

It is only in the contemporary liberal West that it has become habitual to regard politics as a genteel, limited set of consensual procedures, insulated from matters of life and death. An older political generation knew that the fragile gains of the postwar order demanded vigilant protection against the twin dangers of market fundamentalism and nationalist revival. In more recent decades, this perspective has been sorely lacking.

The immediate danger faced by the British left after the European referendum and Trump’s victory is irrelevance … //

… Labour’s performance was disappointing by any measure. On the third reading of the bill, when all the amendments containing Labour’s “red lines”—even on such basic questions such as migrant rights and parliamentary scrutiny—had been rejected, Jeremy Corbyn ordered Labour MPs to join the government in voting through a bill which gives May an incredible level of power to dictate the Brexit process … //

… The Labour Party has two clear options for contemporary resistance and reconstruction. They can either seek to bring down May to save the single market, or they can offer a fleshed-out, parallel vision of a considerably less globalized Britain. Neither choice would represent a betrayal of anything essential about Labour’s history or politics. But the party must make a choice, and accept the immediate implications of that choice.

What would a post-globalized Britain look like? The national route to socialism was kept alive in the 1960s and 1970s by the Bennite left of the Labour Party, and is revived in the current leadership’s apparent nonchalance over the economic consequences of a hard Brexit … //

… (full long text).

(Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite is co-editor of Renewal and a lecturer in Modern British History at University College London.
James Stafford is co-editor of and a lecturer in Modern History at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford


UK troops deployed in Estonia to ‘defend NATO’ from Russia [VIDEO], on RT, March 18, 2017;

Interviewing Barbara Bethune, on Zcommentaries, by Miguel Guevara, March 18, 2017;

Trump applauds Merkel’s ‘commitment’ to boost NATO spending, on RT, March 18, 2017;

#MosulSOS, special page on RT;

INSTITUTE INDEX: Defunding Parent Parenthood would worsen the South’s public health crisis, on Facing South, by Sue Sturgis, March 17, 2017;

As deportations escalate, lawyers ramp up defense for immigrants in rural Georgia, on Facing South, by Allie Yee, March 15, 2017;

Merkel breaking German law & endangering the country – OSCE Assembly ex-VP [VIDEO], on RT, March 13, 2017;

Jung & Naiv: Folge 265 – Oskar Lafontaine (Die Linke), 71.35 min, hochgeladen von Tilo Jung, am 14. Juli 2016 … Wir sind zu Gast in Saarbrücken und treffen Oskar Lafontaine. Oskar ist Oppositionsführer im saarländischen Landtag und vertritt die Linkspartei. Früher war er sogar Ministerpräsident im Saarland, damals noch für die SPD. Er war sogar Kanzlerkandidat und Parteivorsitzender. 1998 wurde er Bundesfinanzminister und galt schnell als “gefährlichster Mann Europas”. Wir sprechen mit Oskar darüber: Was hat ihn zum “gefährlichsten Mann Europas” gemacht? Welche gefährlichen Ideen hat er verbreitet? Warum ist Oskar als reicher Mann links? Warum fordert er als reicher Mann eine Reichensteuer? Was ist Macht? Wann war er am mächstigsten, wann am ohnmächtigsten? War er gegen die deutsche Einheit? Was hat er gegen den Euro und das Währungssystem? Was ist Neoliberalismus? Leben wir in Deutschland in einer Demokratie? Was ist eine Oligarchie? Wie hält er es mit den USA & Russland? Was unterscheidet ihn von seiner Frau Sahra Wagenknecht? Was sind deutsche Werte und das deutsche Volk? Wann kann Rot-Rot-Grün kommen? … (ganzer Text);

… and this:

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