We Need an Alternative

Linked with New Left Project NLP. – Published on New Left Project, by Kevin Blowe, May 10, 2010.

The moment that I realised that yet again I would be unable to join in, herd-like, with something that people were saying was vital and urgent was when I heard the roar of approval for Nick Clegg. I’m talking, of course, about the ‘purple revolt’ of Take Back Parliament, the coalition protesting outside of the Liberal Democrat headquarters on Saturday … //

… So here’s a suggestion. The one thing that I heard friends on the left argue again and again over the last month was the lack of a clearly articulated opposition to massive cuts. People are looking at what is being imposed on Greece and are wondering what will happen to us. They are right to be worried.

The media, business, the IMF, politicians and pundits are all saying that hardship is inevitable, that the vast majority of us will have to pay heavily for rescuing the banks from their recklessness. They all say there is no alternative – but that’s what they said before 2008 and then the accepted orthodoxy of the market offering solutions was swiftly and wholeheartedly abandoned.

So why don’t we create an alternative? If this sounds a little vague, it’s because it is, but what about campaigning for an Alternative Plan for the Economic Crisis, bringing together the few left MPs returned to Parliament with academics, trade unionists and campaigners in a series of conventions, debates, the development of new strategies and of course, a platform for organising protest against cuts?

As long as it is open, non-hierarchical, seeking a diversity of opinion and not solely-owned by one political group (we know the Lib Dems borrowed the idea of the front organisation from the Trotskyist left), then it would at least involve a debate about the ends rather than the means. Hell, I might even consider wearing purple if anyone thought it might help. (full text). http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/we_need_an_alternative/

What it would most certainly represent is something more constructive than cheering yourself hoarse for Nick Clegg.

(Kevin Blowe is a charity worker, campaigner and proud ‘stopper’ based in Newham in east London).

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