Friday 15 November 2019

The Far Left and the 2019 General Election

Long-time readers know there is only one thing at stake in this election. And that is the performance of sundry far left organisations who decide to wade into the electoral arena. And here they all are in their dubious glory - seven organisations fielding a grand total of 16 candidates. That's four fewer then 2017's meagre showing. Apparently, the Alliance for Green Socialism and the Communist League are each standing an additional candidate, but damned if I can find them. No prizes for anyone who tracks down the missing constituencies (NB - Communist League filled out, below - thanks Rob). Anyway, here you go: fill your boots.

Alliance for Green Socialism
Leeds North East - Celia Foote
Leeds Wast - Mike Davis

Communist League
Tottenham - Jonathan Silberman
Wythenshawe and Sale East - Caroline Bellamy

People Before Profit Alliance
Belfast West - Gerry Carroll (4,132 (10.2%) 2017)
Foyle - Shaun Harkin (1,377 (3.0%) 2017)

Socialist Equality Party
Holborn and St Pancras - Thomas Scripps (last stood 2015)
Manchester Central - Dennis Leech
Sheffield Central - Chris Marsden

Socialist Labour Party
Hartlepool - Kevin Cranny (last stood 2005)

Socialist Party of Great Britain
Cardiff Central - Brian Johnson
Folkestone and Hythe - Andy Thomas (last stood 2015)

Workers Revolutionary Party
Camberwell and Peckham - Joshua Ogunleye (131 (0.2%) 2017)
Ealing Southall - Hassan Zulkifal (362 (0.8%) 2017)
Hackney South and Shoreditch - Jonty Leff
Kensington - Scott Dore
Tottenham - Frank Sweeney

I don't know, what is the point of these contests? It is very rare for self-declared left groups to consistently stand in the same place in the hope of building up their meagre levels of support over time, nor are election campaigns a particularly effective means of adding numbers to the organisation. That's if your politics is based around parading a jerry-rigged gaggle of silly geese as some sort of revolutionary combat party. But still, everyone needs a hobby.

Two things to note. First, at best we're looking at (potentially) 18 candidates out of a possible 631 British mainland constituencies, and the Lenin-like geniuses of British Trottery still couldn't avoid standing against each other in Tottenham. You could almost understand it if one was a Trot and another a Tankie, but in this case both the WRP and CL claim fidelity to the works of the Old Man. Less amusing however is the WRP's decision to contest Kensington where, you will recall, Labour's Emma Dent Coad pulled off a famous victory last time by the slender margin of 20 votes. Rather than picking any number of safe seats with huge majorities to offload copies of the terminally unreadable News Line they're hoping instead to ponce a few dozen votes off Labour's tally and help hand the seat back to the Tories. We should recall that in its prime the WRP were a disgusting rape cult with a sideline in photographing Iraqi dissidents resident in Britain and flogging the snaps to Saddam Hussein's regime. With crimes like these in your back catalogue, scabbing on the wider labour movement is small beer.

With the sole exception of the People Before Profit Alliance in Northern Ireland, each one of these challenges will barely catch the notice of a minority of a minority of the voting public. A complete waste of time and energy as well as an indulgent one when the prize is almost within reach and everyone, especially those with campaigning experience, should be getting stuck into this. But hey sundry far left groupuscules, you do sectarian you.

Image Credit


Anonymous said...

“The prize”? What prize? A government of fragile leftish labourism that will be in crisis and disarray from day one. A Labour government with a sprinkling of socialists in it is a recipe for political confusion, demoralisation and eventual crushing defeat - setting the appeal of socialism back years. Keep your prize.

Phil said...

Ah, I do love the smell of "revolutionary" defeatism in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Looks like barbarism it is then!

Rob M said...

Caroline Bellamy, Communist League, Sale and Wythenshawe...

Anonymous said...

Ultra leftists really should join centrists in that now legendary chant:


Phil said...

Thanks Rob.

Anonymous said...

Arthur's man never made it to the nomination paper in hartlepool in the end, Possibly waylaid. It is said he has a thirst issue.

Ray Gaston said...

The AGS is hardly far left they are basically a rump of the old Leeds NE CLP who were done o we by central office when they fielded a Bennite candidate in the late 80s.Its bizarre that they would stand against a left Labour programme
It's also bizarre they still exist in the age of Corbynism personal resentment rather than politics I frar

Anonymous said...

It was actually Liz Davies in the mid-90s IIRC?

Anonymous said...

OK, make fun of the left, no doubt they are pitiful and dishonest and deserve to be mocked. On the other hand, you do know that the party which you support was once in exactly the same position, and all the toffs in the Liberal Party looked down their noses at these pitiful ex-trade-unionists drawing votes away from the Sensible Party and thus giving power to the Tories?

If you believe in something which a political party could be organised around, someone's going to try to do it. And why not, after all? I have no problem with Corbyn, but an awful lot of people in the Labour Party look extremely odious and someone should surely point out that the Labour Party isn't all cute puppies and rainbow-farting unicorns; it can be a singularly nasty, thuggish force when in government.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with those to the left of Labour trying to keep the party honest. I do with those who claim, with some sort of ivory tower detachment, that everything that has happened in the party since 2015 is futile and doomed to failure.