It’s been a while since we’ve had a Carnival of Socialism, but in these grim grey days of Tory government, austerity cuts, attacks on unions, airbrushed faces, airbrushed parliaments, parties without leaders, leaders without parties, Theresa May, and other detestable shit it seems that we are in need of such a project. For those readers who have never seen a Carnival before, it is a roving summary of the left blogs, each week appearing in a different place. In recent months it has dried up a bit, and we are on the look-out for more people to run carnivals. If you are interested then please check out http://carnivalofsocialism.blogspot.com and get in touch.
As for what’s on the left blogs, there has been a lot of post-election analysis and critique. In some ways I can’t help feeling that we are left with a situation of “water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink” in which parliamentary politics has so much dominated our thinking in recent weeks that ongoing left-wing campaigns are being left behind. Nonetheless, a lot of what has been said about the election in the left press is interesting and important, so I’m going to try to offer a mix of articles, some on the election, and some not. So, we’ll start with the election and move on to more interesting issues.
Dave Osler was certainly quick off the mark on Wednesday when the coalition had been announced in offering up the idea of “absolute anti-Toryism”. This is going to be an important point in the hopefully soon-to-come ripping asunder of the Lib Dems. But Sunny Hundal over at Pickled Politics has offered up an alternative view. I have to admit that I’m with Dave on this one (although I do struggle to empathise with those who ever considered the Lib Dems to be left-wing), but no doubt interesting debate will continue here.
There has also been some analysis of what has happened to the hard-left in this election. I have to admit that I am deeply depressed by A Very Public Sociologists lengthy article on this but he is right in the end, and we do need to be thinking about these issues an taking them on board. Similarly, for those who like depressing reading on a Sunday afternoon, Though Cowards Flinch has given a thoroughgoing analysis of the BNP vote – and again, it is massively important that the left gets to grips with these figures. Yes, the fight was won in Barking, but we are clearly still present with anti-fascist battles that will require a vast amount of organising and work.
So, out of this post-election turmoil, where are we? Well to start with, there are already campaigns being set up around Theresa May’s appointment as Women and Equality Minister. Pink News gives a good summary of an LBGTQ campaign that has started on facebook, alongside a petition, whilst Penny Red has written a comprehensive argument about why we must oppose May on women’s issues, both of which are really worth reading and campaigning around.
Meanwhile Paul Cotterill at The Bickerstaffe Record (congrats on your re-election) puts forward a good angry argument against all of this 55% bollocks that the Tories and their cronies are trying to put through.
The other thing that’s going on I the Labour leadership election. In true depressive spirit, I thought I’d bring together some of the articles that have been written on why we shouldn’t vote for particular “left-wing” candidates. Harpy Marx explains why John Cruddas probably isn’t much of a lefty (I’m inclined to agree – he seems to have been positioning himself rather cynically as a lefty for a while now.) Don Paskini at Liberal Conspiracy has an article against Ed Miliband, and in a particularly out-there move, Andy Newman at Socialist Unity put up an article on why John McDonnell may not be a good choice. Over here at The Third Estate, we’re considering setting up a campaign for Ralph Miliband to be elected as Labour leader. He may be dead, but at least he’s not as retarded as his kids.
To sum up this election section, Jim Jepps at The Daily (Maybe) considers quite how Gordon Brown will be remembered.
So, what about the non-election stuff? I’ll be honest with you, there’s not a whole lot of it, so I’ll start with some events I’ve been to this week. On Wednesday night I went to Democracy on Trial: a wonderful night of all sorts of things organised by Mutiny. Part of this was a short film that Luna17 has up on her blog, which is really worth watching. Yes, ok this is still kind of related to the election, but at least it’s the sort of thing we can be chirpy about.
On Friday I went up to Middlesex University to visit the occupation that we had reported here at The Third Estate a couple of weeks ago – sadly the occupation ended yesterday, but you can still keep up to date with all of the news around the campaign on the Save Middlesex Philosophy site. Interestingly this campaign has attracted the attention of some wonderful comrades over the pond calling themselves Communique from an Absent Future, and Counterfire has brought us what they have to say about it.
One other lovely non-election piece that I found whilst rooting around, is a good bit of Marxist economic analysis also relating to the situation in Greece on Boffy’s Blog – There hasn’t been a whole lot of lefty bloging on Greece, and there’s even less on the situation on Thailand, and it would be great to see more on these issues in the coming weeks if anyone happens to be in the know.
Finally, to round off what has been a relatively depressing carnival, I will continue in the same vain by saying goodbye to The Daily Quail, which ended its operations about a month ago. It will be missed.
Anyway, as I said at the beginning, it would really be good to get the Carnival up and running regularly again. If you would like to host it then get in touch! Similarly, please please please plug the carnival on your blog. The only way we can keep this going is if we work together on it.
Solidarity for now,
The Third Estate.