The Right Left
At the time of writing St Paul’s Cathedral is occupied by protesters. They seek to change the world so that: ‘the people command and global institutions obey!‘. The global institutions they believe are harming democracy include the IMF and WTO.
Two weeks ago 81 Tory MPs voted against their party supporting a referendum on EU membership, essentially a vote to get the UK out of the EU (a fair assumption on the basis of the AV referendum) at a time when the UK’s economy is weak and our global influence waning.
These are positions of extremity and both a direct consequence of the 2008 financial crash. The failure of the financial markets to regulate themselves, their inability to recover from their failure and the subsequent effect on Europe has convinced people on both sides of the political spectrum that radical change must come, and that it must come now. For the protestors capitalism must be radically changed to work ‘for the people’, for the Tory backbenchers it is time for Britannia to break free from the ‘the EU dictators‘.
In one sense the protestors and backbenchers are right; the financial crisis and fallout does present an opportunity to bring about change. It is not just our financial situation that supports this. The News International Scandal and the flourishing of social media is allowing people to break from from the monopoly of communication that print and televisual media has enjoyed and into an age where people can be better informed and communicate, interact and act together as never before.
But this precious opportunity to enact change is is danger of being lost as both the EU referendum vote and the occupy movement show. The collapse of the Eurozone does not validate the scaremongering nonsense perpetuated by the lunatic right any more than the financial crisis and banks behaviour support bringing down the IMF. Sensible people see these movements for what they are – extreme and tribal political positions – neither realistic nor achievable.
This blog passionately believes that in the current world circumstance the centrist left is the only political movement that can bring about just and effective change. We understand the need for the financial markets and that they must not be attacked, but we also understand that they must not be allowed to abuse the people whose money they trade with. We understand the need for national sovereignty but we also understand that we must work to lead the Eurozone from within. We understand that a strong and forthright media is essential to prevent us from the worst excesses of our politicians but also that it must never be above the rule of law. And we understand that we live in a complicated and difficult world with many negative attitudes to democracy and that we must be careful to ensure that the emerging leaders of the world have a responsible attitude to their citizens and that those who repress theirs are thwarted.
This blog is passionate in its belief in all the above, but it is equally concerned that the extremity of political debate is pulling the mainstream left into unrealistic positions that are unpalatable to the electorate. After ten years of a left wing centrist government running the country to great effect the Labour party is underachieving against a government that is having no success on the economy and rife with scandal and infighting . This blog is reminded daily of Tony Blair’s assertion that: ‘If we can’t take this lot apart in the next few years then we shouldn’t be in business of politics at all‘.
Blogs that offer analysis and opinion that support the above are rife: The Centre Left, Hopisen.com, Mindtrumpet, Normblog, (and many more below) all superb and required reading. The Right Left is something different, it is designed to collate material that will form the basis for a political pressure group. If we are to win the next election we need to generate practical ideas, policies, plans, tactics, strategy. We must pressurise for a more realistic electoral strategy that shows the public there is still more to the Left than strikes and unconvincing economics. We must be proactive, we must make a real difference and we must always remember that all the idealism and fine ideology in the world will do no good unless we are elected.
I am obsessed with politics but not a product of nor part of the political process. I direct theatre, my medium is the words of others. The people who I look to for help and support in this blog are the ones who inspired me to create it @rob_marchant @hopisen @citizen_sane @normblog @peterwatt123 @harrylangford @blairsupporter @iamalexwhite @bombaylychee @forwardnotback. Between them they have made me proud to be on right side of the left, and made me passionately want to deliver a centre left victory at the next election- this blog is theirs, and yours if you share our passion. I will manage it, maintain it and support it any way I can if you are wiling to make it.
We have a powerful body of intelligent and knowledgeable political operators above, some have been in the Labour party, some are the future of the party, between us we all have an opportunity to place real pressure on the leadership to deliver the victory we deserve.
Posts for the site can be sent to – firstname.lastname@example.org. We are @therightleft1 on Twitter and I can be found on @georgemaddocks.
A final word, this is your site, not mine. Even this document is open to your alterations and suggestions. I would hope you can understand from this what I would like The Right Left to become. Help me out! Make suggestions, give me feedback, sort out my awful grammar (like so many in theatre I am dyslexic), but whatever you do, make sure that everything is practical, focused and helps us get closer to electoral victory. We have enough brilliant analysis and comment, now we must take action.
Extra special thanks to @rob_marchant, @blairsupporter and @citizen_sane who gave me the courage to put this together this weekend.
All the best, hope to hear from you all soon, no matter what you may have to say.