Compass Statement on Glasgow East By-election Defeat

COMPASS BYELECTION STATEMENT: They say they’re listening – but nothing seems to change

The Glasgow East byelection result is another nail in the coffin of New Labour. Across the country, the electorate are crying out for change, they want a government that can help improve their lives. But a politics that is rooted in the 1990s has simply run out of answers. In response, the government once again claim they are listening, but things still seem unlikely to change; despite political wipe-out now staring Labour in the face.

Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass, said: “They say they are listening but nothing changes. If Labour politicians refuse to protect people from the economic forces that are harming their lives it’s no wonder people are turning to other political parties.”

This awful defeat vindicates what Compass has been saying for three years – that the coalition that brought Labour to power in 1997 has been shattered. Between 1997 and 2005, the party lost 4 million voters – and this time we saw a further pulling-away of the working-class vote that New Labour has always ill-advisedly taken for granted. Meanwhile, people across all classes and social groups are turning away from the party. Particularly in England the Tories are on the march; partly thanks to the sense that they are engaging with concerns that lie at the centre of people’s lives.

Needless to say, Gordon Brown’s stiff, remote style of leadership doesn’t help. But there is a more fundamental political problem that is destroying the Labour Party. Even at a time when the credit crunch and rising prices mean that the post-Thatcher settlement is being questioned as never before, a supposedly progressive government refuses to address the way that the unrestrained free-market is damaging people’s lives in no end of areas: from housing and rising fuel bills, to crippling consumer debt and insecurity at work, and on to the dysfunctional inequality that defines so many of the UK’s current problems.

Others may be distracted by New Labour kremlinology, and the question of whether one of Brown’s cabinet colleagues might somehow be persuaded to replace him. For us, there is no point in talking about such changes if the conversation isn’t fundamentally about a change of direction that will revive people’s confidence that the government is in touch with modern concerns, and in control of the forces that shape them.

There is little money left to spend and less than two years before the likely date of the next election, but that still leaves room for measures that would signal a change of direction and show that Labour understands the challenges of the 21st century. We would argue in favour of:

– A windfall tax on energy and oil companies to help those struggling with escalating fuel bills.
– A fairer tax system with a new top rate and a cut in taxes for the low paid with all new revenues ear marked to boost benefit levels for the poor. Some have suggested that those earning under £10,000 per year should pay no tax. This is clean, simple and very appealing.
– A new drive to build council houses. By 2010, 5 million people will need social housing, but this year, a start will be made on only 100,000 new homes. With private construction apparently in freefall, the state has to step in.
– A high-profile drive to improve people’s working lives via government setting new standards. As a minimum, we need a new fair employment clause in all public contracts, to make sure that the public sector points the way out of the low pay culture that ensures – contrary to recent headlines about welfare reform – that work is still no guarantee of an exit from poverty. The government should take the lead of London and roll out a living wage nationwide in all public procurement contracts – which even Boris Johnson has raised in London in his first months in office.
– A moratorium on Post Office closures, and new protection for the universal service obligation of the Post Office.
– Abolishing the youth exemptions in the minimum wage.
– Help close the gender pay gap – with statutory pay audits for equality.
– Access to all local authority sports facilities free for children under 16 to confront the issues of obesity and anti-social behaviour head on.
– Across all these policy areas, if money is needed to deal with rising insecurity and anxiety then we should rethink the renewal of Trident and scrap the ID cards scheme. Government insiders claim that the latter is effectively being left to wither away, but where is the political advantage in that? On this, as with so many policies, a clear change has to be demonstrated.

Over the summer and beyond, Labour has to begin a conversation about all of this and take clear action, or face long years in the political wilderness. Compass intends to act as a catalyst for that process and play an active role in it.

Compass is leading the debate on Labour and the left’s future, join in the discussion on our website…

What are your views on the byelection result? What should Labour do next? What policies should the government bring forward? Make comment and debate with others at www.compassonline.org.uk

Not yet a member of Compass? Join online today from just £12.50 per year at www.compassonline.org.uk/join.asp

36 comments on “Compass Statement on Glasgow East By-election Defeat

  1. >>>A new drive to build council houses. By 2010, 5 million people will need social housing, but this year, a start will be made on only 100,000 new homes. With private construction apparently in freefall, the state has to step in.

    Hear, hear. I heard on the BBC this morning some gormless reporter saying housebuilding has dropped to virtually zero in the last quarter as demand for housing has completely dried up. Which is a stupid but depressingly common way of interpreting the impact of the credit crunch on the economy’s ability to meet housing need.

  2. Mark P on said:

    Jeff and Dave Festive deserve each other.

    Jeff – perhaps you could enlighten us on what Far Left group or Labour Hard Left group is leading such a debate? I don’t agree with all Compass says but they are at least making the kind of intervention that others are clearly incapable of making with their mix of Planet Placard sloganeering and organisational conservatism.

    Dave – You really do your best to win friends and influence people don’t you? Safe on Planet Placard with your dwindling band of co-thinkers you heap abuse on those in Labour who are calling time on Brownite-Blairist Labour. And before you come out with the usual leftist moralising masquerading as politics no I don;t have any faith in Labour’s capacity to change either but growing numbers of Labour supporters well beyond the tiny ranks that the deeply unimpressive John McDonnell can reach is a start and it should be welcomed.

    Mark P

  3. johng on said:

    “deeply unimpressive John McDonnell”

    Mark P winning friends and influencing people as per usual.

  4. It’s interesting just how quickly the ferment is developing. This isn’t 1976 with the rally round the government call continuing to hold sway for two more years.

  5. non partisan on said:

    I do think its strange that no one seems to consider it a possibility that there will be a resurgance of the labour left, under the impact of the struggles workers will have to engage in to defend as as far as possible thier living standards, when they come under further attack from the tories.

    The TU bureacrats will realise that in order to maintain thier influence over thier members they will have to at least be seen to fight. Reformists are only usefull as long as they have the ability to mislead the wc. As a social democratic/ reformist party the LP is by no means dead.

  6. Tawfiq Chahboune on said:

    This is an extraordinary statement! Compass seems to be saying that the policies of the nineties were essentially tickety-boo but something has gone wrong along the way. Compass evidently does not understand that everything they moan about and the remedies they seek are to cure the diseases of the nineties. That all New Labour policies have been an unmitigated disaster. I can’t think of one good ploicy in eleven years. Even the dreaded Tories did better than that. But then wasn’t Neal Lawson a Blair cheerleader from the go?

  7. Mark P on said:

    ““deeply unimpressive John McDonnell”

    Mark P winning friends and influencing people as per usual.” – John G

    No, just being honest. I suppose I should just trot (sic) out the customary guff that he’s the marvellous, charismatic, forward thinking leader of a vibrant Labour Left who galvanised a huge layer of new activists on a scale unprecedented, well sincethe high tide of Bennism at least, with his leadership campaign. And whats more after Crewe and Nantwich, Glasgow East, he is electrifying the party with his alternative strategy to the lacklustre Brown. But then its hardly credible is it?

    Winning friends and influencing people? Well the SWP are experts at that, one week heaping praise on McDonnell’s frankly useless 10-point programme, and then a fortnight later producing a near carbon copy of it as their own petition which is just about as useless. Well done, which genius thought that one up? The one who engineered Lindsey’s 0.68%, the one who called the LMHR national ‘parade’ of 2000 lonely souls, or who led your party to the magnificent total of barely 2000 member after 11 years of Blairist-Brownism. Brilliant isn’t the word for it!

    Mark P

    Cheers.

  8. Rusu on said:

    They might consider the startlingly high amount of public sector workers on low pay an’ all, not just those private sector workers working on public sector contracts.

  9. Mark Perrymnan: “And before you come out with the usual leftist moralising masquerading as politics no I don;t have any faith in Labour’s capacity to change either but growing numbers of Labour supporters well beyond the tiny ranks that the deeply unimpressive John McDonnell can reach is a start and it should be welcomed.”

    John McD. is one of the few politicans who has taken the lead in questioning the establishment consensus. Unlike Compass who capitulates, sells out and lets face it, is a volatile untrustworthy force.

    You have to make a realistic assessment of Compass and when the chips are down they will side with NL i.e Cruddas over 42 days.

    Deeply unimpressive? That’s Compass all over. They just can’t cut the mustard. Instead Mark you are utterly dismissive of the LRC/John McD and what has been accomplished.

    And as a Labour leftie involved in the LRC you haven’t got a clue as at least we have a commitment to trying to make a difference.

  10. Stuart G on said:

    As always, those outside the Labour Pary with no links to anyone who works in the Labour Party think that the more left rhetoric (ie McDonnell) the more relevant to the struggle going on, while Compass who are hardly a homogenous bunch, but well to the right of McDonnell have a serious base.
    Those breaking with Brown to the left will relate to Compass, whereas John McDonnell is trying to set himself up as the new leader of the left in the Labour Party, a new Tony Benn if you like, but for a role that doesn’t exist anymore.
    The far left jump at having him on their platforms as if he represents any serious movement or that there are thousands about to link up with those outside the Labour Party – it just isn’t like that.
    Compass’s policies are not socialist – at best Old Labour. So what? Given that everyone inside the Labour Party, with a few exceptions, have illusions over the socialist potential of the Labour Party – including the LRC, then the only question is who relates to the movement that is going on inside the Labour Party? Yes, relating to struggles going on in general is fine, but then so do the SWP who till recently at least managed to do it much better.
    Compass represent a more serious break in the bureaucracy, albeit a left variant.
    Louise – you’re surprisingly naive holding up 42 days to Compass when LRC supporting MPs supported 42 days. It’s not as simple as that – as if there’s a dividing line btween pure ocialists and where the consistent class eneemy starts. Sadly, John McDonnell makes no difference and seems to gather the most sectarian forces inside the Labour party around him.
    Personally, I could see no point wasting time in the Labour Party, but if I were to look forany serious movement, rather than the far left regrouping meagre forces, Compass seem to have a more serious dynamic, even if they are starting further to the right.

  11. Sergioleonine on said:

    Another predictable pile of self serving crap from Compass, and yet more ‘necessary illusions’ from the self-deluded who still choose to stay in the rotting, hollowed out remains of a Party that makes the Conservatives look like Anarcho-syndicialists. Still, I suppose neo-labour provides a modicum of amusement for the faithfull: passing resolutions and marching in circles along with lots of other futile but fun activities. Maybe Billy Bragg can write a lovely song about it?

  12. Mark P on said:

    “Instead Mark you are utterly dismissive of the LRC/John McD and what has been accomplished.” – Louise

    OK maybe I let the odd rhetorical flourish get in the way of a sensible argument. But in all seriousness given the sheer awfulness of Blair/Brown (on that we can agree) in all seriousness what have LRC/John McDonell accomplished? Compared to eighties Bennism its miniscule.

    The sad fact is that the numbers who in the past provided the forces that propelled Bennism left the Labour Party, and no they didn’t join Respect or any other grouping either. Thats a defeat we all share, the ‘lost’ 200,000 +. Without them what any of us has ‘accomplished’ is very small indeed. Thats the scale of the left’s defeat and talking up the achievements of John McDonnell/LRC, or George Galloway/Respect for that matter – I don’t allow rhetoric to get in the way of self-criticism – won’t solve that, in fact it worsens our chances of crawling away from the wreckage towards something better.

    Mark P

  13. Grow Up on said:

    Mark P

    You are all over the place. Yesterday you were calling for an SNP vote against Labour so why you feel you have the right to intervene in any discussion in the Labour party I don’t know. Now you are supporting compass at the expense of the labour left. What’s happenin man.

  14. Mark P on said:

    Grow Up >

    You just don’t get it do you. Politics is no longer made up of these great solid unchanging blocs any more, if Glasgow East didn’t convince you of that then never mind growing up, you’re not even out of your nappies.

    In Glasgow East the SSP / Solidarity were a sad sideshow for those of us who south of the border support a social-democratic Scottish government on the way to an independent Scotland. On every meaningful measure the SNP candidate was to the left of Labour and entirely deserving of support.

    In terms of the Labour Party, there remain many tens of thousands of excellent people within it, vastly outnumbering Respect’s membership and the various Far Left groups. Not to mention the affiliated trade unions. I don’t ‘support Compass at the expense of the Labour Left’ what a juvenile formulation. If you don’t conceive of Compass as part of Labour’s left then you really are left with a tiny band of utterly irrelevant co-thinkers. Theres a range of opinions challenging the Blair/Brown legacy, I happen to find John McDonnell deeply unimpressive, you don’t, fine. That part of the argument is frankly irrelevant, more important is to articulate a strategy to turn things around inside Labour. If that’s down to a ‘Labour Left’ that doesn’t include the forces broadly represented by Compass then good luck, you’re going to need it!

    As for the ‘right to intervene in any discussion in the Labour Party’ this is the kind of party chauvinism that puts the vast majority of those disillusioned by Blair/Brown off any party, Labour, Respect, SWP, Socialist Party whatever. Its only when we find structures and practices that reach out that we’ll connect.

    ‘ We don’t want to hear from you, you’re not a member’ is just the kind of self-inflicted attitude that has helped destroy any chance the left inside and outside of Labour had of challenging Blair/Brown over the past 11 years and continues to thwart any radical-populist challenge in its dying days. What a shame, what a waste.

    Mark P

  15. SSP member on said:

    It seems ridiculously blinkered to release a statement on a by-election where there’s been a 22% swing to the SNP and not mention the national question. In fact this statement talks more about the tories in England than anything to do with Glasgow East or the situation in Scotland. Sigh.

    Mark P, I’ll admit that 2 far left parties fighting each other for a tiny percentage of the vote is a pretty unedifying sight, and not exactly of earth shattering importance. But I do think it was worth our while standing in the context of rebuilding and moving forward with project of building a socialist alternative in scotland.

  16. Mark P on said:

    SSP Member

    Thanks. The formation of the SSP, Tommy Sheridan’s election, then the 6 MSPs, Rosie Kane’s swearing in, the campaigns on warrant sales, free school meals, a weekly paper rooted in working class community politics… in a word inspirational!

    The break-up (PLEASE don’t rehash the details!) in a word, dispiriting!

    SSP/Solidarity/ a new formation are now surely in for the long haul with very limited prospects in the short term. The SNP, whatever their faults, are now not only Scotland’s party of independence but also Scotland’s party of social democracy. For some that’s not enough, but with Brownite Labour in control and a Cameron premiership on the horizon, for most is will be the best-worst option.

    South of the border, our prospects are immeasurably worse, not that that should be any consolation!

    Mark P

  17. I agree with Mark P. What’s John McDonnell ever built? At least Mark’s succeeded in building himself a niche tee-shirt company. We need more rather than less advice from our very own Alan Sugar. So just settle down folks and pay attention. Over to you Mark for more pithy political analysis…

  18. Mark P on said:

    Pithy political analysis? I’ve got bucketfuls.

    But seriously, the question about John McDonnell isn’t down to personalities. Its the same point that the entire Left needs top address. Facing up to the scale of the defeat Blair/Brown inflicted. We have all failed, collectively and as individuals – yes me included – to build anything remotely substantial out of the 11 wasted years of new Labour.

    McDonnell and Labour’s hard left are weaker now than ever before. The Grassroots Alliance do well in NEC elections (on a 19% turnout) but what does this amount to? Respect has a half-decent electoral performance which is highly localised, the far left groups are no bigger than in 1997. The biggest success of the lot, the SSP’s 6 MSPs, subsequently imploded probably irrevocably.

    Until we start to unravel the reasons for this defeat and inability to build in a period when hundreds of thousands have had their illusions in new Labour shattered its impossible to recover. Thats why I don;t think it does much good pretending John McDonnell is doing a wonderful job, the reasons aren’t down to him as an individual, the causes are a collective failure.

    As for ‘Alan Sugar’, not earnt his millions, yet, but yes I’ve concentrated the energies I have developing a business. Along the way we’ve contributed our bit towards reviving a culture of dissent. And in large measure I’ve spent my time doing that because the Left’s failings in this period has made it so deeply unappealing. Its an opinion I’m afraid shared by the overwhelming majority disillusioned and dispirited by new Labour. The numbers of those who left the Labour Party, who marched against the war, who have then joined Respect or any other left grouping in or out of Labour are absolutely tiny, miniscule. Until we admit to that and understand why, how can we grow?

    Mark P

  19. Howard T on said:

    It would seem that there were two issues in Glasgow East. One is the Sottish national question and in the circumstances where Labour is a no hope, SNP will attract all those forces to them. They would have done so when Labour was more credible but given the social composition, they would have lost, but would still have come a good second – electorally there is no alternative to Labour in Scotland but the SNP and there hasn’t been for thirty years.
    Mark P is much more accurate in discussing both Labour since Blair, but also the failings of the far left. 90% of deserters from Labour go to the right. Only in Birmingham and East London has there been any significant difference in this pattern and Respect at least have gone something right. The left inside the Labour Party has no direction, and the forces around John McDonnell in LRC do not either – their orientation towards Compass has been entirely sectarian – John McDonnell didn’t even vote for John Cruddas in the deputy leader contest and LRC have no orientation towards Compass. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a sect within the Labour Party.
    When campaigning on the GLA & Mayor, it was obvious that there are many Labour loyalists who will work with others inside and outside the labour Party on any issues, but will have nothing to do with LRC, finding Compass more attractive.
    Mark’s right to say it’s not the personality of John McDonnell, but the politics of those around him who only look to the far left.

  20. The lost 200,000 on said:

    Mark P a good point. Where did they go?

    Or even say the 5% of the UK pop who would have considered themselves socialists in the 80s (I’ve made that fufure but but in feels right). May be more in the 70s

    My guess is many are now too old as well. The left demogrpahic is changing. What is the average in left parties these days

  21. prianikoff on said:

    MarkP: “We have all failed, collectively and as individuals – yes me included…”

    Well the Eurocommunists pretty much failed.
    But this somewhat ignores the fact that there have been some very stupid leadership decisions. As well as the fact that the capitalist state and media undoubtedly organises against those it sees as a threat and use those it doesn’t.

    But Mark seems to be doing OK getting into the Grauniad and Beeb.
    He’s all over it like a Mr Byrite suit.

    Plus I have serious difficulties with the idea of organising an England supporters group. A Tottenham supporters group, or a Steve Perryman fan club, yes.
    Leading a progressive campaign to stop the team being dismembered by multinational capital.

    Unctiousness rating: 8.5

  22. Mark P on said:

    Prianikoff

    “Well the Eurocommunists pretty much failed.”

    Yes. And perhaps you could point to the startling successes of Stalinists, Trotskyists, Leninists, Labour’s Hard Left et al in the past 11 years. Its great fun criticising others, more difficult owning up to a collective defeat of quite staggering proportions.

    “there have been some very stupid leadership decisions.”

    Yes again. But if the over-romanticised rank and file had all the right politics on the other hand at some stage there would have been a shakedown. Again, great fun criticising leaders, not so easy convincing the ‘rank and file’ which by definition are the majority of the new direction. Again, a total failure to own up to the collective defeat.

    “the fact that the capitalist state and media undoubtedly organises against those it sees as a threat and use those it doesn’t.”

    Pathetic. Moralistic rubbish masquerading as analysis. On that basis there’s no point doing anything is there? It wasn’t the ‘capitalist state and media’ which led to 99.98% of the 2 million who marched against the war not joining Respect or any other left group was it? Maybe its got a teeny-weeny bit to do with the way the left conducts itself which is such a massive turn off. And that much at least is within our own control. Its just most leftists can’t be bothered to change their deeply unattractive ways of organising.

    As for ‘organising an England supporters group’ I plead guilty as charged, Spurs I’m just a fan of, Steve Perryman we share the same name. Yes our group is startlingly successful, not left wing at all instead we concentrate on developing a positive fan culture reaching types and numbers the left which preaches about the working-class never ever reaches. It makes me laugh, you preach about anti-racism and social inclusion yet can’t bear to get your hands dirty around a sport and a team that brings those issues to the fore more than any conference resolution or London demo ever will.Instead the left treats us as either thicko dupes or xenophobic hooligans, and quite often both! It sort of sums up why the Left is so bewilderingly out of touch, and in such headlong decline despite the most favourable of all conditions of the past 11 years. Thanks at least for showing that up.

    Mark P

  23. prianikoff on said:

    C’mon Mark. I’m just not prepared to accept this collective guilt thing.

    I was re-reading the SA’s “People Before Profit” Manifesto last night.
    Ah the heady days of 2001!

    When Mark Thomas, Liz Davies, Mark Serwotka, Jeremy Hardy, Christine Blower,Ricky Tomlinson, Ken Loach, Tariq Ali etc… were all supporting the same electoral platform.

    A lot of good demands in it too.

    e.g.

    * Stop Privatisation
    * Tax the rich and big business to rebuild the welfare state
    * 35 hour week
    * Repeal anti-union laws
    * Tough action on pollution
    * Scrap tuition fees
    * Cancel 3rd world debt
    * End discrimination. Against racism, sexism and homophobia

    Interestingly enough, the specific demands on the environment included these:-

    * Bring the oil companies into public ownership
    * The planned closure of nuclear energy plants, with workers transferred to jobs at equivalent rates of pay
    * Introduction of clean-burn technologies in coal fired power stations.

    It seems to me that most of the demands in that manifesto were pretty good and still worthy of public promotion. Watering them down in a period where capitalism is entering a period of serious instability certainly isn’t the way forward.

    Nor is blurring the socialist message with any form of nationalism the way forward either. This doesn’t mean national identifications are meaningless, or that national self-determination is historically redundant. We are however internationalists and need to be part of a common international movement.
    This is a unique contribution of the socialist->communist tradition and something that trotskyists continued to defend.

    The exact reasons for the collapse of the SA have been well-rehearsed, here and elsewhere. But I don’t accept any collective guilt for it. It was the result of decisions made by the leaderships of one or more sects and not the supporters of the SA.

    The situation has however changed now. A much more important question is how to intervene in the leadership crisis in the Labour Party. For once, this is not a hoary slogan from 1938. However, a large part of the left has excluded itself from the debate and are operating in various fragmentary initiatives, many of which are totally dismissive of the relevance of this issue.
    They are sitting there like a bunch of paralysed rabbits in the headlights muttering to themselves about the inevitable victory of Cameron’s Tory juggernaut.

    This “juggernaut” is more like a wobbly push bike, born of media-frenzy, demoralisation and postal votes from the Costa del Crime. In fact, the bike has been stolen!

    An utterly appalling situation, when a few thousand strategically-placed left activists in the unions could make a big difference to what happens over the next two years and beyond.

    As to the football thingy, it’s not really a point of principle with me whether you support England or not. I’ve only ever seen the play live once, against Holland and Wembley, when Johann Cruyff was still playing. Jan Peters scored two in a 2-0 win. I just remember thinking that some of the England fans were a bit oafish, because they jeered Cruyff’s passes when they appeared to be going out of the sidelines, only to have to swallow their catcalls when they curled back to the feet of a Holland forward. Seeing a Cruyff reverse turn live was also a great experience.

    But there were many people in the ANL active at the football grounds and I still have my Spurs against the Nazis badge.

  24. David Ellis on said:

    Well, one thing is for sure Mark, anybody who approaches the Labour Party, Compass or no Compass, is going to get pretty short shrift if they do it with an a priori notion of Scottish Independence or issuing calls for voting SNP. It will be considered sectarian.

  25. Mark P on said:

    Prianikoff.

    a measured response on both fronts, thanks.

    ‘Collective Guilt’ well its not supposed to turn us into miserababilsts and do-nothings, in fact the complete opposite! The Socialist Alliance was one of a number of responses to the dwaning realisation of the sheer awfulness of Blairite Labour. Its policies were essentially radical-populist (a good thing incidentally!) wrapped up in the language of socialism. But regardless of the detail of the fallout with Liz Davies and the SWP jettisoning the SA in favour of Respect can we in all honesty claim it was ever on the verge of a breakthrough, let alone fulfilling its potential?

    Thats where the collective guilt thingie kicks in. The common denominator to all these failures is hanging on to a pre-existing form of organisation, language and in large measure key personnel. And this includes the current version of Respect post SWP, and for that matter Compass too. If we owned up to ourselves actually being part of the problem, thinking through why our ways of working are so hugely unattractive we might get somewhere. Unfortunately all I see is a desperate desire to avoid such a discussion because those who have worked in a certain way have too much to lose if things change. And yes thats purposefully wooly because the alternative isn’t ready made or predetermined but sticking with what we’ve got isn’t an option.

    as for England. 4-1 versus Holland, June ’96 was one of my best home games. England fans, joining German, Polish and Jewish fans to lay a wreath at Dachau during World Cup ’06 one of my most memorable experiences following England. Spurs? Well beating Chelsea at Wembley doesn’t come around too often does it?

    Mark P

  26. Mark P on said:

    Thanks ‘Grow Up’ for that thoughtful contribution.

    I wonder if you can find a single instance of my support for a Stalinist regime or action. No? But its easy to throw around juvenile insults isn’t it.

    Your type really know how to conduct a discussion don’t you?

    So deeply attractive to anybody listening in who doesn’t share your mindset. And you wonder why the Far Left is so tiny and entirely unrepresentative of the ‘workers’ it claims to be such wonderful allies of.

    Mark P

  27. A worker on said:

    Mark P and the compass group left reformists ignore the fact that the fundemental reason for the crisis of the New Labour government is due to the crisis of capitalism on an international scale. Unless they put forward a socialist programme they will end up in the dustbin of history like Tribune and all the other failed left reformist groups of the past.

  28. optimistic Larry Nugent on said:

    I like everything about Mark P His books his T shirts and I am enthralled by his discussion, It keeps me on the British Road to socialism

  29. Mark P on said:

    “put forward a socialist programme they will end up in the dustbin of history like Tribune and all the other failed left reformist groups of the past.’ – A Worker

    Nice bit of frankly meaningless rhetoric. If it was easy as that perhaps you could explain the ‘dustbin of history’ all of Britain’s failed far left revolutionary groups have ended up in. And if Respect follows that route will end up in too. Sorry if that bores you but slogans masquerading as politics gets us nowhere.

    Mark P

  30. A worker on said:

    It is meaningless rhetoric to you Mark because you can only see things empirically. Your lack of understanding of theory means that you except capitalism as a permanent feature and try to accommodate your ‘politics’ to a system that has failed. You would do well to study the teachings of Karl Marx.

  31. Mark P on said:

    Very good A Worker. Meanwhile do please list those hugely successful revolutionary groups not currently residing in that dustbin of history.

    Mark P

  32. A worker on said:

    A revolutionary party will only be successful when it has completed its task – Socialist transformation. The point you ignore is that the fundamental reason for the crisis of the New Labour government is due to the crisis of capitalism on an international scale. The question still remains – Marxism or reformism?