In the wake of George Galloway’s fantastic election victory for Respect in Bradford West, SU will soon launch a series of articles aimed at getting the whole of the left/progressive movement talking about what we need to do, how we need to do it, what our limitations are and what our greatest strengths are.
This site is about bringing the movement together to talk, to influence each other, to inspire each other to go out and act. Whether that’s being a stronger militant at work, bringing more positive political debates into our various parties, taking good ideas from other people, or simply refining the arguments we use against the propaganda onslaught we face every day, SU plays a substantial part in giving the movement an interesting, diverse, sometimes controversial and annoying, set of stuff to read and talk about. While the comments are dominated by some excellent regular activists, SU’s readership is incredibly broad.
So we want you to write for us. You can write on behalf of your party, your union, your workplace, your campaign, your community, yourself. If you think you have an interesting contribution to make, if you want to test out your ideas, please contact me. If you can think of someone who you’d like to see an article by, please feel free to suggest them in the comments (or privately by email). You don’t have to focus on “the left” – you can focus simply on “resistance to cuts”, “saving the environment”, or even electoral politics. It’s your chance to influence the debate.
There are a few ground rules. 1) We have our red lines. This site is absolutely, unwaveringly anti-imperialist and anti-Islamophobia. Please don’t write saying we need to defeat “terror” or whatever the propaganda word of the month is. And don’t put a racist slant on anything. 2) Not everything will be published – we won’t provide a platform for people whose aim is to destroy or destabilise the progressive movement. We want people to read, and constructively challenge, what you write. So you need to give people honest assessments. If your first paragraph asks us to believe that George Galloway has eaten yet another Jewish baby, or that the SWP is the reason for the recession, you’ll likely not see your article on the site. 3) We’ll moderate the comments slightly more heavily than normal. We won’t go down the road of ruthlessly policing what people say, but if we want honest debate we can’t allow faction fights, sectarianism or abuse. Wherever it’s from. (I might even delete my own comments, you never know.)
Take a leaf out of the books of our regular commenters, who engage with the subject and, while sometimes being moody about it, generally discuss the topic, not the evil person who wrote it. So f you don’t use the opportunity to engage and persuade, you’re not likely to be welcome. We want SU to be a place where all different shades of progressive opinion feel they can be comfortable getting it wrong, making mistakes and adjusting their views. There’s nothing better than having your mind changed by someone who appreciates that you’ve got good intentions, and where people don’t set traps or purity tests. So we have an agenda here: Do our bit to promote the left, in as open a way as possible. That means, we support Labour, Respect, Greens, the unions, community activists, socialist election candidates, environmental activists. We’re all in the same moral and political universe. On that note, we’re quite happy to have more than one article from members of particular organisations – as long as what you say is engaging and not repetitive, we want to publish it.
There’s no limit on how much you can write, but if we need to edit it down, we’ll talk to you about it to ensure none of the meaning is lost.
I don’t know if we’ll end up with 3 articles or 100, and we don’t expect a flood of articles straight away – it might take a while. We obviously want the normal strands of left-wing opinion from the established left-wing parties, and we offer you the chance to debate them honestly. But if you’re an RMT rep, or a Unison member, of consider yourself a “moderate” Labour Party member, or a staunch environmental activist who doesn’t really get involved with other left-wing activity, we still want you to write for us. If you work for a pressure group, please give us your views on how the movement can support you. We’ve got a big readership that’s mostly based in the UK, so this is your chance to work with other people, refine your ideas, feel a little bruised when no one laughs at your jokes, and maybe teach & learn some stuff. And if you’re a member of an established left-wing group and want to write something that may go against your own party, we’ll take anonymous contributions, but you’ll need to trust us cos before we do, we’ll need to know who you are. You don’t have to be in the UK either – a global perspective is crucial to what’s happening, and if you’re an expert on Greek politics, or the Tea Party, readers in the UK will want to hear your analysis and news.
Whether it’s 200 words or 2000, please get writing! you can send contributions directly to me – firstname.lastname@example.org; if you want to talk through any ideas, please drop me an email.