A patronising appeal to the poor

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 10:49

Ann Field

“Why did Labour lose so badly (in the 2019 general election)? Because there was one central issue in the election campaign: Brexit. In that context, a party that could provide only a hesitant and ambiguous answer because of its internal divisions had no chance.”

“If Corbyn had been able to counterpose a resolute Left Brexit to Johnson’s plans – that is to say: using the end of the neoliberal EU treaties for the purpose of a social restructuring of British society – then a different result would have been very possible.”

“There is nothing irrational about the fact that the upper middle classes

Marxists and “left governments”

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 10:21

Sacha Ismail

“We are not a government party; we are the party of irreconcilable opposition… Our tasks... we realise not through the medium of bourgeois governments... but exclusively through the education of the masses through agitation, through explaining to the workers what they should defend and what they should overthrow. Such a “defence” cannot give immediate miraculous results. But we do not even pretend to be miracle workers. As things stand, we are a revolutionary minority. Our work must be directed so that the workers on whom we have influence should correctly appraise events, not permit

Far right and soft left advance in Germany

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:37

Dale Street

The 27 October election in the German federal state of Thuringia saw Die Linke (a merger of the post-Stalinist PDS and a breakaway from the SPD) emerge as the biggest party, with 31% of the votes.

The far right AfD came second with just over 23%, and the CDU (German Tories) third with just under 22%. The SPD (roughly the German Labour Party) came a poor fourth with just 8% of the vote.

The FDP (German Liberal Democrats) managed to just scrape past the 5% hurdle, which parties must achieve to win any seats. It passed the hurdle by just five votes.

Compared with the last federal state election,

Theory-Organisation-Praxis in Berlin

Published on: Mon, 12/08/2019 - 16:05

Neil Laker

Sascha, an activist and a member of TOP-Berlin, talked to Neil Laker from Solidarity.

TOP Berlin was founded in 2006 as part of the counter-mobilisation to the G8 in Heiligendamm. TOP stands for Theorie-Organisation-Praxis. We are part of the ums Ganze-Bündnis, a collective of groups across Germany and Austria. At an international level we are part of a Beyond Europe.
We produce a newspaper called Straßen aus Zucker [Streets of Sugar]. We are active in various campaigns, anti-fascist work and the student movement. Politically, we are the child a group called Kritik und Praxis, which was part

Germany’s “left populists” collapse

Published on: Wed, 20/03/2019 - 09:25

Ann Field

Sahra Wagenknecht has resigned as a member of the Executive Committee of Germany’s “left-populist” movement Aufstehen (Rise Up) and as co-chair of the parliamentary fraction of Die Linke.

Rise Up is the German equivalent of Momentum. Die Linke has its origins in the post-DDR Communist Party, which subsequently merged with a breakaway from the SPD (German equivalent of the Labour Party).

Wagenknecht has cited health reasons for her double resignation. But more fundamental political considerations are also in play.

Rise Up was launched with great fanfare just six months ago. It would bring

A backlash book. Or three books?

Published on: Tue, 13/11/2018 - 12:22

Dale Street

Bettina Rohl’s “The RAF (Red Army Fraction) Loves You – The German Federal Republic in the Intoxication of 68 – A Family at the Centre of the Movement” is several books for the price of one.

Rohl’s mother, Ulrike Meinhof, was one of the leaders of the early 1970s urban-terrorist RAF, otherwise known as the Baader-Meinhof Group (which Rohl insists on calling the Baader-Meinhof Gang, to underline what she sees as its essentially apolitical and criminal character).

One of the books within the book provides an insight into the relationship between Rohl and her mother. Clearly, there was no love

Climate resistance must be built from below

Published on: Wed, 31/10/2018 - 11:04

Neil Laker and Mike Zubrowski

In his new book Burning Up, A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption (Pluto Press), Simon Pirani notes that the world economy tripled in size between 1945 and 1973. And the world began to burn as much fossil fuel, every three years, as in the whole of the nineteenth century.

That depended on cheap oil, which averaged at around $1.80 per barrel during the 1960s. In Simon Pirani’s view, this period of “transition to an oil- and electricity-dominated system... was not directed at providing electricity access or improving lives; if we can speak of an aim or direction, it was to do with capital

“Rise Up” remains seated as Berlin marches against racism

Published on: Wed, 17/10/2018 - 08:34

Dale Street and Gerry Bates

Somewhere between 150,000 and 250,000 people marched through Berlin on Saturday 14 October in a protest against “racism, social exclusion and the shift to the right (‘Rechtsruck’)”.

The “#Indivisible” demonstration was backed by a range of individuals and organisations — around 4,500 of them — that Stand Up to Racism could only dream of. Official publicity for the demonstration declared:

“We are for an open society of solidarity, in which human rights are indivisible and in which it is a matter of course that there are a multipicity of ways in which people can decide how to live their own

The Daily Mail of the left

Published on: Wed, 10/10/2018 - 08:51

Andrew Coates

[The French daily] Le Monde recently published a long article on what they call the “anti-immigrant/anti-migrant” left”: a “left” in favour of national sovereignty and closing borders.

The French daily cites the German Aufstehen movement of Sahra Wagenknecht, the “ambiguities” of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise, and Danish Labour and ‘populist’ left forces.

Lo and behold the Morning Star, Britain’s leading organ of the pro-Brexit left, has just published this (in the Saturday/Sunday print edition):

Title: “Time to get tough with the EU and our own anti-democrats”.

Blurb: “The

What does #StandUp, stand for?

Published on: Wed, 29/08/2018 - 09:14

Dale Street

#StandUp, the new “broad movement” initiated by Sahra Wagenknecht and Oskar Lafontaine (both leading members of the German Die Linke — The Left — party), will have its public launch on 4 September.

To date, #StandUp has existed only as a webpage, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an e-mail address list. But, boast Wagenknecht and Lafontaine, some 85,000 people have already signed up to the initiative.

That’s greater than the total membership of Die Linke itself. But what people have signed up to remains as unclear as is the level of commitment expressed in clicking a box to receive a

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