Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Weekend Of Decisive Events?

A weekend of decisive events looms for Britain. However, most of them are interesting in that they seem all important to the participants, but less important to those outside their circles.

Firstly the football - Scotland take on Italy, which will probably decide whether they go any further in the Euro 2008 competition, whilst the match between Israel and Russia could well seal the fate of England, denying them qualification or giving them a faint glimmer of hope in the lead up to their match against Croatia. For their part, England have the minor distraction of a friendly game against Austria tonight. Meanwhile Northern Ireland take on Denmark and Wales play the Republic. The press guillotine awaits Mr McClaren if the result in Tel Aviv is not favourable.

Turning to matters less sporting, this weekend sees the dramatic climax of the veritable split in Respect, The Unity Coalition. Saturday will see rival conferences of the SWP dominated John Rees-led Respect at Westminster University and George Galloway, Salma Yaqoob et al's Respect Renewal nearby at the Bishopsgate Institute. Green Party Male Principal Speaker and Green Left member Derek Wall has been invited to speak at the Renewal event and was also seeking to speak at the other conference. Derek would be going to stress the importance of working together on key issues like electoral reform, the war and climate change and in support of a no compromise approach on the rights of women and the LGBT community. The Greens remain open to working together with the rest of the left on all the key issues.

Also this weekend, the battered fragments of the Labour Left are brought together at the Conway Hall under the banner of the Labour Representation Committee. Again, it was encouraging to see the latest articles of John McDonnell and others speaking about the importance of building a broad extra-parliamentary left coalition on the key issues of our time.

In my humble opinion, the Left in Britain must focus on the important issues and unity in action in workplaces and communities (including building workplace organisation) - and meaningful, coherent, political organisation will develop from this, not the other way around.

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