Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Unity against the Right in London

Lots of comment across the British blogosphere and elsewhere about the developments in the London Mayoral campaign this week. Sian Berry, the Green Candidate and Ken Livingstone, the "maverick" Labour Party encumbent have both asked that their voters second preference the other left of centre candidate. To me this seems an admirable display of the kind of left unity that this blog promotes. It in no way suggests that the Greens are uncritical of Mayor Livingstone, still less that they are uncritical of the current trajectory and policies of his Party which is neo-liberal and imperialist. Sian Berry said as much in her statement. What it does say is that the Green candidate and Party members in London are aware that if she is not elected, there are significant differences between the two main contenders, Livingstone and Johnson, that mean Greens cannot stay neutral if their preferred candidate is knocked out in the first round. It also puts down a marker that the Green Party should be the first choice for previous Labour voters who are dissatisfied with their former party and want to send a strong message without giving succour to the neo-liberal Lib Dems and reactionary Tories. The London election in May presents a serious challenge to the left. If we are not careful we will see the reactionary and most likely incompetent Johnson as mayor with an assembly containing members of the far-right BNP. This is a situation that we must do everything we can to prevent.

Ken presents a number of problems for truly progressive voters, in terms of both policies and record, but compared to Boris he is a paragon of leftist virtue. Sian would undoubtedly be a better choice than either of them.

The best method left of centre voters can use to avert the BNP getting a significant foothold in the assembly via the proprotional list, the electoral system in operation, is to give their votes to the Greens - a party committed to social justice, environmental protection and sustainability.

More discussion on SUB, (the Socialist Unity Blog) here, and at the Daily (Maybe) here.

Meanwhile Liam MacUaid (of Respect Renewal, who are not running a Mayoral Candidate) gives you your chance to state your own preferred preferences in the race here.

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