Not Only Does The Left Need New Leaders ...

Mick Hall with a piece arguing that not only does the left need new leaders and strategies it needs to stop aping the language of the exploiters. Mick Hall is a Marxist blogger @ Organized Rage.

Not only does the left need new leaders and strategies it needs to stop aping the language of the exploiters
There has been a great deal of talk from the left about the need to re-organise against the oncoming onslaught of the Tory government. One author and newspaper columnist went as far as repeating the Swedish-American song writer and trade unionist Joe Hill's famous last words to Bill Haywood the IWW leader; "Don't waste any time in mourning. Organise."

Wise words for sure;  but sadly it looks like we're making the very same mistakes so many on the left have been guilty of since Thatcher's neoliberal heirs came to power in 1997, whether they be Blairites, Orange Book Lib Dems, or upper middle class Tory toffs.

We are not only continuing to allow them to set the national agenda, which is understandable as they are the ones with the real power. Far more unforgivable, to many of us are continuing to ape the reactionary language of the exploiters.

The Blairites turned the meaning of words like reform and modernisation on their heads. Whereas these words were once used to express positive progressives change, they now mean reactionary change, especially privatisation of the NHS, deregulation of the financial sector and markets as a whole and the need for ever more austerity.

Since his return to office in May Cameron has continued with this process having managed to turn words like hard working people and aspirational into weapons of division. Such language is solely designed to drive a wedge between those who are in work and those who are not. This is a language of bread for some but not all, and those who have a meagre crust should be eternally grateful for the largess of the ruling classes, or else!

(By the way I would be interested to hear of a company in which the workers are not expected to work hard, has it not always been so?)

You cannot turn TV news on without some pundit, of the left or right it matters not a jot, using this reactionary and dangerous double talk. It shows just how deep into the body politic this reactionary use of language has sunk its putrid claws. Whether interviewer or interviewee they all display the same neo liberal characteristics; seemingly enthusiastic, interested, and sympathetic, head to one side, hand-wringy, I-feel your pain worthy, charlatans every one.

The left whether it be within the LP, Green's, SNP, far Left or independent left needs to pause and take stock and come up with not only a new strategy as to how we organise but as important we need to find a whole new way of speaking which does not ape those of our class enemies.

This is far from a trivial matter for how are voters meant to distinguish the left from the forces of reaction. How can the left reach out to the country claiming to offer a future which is the opposite of what the Tory government is implementing. A future which offers hope and bright sunny uplands for the majority and not just for the wealthy, when we talk, dress, and in some cases think and act like the exploiters?

The Irish republican guerrilla general the late Brendan Hughes used to spit out the words "the suits" when describing his former comrades who were aping the bourgeois politicians. Perhaps we should start using similar language?

When candidates for leader and deputy leader of the LP agree with Osborne on the need for more austerity, you could hear the words "why bother voting Labour" emulating from within working class communities across the land.

After the jolt of the 2015 election result this must cease, we need to find a new way of describing the UK's decent into reaction.

Aspirational and hard working are the latest buzz words to be bastardised. Pray tell no matter what their class, when were the overwhelming majority of folk not hard working and aspirational for themselves and their families? Cameron and his senior ministers and others use this type of language precisely, as weapons of division, to drive a wedge between peoples and classes. If they truly supported such things they would never have increased university fees in 2010, nor in the recent budget scrapped the maintenance grant for students from low income families?

It's the old ruling class lie ~ the cream will always rise to the top, when in reality, especially today, it's the scum and turncoats who have risen to the top and then pulled the ladder up.

When you hear Harriet Harman and other senior LP leaders using this language when defending Tory cuts, they are in reality defending the status quo, never mind how god awful that has become. Today's status quo has been heaved up and regurgitated from the 19th century and we support it at our own peril.

What this clearly demonstrates is the Harmans, Kendalls and the like are part of the problem and can never be part of the solution. Not least because the UK train is now moving at such high speed towards the far right; and if and when it reaches that destination there will be no place for the hallmarks of a civilised society. Human rights, democratic accountability, free trade unions, pluralist political parties, no taxation without representation,* and a progressive system of taxation will all be portrayed as historical aberrations, unaffordable in a 'modern' world.

To make sure it never reaches its destination the left needs not only new strategies, tactics and alliances, it also needs to cease aping the language of the neo liberal exploiters.

*Today's neo liberal societies are increasingly moving away from this, with multi nationals and billionaires gaining direct access to government ministers whereas the masses have to make do with signing the odd online petition which goes nowhere.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

2 comments to ''Not Only Does The Left Need New Leaders ..."

  1. Deja vu per anum lol

  2. Mick,

    I enjoy reading your material, you and I are firmly on the same page of what perceive to be happening in real time (today) across the UK and here in the north.

    If I may I would like to pick up on a few points which I believe are very important for the here on now, and perception strategy approach of further attempts to divide people like me and you the working class, the low paid paid working class or unemployed.

    You are correct the left is always talking about re-organising with the same rhetoric/ language to the extent, even I am seriously bored to listen too. The conservatives have perfected Orwells double talk, so well that people are really confused and simply vote on the basis that hey this sounds "just what I agree with". Their script writers are appealing to the voting masses like a corrupt saleman in search of his target commission based on false selling.

    There is no political ideology difference from the conservatives or any of the MLA's here,only difference some are Westminster millionaires, whilst others in Stormount are just happy to sponge a considerable ministerial wage OF the whaitehall all they have to do is fool the electorate, via misinformation, and thespian performances, demanded by their respective political careerist leaders. It is as simple as that.

    We will get nothing from these people unless we publicly embarrass they at every opportunity, the problems lays in how, when they carefully orchestrate and stage manage their PR and events that even a whisper of discontent, normally results in the "bums rush" of any media event, setting, or situation. Maybe we must go back to the good old egging session! it will hit the media news every time, maybe intriguing people into who, what and why. Lets face it, all the political scandals, perspective corruption here which should see certain individuals , hounded from office, are neatly brushed under the carpet, by the mainstream media, or deflection strategies of their parties.

    What gets me is that most of the electorate that vote these people in, are in receipt of some type of "maintenance allowance", either in work or out of work. Political ignorance, apathy, would break your heart. Surely, turkeys voting for xmas is madness? insanity? But, they never really had the choice, they have been indoctrinated from birth via social conformity tools such as Media, religion, education, family, peers, workplace, friends to somehow delude themselves into accepting this shit.

    And the cycle goes on, and on, and on, generation, after generation. What the conservatives are really saying about people in low paid of employment via the TV media poverty porn, is that you are lucky to have a low paid job in the first place, expect nothing from us, no pay rises, more zero hour contracts, employment conditions, accept "WHAT YOU HAVE" and most are imprisoned by debt, mortgage,car, credit cards ect. It really is a whole big scam.

    When the conservatives won the last national election, I can honestly say it took me two days to come to terms with the outcome. I generally had the Pink floyd song "comfortably numb song" on repeat in my head, knowing that Stormont are going to implement every last "quality of life sanction" asked by them.

    The whole left does need re-organised, any political party, or trade unionist leader will not work with each other on core issues or try to hyjack certain events because we have a paper thin ideological difference needs to be replaced. As I see it they are either self serving themselves, or perhaps following higher orders in some kind of dirty wars "agents of influence" level at the expense of the working people. The new people that elected must adhere to a personality test, fit for purpose, with back ground check democratically elected each year on what they have done to move solitary forward . Anyone that cannot agree, or attempts to change this when elected must be systematically removed.

    Just my thinking.


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