Monday, 24 November 2014
New political formations and managing capitalism
Westminster is designed to keep new parties out so it is no surprise that smaller fringe type parties find it hard to make many inroads into building a base. This is the case with parties who may even have been around a while such as the Greens or UKIP who are not new formations as such but new to the Westminster bubble as such. Even if UKIP's two mp's now are ex Tories these are still new mp's for the party and will boost UKIP voters confidence of a good showing next year in the general election which for me still looks wide open for anyone to win. I personally can’t see any one party forming a majority government next year with both major parties labour and the Tories can barely muster 60% between them. So what about the greens and UKIP. Their support has grown with some polls putting the greens ahead of the Lib Dems in national polls. The greens will be a threat to labour going forward but also UKIP will eat into labours heartlands too as recent by elections have shown us. So quite clearly the Westminster elite is structured to keep out fringe and protest parties The way politics and elections work in England in particular as Scotland is different having STV Single transferable vote. The electoral system of first past the post is an old archaic system which is designed for the major traditional parties to remain in power and make it hard for smaller new parties to gain a foothold in parliament. It is as we might say a club for the elite and exclusive. So while we may see the Greens and UKIP wishing to manage capitalism one day forming their own government It is unlikely given our electoral system of FPTP. Likewise any future new workers party which may or may not come into existence this century will also find it hard to make much progress not just because of a general anti politics feeling out there at the moment but simply due to the way we do electoralism with mainstream politics in this country. So while I do feel it’s a waste of the lefts time building new parties and focusing on elections getting this or that party into power to manage capitalism better than the Tories or labor I can also understand why this is a dead end strategy. The greens who pose as anti capitalist are not at all anti capitalist they are to be honest socially democratic to the style of the old labour left perhaps a sort of mixture of climate change and new layers of anti austerity disaffected ex labour voters/members and allot more in between. Nowhere in the greens thinking is putting the idea of capitalism firmly in their opposition they simply wish to tax the rich more and campaign for a green economy a sort of green capitalism if you like. This for me is just as utopian as Ed Milibands responsible capitalism as while I can see a green version of capitalism it still would not deal with work and how we could begin to find ways of reducing work and the need for wage labour. I do like a lot of what the greens say however and dabbled with joining them. I think they are well meaning and say allot of good things while not going far enough on many issues. But for UKIP they see a return to isolated great British capitalism and return to an era of the white British ruling the waves again they see the EU as evil and corrupt to its core. While they may have some points on Europe on its lack of democracy I may agree with I sense that their idea of wishing to leave the EU to return to a better off distant past is going to be mistaken due to its pitfalls and how as a world now we are global and allot of countries wanting to form closer ties instead of pulling away from each other. This is also the case for the awful left nationalist no to EU which is equally stating that British austerity would be preferable to EU austerity and that the EU is just a boss's club we need to get out of. Tailing UKIP on any issue is never a good plan comrades. So whether your party is in long term decline like the Tories or labour facing challenges from the left and right or the newcomers on the block who are taking advantage of a plague on all your houses with the main 3 political parties. But I always maintain whether you’re on the left or the right you can never manage capitalism as in the end it ends up managing you. So getting into parliament on a radical ticket ends up watering you down and deradicalises you rather than the other way. It’s the structures built into the establishment which is the design model not because people entering parliament are born sell outs although many might be of course. The rise of anti political parties is not just limited to this country either in Scotland the SNP have benefited from a surge in support for Scottish independence while across Europe there are new left and right popularist parties popping up very quickly from Spain to Greece and into Eastern Europe so this is by no means a British thing but the way our elections work dictates that this process is a much slower process. None the less the centre ground of politics if there ever was such a thing is collapsing. What comes in its place will set the agenda for the next phase of capitalism. The only way we can prevent this ever expanding circle of parties wishing to manage capitalism better than the last is to end capitalism for good. Its time to organize ourselves and not rely on political parties for change. By all means pressure them for anything you can get out of them but we must look past parliament for change long term. It will be down to the working class and the working class alone to change society not a new party or new individual with popular sounding rhetoric from the left or the right.