Sign up to support Ken Loach’s appeal

The welfare state is being dismantled by the coalition government, bringing great suffering to the most vulnerable in society and eroding the living conditions of millions of ordinary people. Worse still, the Labour Party is not presenting a strong opposition to austerity and instead appears to have wholeheartedly adopted neo-liberal policy, advocating its own brand of austerity and privatisation.

Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45 gives us a perspective on the achievements of the post-war generation, transforming the lives of ordinary people by bringing improved health, housing, education and social security to the people of Britain. We need to defend these achievements and continue the tradition of protecting the most vulnerable in society.

Support Ken Loach’s appeal to discuss the formation of a new political party of the Left to bring together those who wish to defend the welfare state and present an economic alternative to austerity:

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554 responses to “Sign up to support Ken Loach’s appeal”

  1. Andrew Hedgecock says:

    It’s vital there is a new, united and effective opposition to the forces of untrammelled capitalism. It is time we had a genuine alternative to parties that collude with corporate bullies.

    • Irene Rhodes says:

      Hear hear!!!!!

      • K Peake says:

        Hear hear!

      • Finn McCann says:

        Perhaps Ed Miliband will realise that he has a party to lead

      • Christine Hood says:

        My own feeling is that more people might become interested in a new party if it promoted one big reform at first eg. the NHS. Other reforms to follow. The average ‘don’t knowers’ take time to adjust. Don’t frighten them off by pushing too many big changes at first.
        Chris H.

    • Lynn says:

      Hear Hear!

    • Paul Roy says:

      As ever, we on the Left, with the best of intentions, try to create another party. So we have Old Labour, Respect, CoR,SL, SWP, RCP,SP, TUSC, NHS AP, Greens, SSP etc etc. When will learn?

      • Tony Watts says:

        In agreement with Paul Roy: The Labour party was formed to spesrhead the Labour Movement. Now that they have been hi-jacked by capitalists, we need a new spearhead. Could this be the one? There are many voices, and groups, crying out for social justice; we just need to be united under one banner, just like the original Labour Party. When will we learn? Very soon I hope!

      • Pat S says:

        The main obstacle to creating a party for social justice etc., etc., is the press. That and the continued funding of New Labour by the unions.

      • Dee Coombes says:

        Just because we haven’t got it sorted yet doesn’t mean we should stop trying.What’s the alternative? Try to rescue the Labour party? I don’t think so.

      • Joe says:

        Hear Hear Tony Watts!

      • Sue lamb says:

        IMaybe this could just unite us all?

      • John Maynard says:

        ‘Old Labour,Respect,CoR,SL,SWP,RCP,SP,TUSC,NHS AP,Greens,SSP etc etc. When will learn?’
        Sitting outside the UK but as a voting British citizen I agree with Paul Roy. I have not even heard of some of these groups. Election 2015 – Is it back to the old story of the negative vote/wasted vote to keep out the Cons.; as it is now in the two party USA? How to unite it all, as the following T. Watts comment states? How is it possible that the Labour party has come down to this pathetic lot? The horror of another five years of Mr ever-so-concerned Cameron looms large unless something intelligent like this is successfully started now.

    • Sheerien Carter says:

      I’m with you all the way, someone has to stand up against this crewel and evil government, we can’t rely on Labor or any of the party’s to look after the interests of the people in this country. The minority ‘elite’ are going to continue to rule and keep the poor and working class or “underclasses and scum” (to them) in “their place”. We are all no more than slaves, we are all just like ant’s in a colony each little ant serving a purpose, some are more useful than others but ultimately all severing the so-called “elite” keeping the country ticking over so that they can continue to enjoy their privileged and comfortable lifestyles at our expense. Our status is down to an accident of birth, the Queen sits on her toilet and has a shit in the morning the same as the rest of us! We are all human and deserve a decent life, to be treated with respect, kindness and compassion. We are not on this plant long why should anyone have to suffer!?

      • eileen says:

        Absolutely. Ever since Blair the working class people have not had a party that represents them. We need a new party that represents the needs of the working class people, the poor, vulnerable, unemployed and disabled. The welfare state is being dismantled before our eyes and this present labour government are saying absolutely nothing about it. In my eyes – that is not a labour government. It is a government that is scared to put a foot wrong, it is scared to make any definite policies in case the Tory press twist what they say – so they keep their mouths closed. We need a party that is not scared to stand up to this scandalous vile capitalist system that treats us all as slaves and tries to drive the poorest to despair and suicide. If there was every a time when we needed a new left wing party – the time is now!

      • peter dougal says:

        well said sheerien my exact same sentiments viva revolution.

      • Dave Mc says:

        Politicians of all parties are only in it to line their own pockets. I have yet to meet one who has genuine intrest in the people.It is just an old school chums network. I dont care if some earn more than I do, hard work should be rewarded. Unemployed should be helped back into work, free education and training is the answer not taking benifit away. low paid should be helped with financial help such as housing benifit etc. Every one should be given the chance to further there prospects.I could go on forever.

      • Finn McCann says:

        where is Labour Leader? Rudderless & leaderless

      • sadegh says:

        I agree with Shireens view. working class need to form their party who can defend their rights all main stream parties are representing reach people and capitalism

    • Harry says:

      I agree totally,
      I am ashamed of This new Labour party,
      since thatcher, Blair, Cameron, “ Tell me again, which one was Labour ”
      The working class have lost the will to fight for social justice;
      Because we have not had a party that represents us.
      Maybe Cameron’s Bedroom Tax will be the straw that broke the camels back.
      We need a new party that represents the needs of the working class.

      • Pat S says:

        Looking back before Blair, there was much to be ashamed off – the cruel treatment of the Chagos Islanders for starters. Maybe this time…

    • Mark Collins says:

      We do need a whole new representation for the people and society- however, as it is, within this stagnated, sound bite, media spinning machine, that we are told is ‘democracy’ I believe calling this movement ‘Left Unity’ is wrong…

      …As it is simply making it far too easy for the media, and the existing political machine to polarise and compartmentalise public perception and response to the movement- ‘Left’ will simply be dismissed as another attempt at Socialism, all the easy historic rhetoric (for them)can be wheeled out,from the fiscal incompetence of New Labour, right back to ‘over-mighty’ Unions and the ‘Winter of Discontent’

      We need, not just to sound new, but BE new- a new name such as, say ‘Unity Future’ or simply ‘Consensus’ something without any easy target ‘baggage’ and straight away, make proportional representation, the key part of manifesto…

      Average, ordinary people like ourselves, the ‘little people’, who make society work, who have to live in the real World, who pay all our taxes, without choice, cannot rely on any support, or change now within the system as it exists. We’ve got to start over, plain and simple.

      • Sila says:

        I agree with Mark Collins, maybe Unity would sound better. We most certainly need a party to represent the people of this country, if not we are in for a most fearful time if the Tories come to power again. This government is the most cruel harsh and even evil (if I dare say it) that I have ever lived under…even worse that Thatcher. the Tories just hate the people of Britain, the people who built this country. Shame on them and shame on Labour for allowing them to do so!!

      • John Maynard says:

        very well said…the symbol (and the name) need changing. I showed my
        Romanian wife, who suffered under the Soviet Communists and she ducked away!

      • Andrew Szpara says:

        ‘Socialism’ and ‘The Left’ are not dirty words any more and we have to fight the cheap stereotypes the right wing media will use to besmirch a party that works for ordinary people. We should not be ashamed to make the moral case against unbridled capitalism.

      • Kropotkin says:

        I think that it’s important to not be defensive. The right-wing establishment media will always throw anything they can at their opposition.
        I don’t think that it is possible to ‘start over’. Yes, the ideas of the ‘Left’, ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ have been deliberately and grossly misinterpreted and demonised. But that does not mean that you have to erase the language. There is a continuity in this language that has references to a long history of campaigns for equality, freedom and attempts to create a civilised human world – a history of social/scientific study, brilliant writing and political campaigning that is absolutely relevant now.
        Don’t be reactive and defensive or dance to their tune – be proud and fight back; ‘Left Unity’ – Why not? All the best.

    • Colin Finch says:

      Quite right too, every new horror I learn of makes me want to go out and smash things….gaaarrrr!

      • Rupert says:

        I was Just about to do exactly that! Fortunately I have a great brother with more political nous than most. He said “don’t get your self into trouble – Join LeftUnity”. so here I am.

      • Finn McCann says:

        Seems to be too many “labour Parties”. That will please the nasty Eton Cabinet. United we stand. Still much fertile Left of Centre ground out there waiting for Ed Miliband to till. The labour vote requires disciplined, strong unifying, inspirational leadership all day and every day

    • Geoff d'Arcy says:

      I agree, I just don’t think the country is ready for it! You would be surprised at how many people think we’ve just had thirteen years of socialism,I’m tired of artguing with them on youtube,You hear it on the phone ins……The Labour party done this the Labour party done that,They just don’t get it,It’s a safety net for the tories,and has been for many many years,But people in their ignorance keep voting them in thinking things will change,No chance ever under ‘labour’ tory or libdem, Ukip

      • Rupert says:

        I agree, the average person has way too many self centred individualist views instilled in them by 30 years of thatcher/post thatcher capitalist free enterprise rubbish. Way too selfish to even begin to accept that society is more important than the individual. Those types with illusions of grandeur just wont vote for a socialist party in a general. Say what you like about labour since 1997 they kept the Tory scum out and it would have been a whole lot more painful if without them. I would vote for a left party and believe in the values stated by most of the members. But we have to be so careful in key constituents that we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot. In many wards it is imperative we vote Labour to keep the c**ts out!

    • angela singer says:

      Of course we need a new party to stem the tide of the anarchy of capitalism. We need to opposite the dismantling of the NHS….started by Thatcher, continued apace by New Labour and now being served up by the Eton Mess.

      Section 75 of The Health and Social Care Act allows private companies to bid for any part of the NHS and if their bid is turned down, they can sue. Virgin Health Care has already starting bidding to provide services in Devon.

      However, I am afraid that yet another party will merely divide the opposition to the Hooray Henrys. That’s how Thatcher got in three times. It wasn’t because a majority voted for her it was because she got more votes than each of the others (as opposed to the others combined).

      • Stella Day says:

        I agree with Angela. The creation of the SDP split the vote and kept Thatcher in for 11 years!. Creating a new party could split the Labour vote and leave the poor unrepresented for many years. However, if we go ahead we shall have to accept that we will be taking a very long term view. It will take many years to build Left Unity into a mass party that will get elected but I’m sticking with it for the sake of future generations.

    • Andrew Craig says:

      Looking at the site seems a very good idea heard of another for a NEW WORKERS PARTY this has been on-going for 7 years but seems to have made little progress.
      As we move into yet another year of co-tory cuts and with the bedroom tax now being implemented in a very aggressive way we need to unite to stop this happening to the most venerable people within our society but I am sceptical that this is yet another talking shop[ we need action on the streets to stop what’s happening
      I hope that this or a similar party can unite the various left wing organisations to provide a coherent and viable opposition to the current economic atrocities that are taking place within this country

    • Ken Halliday says:

      For too long we have been dictated to by the Westminster Club. It is US who should be telling THEM what we want, what WE believe is best for US. It is time to get back to the citizens of Great Britain being represented by people who know and understand their constituents. We don’t want a bunch of toff, largely tory twerps.

    • Jim Farrell says:

      It won’t change till we hand out the rifles!

      Hasta La Victoria Siempre! Un Otro Mundo Es Posible!

    • JON STOYLES says:

      too much talk. not enough action. we need to do what the Brazilians, Turkish and Egyptians have done. the tories will never give up their desire for corrupt power. we need to take it from them via mass protest at westminster, failing that we need to take their fascist power ‘by any means necessay’

    • John Anderton says:

      Nice to see the campaign gathering some momentum. Just hope that when its truly established were not going to turn out to be a bunch of useful idiots??

    • Allan Matthews says:

      There is a huge void in politics created by the Labour party,s new neo-conservative policies. A void where there should be a Socialist/peoples party. As a socialist i feel totally disenfranchised with nobody to vote for !I believe people are screaming for an alternative our present westminster system,demonstrated in recent bi-elections by an upsurge in right wing support.No faith,credibility or confidence exists with our current Politicians/Parties A new Socialist Party free from corporate control and Trade Union Interference, Open & honest with the masses ? Yes Please …..Perhaps we,re not too far from Jerusalem afterall !

      • John Maynard says:

        Agreed. I am tired of casting a negative vote. There is now no mainstream party which represents the people. It is exactly the same as the situation in the USA, where corporations and the wealthy run the country once founded to free people from tyranny; there is no party to vote for there either.

      • Robert says:

        Your not the only one, you only have to look at the way labour is now chasing the swing voters and the middle class, then look at Progress and the labour front bench.

        If your not going to accept the trade Unions then I’ve no idea whom your target are, because if your working class then the trade unions are all that’s left of the working class.

        New labour has set it’s self up to be come independent of the Unions and I suspect once they win the next election labour will go for state funding and the Unions will be dumped, this will leave a small party able to step in and with the money the Unions have you could build your self into a major party.

        labour today are dead the only thing keeping them going is power, Blair and Brown ended any real socialism, left now we have total greed.

    • John Margetts says:

      You are absolutely right. What we need is to motivate the millions of disillusioned people in the country who can no longer be bothered to vote because no one represents their interests. This is a hard task because apathy is so widespread. The worry is that the vote will be split allowing capitalists to maintain power by default. People need top realise that voting labour is no longer an alternative, they may as well vote Tory as the parties are indistinguishable from each other. The unions should also back the new left party as this would really give us some welly. I know the RMT are keen but not sure about other unions. Lets be clear politics now is nothing like it used to be and politicians don’t give a damn about what people think as they are only interested in massive wads of cash for themselves and their banker chums.

    • Kai says:

      The three main parties have conglomerated in a hard mass of neo-liberal nasties. Labour have decided they can dispense with the poor and the bottom 30% of society and align themselves with the wealthy. They have been captured by the corporations against whom they can say nothing wrong, they are vindictive to the poor and show no leadership on any issue from race, the economy, welfare state, unemployment. They are way out of touch, and way outside the loop of some expedient populist electioneering. The pigs have taken over the farm as Orwell would say. They are a disgrace and need opposing. They have lost all touch with their history and values and have no sense of how to re-make themselves with vision and integrity. ironically they will not even get elected – there will like the Liberal party post war – an irrelevant rump. We should not be afraid of ditching labour. As Greece and Portugal have discovered even quite mild social democracy has been suspended – probably indefinitely. In the Labour has simply bowed down and accepted all this without even a whimper. We need to create our own movement outside of Parliament to draw in progressive forces. Don’t worry about national elections – we need a vote to influence the corporations as they are running the show.

    • sean igoe says:

      In my humble opinion the reason why the Labour Party has failed in the modern era, is because it is neither one thing or the other. What is it?
      But that is probably the state of play.South Africa has got deocracy, but it;s still got apparthied in the towships. We,ve got democracy that goes on and on and on(a lot of talk) but nothing ever changes.

    • Monty Best says:

      @ nearly 60, I have despaired for a political party that I could support, the Labour party since 1945 have been a ‘Least Worst’ X on my ballot paper.

      Since 1945 Labour have failed to represent the worker, the unemployed, the disabled, yes they have thrown a few bones, but under Blair Labour has undermined International Law, and democracy, fought illegal wars, and undermined the trade unions, which has resulted in wages (that are for vast swathes of our brothers and sisters), are little more than starvation pay.

      The multinational corporations, the bankers, Hedge Funds, the millionaires the billionaires have been supremely looked after by Labour, Tory and now Lib Dem (Tory) as well…

      Callaghan’s Labour Government keeping down workers wages, whilst prices and bosses profits soared. All the Labour & Tory Governments have represented the rich at the cost of the workers.

      We need a party and a Government that represents the 90/99% not the 10% & the 1%.

      Please let this be the point in time where we can offer hope for the many not just the few!

      Our current politicians are more like the pigs in Animal farm than ever and have created a surveillance state that George Orwell could never have imagined…

      We want real democracy not what we have!

      Fingers crossed…


    • Thank you.
      I hope that Left Unity will grow and flourish and stand out as a party that stands alongside the poor, the vulnerable and the stranger, celebrating diversity and difference, creating a just society that empowers everyone and enables each person to reach their full potential.

    • Zarina Bhatia says:

      Although I agree that we must stand against the existing parties, especially UKIP the cancer of UK today, we have to double our resources and effort and make this Party grow so wide that almost everyone is convinced of Left Unity. This is in the hands of you younger blood. I paid up my full subscription for a whole year on joining in the very first meeting I attended in Friends’ Meeting House in Bull Street in Birmingham a few months ago.

      Tariq Ali’s Speeches I hear today inspire me more!

  2. Anya-Nicola Darr says:

    Oh for goodness sake YES PLEASE. There is no serious party of the Left anymore and we really need one.

    • Simon Scarrow says:

      A new party of the left is a nice idea, but it is not an answer. A new politics is what is required. Something that harnesses the reach of Facebook with the ability to make decisions. All power to virtual soviets if you will.

      • PAUL says:

        The answer is coming from the left, any new organisation has to fill the gap between extreme left wing activists that are ( wrongly ) seen as unelectable scruffs and the Labour party… anything less will be doomed to failure !

      • Jan Plummer says:

        Completely agree, a new party on its own is open to the same problems in the current political system. We need to devise a new way of doing things in a new political system.

      • Maggie Gee says:

        A new way of doing things can only be achieved from within – we got to get somebody elected who will do the change not sit in Parliament and say (like all the others do) “Thank you very much, now I’ll continue the Status Quo” ! So, a new party into Parliament, then we will perhaps get the change that so many of us are looking for. xx

  3. Denise Sumpter says:

    We need a true left for the UK, once more!!

  4. Georgina Moles says:

    Labour is no longer the voice of the people, unless it joins with trade unions it will be just another free market political party,representing only business. A ‘mixed economy’ with public services of all essential services in public ownership at its core.

    • Irene Rhodes says:

      Yes. A country whose essential infrastructure is not broken up and given to private industry to line their pockets whilst hiking prices and lowering standards. Privatisation has been one of the major scourges of recent times.

      The capitalist goal of constant and continued ‘growth’ has led to corruption beyond measure, rape and wasteage of the earth’s dwindling natural resources, gross and obscene stacking of wealth for a tiny percentage and steady impoverishment of all ordinary people.

      Loss of trust in the face of corporate ownership of just about everything we rely upon has insidiously drained motivation and activism among so many… is time to re-instate trust, passion, fire and hope for a new society, run on lines of fairness and equality, honesty and accountability.

    • Celia Lawton-Livingstone says:

      They haven’t been for years. It’s taken people long enough to realise that.

      • Tim Cooke says:

        Like The Wobblies the worlds first workers union we need to put people before profit, cooperation above competition, individual worth prior to corporate value to have a chance of reconstruction all of the relations under Capitalism that structure this helping reality. Have a look at The Wobbly Shop site for an indication of how we’re trying to do this in the commercial environment. Only early days and will have to build slowly but maybe socialistic enterprise is possible even in the legal and financial dust-storm that is the post-modern world. We wish Ken the very best of luck and will do all that we can, however little, to help. If everybody does this it has the potential to become a massive movement of people and ideas and we sincerely hope and pray non-religiously that this can be the case. Yours Tim and Julie @ THe WoBbly ShOp.

    • Chris says:

      The Labour Party has turned its back on the achievements 1945, took Thatcherism even further (as Thatcher proudly observed) undoing all the good of 1945 with the institution of Micky Mouse employment contracts and big steps to privatise the NHS. The final steps have been delivered by the coalition. Thatcher’s new settlement of letting capitalism rip has done massive damage to this country, and now is the time to seek a new updated 1945-style settlement. This will require leaving the EU so we can regain control of our own economy – eg EU rules are now being used to justify contracting out NHS functions, massively lowering its efficiency. If we cannot seek a new settlement when capitalism has only survived through massive bailouts from the exploited majority, when can we? A vein of discontent is growing as cuts bite, with groups like Anonymous, UK Uncut, Occupy, the Greens, even once-dull Parliamentary Select Committees showing up the exploiters for what they are. At the same time billions have been dished out to banks who use it just to speculate and make matters worse. This should have been used to pay off the deficit and give a massive stimulus to the economy – yes, that is how much has been wasted on bailouts! The Parliamentary route is just part of what the new party needs to do – street action is critical too. Labour is beyond hope, we need a new party NOW!

  5. stan day says:

    sick to death of cloned career, passionless politicians, we need people prepared to fight for what they believe in and to fight for their beliefs.
    I talk with more passion in a half hour dinner break sitting on cement bags that I hear in parliament in a week these days from “go through the motions” MP’s. i’m ashamed of some of the Labour MP’s and detest the braying sycophantic Tories

    • Irene Rhodes says:

      Hear hear Stan….keep those passionate conversations going….they matter!!!!!

    • elena says:

      Involuntary response to irene rhodes and stan day, just two people alone who articulate and immediately reach out more here in this short space than any MP I’ve ever heard. Vote for them

  6. AL PILLAY says:

    The Tories have created a despisement Culture towards DOING GOOD! and have turned CONTEMPT INTO A VIRTUE toward the sick,the disabled the mentally ill the poor the less well of and the myriad people that struggle in this life in this country for all kinds of reasons,and that goes against the ethos instilled in me from birth,the tories are NAZIs THE SOCIOPATHIC AND PSYCHOPATHIC PARTY OF THE UK and i dont see labour as being any better SEEING as they are supporting the repugnant ian duncan smiths DWP FASCIST REGIME,we need a brand new socialist party with a decent HUMAN POLICY that puts people before profit, and that builds an economy around the satisfaction and unified cooperation of the people,and that shares the pies more equally,as opposed to the tories AND LABOUR that want to scoff them all for themselves.Well KEN LOACH, IM IN.

    • kate thomson says:

      hear hear Al, i have never known such hatred towards us as disabled and i lived through thatcher. i sat here scared to go out for fear of ridicule,yes, even family until i realised i have given my all in the past brought up three wonderful kids ,2 working “tax payers”, and never had trouble with them,one still at school, I AM a tax payer too,on all that i buy and i dont lie in bed all day,up at 5am , this Gov is the worst i have known, vindictive, divisive and discriminatory to the point of criminal. i am ashamed of my Labour party,they act like lap dogs to Cameron mostly agreeing to all he saycomes up with, the sooner a new party for the people is formed the better, and i will be there to support it

      • Merry Cross says:

        I’m disabled too and horrified by the ever increasing victimisation we are suffering. Last night I heard that one council are denying swathes of us a replacement blue badge if we can walk 20 metres round a room…as if the whole of life can be conducted just fine as long as you can walk round a room for that short distance. Viciousness doesn’t come into it – and guess what? It’s a Labour council!

  7. Victor Bonnici says:

    Disgrace, towards disabled people, This is not the Labour Party of the people, every body is suffering with your deeds. All of you will be going to HELL.

    • Shirley Horn says:

      Perhaps we should start with a Peoples Union that anyone can join, young or old, retired, employed or unemployed. Union fees could be used to support candidates for election and to mount campaigns to fight for the rights of the disabled and other ordinary people.

      • john r says:

        Shirley, UNITE Community is doing soemthing like this, open to al now working people, disabled people, pensioners, students,

        just google it.

  8. Graeme Beard says:

    “Justice will not be served until those unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Benjamin Franklin.

    It is when the poor and the oppressed join with the left that change is inevitable. The left alone cannot change anything. A force for good we are simply too few even combined. I applaud it – I want it. Let’s all come together and bury our churlish differences for the last time. Problem is Emperors don’t give up their Empires for the common good too often and the established political parties know that. They have become comfortable in the knowledge that we on the left are fractious and divided in to splinter groups singing much the same song but without harmony.

    The idealogical thrust for centuries has been to divide and conquer. That particular philosophy is still alive and well today as can be seen from the propaganda of this government that pits poor against poorer and employed against unemployed. It is only when people that are neither politically left nor right, but are poor and being pushed to edge of destitution join with those who are politically aware and active that things will change. This happened at the time of Thatcher’s Poll Tax and is beginning to happen with Cameron’s Bedroom Tax.

    Let’s do it Ken. Maybe this time eh?

    • George says:

      Summed up so well in what you have said. Well done and I hope people take notice of your summary of the current situation.

    • Libby says:

      Well said and I agree wholeheartedly You for President or perhaps vice president with Ken at the top a man to be trusted :)

      • Fiona says:

        labour are taking funding, from the Unions, under false pretences. They no longer represent me, nor anyone I know.

        Let the left unite….before the fat lady howls..!

    • BJP19 says:

      Well said… I believe the purpose of government and state should be to look after the wellbeing of society. For far too long we have been too pre-occupied with share price, business case logic and ROI etc. It is more than high time to put people before profit.

      • Merry Cross says:

        Paradoxically, I felt some hope when they brought in the bedroom tax, because I think it WILL have the effect you mentioned, just like the Poll tax. I reckon it will bring people together in a way we haven’t seen for ages and we need to capitalise on that. This movement needs to radiate hope and humanity. Let’s do it!

  9. Elaine says:

    Lets get this party started…

    • bernadette says:

      since the bed room tax got brought in it has turned the peoples head as its affecting a lot of people yes its a chance to get rid of this government and get a new government but we need to have all areas covered to be able to unite and show people that this party will stand by you if you stand by them and is a fair party for poor and rich and there will be no more cheap labour workers for the rich and will listen to the people and work with the people we need to reduce the banker bounces and no more 2n house to be claimed for any politicians no more perks no more favours for police, news papers ect yes let this party start

  10. Dean Shone says:

    The country is crying out for an alternative away from carreer politicians fueling the greed of big business.

  11. Priyamvada Gopal says:

    A discussion that needs to be had. Labour is long over as an oppositional force, never mind an organising one.

  12. adrian stimpson says:

    will it have a central committee, why does it have to be a party?

    • Guy Harper says:

      This is exactly the sort of thing we need to be discussing – personally I think it needs to be a party so that an electoral alternative is presented, directly challenging the power that these career politicians wield… However it needs to be participatory and democratic and do away with the top-down bureaucratic party structure that we have become used to.

  13. Alan Gibbons says:

    There is a crisis of working class representation. Ken’s appeal got a terrific resonance when he appeared on Question Time. I back his call.

    • Dave Punshon says:

      lets make it international

      • Martin Reading says:

        Yes, agreed. For starters how about for all the co-dependent regions and states of this archipelago. Organise for Unity – the fair party.

  14. David Walker says:

    I thought the uniting of the left is being started by the Coalition of Resistance’s People’s Assembly in June this year. We don’t need another party, we need organising and uniting.

    • Guy Harper says:

      We need both David

      • Chris T says:

        Ken ought to coalesce with the Coalition of Resistance. He can still stand alone with his supporters, (inc myself) but we on the serious left must present a United Front.
        Think how Blucher saved the day for Wellington and the coalition of resistance against another tyrant in June 1815….
        And the election in 2115 is going to be a bi-centennial.

      • David Walker says:

        The Left needs a coherent message an recognise we’re in an FPTP voting system.

        The Greens are true to human rights and freedom and socialism.

        Labour don’t deserve the Left’s support. Socialist Labour MPs should defect and join Caroline Lucas.

      • Peter says:

        Christ! Do we have to wait till 2115 for the next election…! lol! No wonder I’m fed up – that’s a lifetime away…

      • elena says:

        well said guy

    • Meryl Davidson says:

      David, I agree. There is a strong force for good already – and the GP is part of the CoR. GP could create genuine opposition at a national level if like-minded politicians, mainly socialist Labour, would join them instead of fighting them.

  15. Bev Turner says:

    We need to find ways that allow working class people a leg up into the professions such as the media & politics.Only then will our voice be heard again.
    Ps Oh please find a better header. The graphics are so retro and not appealing in my view.

    • Tommy says:

      Completely agree. Although I personally quite like it, the header design is not likely to have wide appeal. I know it shouldn’t matter, but it does – I think it needs to be changed.

      • Di says:

        The graphics are very dated & reminiscent of the Socialist Worker which will automatically put a lot of people off. The design, name & branding are vital to it’s success so that it’s a viable new political party alternative & not something that can be dismissed as a bunch of old lefties that are idealistic & haven’t got a clue how to run the country.
        If this is going to work it needs to be forward thinking, with people who are knowledgeable about Health,Education, Economics etc & care about people, especially those who are vulnerable. Run by people not motivated by power & privilege, I wonder if this is possible? I truly hope so because the thought of what will happen in the future is terrifying.

      • Maggie Watson says:

        I agree too about the design. The clenched fists reminiscent of Soviet slogans. On a subliminal level that will put many people off.

  16. Nick Wrack says:

    I support this call.

    We need to build the broadest possible resistance against austerity. But we also need a political movement/party to fight for an alternative. Three things are essential: Firstly, it should fight now to resist all the attacks we’re facing; Secondly, it should stand clearly for a different way of organising society. There is no ‘decent’ or ‘humane’ form of capitalism. We need a society in which the resources are owned and managed democratically by us all, in the interests of all rather than a tiny few; Thirdly, it must be completely democratic.

    Let’s start the process.

    • Irene Rhodes says:

      Well said, great points! Capitalism has raped us all, shamelessly, again and again, and is idealogically designed to carry on doing so. Our society is broken. This needs to be so much more than a slightly more radical Left wing re-incarnation of the old ways…

  17. Wayne Blackburn says:

    As Britain seemingly lurches to the Right, we need a united, coherent, and above all strong Left voice in politics. We MUST end the two party sham of democracy that we have right now and bring decency and compassion back to politics. If this discussion can pave a way to that, then I’m definitely in.

  18. Mark Findlay says:

    A real party of the left is long overdue. I have been a member of the LP until its war-mongering and targetting of immigrants got too much for me, the a member of Respect until I got fed up with George Galloway’s posturing. I think such a party needs some important characteristics following some nasty experiences, even though I think we should avoid a shopping list … in no particular order …:
    Support for women’s rights including reproductive and abortion rights
    Support for lesbian and gay rights and those for transexuals and transvestites (I am a gay man)
    Support for the environment and opposition to climate change
    Why do I put these things before the obvious no-cuts and workers’ rights issues (which I also support?) There are too many narrow definitions of socialism out there, the recent nasty experiences in the SWP, the immediate threat of environmental destruction, the un-challenged racism of immigration controls and UKIP….

  19. Susan Gould says:

    I support this all the way. Yesterday’s poor turnout in Liverpool proved to me that people have no trust any more, and it scares me to see how the system has let people down.

  20. Will Duckworth says:

    Coalition of Resistance is the movement and the Green Party is the political party. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; just get behind it and push.

    • Guy Harper says:

      And what of the Green party’s austerity budget in Brighton, Will?

      • Stuart Inman says:

        The idea that the Green Party is any kind of resistance is, frankly laughable. It certainly can’t be called a socialist party in any sense, although some members are socialists. From what I have observed, not only in Brighton, but Bristol, and no doubt elsewhere, they have conceded everything in a fit of political “realism” that actually means nothing more than capitulation to the tory agenda.

      • Stuart Inman says:

        I might add that when I see people telling me to get behind it sounds awfully like I am being told to behave and conform, to tow a party line, but it is not even my party! As this is a serious debate and not given to abuse, I will just say that anybody who wishes to say that from any part of the political spectrum needs to think of a two-word phrase ending in “off”!

      • David Walker says:

        The Green budget in Brighton is the most progressive in the country. Homeless support budget doubled. Support for people with benefit cuts doubled. No bedroom tax evictions. People on benefits given discounts to public facilities. We need to remember Thatcher tied local councils hands and Labour never freed them. Greens won’t surrender the council to Tory control to slash and burn against the poor. The government is cutting council budgets and Labour/Tories voted against tax rise to help last year. I could and see so much good and personal work from the Greens in Brighton. Don’t blame them for not surrendering to the Tory slashing or letting the council go bankrupt and go to prison. The Greens are fighting for the poor everyday!

    • Tammie Cook says:

      The Green Party is the only Party who’d renationalise railways, reverse Health and Social Care Act, provide a fair welfare system, etc. It is the Party of the Left.

      • Mary jackson says:

        I would love to vote for the Greens, but the fact of the matter is we need to chage the voting system, In a fptp system the Greens stand no chance, all it does is let the Tories back in,

    • Geoff Lee says:

      I couldn’t agree more. The Green Party is already in the forefront of the fight for social justice. The last thing we need is fragmentation of the vote against the coalition and New Labour and their agendas for more privatisation, the collapse of the welfare state, health care and education, and the erosion and degradation of our environment.

  21. Alan Johnson, says:

    Although a member of the Green Party anf havde been for 10 years, and i support our policies, i think there is a a great need for unity of the left, we cannot rely on Labour, we must fight back, before we have nothing left, of our once proud caring country !

    • Mick Shaw says:

      Its is time the broad left stopped being apart from each other, there are to many left wing factions and they are split on matters such as Marx or Trotsky, these matters need to be put to one side and a new socialist party formed on behalf of the people. Labour has deserted us it proved recently when it abstained on the vote to remove Trade union rights, shocking so, come on the broad left now is our chance to do something after years in the wilderness .

      • Stuart Inman says:

        “Shockingly so” seems an understatement. This was not just desertion, but betrayal.

  22. Sue says:

    We need a TV channel? We need a newspaper? But these things run using advertising which we wouldnt have. The recent Eastleigh election shows how the media can ignore things and make them invisible to the population —— the NHS candidate and TUSC candidate etc barely got a mention. Help I dont know what the answer is!

    • David Walker says:

      A national co-op newspaper. Some ads, supporter businesses, commission earned from co-op projects and linkups

    • bob walker says:

      sue, i dont know if you meant a newspaper for Left Unity,or for the working class.If you meant Left Unity,I agree.If you mean a newspaper for the working class.We have one in the MORNING STAR.

    • MontyBest says:

      We have the Internet, we have Social Media, we have Twitter, what makes those of us on the left better than those on the right is that we share, we teach and we care!


  23. Diane says:

    I am just ordinary jo blogs do not belong to any union or organisation,is it still possible for me to sign to give support ?

  24. Stuart Inman says:

    Regardless of whether something emerges that I can really commit myself to supporting or voting for, I do believe it is necessary to be involved in the debate, to give opinions and to try out thoughts, possibly ones that will seem heretical or just foolish. Not necessarily my own thoughts even, but little thought experiments that can be chewed over, agreed with, disagreed with, maybe transformed into something better, tougher, something that can bear weight. I think that the Left has a lot of work to do, rethinking itself as an entity, it can’t refuse either the efforts of philosophers or activists, the writings of those who have gone before do not constitute an unfailing doctrine, but a source of critical thought and inspiration, or else a terrible warning.
    It is necessary to look at, and relate to, many different strands of socialism, not just revive something monolithic, staid and rather repressive, but something that responds to real human needs, desires and aspirations. A renewed socialism needs to listen before it starts to preach – which seems a good point at which to shut up!

  25. Jay Blackwood says:

    Great initiative, well done comrades!

  26. Sarah says:

    Nobody is there for the normal, caring people in this country, even Labour has lost the plot, we need someone to guide us in the right direction.

    • tanith says:

      WELL IM VOTING LABOUR BOTH IN MAY AND ELECTION milliband at least has a heart for the people UNKIP UKIP whatever their name is are even worse than this bunch .if thats possible they want to bring in a card for people no sky subscription etc would yu believe and for some poor lonely people the television is all theyve got for company all i know is this country is in tatters thanks to monsters who need ousting AND DAMN SOON x

  27. Ralph Leighton says:

    Here’s hoping for a not-too-centralised party. Even if it is only a forum for national (rather than SE England centric) debate, and national action (rather than personalities and posturing), it will be refreshing. So many left organisations crumble in the face of marginal differences; let’s hope those involved in this initiative show more savvy and more discipline – defeating torydom (whether blue, yellow or red) is more important than the finer points of socialist theory. We need hope and change, and we need them now.

    • David Walker says:

      Greens are a bottom up party and believe in localism. Councils and communities should be free from govt control as well.

    • Pete says:

      I completely agree. The personalities have two problems that I can foresee

      1/ They may try and dominate debate and consequently policy which will deter thoughtful, intelligent and articulate yet less assertive members from having an active say in proceedings.

      2/ Promoting personalities rather than policies opens those people up to personality assassination in the media which can then be used to discredit policies (consider the recent case of the drama teacher who wanted to stage anti-Thatcher street parties and the endless personal abuse of her in the local and national press).

      We want social change, not showbiz

  28. Rudi Affolter says:

    Unfortunately “New Labour” is just another name for Conservative.

    • MontyBest says:

      I think you are ‘Spot On!’ Labour ceased to represent the ‘workers’ so long ago that but for a score of Labour MP’s they are as left wing as Ted Heath!

      We need politicians that represent the left, the right wing is so over catered which is why there is such a gap between rich and poor!

      I hope LeftUnity or whatever it is finally called is the solution!

  29. Chris McCabe says:

    We have TUSC & NHS Action Party, but we need an ecumenical Left to do the work without sectarianism.

    • Jane Susanna Ennis says:

      The Green Party/Green Left will work with all comrades on the left towards a fairer society.

  30. Wolfie says:

    As a Marxist and Leninist it’s my view that we are in what can be termed the higher imperialist phase of capitalism and that it will become increasingly reactionary as it attempts to solve the realization crises. David Harvey says we have urgent business even if we haven’t worked out all the theory, hence we need to unite against the political and economic forces of national, supra-national and global capitalism.

    The British left need to form something like the Front de Gauche led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon that can put pressure on the Labour Party and Ed Miliband in the way that the left in France and Die Linke in Germany do the social-democratic centre.

    ). There appears to me a good case for thinking the call for the British to leave the EU and refusal to join with the EL and GUE/NGL lead by Pierre Laurent of the PCF and Gabi Zimmer of Die Linke only demonstrates dogmatism and obscurantism in the face of the historic and geographic material-dialectics of the post-Keynesian/post-Soviet world.

    • jane says:

      There’s only one reason the Tories would like to see Britain out of the EU and that’s so that they could
      1. ditch the european convention on human rights
      2. ditch the european convention on human rights
      3. ditch the european convention on human rights
      The outcome for the masses – NO HUMAN RIGHTS – not under this Government.
      Theresa May has already stated she would like to take us out of the European convention on Human rights and now there are rumblings that she has her eye on the main chance – Cameron’s job – God help us – it could be M. Thatcher Mk II

    • IanC says:

      Wolfie – mind your language! I mean that in all friendliness. I probably agree with 90% of what you stand for but I start to glaze over as soon as I hear phrases like “geographic material-dialectics…”. A new party of the left – and the left in general – need to be articulate, to speak passionately and accurately. I’m sure all of the ideas of the left can be expressed in language that everyone can engage with. Clarity and honesty can fuel debate without the slightest dumbing-down. You won’t tear many Sun readers away from their rag (which is something we really need to do) with obscurantism.

    • Jean Thirtle says:

      Wolfie – Now perhaps you’d like to say that in language that all the other people who’ve left comments can understand. Your post is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the left!

  31. Janette Syme says:

    Last night I cancelled my membership to the Labour Party. I attended the local demo against the Bedroom Tax yesterday. While local members/councillors spoke of fighting this vindictive attack on the poor, I couldn’t help but feel that Labour is sitting back, allowing the tax to go ahead, blaming the Tories, but capitalising on the benefit it reaps. When Helen Goodman MP performed her ‘Live on £18 a week’ stunt I applauded her – even though we ALL knew she’d have her comfy home to return to at the end of the week. However, when she stood up in parliament and confirmed that Labour would only charge it when a ‘suitable offer’ had been refused – that was it for me! Still forcing people out of their HOMES! So having a HOME is the prerogative of only the rich now it seems. Supporting IDS in his bid to overrule the law in not repaying those unlawfully sanctioned for not fulfilling Workfare orders? Unbelievable! That is the final straw for me. Labour refuses to use its teeth to protect the vulnerable, elderly and ill – many of whom still voting them in at every election! A wolf in sheep’s clothing! We need a party of compassion and common sense – a newly evolved party which truly represents the desire of the masses. One party politics is dying on its feet – let’s build a TRUE democracy from the grassroots. Sorry to use up so much page but I am determined to protect what little is left of what used to be called ‘our democratic society’.

  32. PhilW says:

    What features I would like to see this party have:
    1) Strong commitment to fighting climate change, promoting an understanding that capitalism cannot break from “growth” and is therefore locked into environmental destruction.
    2) Not just wheeled out for elections, but builds an activist party by helping to organise action on all the key issues at all times.
    3) Keeps its demagogues (there are bound to be some) under control.
    4) It needs to be thoroughly democratic: to allow left groups in, but not to give them extra privileges over individual members; to make sure its leaders are accountable, especially any of them who achieve elected office; to ensure elected representatives to donate their salaries and expenses (over the mean income) to the party and don’t use their office to generate further income for themselves.

    • Edmac41 says:

      Four vital and excellent points. Well said, Phil.

      • Paul Philo says:

        To PhilW
        Your four points describe the Green party We only miss out on not asking elected reps who earn more than average wage to donate it to the party A ggod idea however and the party needs the money. We have no rich backers.Many members of our party are keen to work for Left unity

      • PhilW says:

        Reply to Paul Philo (below):
        Although the Green Party contains many dedicated activists, it has not developed an understanding that green policies are incompatible with capitalism. That is why, when Greens get political power, as in Brighton in Britain, and in national governments in Ireland and Germany (in particular), they carry out policies that attack working people (or worse e.g. Germany, the Green Conference in 2001 voted to support the war in Afghanistan).

    • Jean Thirtle says:

      I agree!

  33. Mark Newton says:

    We need a party that puts people before money always and a group who actually have an idea about how society works.The first premise must be every citizen has the right to Food,shelter and an honest wage.
    We must also care for those who are poor and disabled first rather than the rich profiting from the brow of common men/women

    • Angie says:

      You hit it smack on the head! Nobody cares about the poor, the sick and the needy. I can’t help feeling that the evil trio, Cameron, IDS and Gideon are deliberately pulling the country down, so they can devalue the poor and the working man even more. The day Labour elected that grinning popinjay Blair I said I would not vote for them again, because I could see the way it was going there. Locally the LibDems have a good record, but the Tories are back in power now so we are going down the pan here, and nationally too.

  34. Angela Elliott says:

    This is one of the only ways to redress the balance of the criminally insane right wing, and those that puppeteer the excuses for politicians!

  35. Maria Nelson says:

    we need a new party as all of the others have let the low paid working, the sick, the disabled and unemployed down. they are profiteering for themselves. we the average joe bloggs with our up’s and downs are paying for the rich and lavish lifestyles of mps hell bent on killing us off in their own unique way. by putting us down when we are on the bottom of the pile already. their greed corruption is removing or rights to fair legal systems a reasonable standard of living. we paid stamps and tax when we worked to cover for sickness ect. now we are not entitled whilst this government sifts it all in their own little accounts and the bankers. we need a fair political party who cares about fellow humans. who does not turn neighbour on neighbour who creates peace and harmony but where crime is punished and addictions treated properly. this government supports globalisation and workfare because they want to enslave its populous to work for free we will become third world , old deseases are returning like ricketts TB , ect when these things happen we know human living standards are dropping bavck to dickensian times. and people have lost the abillity to care or love you know things are wrong. when those deseases return their will be no nfh to treat it, only the rich will survive. cut off the head of the serpants in our mids and hopefully a less poisionous one will reveal itself.

    • carol larkin says:

      Maria you say it all as it is that’s exactly what hearless Cameron and his mob want.

  36. Melanie Lloyd says:

    We definately need a new left Party. Any chance of a new film too. Perhaps the Grandchild of the origional Cathy? :-)

  37. Rodney Kay-Kreizman says:

    This is what TUSC and the ISN have been douing for over two years now so Kens Loach is not unique. The RMT might argue they were there 5 years ago when it was clear to all that New Labour was “Now’t but Old Tory ” dressed up in equality and fairness !

    • Nick Wrack says:

      It doesn’t matter who said it first. The issue is that we do something together now.

    • sue h says:

      He is fairly unique.

    • PhilW says:

      All TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) does is ask people to vote for them – and all of 69 did in the Eastleigh by-election. They don’t do any campaigning – fighting the government – as TUSC between elections and even in elections the component parts often stand under their own names rather than TUSC when it suits them. Individuals can have no part in democratic decision-making in TUSC, as each constituent organisation is allowed to veto decisions by the majority when they don’t like the decision. There is no individual membership (without joining the ISN) and no national branch structure. All of these constraints mean that TUSC is going nowhere, in terms of building a vibrant, democratic, socialist party to the left of Labour.

      • Guy Harper says:

        Agreed – the democratic structure and accountability that is so needed in a left party is totally absent from TUSC

  38. Alison Campbell says:

    We need a new political party as a matter of urgency. A party for the working class, a party with humanity and empathy at it’s core, that fully embraces and suppoorts the NHS,and other essential public services, and ensure that they flourish. A new party that wouldn’t target vulnerable and disabled people, but help them to access their entitled benefits from the welfare state, and ensure their human rights weren’t compromised.
    Finally a party that would put Atos and Hoban on the scrap heap for once and for all.

    • DAVID A. SMITH says:

      I so agree, the words ’empathy’ & ‘humanity’ are missing from the current political status quo’. They are evil and inhumane, as are their Vichy collaborators autos.
      I said when Blair etc all got in they are only Tories in red suits and the latest labour excuses are pathetic. The unions need to officially abandon them before the last of their usefulness and strength is destroyed.
      Give us a new vision of trustworthy leaders who actually want to lead a decent strong people into a future we can leave our children.

    • DAVID A. SMITH says:

      I so agree, the words ’empathy’ & ‘humanity’ are missing from those in the current political status quo. Evil & inhumane, like their Vichy collaborators atos
      I said when Blair et all got in they were nothing but Tories in red suits and was sadly proved right, the current excuses in ‘opposition’ are an embarrassment and their latest abstaining capitulation shows them for what they are. John Smith must be turning in his grave.
      The unions must officially come out and abandon them before their last remnants are destroyed or further marginalised, join this fledgling party or create one themselves, Loach is a good figurehead for sure.

  39. Mike Caits says:

    We fought the Nazis in WW2 and now we must fight them again in our own back yard. Expect to get bloody on this occasion – for getting rid of this triumvirate of Fascist Ideologues will be like cutting out a cancer before it penetrates any vital organs. Things WILL escalate – and, I am afraid to say, PEACE will only be won AFTERWARDS.. What comes before is WAR.. Civil Disobedience, Public Protest and Confrontation WILL result in some of us going to prison (or worse.) Those who stand with the Coalition deserve what comes to them. Until then.. We MUST face the truth together – there is no other choice!

  40. Tom Astle says:

    The Left does not need another party to split the vote and allow Tories in. The left needs to unite behind the Green Party and make a massive change for all our good at the next election.

    • David Walker says:

      Here here. The only UK wide party with an MP proud to say we’re socialist and actually mean it aswell!

      Labour socialist MPs should defect and joing Caroline Lucas.

  41. jane says:

    It could take years and years if at all.
    It would be messy – the establishment wouldn’t give in without a fight
    And it would need to be global – the establishment is now global so maybe it’s already too late. Too late for a very very long time. I think we have all missed the opportunity to be so politically open.

    • Gail McCann says:

      We need to remain positive that this will succeed, no room for negative doubts! It HAS to happen or what will happen to the next generation!? The British people are proud and fight for what they believe in and now is the time we need to fight with everything we have to get Britain back under a fairness for all government party. This party will have my full support and I pray it will succeed for the sake of the people who are suffering now because of this Nazi government, and that includes me! Good luck Ken.

  42. Charlie Kiss says:

    The Green Party is the party of equality – the party
    Against centralisation and funafemtally oppposed to privatisation.
    We have the vision of a party to being back jobs and
    Manufacturing to this country.

    Democratic processes as well. Join up and see!

    • Guy Harper says:

      That’s why they implemented an austerity budget in Brighton, then?

      • Joseph Healy says:

        I resigned from the Green Party last year together with others on the Left of the party because of the consistent refusal of the party in Brighton to fully resist the cuts. Despite the latest news on the bedroom tax – the fact is that Brighton is implementing millions of pounds worth of cuts and the Greens are also in the cuts administration in Bristol run by the directly elected mayor. Furthermore, the warning from Ireland is that when push comes to shove, the Greens usually collapse in a heap stating that there is nothing they can do.

        There will be many in Brighton,the poorest in fact, who will be affected by council tax benefit abolition – will the Green council exempt them or drag them through the courts like Labour councils currently do? All motions in the party for criticism of Brighton have been defeated at national conference and a motion calling for non-implementation of cuts budgets, which I tabled along with others, was defeated at the Cardiff conference several years ago.

        We also have decidedly dodgy outfits like Population Matters having ads in the recent conference programme. In the past this organisation has called AIDS a legitimate means of limiting population and has a pseudo fascist feel to its call for population reduction in the developing world. There are genuine socialist radicals in the party but the tail is not wagging the dog – the bulk of the party remains middle of the road, overwhelmingly middle class and middle of the road politically.

    • John Penney says:

      I’m afraid the Green Party has a reformist “we have a basket of nice radical policies for every possible progressive cause” approach to politics; but this is firmly based on remaining WITHIN CAPITALISM. An approach which simply falls apart when the going gets tough in a capitalist crisis. The problem is that the Greens’ capitulation to the imposed austerity agenda in Brighton (and a lot worse in Germany, etc) is emblematic of the inevitable limitation of reformist politics . You simply end up “doing your best to administer cuts fairly” , as would any reformist radical party in current circumstances.

      A genuine radical Left resistance movement has to see beyond capitalism to a socialist society for the solutions. the Greens , with their soft , mainly purely rhetorical, socialistic reformism can never meet the needs of the times I’m afraid. So despite the many Greens on here doing their promotional speil. No thanks . we need a much more radical socialist movement than that.

  43. carol larkin says:

    The working class people of this country needs work work that pays a living wage, the sick and disabled need to be cared for, no child should go cold and hungry in Britain in this day and age that should stay a thing of the past, we need a leader who is humane and fair not cold and sadisticly cruel like the one we have now, i think the poor and vulnerable are at there wit’s end not knowing what to do or where to turn and this is what Cameron want’s, he is hoping it will work in his favour on the next election people not being sure which party to vote so vote’s get split in his favour.

  44. JudeB says:

    I am currently being beaten by the stick of that BAST**D Ian Duncan Smith.

    I don’t care who does it, but we have to get something done about the cruelty being dished out to the poor, the weak, and disabled NOW!!!

    I’m seeing lots of stuff talked about here, but HOW do we make MORE people get up off of their backsides and actually DO something to fight the NAZI’S who are now leading this country BEFORE it’s TOO LATE??

  45. david dunn says:

    Ken Loach’s appeal is that we can at last take a fresh look into what the left want in future under equality and fairness.

    We can now begin to discuss fundamental question of how to reduce the gap between the rich and poor which is forever widening.

    The need to fundamentally change the tax system must be a central part of this change , and I believe a radical new approach of replacing all existing taxes with a single Natural Resource Tax collected at as near to source as possible is a fundamental start to restructuring our society and benefiting from the vast savings in wasted resources of fraud, tax avoidance and evasion.
    I firmly believe that the young generation is not so interested in workers rights but are far more interested in fairness and equality for all and that the rich should not have a right to expect vastly higher rewards.
    A taxation scheme that is treats everyone equally and fairly and is simple and transparent for all to see is the only way to get the trust of all in society.

  46. Adam says:

    A concerted effort at unity on the left is well overdue. Hopefully those thinking nationally whilst acting locally and behaving egotistically can put any and all animosity in the bin, find a way through the apathy we undoubtedly face and move forward altruistically for the benefit of the person stood next to you. Much love, good luck!

  47. John Sinha says:

    We certainly need this discussion. In my view a new party of the left needs to bring together the movement on streets such as Occupy and UK Uncut together with workers – both organised and unorganised. It should become the parliamentary wing of the this movement for social justice.

  48. John Dimitrovich White says:

    At a time when the Liberals betrayed their voters and the Tories produce what we expect from them, which is looking after the wealthy and to hell with others and Labour since Blair have become nothing more than imitation Tories, it is no surprise that many working class people are turning to UKIP. It is now time for a credible alternative on the Left of British politics.

  49. Ashley says:

    I haven’t had a party represent my vote since 1987 (Labour) we need a united left, the right has won, there is NO come on!!

  50. Craig Simpson says:

    For all the reasons you give, I stopped supporting Labour many years ago and joined the Greens. I am able to follow my conscience and campaign against privatisation, war, tax breaks for the rich, bankers bonuses, climate-damaging policies, job cuts, social injustice, and put my energies behind a positive vision for the future.

    Although our electoral system, which is sadly still supported by many on the left, mitigates against it, there is room in UK politics for another Party of the Left IF it doesn’t end up fragmenting the opposition. It is a sad feature of left politics through the ages that they forget who the real enemy is and turn on each other.

    • Sarah says:

      Exactly my experience, too. I could no longer support Labour (giving Bernie Ecclestone his legal exceptions was the first stroke or a long series of disillusionment), though it’s clear the Tories are worse. Labour also pointlessly lost the constituency where I live by canning our excellent local MP who had rebelled against Iraq, and much else – so now I have a Tory MP who has no tie to the area, has never had a job outside party politics, and was sponsored by an accounting company: cheers for that! We need candidates with some idea of the real world (not rewards for spads or party shoo-ins) and a degree of humility. I like the fact that the Green Party MPs take national average wage, too. One of the biggest issues in modern politics is how all the mainstream parties have been captured by privately-owned business interests, who sponsor policies, lobby, and reward compliant ministers with boardroom jobs. These are not the ones our politicians were elected to serve: they are elected to serve the people.

  51. John Pocock says:

    Have been a “socialist” for most of my thinking life.I even dabeled in the the 60,s but became a socialist.Now i find this decision to of been a bad move.We do not now have a socialist party,do not have socialist beliefs and definately DO NOT have a socialist party in opposition.I have been studying The NO Party as an alternative AND as a definate chance to get teh big 3(three),not 4(four) Out.I highlite and bracket because i do not believe we have either 3/4 main parties but have a sad electorate that can neither make up their minds as to beliefs or as to what party would p[rotect their interests.If,and only if,and only IF we have onlt on definitive alternative,the answer is,”DONT BOTHER”. We must have only 1(ONE) alternative,not a diluted half dozen or so.Have i made my point.John

  52. Colleen says:

    We DO need a party of the Left…as the REAL Labour Party once was…Yes please bring it back!!!!

  53. Gordon Tracey says:

    Half the electorate can’t be bothered to vote because they know it now makes no difference who gets into parliament/power. Whenever a new and positive party is formed, it’s not long before the extremely rich capitalists, pay people to infiltrate it, find the leaders, get rid of them, implant wannabes and then turn the party into a puppy that rolls over onto its back; it happened with the Green Party, which has now just become “a voting issue” within all parties, rather than a stand-alone, bona fide party. If Mr. Loach’s party is to succeed, it must beware of the smiling snakes with bottomless pockets full of money, waiting to install puppets.

    • David Walker says:

      The Green Party hasn’t rolled over. We have fully costed and audited plans to bring in socialist policies of co-ops and strong communities.

      The Tories/Labs don’t like it as we’re coming with our watermelon policies.

      • drew gill says:

        The Green Party is already there, we don’t need another political party to split the vote even more. If we do we are playing into the hands of the neo-liberal party (i.e. read:The Con-Dems/Labour = the same party) who will of course benefit the most under our First Past the Post antiquated one party system..Greens are a Left field party, their policies are nuclear disarmament, Guaranteed Basic Income, 1 million green jobs, an end to growth (Capitalism=growth) – Peter Tatchell would not have joined if The Greens were anything but Left!

  54. Andrew Walton says:

    Brilliant – uplifting and moving film, but also a call to arms. Certificate U – unlikely to cause offence. Should have been Certificate T – unlikely to cause offence, unless you are a Tory. But the Spirit of ’45 also explores the betrayal of Labour. There was a big cheer in a packed cinema in Leicester, when a call was made for unions to stop funding Labour. I support TUSC – The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which is attempting to build a mass, socialist alternative.

  55. Joe says:

    Definitely, I feel let down by New Labour and yet they are the only party available I can bring myself to vote for, although I know they don’t truly represent me or the ordinary man\woman anymore, please give me an alternative party I can vote for, with passion and conviction.

    • David Welch says:

      How about joining the Labour party and the Co-op Party and then you can have your say as a party member in both parties, rather then writing off the Labour Party and complaining.

      • Guy Harper says:

        To that end why don’t you join the Tories David?

        The Labour party has wholeheartedly adopted neo-liberalism, and no longer represents the british working class. It’s gone too far to save and will just go further to the right if it isn’t challenged by a left wing party.

  56. Ayo Ada Ogolo says:

    My mother supported the labour party for over forty years – last year and with many other friends she stopped voting. I stood for the green party in 2011, and the same kind of attitudes in relation to women, ethnic diversity all played a part in removing myself from people who follow like sheep! I have observed that the labour party are neo liberals, and have a leaning towards conservative attitudes, and particularly in their destruction of the Alexandra Park trees and wild life, for pocketed profit. The people that they have engaged of late do not have an understanding of a cross section of diverse community, and their needs and would rather engage in egotistical and capitalistic game play – you could call Whalley Range the new game of monopoly ‘Whalleyopoly’!

  57. Nick Foster says:

    We need a broad coalition which will inevitably mean some debate, need good structure to prevent faction fighting. The more people it can get on board the more traction a united left can get. I hope that the Greens are included, despite the fact I quit the party because of its involvement in cuts administrations in Brighton and Bristol. Some Greens (with many honorable exceptions)just don’t have faith that we can beat the cuts, and feel its better to try to protect people as much as possible whilst being involved in cuts. A mistake..but it doesn’t make them the same as Lib Dems or Tories. I am pleased that many young SWP members have in reaction to the Comrade Delta case, have quit that party. We need to tie together a coalition, that represents working class people, the environment peace and equality, I hope whatever organisation people are in that they can argue for unity, it may have failed before, but Syrisa in Greece shows this can be done.

  58. Irene Rhodes says:

    We simply need a new movement that is willing to start from scratch, think radically about how a caring society would look, how it would care for its resources and its people and to work to devise and implement policies for so doing. In the process, it would be most logical and efficient if all left factions and groups laid aside their differences, differences which become minor and negligible in the face of the far bigger overall goals for a new, fair and caring society, and joined in with the move towards killing the right in all its forms.

    • drew gill says:

      Concerned like a lot of people on here about the waste of time, energy and resources needed to set up a new party. I do sincerely believe The Greens offer the best chance but in line with the previous post, we need a “Rainbow Coalition” that engages everyone – all Trade Unions, all left leaning parties that are sincere in People and Planet before Profit and Electoral Reform as the underpinning philosophy. In Italy Grillo’s party may be led by a comedian but many of the policies are about putting people and the environment before profits, vested interests and corruption. But hey, Italy has Proportional Representation so that’s where we need to start..

  59. Matthew Malcomson says:

    we need a partty with a spine a party willing to stand up to the corperations and the rich close the tax loopholes nationalise the banks and imprison the bankers who gambled or futures and lost .i know what this nation needs we will give it justice. For everyone

  60. Jon E says:

    Im an Anarchist it seems to me we dont need another party but a total revolution which is almost what we got in 45 except keeping the barons on hand. yes socialism is the way forward but for that to be effective we dont want more arms length politicians in the westminster bubble who have lost connection with the working classes but a credible alternative.

  61. RESPECT says:

    vote RESPECT party they are real Labour NOT new labour

    • Stuart Inman says:

      Sad to say, that’s rather ridiculous. Respect is not respected thanks to Galloway.

      • Steve says:

        Galloway hasn’t always done himself a lot of favours, been targeted for full-on poisonous calumny – much of it downright lies – from across the whole media establishment precisely because he offered a credible left-wing alternative that appealed to many and won him election in spite of the rigged FPTP system. All respect and love to St Ken, but if he gets anywhere like as far as, um, Gorgeous George, I’ll eat my hat if we don’t start reading horror stories in the press – whether Mail, Times or Guardian – about Loach the baby-eating monster… Here’s to hoping we all keep a clear head when that day comes…

  62. Michael N says:

    The debate is not so much left or right, but civilised versus neo-feudalism.

  63. keith machin says:

    myself and family members support this whole heartedly this country needs to be saved from the brink of disaster we commend you for your action

  64. Jim Monaghan says:

    another one? cant Ken just join up with one of the existing attempts instead of launching his own?

    • Stuart Inman says:

      Join a party that has already proven itself to be inadequate? Not sufficiently democratic, with failed policies or having sold out, or a party that has compromised itself to the hilt or one that has retreated into a tiny sect? I agree that a new party is needed precisely because it needs to be built from the bottom up and needs to be able to think fluidly and freely, not stick with outdated dogmas, but not abandon basic principles either. What existing party can do that?

  65. Delys Wallace says:

    The Labour party seem more concerned with getting into power for its own sake, and as a result are trying to be all things to all people, and ending up being of use to no one, with no visible principles in sight.
    They dabble on the fringes of capitalism and with the likes of David Miliband setting up a company to minimise his tax and others milking the expenses system they are more focused on their own interests, rather than those of the poor and vulnerable.

  66. Rudi Affolter says:

    Well unfortunately – no tragically – the Labour Party has forgotten who formed it and why. It has abandoned its trade union and socialist roots. It gets worried when people say it is in the grip of the trade unions – which it is not. Why does it not get worried when people point out that the Tory Party is in the grip of big business? People generally do not seem to think about that. So it presents itself as an alternative Tory Party. With the honourable exception of Jeremy Corbyn.

  67. Wendé Anne Maunder says:

    Yes, please! We need a left wing radical party with a strong leadership for disillusioned people to rally in support for a new and fair government.

  68. Roger clifford says:

    I hope this is not going to be an all too familiar story. “Left Unity” seems to be an oxymoron. Everyone makes the joke about the first item on the second meeting agenda. Then the second meeting comes along and the joke falls flat for the rank and file who see another opportunity lost while the “intelligencia” pontificate on how the split wasn’t their fault. Meanwhile capitalism grinds us down until one day there will be no fight left.

  69. Andy Knight says:

    If you close your eyes and listen to any member of any party, you will have the greatest trouble knowing just what party you are listening to!!!
    There is NO left, there is NO right, and there is, most vertainly, NO centre ground. This generation is probably the most politically aware ever, and yet we are treated with such contempt.
    So, I say to ALL you politicians, Look to your history and you will see that the ‘masses’ will take an awful lot of S**t, but there comes a time when you push too far, it is then that the people turn and the sweep you aside. Be in NO daubt that this moment draws nearer!!!

  70. Joe Gill says:

    We have the Greens already who support just about every policy and social justice goal that people here want. An influx of working class and socialist activists to the party across the country will help it broaden from its current white middle class base.
    Respect has shown that you can have a broad left electoral alliance. We are up against an 18th century electoral system dominated by three reactionary parties. I don’t think the electorate will give any party a majority any time soon as they have seen what happens under the Tories and before under Blair.
    I’m not convinced that a new party will do the trick – even though I wish some kind of united left front could be created that was broad enough to work with the different shades in different parts of the country, for example, in places where the Greens are strong, the pact should get right behind the Greens. Respect can do it in areas where it has a lot of support.
    Currently we are looking at UKIP as the only party that can break the grip of the Tory Labour duopoly. But if a Left Green unity block including Respect could target some key seats and take them from Labour and Lib Dems at the next election, they could become some kind of kingmaker or springboard in the next Parliament, and from there a new movement could help reform politics in the country in favour of working people.
    The labour movement was built on mass struggle and a new political movement will require a mass base that is resisting the Coalition onslaught. That seems to be starting. A grass roots movement against cuts will be the springboard for a new political formation. There are 2 years for this to happen before May 2015.

  71. Joe Gill says:

    One weird paradox of modern politics is for a non-mainstream radical group to break through it needs big personalities to force themselves onto the mainstream media so that people become aware of the alternative. We saw this with Chavez in Venezuela and in the UK with Galloway. There’s a danger in this but it happens in the absence of a strong working class movement. Chavez was the voice of the resistance to neoliberalism and state brutality in his own country. Loach is also one of these figures. They are necessary to give people someone to rally to in desperate times like these.

    • Guy Harper says:

      I would argue that figureheads have typically been a thorn in the side of left parties that seek to bring working class representation. Galloway’s personality was a big part of why the original Respect coalition crumbled and now we see him destroying the remains of the party with indefensibly misogynist remarks and vocal support of Assad. We need to get past this idea of a party with leaders who decide policy and bring about a new tradition of democratic, bottom-up decision-making that re-engages people with politics and brings back the working class representation that has been missing for such a long time.

      • Thomas says:

        Galloway supports secular Arab nationalism, which is the correct position.

        If you find it progressive or socialist to support Sunni Islamism in Syria, also backed by NATO, Israel, and Erdogan in Turkey, and funded by the Gulf feudal states, then I don’t know what to say.

  72. John McArdle says:

    On the Labour Party Campaign Against the Bedroom Tax: Joint Statement and Petition by DPAC and Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disability Rights

  73. Stuart McGoo says:

    I fully support this idea. New Labour has been shown to have failed along with it’s adoption of the 50/50 neo-liberal/socialist policy. They are the lesser of two evils, but we need a party made up of honest working class people, with intellectuals and scientists not aligned to corporate lobby groups and think tanks in any way, prepared to put a stop to greed. We need a party that is able to break through the right wing media blockade and make the peoples will heard. We need a party that puts kindness and decency before profit and power.

  74. Ken Keable says:

    Ken Loach has said in an interview that his proposed party must have the support of the trade unions, as only they can provide the necessary financial backing. I agree. Will this new party campaign for withdrawal from the EU? Will it support the People’s Charter (official TUC policy on the way out of austerity, supported by 17 individual trade unions)? Will it accept affiliations from existing left-wing parties and organisations, and trade unions, or will it be based only on individual membership? Will it support the Morning Star (Britain’s only socialist daily newspaper, supported officially by 9 national trade unions representing more than half of Britain’s trade union members)? I think that, as soon as these questions are asked, we see the basis for disagreements.

    There have been numerous attempts, in recent years, to set up new left-wing parties, with very little success, and I cannot see any reason why this one – well intentioned though it is – should do any better (so long as we don’t have proportional representation). The only thing that can get us out of the mess we are in is an upsurge in mass action so big that it will begin to make millions of people believe that fundamental change is possible. We need all the existing left organisations to work together as much as possible, uniting around the trade unions as much as possible and sometimes creating and/or supporting new, single-issue organisations (such as UK Uncut) to organise and generate this mass action. As it develops, we can look again at whether a new party is needed – it may split the Labour Party, drive it into oblivion or drive it to the left. The upsurge of mass action will change the whole context in which we, and others, decide what is possible or necessary. There is no short cut.

  75. Linda McGarrigle says:

    I welcome any attempt to challenge this government, i welcome it with great optimism , if proven wrong i have lost nothing, it is very important to try ;)

  76. chris says:

    people says one government 1 power power to the people (It is bad enough that we have to pay for a so called spare room but adding council tax on top of this is just ridiculous,many of us are on the breadline as it is, not only that this is pushing many people over the edge making them ill with worry in fear of losing their homes not affording food and heating etc.Plus the law says you need X amount to live off right?So if i have to pay 20 quid a week for B.T & C.T i will be on below what the law says i need to live on,many of you have to pay more than that so who’s breaking the law here?hmmmm

  77. Harry Leslie Smith says:

    I was born in 1923 and I turned 90 this past February. The left must act now or else so many are doomed to live my past. Lets make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    It was under the cover of darkness that my family came to Bradford from Barnsley during the era that followed the General Strike. We entered this city of bright gas lights after my father, a miner, was made redundant.
    Like the rest of the country’s unemployed, we took our chances and hoped guile and good fortune would lead us from the darkness of poverty towards the safety of a steady income.
    “Yet, there was something else that spurred my family towards Bradford; it was my mum’s inability to accept defeat. She wasn’t prepared to lie down and let the tides of fate drown her and her brood.
    “The pawnshop might own her best dresses, wedding ring and bedroom furniture, but she refused to barter away her determination to survive.
    “With cunning and sex appeal, my mother insured that when we arrived in Bradford that there would be a roof over our heads and some spare shillings to keep us fed. She cajoled a landlord into letting her take charge of a doss house in exchange for free rent and a small stipend.

    To my young eyes, the outside of house looked sinister and decrepit, while the interior was ripe with the heavy smell of unwashed bodies and cheap tobacco. I clung close to my father’s side as we moved into our one-room squat while my mother whispered brave clichés that this was better than the work house.

    My mother was always good at putting on a brave front at the beginning of our downward spiral, but it didn’t fool me. All I had to do was look at the taciturn, worried faces of the other tenants.

    We were now citizens of a society inhabited by people in constant poor health, pursued by bailiffs and who were never going to have the brass to buy their way out of purgatory.
    Sometimes a down and out veteran of the Great War, with a game leg or gassed lungs, would show up at the front doorstep and beg admission from my mother. I’d hover behind her as she advised him of the cost to kip in this house.

    Once, I witnessed an elderly couple arrive holding a lifetime of toil in a cheap cardboard suitcase. The look on their faces was resigned, as if they knew that despite how much promise their life might have started out with, it was going to end in a dirty, dark room infested with bugs.

    For a while, a mad woman even occupied a room. On my way to play, I’d hear her chatter to unseen ghosts behind thin white-washed walls. She sounded like a dog made senseless by cruelty.

    Her faithful husband was the only one able to pacify her by speaking softly into her ear and afterwards placing cubes of sugar into her toothless mouth.

    While my mother commanded the lives of those lodged in this wretched house and flirted with the fit, Irish workers, my father escaped this harsh new reality by taking long walks across Bradford.

    He hoped that on his travels he’d find another job, but there were no positions for a miner too old for the pits and too young for the grave.
    Short of money, my mother accepted the harsh generosity of St Vincent de Paul’s to clothe her children. We now wore the uniform of mendicants: rough hewn corduroy trousers for boys and heavy smocks for girls.

    My father found me crying one day, for our lost life, and tried to dispel my terror by letting me ride on his shoulders, while we walked to a stall that sold mushy peas for a penny a plate.

    To remind us that there was beauty, even in this city of looms, grit and grime, he took us to Manningham Park.

    On the day we went, it didn’t matter to me how dusty and desperate we looked, because for a few short hours we were free from the doss house and its misery. My sister and I scampered and scattered across the lawns. We climbed on top the stone cylinders that dotted the sides of the walk way.

    As the financial conditions of the world grew more severe, my mother lost her position at the doss house and we were compelled to move into more squalid digs. At the age of seven, I was put to work as a beer barrow boy.

    With my cart stacked high with ale, I trundled through dusky streets, where gas lights sputtered and cast long shadows into dark alcoves; while all around me the Great Depression lay siege to the North and to England’s humanity. With my cart stacked high with ale, I trundled through dusky streets, where gas lights sputtered and cast long shadows into dark alcoves; while all around me the Great Depression lay siege to the North and to England’s humanity.

  78. Lesley Kinney says:

    The Unions should dump Labour, unless of course, they are part of the problem. The working class should be led by the working class.

  79. Michaela Armstrong says:

    We need this, decent people have nobody left to vote for.

  80. GARETH DUNFORD says:

    Time to change the political system,this one doesn’t function for the people anymore!!

    • Trevor Fallas says:

      This could be the start of the Big Society. I think it will turn out to be every politician’s worst nightmare. People will find ways to help each other. We will cut the politicians out of the loop forever.

  81. Glen Shakespeare says:

    After celebrating the appointment to leader of EM and joining the party I feel extremely let down. They appear to be rubber-stamping all Tory policies. That’s not opposition. What is the point of the party if they are not even going to oppose effectively? Labour was created by the Unions but obviously no longer represent them. They appear to represent only the City (Like the Tories) and that nullifies their very existence. We have a nation screaming for a change of direction and are seeing very little from Labour. We need a new party to at least pose a very serious threat to Labour’s existence.

  82. John Muldoon says:

    Yes, a new party is definitely needed.

    In fact, a certain element of success is entirely likely too. I’ve observed something like this happening in Germany a few years ago. Members of their equivallent of New Labour split off and joined the former communists to form a new party advocating a Keynesian, human, true social-democratic party.

    They had considerable electoral successes in the German parliament for quite a long time until there was a change of leadership. It contrasted their New Labour party brilliantly and put a lot of pressure on the left wing to actually produce left wing policies.

    Such a force is needed in Britain today. Desperately in fact!

    Anything less would be detrimental to democracy and justice.

  83. ironicbliss says:

    Labour are a weak opposition. With one eye on the next election they haven’t the balls to wander far from the well trodden centre ground. Screw middle England. Screw Labour.

  84. Richard Bowden says:

    I’m all up for a new party. My only concern is the ridiculous voting system we have in this country, which favours 2 party politics, yet which most of the electorate don’t even understand.
    I can’t stand Labour, who are not even vaguely left of centre any more, but that said I’d rather they were in power than the Conservatives. Without either tactical voting or some kind of pre-election pact I’d worry about the left of centre vote being split.
    I’ve always been a supporter of proportional representation, but I can’t see when this is likely to come in now since the flawed Alternative Vote referendum the other year. I voted in favour, as it was a step in the right direction & kept the door open to further reform in the near future. Unfortunately most of the electorate didn’t understand what they were being asked to vote about, because they don’t understand the current system, & consequently were easily persuaded to stay at home or to vote against just to punish Nick Clegg.
    Starting a new left wing (but not far left) party is a great idea, but real work needs to be done to make the average elector aware of how the current political system is actually meant to operate in the UK – in terms of representation, elections, law making etc. This is aside from any arguments about corruption.
    There is currently such a high level of ignorance – even amongst people who are politically engaged – that it sometimes feels almost pointless trying to get anything started. But I do support this idea & I’m interested to see where it goes.

    • Nancy Farrell says:

      The Yes campaign for the alternative vote referendum were weak compared to the No campaign, it was too easy for the No campaign to confuse people and get them to vote against it. A lot of working class people really aren’t very politically aware, we need to start working on that too.

  85. john R says:

    I really hope a new formation can develop based on non authoritarian principles that gives everyone a voice especially those the left ignored for so long:, the poor, disabled, private tenants, etc domestically and is genuinely internationalist but doesn’t embrace fanatics on the basis, “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”. All the various groups and fronts must join together: People’s Assembly, Left Unity, Independent Socialist Network, left wing parties, the lot, this is no time for dogma or egos. We are seeing the most ferocious assault on ordinary peple and especially the marginalised since the 1930’s,. Foodbanks encouraged by the sociopath Duncan Smith are now a key part of our decaying welfare state.

    We must have an effective non parliamentary opposition that at worse can push the L/P to the left (today N/L abstained in a vote helping the Tories bring in retrospective welfare sanctions) that robustly fights against injustices like the Bedroom Tax and in time to be an effective, robust voice in parliament for everyone whose lives neo-liberal economics is destroying

  86. simon crompton-reid says:

    I dont even know if I would necessarily end up voting for it, but there definitely needs to be one

  87. john R says:

    ‘I was born in 1923 and I turned 90 this past February. The left must act now or else so many are doomed to live my past. Lets make sure it doesn’t happen again…….’

    @Harry Smith, (4.45pm) beautiful writing and yes, a warning from history…

  88. Chris Carr says:

    The rich are engineering a massive takeover. We need one Trade Union – united and as ruthless as this Tory scum with the bottle to strike during events like the Olympics. Problem is we live in a nation when scandals only ever happen in Eastenders.

  89. Chris Carr says:

    Clinical networks which oversee the care of cancer, heart and stroke patients in the NHS have had their budgets and staff cut.
    Cancer Networks say their budgets have been cut by a quarter and staff by a fifth since 2009/10
    Heart and Stroke Networks say their budgets have been cut by 12%.
    Funding for both types of Networks has fallen year by year under the government, and is now 21% lower than when Labour left office.
    These cuts mean vital work to improve patient care for cancer and cardiac disease – Britain’s biggest killers is being scaled back or dropped altogether.
    Cancer Networks have played a crucial role in improving patient car, including earlier diagnosis.
    The Government forced PCTs to put services out to private tender even when they had no plans to do this.
    396 services across England (including diagnostic tests, podiatry and adult hearing) worth over a quarter of a billion pounds are to be privatised.
    A further 39 services will be forced out in a major expansion of Any Qualified Provider tendering in community services.

  90. Ross says:

    Greens are the only party in parliament who want to renationalise the railways, defend the NHS, axe the bedroom tax and workfare etc. etc.

    No Left party has ever been perfect but none have seen the success of the Greens since the Labour leadership were genuinely Left and we all know how long it has been. The destruction of the Scottish Socialist Party (the most successful ‘traditional Left’ party for decades showed how hard this kind of Left unity is. Thousands of people on the Left have joined the Greens in recent years and sharpened its policy as a radical Left party. The more that do this the more Left wingers we can get elected to councils, the European Parliament, Scottish Parliament and even Westminster.

    • Geoff Healy says:

      Strongly agree with you mate

    • Sam Swash says:

      I think you’ll also find the RESPECT party is in Parliament and wants to do all the things you’ve mentioned there.

      • Sarah says:

        Yes – ish! I don’t want to vote for a party lead by George Galloway – too much about him that is too dodgy. Charismatic figureheads are not brilliant for democracy, and the internal workings of the Respect party seem somewhat opaque.

        Whatever party it is, it actually needs to act like they know what justice and equality actually mean.

  91. Raymondonia says:

    If someone like me becomes disillusioned with the Labour Party they are in real trouble. I voted for David but we got ED i accepted that and still had high hopes Hmmm but now feel let down

  92. Gaz says:

    Count me in, it’s time they realised its a privilege not a right to be in the House of Commons.

    Isn’t it funny how people paid a fortune by the tax payer think it’s OK to pass legislation that could see many of those tax payers having to work for nothing or below the minimum wage should they ever lose their jobs. Perhaps it’ll be the happy circumstance that many who abstained today will find out what it’s like first hand come 2015

  93. anonymous says:

    We need to bring the “great” back into Britain!

    We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us!

  94. Geoff Healy says:

    Good luck mate

  95. Leon Carter says:

    We need a party with less millionaires in office and more citizens from a broader section of society, we need a party that will hold these corrupt politicians to account in a court of law, we need a party that believes and puts in reach fair justice to all, we need a party that will end the rip off financial sector, we need a party that believes in fair pricing of the public sector we need a party that is not afraid to bring down the banks if they fail, we need a party that believes in manufacturing and not services alone can you aspire to this?

  96. Leon Carter says:

    Above all we need a party that will end class war and treats everyone no matter of colour, race, origin, gender, disability as equals

  97. Mark Wood says:

    Smiles on my face:) Labour finally freed us from Thatchers unequal Britain. But those smiles soon turned into a frown. Within days of taking power Brown had given the city the power to rule the real politic. He said elected representatives should not have such power. We should have seen it.

    Blair started attacking single mothers. I thought WTF! I went to my local party office to complain but no one would listen.

    Dismantling of the welfare state. The introduction of New Deal and first of the forced attendance work camps they called training. What a joke that was and still is. We should have seen it.

    Then we had to bare witness to the never ceased, never ending, but accelerated privatisation program, it gave everything to the likes of Capita and Serco. We should have known.

    They argued that this was the role of responsible government and things would get better. They lied. Labour was dressed in red but had a heart as blue as the sky.

    It soon became apparent that New Labour equalled the Tory’s in its hatred of the poor, while they snuggled up to the city. I will never forget the treachery of seeing Mandy with the gangster set.

    Big betrayal. Bush and Blair. Millions on the street and nothing changed, proved that Britain was Airstrip One. By now a lot people had worked out that something was a miss, at the last election the people wanted no one first. A desperate nation trying to cleanse itself of such misrule.

    We were fooled. Liberal, Tory and Labour, working hard for the man over the rights of the people. Asset stripping the nation via Goldman Sachs and friends. The Bedroom Tax and Workfare are just the latest incremental steps taken and designed to dismantle the welfare state.

    Clearly we need a another option, if we are to have real democratic rule We want and demand a voice. I think a new party endorsed by Ken is something we can trust.

    I was just a boy when I first got to see his wonderful film Kes. I am now in my early 50’s and that Film still resonates with my inner being. If anything it showed me that the person that created it was a sensitive soul and understood what is was like to be like me.

    So, to end my ramblings I want to state here that Ken. I am with you in this honorable quest to return a sense of justice and self worth to the people of our shores. Let us all together rekindle that Spirit of 45 and rebuild, as good as our forefathers did after the war.

  98. Purplewheels says:

    This is such an urgent enterprise. This government is despicable and cowardly using those who are the most vulnerable to further their own political agenda which is to end universal welfare and the dismantling of the NHS.

  99. Karen Williams says:

    This country desparately needs an alternative to the ConDems and New Labour. Labour has abandoned its principles and you can now barely put a pin prick between them and the other right wing politicians. You have my 100% support.

  100. liam says:

    A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of corporatist finance capital. …oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

  101. bridge says:

    The ordinary people of Britain and Europe must join together to fight the encroaching dictatorship of greedy and dishonest bankers and politicians who are trying to remove all our hard won rights.

  102. Trisha says:

    I sincerely hope that this campaign gathers momentum, it needs to establish a presence in every village in the land – I will do all I can to help, count me in.
    People all over the world are suffering whilst big corporations rake it in – work has to start to pay a decent living, never mind directing our attentions to disgusting slave labour schemes while they run amok with the world economies and deface the unemployment figures to give power to the divide and rule game.
    This constant erosion of human rights simply has to stop – Ive been talking about this stuff for as long as I can remember (60 next birthday) but its actually got worse instead of better – hopefully with a new approach we will get somewhere – good luck and thanks everybody!

    Trish (Fractelle cif)

  103. Michael H-Lewis says:

    Hear Hear

  104. Laura Lamarca says:

    We need Party Representatives who have lived the lives that the present parties are hellbent on destroying. People with a genuine compassion towards those who suffer. None Etonians. Without active voices, we are without any chance of survival in this economic climate. People willing to represent the people…not for profit, or for luxurious living, but those willing to do it because they care.
    I’d be interested in taking a more active political role if this idea gains enough momentum to come into fruition.
    I won’t stand by in silence and watch the current situation escalate, regardless of the consequences for my honesty.

  105. Meryl Davidson says:

    Sadly, I cannot see yet another – inevitably small – party of the left having any impact at all. But a strong party standing up for progressive values and reducing inequality is certainly needed. To my mind, the policies of the Green Party, while not perfect, fit the bill. And they have made huge electoral progress in recent years, with an MP, MEPS, members of London Assembly and Scottish Parliament etc. Personally, I’m far more tempted to give them my support than to start from scratch with a new party. Splitting the left only plays into the hands of the right in any case.

  106. Simon says:

    We do not need a new party but new politics. I would back any political system which contains members that realise we put them in power and that they work for us and they are not in that position for their own benefit. If you could guarantee that then yes, I would support you.

  107. Philip R Hosking says:

    I hope such a new left party would keep an open mind towards the left-of-centre democratic nationalist parties in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland.

    Here is an old blog post on a similar subject:

    • David Fogden says:

      and don’t forget that England needs its own parliament and may be full independence. No reason to support the imperialist British state

      • Philip R Hosking says:

        I would agree that the people of England deserve self-determination and this should include all options i.e an English parliament, regional devolution or no change (a UK parliament, albeit dominated by England, being the price to pay for the union England created). Its just a shame that there is no party willing to stand up for the right of the English to self-determination.

  108. Chris McCabe says:

    Ideally, Greens, TUSC, NHS Action et al cd work together for the good of communities, & maybe have initiatives like Credit Unions.

    • Trevor Fallas says:

      I don’t know very much about financial matters, but I like this idea of using Credit Unions to support those who are currently suffering the most. If we each lodged our little pittances with these Credit Unions, then this would also remove those funds from the discredited banks.

  109. The NO Party says:

    We’ve been saying the same for a month now. We’re in the process of trying to get support and funds together for such a campaign. Over 2100 people have signed so far…please will you lend your aid? We know we do not have all the answers, but are prepared to listen to those who do!

    • Guy Harper says:

      I think any party should be built up through a democratic process with analysis and debate – I don’t think rushing into setting up a manifesto is the way to go about things. Ultimately if a new party is formed that is meant to represent the working class, democracy has to be structurally ingrained in its formation and practices – I would call on you to support the appeal and engage with this process as from your manifesto you obviously have a position that can contribute to the debate.

  110. John Morrey says:

    No question, we need a new, unified force of the genuine left. But we need something else first. The system is broken, it needs to be torn out and replaced. There are two options, wait until 2015 and hope to win. Or, take action now, remove those who maintain and exploit the corrupt system. The game has changed with the betrayal by Labour, the rules are invalid, the gloves are off. If we want a new system built on fairness and compassion, we have no choice. We need a revolution.

    • Guy Harper says:

      I think for anything to happen by 2015 there would need to be the sort of disintegration that we’ve seen in Greece, which I don’t think is particularly likely. I think we have to be realistic – accept the fact that voters will go for labour at the next election given our fptp system – and look to the period after 2015 – this is going to be a long, hard slog but if labour continue the cuts when they get in, there has to be an electoral pole in place that is offering a viable left alternative.

  111. Chris Carr says:

    What a disgraceful, grubby chapter in the history of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Usually when a Tory Government is in power, giving working people and the poorest in society a kicking, any critical voices of the Labour leadership are savaged for aiding and abetting the enemy. It’s the Tories we should be opposing, or so the line goes. But what happens when the Labour leadership actively rides to the rescue of the Tories, blatantly and overtly helping them as they attack some of the poorest in society while riding roughshod over British law?

    Yesterday’s vote should not have been clearer. A Tory Government was defeated in the courts because it broke the law. The Department of Work and Pensions, according to the Court of Appeal, had illegally sanctioned unemployed people who had been forced to work for free. Being forced to work for free – with the taxpayer picking up the bill for a measly £71 a week Jobseekers Allowance – is known as workfare. Those driven on to workfare had not been given properly informed about the schemes and – by violating the law – the Government was due to cough up an average of £550 to 231,000 illegally punished people.

    The Government lost in part because a courageous young woman, Cait Reilly, refused to work for free in Poundland. In Cameron’s Britain, unemployed people are often dismissed as workshy scroungers lacking any initiative. Reilly is a woman who dragged the British Government through the courts in the face of relentless snide attacks from overpaid journalists and ministers, exposing and utterly humiliating them. I hope she whacks all that on her CV.

  112. Chris Carr says:

    So what was the Tory response? Not only to change the law, but to do so retrospectively. No laws were now broken, because those laws have been changed in hindsight. The Government has effectively declared that it is above the law. “The precedent is a terrifying threat to civil liberty,” says classical liberal think-tank Civitas. “The entire concept of ‘Rule of Law’ is undermined as soon as the government starts to cover its back like this.”

  113. Sam Swash says:

    This is all about uniting the left in my opinion. There are some really important people on the British left – Galloway, Kate Hudson, Nick Wrack, Owen Jones, John McDonnell, Ken Loach, the list could go on and on. Thankfully many of these, have backed the call for a new party of the left, or at least the People’s Assembly. It’s never going to be possible to persuade them all to join and thats not necessarily a bad thing.

    I’m a member of Respect, but I recognise that it is probably not the vehicle for the development of a nationwide left-wing party. Although their opinions are valuable, quite frankly, the suggestions of the Green party being that vehicle by the likes of Will Duckworth, or the Labour party from Owen Jones are just utterly obtuse and we shouldn’t be afraid to continue without these people if that is their choice.

    The Green party are always going to be associated with one thing, the environment, not class struggle and are more likely to take votes from the middle class than they are from the poorest in society.

    As for the Labour party, well that suggestion, to me, is nothing short of astounding. Anybody who thinks that this party which went to war with Iraq, introduced university tuition fees, abstained in the workfare vote, are vividly pro-cuts and support the bedroom tax but to name a few, is the party of the working class needs to give their head a wobble. This is without mentioning the obvious silencing and purge of leftist Labour MP’s as well as its continued support for neo-liberal capitalism.

    I think it is obvious that the time to create a united left is now, evidenced by the support shown so far. I personally am excited at the prospect of strong socialist force in this country and will do everything in my power to make this become a reality.

  114. Ian Wilson says:

    The political system is an illusion, they let you believe you have a choice, you haven’t! It’s ‘us versus them!’

  115. mala v says:

    It’s not just a left wing party that’s needed. it’s a different *kind* of left wing party – one that doesn’t carry on the age-old tradition of treating the working class in pretty much the same way as the Sun does, pandering to its anxieties and nurturing its terminally disempowering class identity.

    My vote would be for a party that came together at the intersection of radical grassroots organisation (in the workplace, on the sink estates…) and a parliamentary organisation that refuses to pander to working class hunger to simply slump back into security and certainty – about the future, about who and what one is, about the lack of alternatives….

    And the Green party seems like a more promising part of that geometry than any party ready to go on about the dignity of wage labour, or to offer to fix things *for* people.

    • Roland Scales says:

      The Green Party has an image problem. It is too often seen as eccentric, hippyish, goddess-worshipping, joss-stick-burning, unduly vegetarian, sandal-wearing, isn’t-nature-just-gorgeous, sentimental, ergo irrelevant. I wouldn’t necessarily agree that these charges are at all just,(different strokes for different folks!) but they need to be sorted out.
      A viable Socialist movement has to have a Green agenda, but it needs to be seen to be relevant to the ordinary citizen who has worries about child-raising, healthcare, heating, immediate transport needs, etc, etc, etc.

      • Sarah says:

        Have you actually read the Green Party policy commitments, Roland Scales? Lots there you could make common cause with.

  116. Chris McCabe says:

    Our best hope seems to be to include a united front of NHS Action, Greens, & TUSC, + any smaller groups for social change.

    • Nancy Farrell says:

      The Green Party were in favour of the Welfare Reform Bill though. The abiding message of Ken Loach’s appeal to me was that we have to fight to protect the welfare state. Why would want to side with a party that is for it’s destruction?

      • Josiah says:

        @Nancy – Where did you get that idea from? The Greens have completely condemned the welfare ‘reforms’ – just see our national website and the actions of our London Assembly members, Caroline Lucas MP and Brighton Council which has pledged to refuse to implement the bedroom tax.

  117. Jon Fink says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with the proposition that the country needs a substantial alternative political voice on the left to counterbalance rightwing parties like UKIP. We need to work towards a return to plausible, socially aware, humanist policies that can persuade the electorate that the pursuit of wealth is not civilisation’s supreme virtue.

  118. Cathi Gault says:

    Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you –
    Ye are many – they are few.

  119. Dave K says:

    Yes we need a new Left party. Just look at how one New Labour (One Nation?) representative on Newsnight last night responded to Paxman’s question about which cuts he would reinstate. There was the totally spineless drivel about the election being two years down the road, we need to look the books etc. That sums it up – trust us we may be able to make slightly more humane cuts in a few years if we manage to win a majority. Nothing for the millions of people being literally physically attacked in their well being by this government – see brilliant journalism from Amelia Gentleman in Guardian about the situation of the poorest.
    A new Left party will have to have some minimum dividing lines from One nation labour (otherwise what’s the point of starting a new party?) but I am sure it is not beyond the wit of the people already signed up to come up with ten clear points that left activists can agree on. Obviously such a party should be turned to the unions, to the Labour party activists (there are still some in there) and to the youth and the new activists who don’t necessarily relate to the traditional labour movement e.g. occupy or UK uncut. What is clear is that we could be really optimistic that even with our anti-democratic electoral system we could make an impact in elections. Just remember how the vote for parties outside the mainstream has increased steadily in recent years. The Labour Party no longer owns working people’s votes. We need the follow the courage of our convictions and turn a new page against sectarianism and against one nation labour rubbish. Let’s do it!

  120. Nick Long says:

    Let’s learn from past mistakes and not rush things. A broad coalition of the left is need as a first step, allowing both individuals and local community groups to join in the first instance. It. Would be the kiss of death if the established sectarian revolutionary left grouplets were allowed to join or affilate.

    • PhilW says:

      A new broad party of the left that tried to exclude members or supporters of existing left groups would be constantly on the look-out for real or supposed “infiltrators”. It would rapidly generate an internal atmosphere of paranoia and intolerance. It would also deprive itself of (potentially) many thousands of dedicated activists that these groups contain. Members of left groups should be allowed to join, but neither they, nor the groups, should have privileges above other individual members. In all previous incarnations of “united” left coalitions in England, the largest left groups, in particular, have been allowed to hold the rest of the membership to ransom, which can’t be allowed to happen again.

  121. Sean Thompson says:

    “Coalition of Resistance is the movement and the Green Party is the political party. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; just get behind it and push.” Now, I think Will is a splendid comrade and a thoroughly decent person, but he is entirely wrong to take this position. This is a classically sectarian response. Just change a couple of names and see what Will’s statement sounds like – “Unite the Resistance is the movement and the SWP is the political party. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; just get behind and push.” Catch my drift?

    A long time ago, Duncan Hallas made the point that regardless of the size of an organisation, whether it had 2,000 or 20,000 members, and whatever name it gave itself, the acid test of whether a socialist organisation was a real party was whether it was capable, even in a modest way, of influencing the consciousness and self activity of even just a section of the working class. On the basis of that criterion it is clear that none of the groups on the Left that claim the title of party are any such thing – they are just sects, largely talking to themselves.

    It is not possible to create a party just by wishing it into existence. Ken and I both share the experience of the Socialist Alliance and Respect that demonstrates that. But we do desperately need a popular and pluralist party – a party of an entirely new kind. It will have to be built out of the building blocks of working people’s daily experiences of trying to organise to defend themselves and their families and their communities. It will have to be built in workplaces and local neighbourhoods everywhere on the basis of demonstrating that it’s members are the most stalwart and reliable allies who can always be trusted in every struggle and who have no other interest other than those of their workmates and neighbours – and who are themselves an integral part of their communities. So building such a party is the work of years rather than a simple announcement that The Party has now been formed – that way it will just be another TUSC.

    So the discussion about how we can move towards the mass party we all want (including Will) is vitally important and Ken is to be congratulated for initiating it, but that discussion has to involve all of us in actually listening to each other and not just talking – and certainly not just announcing that whichever organisation we are currently members of has all the answers or is the way ahead. Because none of them has and none of them is.

    • john r says:

      Fantastic post Sean, there can be no short cuts, but hard, patient grafting, working with and for local communities, the marginalised and the poor, workers in struggle, etc.The SWP approach of just jumping on the latest bandwagon is not credible. The IWCA for all its faults adopted the former approach with some local success.

  122. Laurie Dengel says:

    I have been asking the question “Why are we doing nothing to get rid of this government?” for a long time and I hope that instead of just posting statuses and pictures we will finally show this bunch of scroungers, liars and thieves what we really think of them. Not that they care really, but I can’t wait to see the backs of their heads as they turn tail and run for the hills.

  123. Dave Punshon says:

    One Nation Labour have shown their true colours with their stance on retrospective legislation on workfare

  124. Josiah Mortimer says:

    For those writing off the Greens, I’d like to draw their attention to a significant philosophical shift passed at our last conference – writing social justice into our core values. See here:

    See here too:

    I’d agree with Will Duckworth’s sentiments completely – the Greens are by far the largest left-of-Labour Party with thousands of active socialists within it. The Coalition of Resistance represents a real opportunity to unite the left behind a broad movement. We don’t need another party – the Greens are the party.

    • Sean Thompson says:

      At most, 10% of Green Party members are meaningfully active – that means something like 1200 to 1500. Granted, most of them are on the left of the party, but to say that “there are thousands of active socialists” within the Green Party is misleading at best. Green Left, the ecosocialist tendency in the Party, has fewer than 200 members. You are right to say that socialists should not write off the Greens, but we socialist Greens should not fool ourselves that we are going to be able to transform the Party into an explicitly socialist organisation, nor that the Green Party has the potential to become the left alternative to Labour. Let’s show a bit of humility and realism – the party has been going for 40 years but has got hardly anywhere; the only reason it seems significant (in the right light and with one’s eyes half closed) is that everyone else to the left of Labour has achieved even less.

      The real contribution the Green Party could make, or at least the socialists in it, would be to assist in the development of a new pluralist mass party of the left that is based on organised labour. Such a party would benefit immeasurably from the environmental and libertarian insights green socialists could contribute.

      • Nancy Farrell says:

        The Green Party were in favour of the disastrous Welfare Reform Bill too, that’s lost them a lot of popularity with the left wing as I know it.

      • David Walker says:

        The Green Party does not support the welfare reforms. We’re out fighting against them.

  125. Raoul Fishman says:

    A new party is essential. Have thought about setting one up myself!

    I also think it essential to try link up with parties on the left in other countries.

    Capital has international protection but people do not.

    Finally, how about campaigning to change Company Law. Companies should need to take into account broader interests than simply the pursuite of profit for shareholder benefit.

    • moutassim says:

      Pan-Arab Socialist parties in the Arab World in which i believe are closely following this brilliant initiative, and more than willing to support.

  126. Paolo Fiora says:

    of course we need a new partly of the left labour party has become a sick joke

  127. Sam Richards says:

    It is, of course, true that we need a new politics which is not hidebound by the old. But the new left politics needs a firm foundation in collectivity as a principle. There have, after all, been new politics on the right in the last few decades, and they have been based on the firm right-wing principle of individualism, competition, capitalist economics and the profit motive. The new right (call it neoliberal) therefore grows from it roots in older forms of conservatism/liberalism. Similarly, but from the left point of view, we now need a new party of left unity. This is not only desirable. Its essential, and the reason is that the Labour Party has now severed its ties with its roots, which is an act of disrespect. The annihilation of a sense of history, roots and principle now unites right and so-called left in mainstream politics. But it always serves the interests of the right, if not the far right.

  128. Philip Hosking says:

    I would add that a strong commitment to radical democratic reform, grass-roots English regionalism, federalism in the UK and perhaps republicanism would win you friends.

  129. Nancy Farrell says:

    Seriously though, why are people discounting the Socialist Party? (I mean the ones who were original militant Labour but changed their name in 1997 according to wikipedia). I’ve met members at protests and have requested more information and read it. If they ha more support they could move forward, why form a new party when we can simply make one that already exists stronger?

    • Nancy Farrell says:

      I’m quite new to all this so genuinely want to know, what’s wrong with them? Why is everyone saying no serious party for the left exists, cos on the face of it these guys look like just the ticket to me. If there’s anything I need to know please tell me.

      • Mr Ferret says:

        Nothing wrong at all, in fact they have well rounded socialist left policies.. They are pretty close to old labour as they are full of socialist labour members that were booted out!

        You often find term standing under the TUSC banner but they are out there!

  130. Nancy Farrell says:

    Reading through this thread I can see lot of people are supporting the Green party, rather than reply to each individual comment I’ll post another one down here. The Green party were in favour of the welfare reform bill, which is responsible the dismantling of the welfare state, it included bedroom tax, and cuts to benefits for the sick and disabled and all the other terrible things we are seeing now. If you look into it the research that the new Work Capability Assessment is based on was paid for by Unum Provident, a company now trying to sell everyone income protection insurance.
    I don’t think we should side with the Greens unless they change their stance on welfare reform, the whole point of this campaign is to try and save the welfare state and form a new Left party.

  131. Nancy Farrell says:

    Gutted, I was really hoping I was wrong, not what they are saying now but their one MP voted for welfare reform. So that’s bedroom tax the new WCA, everything.

  132. Nick Wrack says:

    I proposed this resolution at today’s meeting of the Independent Socialist Network. It was passed unanimously.

    “The ISN notes the Left Unity initiative and the call by Ken Loach for people to join in a discussion about the need for a new party of the left.

    “The ISN resolves to support this initiative and encourages its members to participate in the discussion to argue that a new party should be set up and that it should adopt a clear programme for socialist change.

    “The ISN will continue to work as part of TUSC while keeping developments under review.”

  133. stephen Lawton says:

    I have not read all of the comments above my issue may have been raised before. The only left I would be interested in is an anti-capitalist left, a world without markets and hierarchies. I want to help build a fully participatory fully democratic community. Capitalism is killing the planet and the people its time for the next and better paradigm to emerge.

  134. Steve Chapman says:

    It seems as though the mainstream political parties are all saying the same things. We’re being walked over as a Nation and there is nobody standing up to these draconian measures. There needs to be a redress of the balance after so many years without a true left-wing representation. Good luck

  135. David says:

    New party needs to be global.

  136. steve hayes says:

    The Green party already exists and with true socialist policies. Not a lot I could argue with in their manifesto. How many have read it?

  137. philip todd says:

    Labours betrayel of the working class, those looking for work and the sick, disabled, elderly and vunerable, their abstention on the Emergency Retospective Law (Workfare) sicken’s me.

  138. Carole Hope says:

    lm behind any one that stands for justice for all, l would put my vote to that, we need some one to fight our corner, other wise, all is lost !!!

  139. Mike Caits says:

    Perhaps we need to think about consolidation between sympathetic political parties and ideologies. The simplistic ‘individualist’ ideas regarding party identity and personality are unnecessary when dealing with a number of congruent political movements. Let’s be inclusive – not exclusive. We can’t afford either to split loyalties nor to try to impose some unworkable blanket Socialist agenda/manifesto either! Coalition might seem a dirty word now, but that is because it has NEVER been properly implemented. A strong coalition based on mutual policies and beliefs might increase the numbers of people who support both Green Party AND Left Unity ideas.

  140. David Pavett says:

    I agree that currently the Labour Party is failing to provide either analyses of our current problems or policies based on such analyses. It has abandoned any belief that there could be any other viable form of social organisation other than capitalism in something like its current form (maybe with a little more regulation, maybe not).

    But what are we being asked to sign up to here? We are invited to “Support Ken Loach’s appeal to discuss the formation of a new political party of the Left”.

    Isn’t that a little strange: to be asked to SUPPORT AN APPEAL TO DISCUSS? How is that appeal to be made? Who will determine the action to be taken on the basis of the responses? How will the subsequent processes be managed. I wanted to sign up to receive the newsletter but I cannot give support to such a proposal with such a lack of any definite substance.

  141. Sam says:

    Despite my distaste for a purely procedural form of government, so called representative democracy, my reluctance to take part in the ‘piss pot of party politics’, and my admiration for the zapatistas, I here by support your campaign. I hope fellow lefties, who call for the creation of something revolutionary, can support this campaign for left unity. We need to fight on all fronts.

  142. Red Alignment says:

    The imagery and iconography used by this campaign looks far too communist if the campaign wishes to create a mainstream political movement. I want to see Labour replaced with something better, but we need a social-democratic and green influenced movement to have a hope of capturing popular sentiment, NOT another far-left cult. Looking like something from the era of the Soviet Union puts this campaign on the fast track to end up a failed fringe movement that will have no positive influence on populist political discourse.

  143. Chris Pampling says:

    I’ve been saying this for two years and I’m glad I found you.

    I have other ideas. We need to invent new language to entice people to participate. The language of the old Left will put off those who remember the 1970s, Militant, strikes etc. The language of the new Right will put off those who are affected by it. Social Justice? Anything to do with the Centre for Social Justice, which advises Iain Duncan Smith? No, let’s call it something else. (I’m afraid I don’t have any ideas!)

    We need to put aside old conflicts and divisions. It will be hard for some I know, and it will be difficult to change our language to become more conciliatory, more inclusive, more encouraging.

    We need to accept more people are in support of us. For example, I am outwardly middle-class: self-employed, big house, nice car, live in a rural area. But I am disabled and a woman. It is that, and my working class background, that gives me commonality with others on the receiving end of austerity. Yet I have been rejected (by among others, the Socialist party) because they see the outside and call me “bourgeoise”. This will not do.

    I also live in a Tory monkey area – you know, the places that will elect a monkey with a blue rosette on. I hope the tide will turn here, but under FPTP my vote is wasted. I may as well not vote for all the difference my vote will make round here. But that is defeatist. I can make a difference – somewhere else probably!

    • Joe says:

      Be careful what you wish for Chris! We got ourselves together and handed Tony Blair a Tory Free Zone here in Scotland and what happened? Proportional representation! That brought us 1 elected Tory and 14 whose names were at the top of a regional list! What we are getting here is a completely different line, that says ‘the only way to avoid another 5 years of either Cameron or a Tory/Liberal coalition, is to vote for independance’. While Cameron runs riot, we seem incapable of getting our eye on the ball.

  144. Rosemarie Harris says:

    I have been calling for a new people’s party for a while none of the main stream party’s are interested in the “little people” any more we are not even being seen. I did think that the unions should stop funding the labour party and fund union members who were going to stand for election to Government. I am getting tried of everyone thinking the unemployed get thousands of pounds a week,i don’t the unemployment benefit is £71.00 per week and £112.00 for couples and we have to pay the Gas/Elec/water rates/internet/phone for job seeking and applying for jobs.
    I don’t want us to go in with anyother party it’s the people’s party and as such should repersent the little people,people on low incomes and no i don’t mean policys for people on £100.000+. What’s wrong with paying a parent to look after and bring up their children at home until 5 years? we can’t all afford private nannies!In the long term it would be cheaper.
    Looking forward to in putting some ideas.

  145. nilsinela boray (@northernheckler) says:

    don’t be bloody stupid – the Labour Party is the broad coalition of left wing politics – Why would you want to split it ? We’re only just starting to see the back of the pigging SWP – and you come up with this rubbish

    • Guy Harper says:

      Can you give me one example of a left wing policy that the Labour Party has backed in the last decade? They started the privatisation of the NHS, privatised schools, privatised the railways, implemented tuition fees – now they are expelling councillors who vote against austerity, abstaining on anti-union laws along with the bedroom tax and workfare. Interesting sort of left wing coaltion, that!

  146. Steve Mann says:


    Zymotic Capitalism

    bastardized syncopal miscarriages
    governments and systems bejungled intertwining
    supping in corruptions devil grail
    chewing temptations roots
    world not-without end

    © Steve Mann

  147. spaf4 says:

    It’s been achieved once, and now, more than ever, needs to be achieved once more. Why oh why aren’t people like Mr. Loach sat on the opposition bench. I would add the likes of Gerry Robinson to that, too. Could it be they have something that can’t be taught at Oxford, or Cambridge….common sense.

  148. Chris Marshall says:

    There are no real politicians out there any more, no one to represent the real people in society. The current political system is a closed club unless your family have money, power & connections. I was always brought up to believe that democracy was about the people electing others to represent them & their needs, government today does what it wants, with no care for our needs.

  149. James Clossick says:

    Until recently, I wasn’t a political person. I was sort of soft left, without really understanding a great deal about it. I knew I wasn’t, and would never be, a Tory, (my dad, a miner, would have disowned me) but I paid little attention to politics for a long time. Nowadays I see the ideology behind the current government’s actions, which is basically to blame the poor, the sick, the vulnerable and immigrants for the mess others created so that they can dismantle the welfare state, including destroying the NHS, the one thing that we should be most proud and most determined to maintain of in this country. I despair of the spineless Libdems, who are willing to agree to anything the Tories want to do in order to keep being thrown the leftovers of power that Cameron offers them. And most of all, I am ashamed of the Labour party that now promises nothing to working people except slightly differently presented Tory policies. Of course we need a new party of the left. We need a party that is committed to equality, the protection of the underprivileged, a tax system that redistributes wealth fairly and that returns control of essential services to the people who rely on them. Let’s get that party going before the next election.

  150. Chris says:

    So what’s the plan? Who is doing what? Where’s funding coming from? What are the policies, and the priorities? What are the stated aims? What should it be called? We need to be able to answer these questions soon and with confidence. We need to take full advantage of the awful things that are really starting to happen, before people get bored if their own outrage and give up. We need leaders. This idea is too important to remain inchoate the way the Occupy movement has. Oh, and it really needs to avoid being a sort of ‘UKIP of the Left’…

    • nic says:

      I am in Labour – very active – getting annoyed – I fly their banners and they forget to fight our corners – their democracy is questionable…I would be a leader…need to find out more…

  151. Alan Taylor says:

    Back when people laughed at me for questioning Capitalism, real socialism was dismissed as ‘looney left’ politics. In this post-2008 era the lunacy of capitalism is finally too obvious to be so easily dismissed. Generation Rent are crying out for representation, and a stake in their communities. If this new party addresses poperty/capital/generational inequality, then I think you might be surprised at just how much support the young might give to real socialism.

  152. Linda Steers says:

    I want a government that wants to look after everybody. Sounds ridiculous I know but by that I mean that everybody has the right to a secure home, quality medical care, good education, and an elected government that remembers that it consists of locally elected members.

    I want everybody who is British to know that they are top of the new governments agenda: no secret courts, no social services that steal peoples babies away for forced adoption, no harassment or bullying of any group of people because of colour, sexuality, age or disability. And especially, I want the new government to be strong enough to say to the EU “Sorry, but that’s not what’s going to happen here”.

    I want to know that once again we own our strategic assets: gas, electricity, water, roads, rail, the forces, the police… no longer will money pour out of this country for our national necessities nor will we be held at ransom by private concerns running our jails, our railways, our gas, our water and our health services – after all, if they can make a profit at our expense surely the government can run them to make money without bleeding us dry.

    I want to know that only people who are going to embrace being British and bring much needed skills are welcomed in our country. I’m sick of being afraid to say “You don’t like it here, go home” whatever their colour, religion or origin; but most of all I’m sick of being afraid of being British.

  153. Chris Brennan says:

    A new party needs to be a credible alternative to the current Conservative, Labour, LibDems and UKIP. It must not be about establishing an outmoded socialist party… will fail if it tries. Rather it needs to be a counterweight to the global interests that currently unduly influence the current political process. It needs therefore to appeal to ordinary people who are now seeing how the ruling elites have abused their growing power over the last 30 plus years. Labour have failed in this and have become part of the whole corrupt political process. Politicians in this country need to remember whose interests they serve, namely the peoples, not big business.

  154. David Huffadine-Smith says:

    Yes we need a genuine party of the left, but what do you call it?
    The traditional kinds of names associated with the left would scare off most of the electorate, and alienate the middle ground.
    Whats the point of having a party that no-one will vote for?
    The Principles and Policies are not in doubt.
    The problem will be in the marketing.

    • Joe says:

      The Independent Labour Party? I remember reading many books and stories of people like the ILP’s James Maxton. Try reading some of their contributions in Hansard, or try reading about the policies of those ILPers, it would bring tears to a glass eye. The tories had to come up with another name for them, to try to cast a shadow (remember the ‘Red Ed’ jibes?) and turn people against them. Even though there were people from London (Manny Shinwell) and many other places, they were called the ‘Red Clydesiders’, sound familier?

  155. Iain Smith says:

    Maybe the age of the British coalition government is upon us.
    A new left party could get our voices heard in government much like the lib dems hoped.

  156. Dave Proudlove says:

    I have been a supporter of the Labour Party for many years, and have held on in the hope that the party may finally start to come to its senses in the face of the utter destruction that the current Government is subjecting the country to. However, I’ve been waiting in vain: the main political parties are now preparing for their 2015 campaigns, and the Labour Party is completely silent on what it would intend to do to right the wrongs of the past thirty-plus years of neo-liberal dogma; indeed its silence suggests nothing. The question I have had is “so, what to do?” I suppose the answer is “do it yourself”. If the traditional defender of the working man is no longer capable of carrying out that task, then let us start anew, and create a new alternative to greed, corruption, and nastiness, based on peace, empathy and shared responsibility.

  157. John Mitchell says:

    In my opinion this is a self-indulgent, very silly idea. All it will do, if it does anything, is to split the left vote thus ensuring a Tory victory. Join the Labour party and change it from the inside, and before anyone tells me that would be impossible all I can say is that if your not prepared to work hard for the politics you want it doesn’t matter what the party is called because it’ll lose.

  158. Helen Richardson says:

    Yes, there needs to be dialogue and it needs to be inclusive but how many initiatives like this are needed? Why not get behind the Coalition of Resistence Ken???

  159. Wajda Abdullah says:

    It may be self indulgent, but you are kidding yourself if you think you can change the Labour Party from the inside. At last someone is resisting the destruction of our NHS, education and social and welfare system. Many people are angry and feel powerless in the face of the this tory attack. maybe this is just what we need to harness all this energy and frustration at the absence of a fight back. But surely we also need a new media too. What chance does a new left party have in the face of the neoliberal murdochian press?

  160. Becca says:

    Eddie Izzard commented recently on getting into politics. I’d be up for supporting a party that he was involved with! :)

  161. Robert Eagleton says:

    As someone who has recently left the Green Party I very much hope a new party can be forged. Is it too much of me to hope this new party will include the Greens, RESPECT, SWP and the CPGB and that it will take a clear revolutionary philosophy and a no Cuts stance in relation to local councils? And national government… if we get there (through revolution obviously).

  162. gerryzekali says:

    repeal all the punitive tory laws, cancel trident, retroactively tax the bankers, the rich, the land and property owners, remove the reserved places for public schoolboys at oxbridge, support palestine, isolate israel, SEND TONY BLAIR, JACK STRAW to the hague, issue warrants for all the american war criminals too, cancel the NHS bill, cancel goves education mess, nationalise natural resources, stop – cancel – PPFI s , and Im ith you all the way

  163. Paul says:

    There has been an absence of anger for what is going on.

  164. Andrew says:

    Labour has long since abandoned any aspiration for a decent and humane social democratic alternative. Instead they perversely relish their right wing credentials in a macho virility test with the Tories. Thoroughly nauseating how they beat up on disadvantaged groups and buy lock stock and barrel into Tory malevolence. Last weeks workfare abstention underlying how Byrne and co view unemployed as a liability. And Blair was an unforgivable carpetbagger and right wing chanced. I will never trust Labour. Miliband was soon back in the new labour comfort zone and is complete disgrace to the memory of his Dad Ralph Miliband.

  165. JOE says:

    How, and indeed who, would you consider as credible membership? Would you agree to people who were MP’s for UKIP or whatever to jump on board if it looked like a winner? How would you set your agenda, would you make it clear that those who join must automatically accept agreement with the agenda and if so, how do you put that agenda together with some degree of democratic accountability? Just a couple of passing thoughts, I would still be very interested!

  166. kurtz86 says:

    A new party of the left can never be truly left wing, progressive, nor achieve social justice ultimately, so long as it circumscribes to party politics and representative democracy. The shift right for the Labour party was inevitible when its support from the unions was undermined. Any new left party cannot be representative; it must the productive creative power of all in deliberative democracy. It needs to be a solidarist federation, a compact of cooperatives, unions, charities, individual and working class organizations. It can then set about a task of education and propoganda to reawaken our collective class consciousness. This ‘party’ at the same time can set an example for how parliament should be completely revolutionized in the same manner

  167. Andy says:

    Thankfully, we in Scotland have the SNP to fill that gap, and, hopefully, in 2014 we will elect to become an independent nation, who haven’t had a significant Tory vote post-WW2. This would allow the Labour Party to return to it’s roots, given they won’t have to pander to the English floating voters, and other left wing parties to emerge as opposition. The only downside will be that the English working man could be doomed to Tory rule for years to come, not that Scotland’s vote makes much difference in UK elections anyway.

  168. robert g true says:

    the labour party no longer reresents those for whom it was created,there is a need to fill this vacuum in british politics ,if we on the left don,t fill it ,people like ukip or the nf will, with dire consequences???????

  169. Robert says:

    For a documentary on the intentional rightwards move by Labour in 1996, see “the century of the self” by adam curtis, part 4.

    For a seious political discussion on political and economic refom, see “positive money uk”

  170. David Kirk says:

    A breathe of fresh air. The working classes need to get their identity back and some representation in the political arena. There’s been a loss of a sense of belonging to production, community and society. My father worked 50 years in a factory and had one day off. That’s what we saw growing up. I left school on the Friday and started work on the Monday; grew up in a community where everybody pulled together for the good of the community, that was smashed by Thatcher but its time to redress these policies now and the tide is turning. With you all the way Ken.

  171. John says:

    If not already commented ´´United we stand, divided we fall”, the tories will be loving the division amongst the now relatively weaker opposition.

    We need a united & STRONG opposition front, including the leader. I obviously do not know all the facts, but this is the time for getting your house in order. The electorate will not [I hope!] be fooled again – with reference to the all out Nasty tory party .

  172. paddy says:

    As a serious, ideologial, disciplined place to talk pushing a radical Left agenda – I’m all for this. We need a forum in which people can talk about Marx, for instance, without being written off for merely mentioning the man who actually diagnosed the root of the present crisis – systemic and cyclical – in the first place. Agreed: most Labour politicians are too cautious, and could do with a kick up the backside. What the UK Left lacks is a ‘Conservativehome’-style orgainization; one that has real punch, and could mobilize support for a more radical Left – in the first place to deliver that much needed kick to the Miliband buttocks. For what it’s worth, I think the (son-of-Ralph) Miliband buttocks would be pretty receptive to feeling such a kick. In any case, making the case and aiming the conversational kick is an essential first step. You have to mould the conversation before you make the case electorally. Otherwise you end up with an idiom of aspiration – not persuasion; an agenda which, short of violent revolution, cannot command majority support. What lets the Tories off the hook too often is a disunited Left. Under a PR system – e.g. with die Linke in Germany – the smaller parties have a chance to push their radical agenda. The UK system does not allow for this. To divide the Left vote further at the next election than it already is by the Lib Dem, Green, Nats etc we would end up pissing in the wind – an act of narcissistic folly that would merely make the piss-drenched prospect of a Tory mandate more likely, just as Farrago and the swivel-eyeD UKIP troopers will be the piss-artists at the count for the right. C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre.

  173. paddy says:

    As for the new left in Greece, we must not mistranslate the particular grievance of externally-imposed bail-out conditions as being analogous either to actual economic conditions in the UK, or to the extremity of grievance voters have yet to feel in this country. That may well change with the cuts to come – but we haven’t got there yet. I don’t mean by this that people are not hurting; I mean that not enough people feel they are hurting as a result of the system itself – Capitalism, as it operates electorally under the guise of a democratic mandate. The interests running the show may still be the rich and self interested, but most people presuppose a freedom, and until the majority are persuaded otherwise, the illusion persists. Unlike the technocrats imposed on Euro-zone economies, for instance, we actually elected this axe-wielding carnival of crapulous piss midgets to govern us. It’s not just a matter of Disraeli’s ‘organized hypocrisy’ we are up against. It is disorganized, yet-still-somehow- *believable* hypocrisy. We neeed to seduce a majority in this country to see through that fiction, to feel that it is reasonable, and just, to be aggrieved by economic injustice before the case can be made electorally. I say ‘seduce’ because too often the Left appeals to the monolithic entity (the NHS) or the abstract principle (justice), or the particular grievance as suffered by a minority that we want to put right. We all believe in these things, and know them to be right – so let’s stop talking to ourselves. What will win the Left votes is the appeal to self-interest, as understood, because actually true, in terms of e.g. fair wages under a fair economic system. Marx would say ‘abolish the wages system’ – and, in terms of his precise critique, I think he was basically right – but a guy with a beard and a sense of historical inevitablity could get away with saying that sort of stuff back then. The genius of the 45 Labour manifesto was to make the case in startling, simple, jargon-free (beard-neutral, yet historically apt) terms that the rich were a rip-off for the majority. The chief enemy of progressive politics has too often been the very plurality of causes muddling under one parapluie. There needs to be a forensic fury to make the case against the neoliberal economic consensus – the systemic root of all types of grievance felt by progressives. Until that case is made, or renovated, so that a disciplined movement can speak cogently to the mainstream, dangerously to the rich, and most of all persuasively to the majority of the electorate, it would be nuts to risk any further dilution of the progressive vote in a general election. Right now, when the great majority are suffering levels of austerity unthinkable a mere five years ago, is precisely the time when such a case needs to be put – not to the vote, yet, but planted in people’s minds as a serious, necessary, above all possible, alternative.

  174. Borg says:

    Neo-Liberal Nu-Labour has abandoned the working class and the left.

    All the parties are Neo-Liberal. I feel like a black person who is only allowed to vote for different candidates all of whom are standing for the Klu-Klux-Klan.

  175. Lex Angel says:

    I read the teaser on Facebook, linked to The Guardian, read the full article, got my interest. “Yes!” I thought. Clicked the link, only to be greeted by what looks like a Socialist Worker newspaper ad. Better luck next time. Enjoy your fists and stars. So 80s. What a shame. It’ll never work looking like that in this day and age. Move past the Sovietesque graphics, for all our sakes, and you may get some wider support and be taken seriously.

    • Tommy says:

      Agree. I made pretty much the same comment earlier. When I saw the header I was so disappointed.

      • Sarah says:

        Yes. It immediately takes me back to the SWP, RCP and all the others barking “Maggie Maggie Maggie Ou’ Ou’ Ou'” on marches in the mid-80s. A huge turn-off for most people.

  176. Matthew Phillips says:

    A new party of the Left is long overdue. There has to be a clear and credible voice of opposition to current government policy, and a steadfast commitment to find alternatives that Labour, or indeed the Greens, seem unable to deal with. However, whilst the principal purpose must be reflect the spirit of 1945, it must also be a new, modern party of the Left that fully respects the politics of our current age. ‘Modern’ does not mean pandering to the right, or fighting for the centre-ground as has become the Labour mantra since the early 1990s. What it means is recognising that politics today are determined by specific realities that a modern political party must deal with. Central to this must be the rebuilding of the British economy, the devastating impact of todays policies on the young and the gross corporatisation of everyday life. It needs to avoid the SWP at ALL COSTS – to protect the new movement from the revolutionary politics of the previous generation, which we all know have failed. Instead it needs to develop an open dialogue that seeks to understand where power now lies (increasingly not with the state) and how a political party can work to return power to the people.

  177. Philip Grant says:

    I agree with the analysis of the Labour Party offered here, a party of which I used to be a fervent supporter, but which is now a ‘useless party’ to the Tories ‘nasty party’. But why found a new party? Why not join, as I and many others have, the Green Party, which stands for all those things you seek, even if it does not necessarily brand itself as ‘left’ or ‘socialist’?

    Two objections, but these can be dealt with : (i) The Green Party is too concerned with environmental issues at the cost of social justice. The answer here has two parts: a) the environment is the biggest challenge of our time, and in any case, environmental change disproportionately affects ordinary working people most; (b) in recent years, Greens have recognised this, and are stressing their social justice agenda much more strongly – in England & Wales the deputy leader of the party is keen to recruit more people from working class backgrounds (like himself), and has suggested renaming the party the Green & Social Justice Party.

    (ii) The Greens will never get elected. This is an answer for plodding on with the old, useless/nasty parties. No doubt in 1900 the idea that the Labour Party would replace the Liberals as one of the two largest parties would have seemed crazy to most. The Greens can play this role in the 21st century. Despite the first-past-the-post system working against them, they now have an MP in Westminster. They have two MSPs in Scotland, and had more in the last parliament. They have numerous councillors up and down the country, and currently control Brighton. There is much more work to do, of course, but it can be done: so check out Green policies, and come and join, as I did, and as many other disaffected ex-Labour members and voters are.

    • Mel says:

      It’s BECAUSE the Green party represent the environment as it’s first concern that they don’t appeal to normal, working or lower class (whatever label you want to use).

      Yes, everyone toes the line and recycles etc but people’s major concern is how they’re going to pay their bills, when they’re going to eat next, whether they’ll have a roof over their head by next week. It’s frivolous to put the environment before people, also to a lot of people the science is not conclusive.

      I agree being kind to the planet, recycling, not wiping out forests, polluting rivers etc is important, but it is NOT a massive concern to the poorest who live day to day, week to week, month to month.

      You fix social inequality first and THEN concern for environment may rise in people’s list of importance.

  178. Popular Momentum says:

    Long overdue! Labour has become too big to fail.

  179. Dafydd says:

    I recognise only two social classes. The Capitalist, those that payt their way by virtue of what they own, and the proletariat, those that pay their way by selling their labour, whether ‘skilled’ or ‘unskilled’, ‘professional’ or manual. The occupy movement’s recognition of the wide scope of the proletariat, ‘We are the 99%’, if anything understated the case. We need to unite all the proletariat. It is by division of the proletariat that the capitalist can assume power and oppress.

  180. Laura says:

    I do hope you’ll be working with the Coalition of Resistance/People’s Assembly. I doubt it needs to be said, but we’re stronger together.

  181. David Cowell says:

    Labour or its alternative should not try to get elected into government. We are a capitalist system run for capitalism by their lackies. Aim to be a persuasive, effective minority. If the treacherous lib dems had stayed out of the coalition and worked with others to oppose any government policies than those argued logically and convincingly and not ideologically, we’d be in a better state now.

  182. cam says:

    much needed.

  183. jan says:

    the time for real debate is now, with 80% of austerity cuts still to come there is a real need for a true alternative that seeks to protect its working communities and not punish them and reward the minority who are already well off. Social Democrats anyone?

  184. Angie Zelter says:

    A new socialist party which has peace, justice, human rights and respect for the environment and other species at its heart would be wonderful and is very much needed. But it must get away from growth economics and build on a sustainable and non-exploitative steady state economy where governments, not banks, control the money circulation which should be based on credit not debt. The main drivers of a fair economy should be based on the public good bot profits for the few.

  185. Philip Thomas says:

    There’s no reference that I can see in these comments to the North-South divide, which has widened under Tories and New Labour. Social justice demands that all citizens have the same rights, opportunities and responsibilities no matter where they live. It’s arguable that old class divisions have been replaced by geographical ones marked by inequalities in wealth and future prospects of prosperity. I fully support a move for a new party of the Left, but it is essential that it remembers its roots – in Chartism and the Cooperative Movement so prominent in the North of England. Otherwise I’m off up north of the border when the Scotts vote for independence.

    • Tommy says:

      Though it saddens me to say it, I hope the Scots do declare independence if only to show the English how things can be different.

      • Trevor Fallas says:

        I think the Scots deserve their independence. My worry is that they will take away such a lot of anti-Tory votes. How would we keep out the Tories then?

  186. Keith says:

    I agree that radical change is needed in the wake of this Tory government’s onslaught on the poor. However the stark reality is that a new party of the left would simply split the anti-Tory vote even further and thereby risk lumbering us with another prolonged stretch of Tory government. This would result in them becoming further emboldened in their dismantling of the state, their spiteful attacks on the poor, and rewarding of the top 1% (many of whom got us into the current mess). The case for a reversal of current policies needs to be shouted from the rooftops, but in the current FPTP system a rival party of the left would be most likely to make things worse in the manner described above. Until this question is satisfactorily answered I would be unable to support such an initiative.

  187. Phil Bitis says:

    The new party of the left… it’s called the Green Party.

  188. mike reardon says:

    I think that too much of the language, look and feel of many contributions could have been lifted from 1977 or 1987.They assume the existence of a self defining ‘working class’ that knows what it wants and how to get it. Whether we like it or not, life is more complex than in 1945, its more interconnected, its online and people (certainly my three kids) define themselves in very many different ways – yet want to fight injustice, rampant capitalism and increasing inequality. But the future we envisage also has to be sustainable – and I am not sure we yet know what that means and what it would look like – and how to make it as attractive as the consumerist alternative (with all its unsustainable outcomes) can appear.So more problems than answers which suggest that any new political party must be as strong on values and vision than programmes. And it cant be back to 1945 – its got to be forwards to 2045! A new , realistic politics for a new age….fresh, broad based , inclusive , not centred on London and the South East and appealing to the many not just the few (A tall order!)

  189. Mike Barrett says:

    Thanks to someone who is prepared to say what so many of us think – the fabric of our society is being torn down by those whose only motive is growth and profit, and the Labour Party no longer provides leadership in preserving the public good. But the Soviet style poster won’t help, nor will the language of class warfare. We do need a sense of ‘res publica’ but the voice of concerned citizens is now best provided by 38 Degrees (and Avaaz on an international level). The problem is to turn that spirit into power. I would like 38 Degrees to become a political party, but then it would lose its value as an independent sounding board. I am prepared to support a new political movement, but it risks becoming just a left-wing fringe unless it can capture the public imagination with a solid platform of policies on welfare, taxation, energy, education and employment. And it’s more likely to succeed if it reflects a Cooperative centre rather than a left wing, even if it inspires itself from socialist principles.

  190. Barry Greenwood says:

    I agree that the Labour Party has failed. It has adopted the neo-liberal economic agenda, thanks to Blair, Brown and Mandelson. This ideology has a mantra of never-ending economic growth, which is an absurdity in a finite world. It is simultaneously destroying the world’s hitherto benign climate and increasing the gap between rich and poor, which can only end in tears. The political left needs to adopt and promulgate a zero-growth economy and there are economists already advocating such a strategy and detailing how it would work.
    The world is now being run by a plutocratic elite in their own short-term interests, and getting a grip on this should be the top priority for any new initiative from the left. This will take vision, commitment and courage – qualities conspicuously absent in Labour’s current front bench team. I live in Monmouthshire, SE Wales, where the Labour party is effectively dead, according to 3 local Labour party members of my acquaintance.

  191. Bruno says:

    Laudable idea and all. And with a lot of substance too. But if there ever was one clear thing to emerge from the midst of all the recent political muddle then it’s this: every single attempt to form a party to the left of Labour has failed. With no exception. Mostly due to the Left’s pathological inclination for factionalism and internal conflicts.
    Se, the question is, why would this one be any different? Please convince me otherwise.

    • Guy Harper says:

      It has succeeded in many parts of Europe – Die Linke in Germany, Bloco in Portugal, Syriza in Greece, the Red-Green Alliance in Denmark, Front de Gauche in France… there is a great deal of factionalism in the UK left but now more than ever we need to present a political alternative to neo-liberalism. If we can learn from previous mistakes and create something that is more than just an electoral alliance between competing groups and reach out to the people of Britain – through creating a political organisation with a culture of participatory democracy – then there is a chance. And now more than ever we have to take that chance.

  192. Dominic says:

    This must be achievable. We know, from the examples of Venezuela and other countries that grass-roots political movements can succeed and flourish. There is a clear need in the UK and I am so sick of what past governments, Tory and so called Labour, have done to our country. The fact that we have allowed this dreadful state of affairs to exist unchallenged by the People is staggering!

  193. Kevin says:

    This movement resonates with so many just now. I’m right behind it. As gorgeous George said, we have an arse with three cheeks in conventional three-party politics!

  194. Rod Scott says:

    Here’s to Ken Loach. He is one of the few voices sounding out against the farcical state of affairs in British politics today. One day there will be a resounding victory for the common good. I hope it’s soon.

  195. Chris Lovett says:

    It’s not a question of Labour failure – there hasn’t been a Labour party for some long time, just a name. Face it, the population are totally misguided – they need to get “Spirit of ’45”. My birth year. I’m so angry I could… better not say.

  196. Ronnie swinton says:

    I agree with Ken we need another way to run this country and the only way to do this is with solidarity with the people for the people

  197. yvonne ballard says:

    Scares the pants off of me to have no electable party in the UK!!!! We are losing everything our families fought hard to gain, and sleeping through the process. We need a peoples party now.

  198. Fursday says:

    What about good old entryism? In fact it wouldn’t even be that, it would be reclaiming the Labour party to turn it back into what is should be. Like all political parties, it has hardly any members thesedays it possible – and most likely far more possible than a new party emerging on the sidelines.

  199. Mike Roberts says:

    It’s not enough to rant and rave against what we feel, instinctively, is wrong. A clear definition of what will, on balance, help everyone must be articulated. Otherwise the movement proposed becomes a vehicle for yet more vested interests….albeit a worthy vested interest. The key question is “how do you get cross society support ?”.

  200. JIM NAPIER says:

    The economic practices of the Labour Gov. 1945 1950 were productive until the Government 1979 brought in the concept of — “market forces”. History, in my view, will condem the Labour Government of 1997 for failing to reverse the situation. Unless things change, which they will not under Balls and “Muddleband”, the country will be in a far worse situation than it was in 1945.

  201. David Craig says:

    I think it should be called something like “People Unified” or “Unity of the People”. I’m all for what has been stated but calling it “Left Unity” will alienate so many people. Yes, it is left based, and rightly so, but surely it is more for the people as a whole rather than creating a divide before it really starts. Just a thought!

    • Stuart says:

      Couldn’t agree more. For me, the essence should be common sense, respect and a sense of citizenship. I’m very left-wing, but I don’t expect everybody to start reading Lenin, just work together to achieve a country at ease with itself – parliament to respect the electorate, government to fulfill their obligations to both the people and the fabric of our society. Right v Left is old hat, so let’s make it right v wrong.

  202. john weston says:

    The British Parliament and Establishment is toxic to any further development of British democracy (not yet matured. Britons are being enslaved and denied the rights to protest, because of Parliamentary Acts, which criminalize appropriate and positive actions. Generations to come, will be more hostage to elitist power than we can barely imagine. Only when millions of British people surround Parliament and protest/demonstrate for their own–and their children’s welfare, will there be any chance of a new Political party. This would be a test of British backbone and commitment towards a new Political party and a new way, reflecting immediate post WWII resolve to improve the population’s future.

  203. Stella Day says:

    I am confused by all the suggestions here. I am clearer about what I don’t want, rather than what I do. I don’t want to join with Respect, the SWP or the CPGB but the Green party is a more attractive idea to me.

  204. Janey Hulme says:

    I hope someone has sent this to Owen Jones!

  205. Tom Hill says:

    Thank you Ken, I have been waiting so long for this and at last I feel there is something I can do to counter the tide of neo-liberalism that has engulfed our country. The Labour Party is a dead duck and totally beyond reform. I must confess I don’t hold out great hopes for your venture but on the other hand we can’t just sit there and let the barbarian Right have its own way without putting up some kind of a fight. If we fail so be it but at least we will have fought honourably. All power to you elbow!

  206. Mike Davies, Alliance for Green Socialism says:

    Make it green and left. Socialism without a viable planet to live on is not much use, and a viable planet is not possible under capitalism.

  207. Rosie says:


  208. ricky lee says:

    About bloody time, activism is all well and good, but a mainstream political party will bridge the gap adequately until we all recognise that the democratic system is an anachronistic embarrassment which we will in the information age think of as both primitive and not fit for purpose. I will spread the word and push for real revolutionary change, but once people see beyond the usual suspects, I believe people will be encouraged to take a more radical step, one of evoluton rather than revolution. Change is needed, the majority need to be heard and counted.

    Power to the People.. the sequel…

  209. Tim Turner says:

    Not before time! I’m in!

  210. w says:

    I hate to be pedantic, but change the branding asap. Using these cliched graphics will ensure you never get the broad appeal you need. No one likes to admit it, but PR does matter. That’s why the right spends so much money on it. This soviet era proganda stuff has been demonised to death decades ago and will only attract negative publicity. Apart from that. Keep up the good work.

    • Huw Davies says:

      I have to say, I agree. You have to draw people in not push them away, and PR has to reflect the age we live in. Whatever our personal views on the whole advertising and promotion industry, positive imagery does work.

  211. DD says:

    We don’t need a ‘left wing party’ anymore it’s too tainted by the past we need an anti capitalism party. The chav’s don’t want saving anymore they just want to be left alone, and some of the benefits paid to families who’ve never worked and have eight kids 3 dogs and a plasma tv need taking away not protecting.

    But if you’re having a crack at capitalism and feeding the worthy poor then give me a shout

    • john r says:

      I’m sorry but i think you are a bit confused:any decent radical party will not be making the classic un-deserving/deserving poor dichotomy, not least because its so often moved around to suit political/ideological agendas.

    • Trevor Fallas says:

      I am 56-years-old and one of your undeserving poor. I haven’t been on a holiday since my mid-twenties. I don’t drive a car. I stopped drinking in 1992. When the zip broke on my coat last year, I had to buy a new one. Before that, I had not bought any new clothes for many years. I only catch the bus if I have to travel any great distance. Otherwise, I always walk. I have never had the heating on at home. I only eat basic foods, such as bread, beans and soup. I sold my TV in 2005.

    • Huw Davies says:

      And therein lies the problem. The moment you devise a system (which will tend to be right wing in it’s outlook) that has to determine who is ‘worthy’ and who is not, it will be open to abuse. Discrimination (positive or negative) is never the answer. A new system would have to be open, fair and treat everyone equally. You have to accept that some will always cheat, or otherwise try to milk the system so, you need to design a system that’s robust enough to withstand this and find alternative ways to tackle these issues.

  212. Nakaserogirl says:

    It’s so great that we have some presence in the mainstream media through Ken and it’s heartening to mark here the mobilising effect of his words. However, I feel calling for another new party of the left is only half the story. By all means, support TUSC or the Greens or Respect or Left Unity or build an organisation in your area as an opposition. A multi-party Parliament would be more democratic than 2/3 monoliths battling it out and it.

    In fact, it is possible to get radical voices into Parliament. Though the British Parliamentary Road to Socialism has proved a hard road to travel, a grouping that truly works for its area can get support. In Bradford, for instance, because of Respect, work has restarted on the Odeon building, an eyesore which had spent a decade rotting at the heart of Bradford. In George Galloway, the party has a great communicator who proved that a broad electoral alliance can be forged against austerity, against nuclear weapons and in defence of welfare. Good slogans, hey Kate? Some of the people may not like some of the things Galloway says but look what he does! The man has skills in grassroots industrial and community organising forgotten or never learnt by most people paid as politicians; and these skills are assets to our side. For a start, we could learn the need for the kind of voter registration drive run in the U.S.’s Deep South; a real mobilisation of the vote amongst migrants, minority ethnic communities, the non-unionised, women and the young.

    Could we not look at other politics as well? Of course the unions are important; but they are primarily defensive and large sections of the populations are no longer connected to them. Rather than calls from above issued by well-known individuals to rally behind one banner – and who is unaware that unity is strength and sectarianism an indulgence? – how about real, practical support for everyday people from the base line upwards, not only by giving voice to local campaigns but also by founding Credit Unions, setting up nurseries, running cheap transport and food co-ops, holding benefits to aid party funds and instituting community councils. We can look at all sorts of ideas; there is a neighbourhood structure called a stokveld, for instance, very much patronised by women across Southern Africa, which makes capital available to those with none. You put in a little every month, the group holds other fund-raising events and once a year you get a payout big enough to buy a washing machine or a boiler. (Friendly Societies, anyone?) Such structures would build strong connections between communities and organisers. They would also raise money for opposition. If and until the unions and the Co-op can deliver a levy to a party other than Labour, any party alternative to the established will need financing.

    Such structures might make inroads where the intricate ideological arguments beloved of the left can gain no purchase; amongst the working class of southern England for instance, steam-rollered by the Daily Mail, shopping in company towns and, beyond pockets of resistance like Bristol and Brighton, ignorant, I have to say, of even their own histories, let alone the Chartism and Cooperation of the North. As the Scots draw away, contrary to what some contributors here feel (though Andy, I agree with other things you wrote) we should recognise that the Labour Party was initially powered by the Scottish Independent Labour Party MPs, and without that radical motor is likely to fall into confusion over whole swathes of electoral territory.

    Something else that would be great is One Great Website with all the industrial and community news on it; looks like the 14th November Movement Left Unity Facebook page is starting to provide that. There are campaigns against austerity and its associated cuts all over the country; but you have to search for news of them. In parts of the South, opposition to austerity simply marks you out as a nutter, so rarely-heard are these ideas.

    Despite lack of media attention, let no-one be under any illusions; there is actually a class struggle still at work, as always. Managers’ interests so often are different to those of their staff or communities. Can we win them over? I’m thinking about my work as a casual Customer Support Assistant in a local library in Bradford. Our manager, a sweet, considerate woman nevertheless is obliged by her Council bosses to instruct us not to reveal to the customers that the library will shrink to one room and one member of staff in 5 weeks time. It’s hoped to avoid protests, or ‘trouble’ (democratic engagement, anyone?). Suspicions of Bradford Council can only be heightened by its recent announcement that our Central Library, closed last year ostensibly for building works, and due to reopen in May, will now be closed indefinitely. Apparently, asbestos has, just now, been discovered. Is this a genuine oversight or sneaky manipulation of expectations by a Labour-led Council effectively doing the Tories’ dirty work for them? You’ve got to at least wonder!

  213. Neil Salvage says:

    Another party representing the People for a change would, of course, be wonderful. And it is something I desperately want to support:but I find myself trying to sit on certain nagging doubts- I do worry about splitting an opposition vote at too early a stage in the new party’s development thus leading to a further five years of Tories or Lib.Dem/ Tories. It would allow them to fully smash the state in double quick time and maybe get away with perverting Democracy to such an extent that any dissenting voice is stifled for good- a bit like Fascism after the decline of Hindenberg and when Hitler became Chancellor with virtually unlimited power. Look what this Govt have done to us without a proper mandate. I wonder whether there might be a possibility this new party could be seen as a pressure group influencing other parties (i.e. Labour) -pushing them back leftwards- or prepared to work with Labour under certain circumstances in a sort of Coalition agreement? Have we time to establish the party as a force before the next election? Because if not, a split left vote (even though Labour are not as left as they should be)could be the end of our chance to halt the vicious attempt to take us back to Victorian politics and beyond. Maybe I am just being a coward. Maybe I am guarding sensibly against foolhardiness.The stakes are extremely high. I hope we can temper principles with strategy.

  214. Bean says:

    If left wing intellectuals could get their acts together and stop the bickering between factions we could have a viable alternative to vote for. I feel my vote is wasted at the moment whichever box i tick!

  215. Bean says:

    Oh, and ditch the awful graphics! You are not going to attract people to this cause with old school stylee …

  216. Stu Sinclair says:

    Two cautionary notes need to be taken into account in this movement to a new party. The grave yard of world beating reform political movements that have gone off the rails into various forms of petty and not so petty tyranny and/or have crossed over to service the rich and powerful is filled to over flowing. In fact, since the American Revolution this has been the almost unbreakable rule. And if this new movement follows the organizational and political methods of all those others it will end up in that same grave yard.

    The pattern of all these movements has two aspects. One can be found in the typical organizational structure of nearly all so-called democratic movements. First a bunch of people, members, get together and hold a convention (delegated from local groups or just with open membership participation) adopt a program of sorts, elect a leadership, turn the membership list over to that executive body and all go home.

    At this moment you have all the necessary makings of a tyranny. You have a public body of empowered spokes people with exclusive control of communication with the membership as whole. No matter how intelligent noble and capable the original leadership is, it will be replaced over time by by people who crave power, fame, a comfortable life and automatic respect – in other words a bunch of narrow minded bureaucrats led by power drunk nit wits. This all assumes that the movement gets big enough to be attractive to opportunists with these kinds of cravings. Otherwise we just end up with another dead end ultra-left sect.

    The only way to overcome this dismal trends seems to be to set authority from the ground up. That means organizing in small enough groups that each can know each and all “higher” councils and bodies made up of delegates from the “lower” ones with all delegates immediately recallable by the groups or councils that sent them. There CANNOT BE A CENTRAL MEMBERSHIP LIST and the spokes people must be chosen by the highest level delegate council who themselves remain out of the lime light. Only when the members can all see the leaders but the leaders cannot “see” the members can we be sure of maintaining a semblance of democracy. Of course, all this is simply a formalized version of the original Soviet structure.

    The second aspect is intellectual/theoretical. This is the idea of the party program, essentially, the recipe of things we’re going to do when we get hold of the levers of governmental power. This recipe usually implies a theoretical foundation from which social problems are approached. This gets us into the realm of sacred stories (from Genesis to Capital) and hallowed authorities (from Moses to Marx). The one thing that distinguishes western society, at its best, from all hither to existing mass societies is the (still very limited) emergence of the scientific practice and method. Science is not about this or that theory. It is about LETTING THE EVIDENCE HAVE THE LAST WORD. Before the direct experience and the evidence all hallowed authorities and sacred stories – left or right – must give way.

    If these two basic cautions are taken seriously the new movement may have a chance. Otherwise, sooner rather than later, it will go into the bucket along with all the rest.

  217. jason palmer says:

    a new party is the only way

  218. JOHN R says:

    I think a key moment that politics is being seen to be doing differently with L/U is that when the inevitable committee is formed, even if federated, that the people who initially made the call for the new party are not necessarily on it. “leaders” will organically come out of the new movemnent some with fresh ideas that are not even on the radar yet, nothing to do with dead russians, last century left, even the direct action groups who have been providing the innovation on the left for some time.

    However it progresses, surely it must be non hierarchial, pluralistic, open, and truly democratic?

    oh, and friéndly and supportive, there are a lot of people hurting out there who need practical support and fellowship..

  219. Stella Day says:

    I do not agree that a new party is the only way. It took years for the SDP to become established and the poor of our country haven’t got time. Change is needed urgently.

  220. Zander Nyrond says:

    The call for a new party of the left is a legitimate one, and necessary as a first step, but it won’t solve the problem. To speak of “the left” implies that there is balance, that “the right” has some validity as a political force. This is no longer the case. The working class is now the 99%: in what kind of democracy does the 1% have an equal say in the political process?

    You cannot save Animal Farm by bussing in a fresh load of pigs. We know what will happen then. The new party of the left will therefore need to adopt as the first plank of its policy a complete reform of the democratic system. Its priority must be to make the electorate aware that the present system is no longer workable in a modern context, that a momentous decision can and should be made about what kind of government we want. In any new system, wealth and socioeconomic status must be completely divorced from politics; no individual can exert more or less influence on the process of government than any other. There has to be a clear trade-off; you can be rich, you can own businesses, you can have material status, *or* you can go into politics. Not both.

    I don’t know how this new system would work, but I know there has to be one. A new party now might last twenty or thirty years, or a lot less, before it becomes infested with the same corrupt, nouveau-aristo hacks that populate all three major parliamentary parties now. Any effective reform must go to the source of the corruption and destroy it.

    (I was a lot more eloquent in the first draft of this, but the net connection broke as I was trying to post it…)

  221. Mick Green says:

    Not sure that I want to manage capitalism which is what all ballot box political parties want to do. I want to eradicate it. I have little hope for this initiative but it might bring the revolution a little nearer. If we all live that long or looming totalitarianism doesn’t take a stranglehold.

  222. Joel from Carlisle says:

    This discussion is a welcome approach to the matter. I would certainly come aboard if:
    – The party emerged organically;
    – Kept open dialogue with all left, green and labour-left tendencies;
    – Is hot on feminism, race equality and all forms of anti-discrimination;
    – Is able to host a broad range of discussion from full blown theory to ‘soak the rich’ style polemics.
    – Engages positively with cultural activities, new innovations in media and communications and promotes radicalism in ways of thinking;
    – Is able to command respect among allies and fear among enemies due to the calibre of its activist base (leaders are less critical to my mind);
    – Genuinely values its members as people, rather than party cannon fodder, recognising that only socialism will emancipate those values fetishised by liberals – freedom, conscience, creativity and personal dignity.
    – Remains committed to grass roots transformation and would prefer to be the opposition shaping the agenda than a lame duck in office.

  223. Dale North says:

    The governments can only bully us with our permission, the whole country seems to have forgotten that the governments are supposed to do what WE say, NOT the other way round. There is so much voter apathy because being asked who you will vote for is like being asked ‘which school bully would you like to be beaten up by’, you are viting NOT for the one you think will do a good job, but for the one you think will do the least damage, THAT CAN NEVER BE ACCEPTABLE! yet accept it is precisely what we have done, anyone saying ‘well what can you do?’ needs to get off their arse and find out! without wanting to sound like a pratt gthere WILL be a revolution this year, rioting in the streets by people who cannot take any more, i truly think THIS PARTY is the way forward, THE THINKING MAN’S REVOLUTION!!! march and protest and you WILL be stopped, all our rights are being eroded away, (except abu qatada’s of course)THIS HAS TO BE THE WAY FORWARD!!

    • Ted Bruning says:

      You’re so right! Widespread lack of belief in the political system has led not so much to political apathy as to political atrophy: people know it’s all going horribly wrong but don’t feel they can do anything about it. And the youth have become so cynical and de-politicised (if that’s a word). Leadership has to come from somewhere or we’ll all just moan on Facebook. I’m with you, comrade!

  224. Leo Godwin says:

    Let’s smash neoliberalism and build a democratic and socialist Britain!

  225. Ted Bruning says:

    Not entirely convinced about the advantages of a completely new party. The forces of the left are disillusioned, disunited, unfocused, weak – but they’re there! Might it not be a better way forward to form a Progressive Front to unite them – a front that the existing Trade Union and Labour Party hierarchies (who, after all, still have the muscle) wouldn’t feel threatened by and could embrace and strengthen? A Progressive Front might even snare an awful lot of disillusioned LibDems who’d run a mile from a new left party. What does anyone think?

  226. Robert Seibold says:

    I was a union activist throughout the seventies and was thereby witness to the ruthless self-interest of the strong unions vs the weaker ones and of all unions vs the non-unionised.The back-room dealings which were later rubber-stamped at ‘open’ meetings was also an endemic feature.This selfishness and lack of transparency was the weakness that Thatcher spotted and exploited to destroy Labour’s electoral base,paving the way for the takeover by
    Blair and his yuppie mates.
    Our new party has to be inclusive – all of the 99%- no ‘chosen ones’. We need to dump
    Ideologies in favour of Ideas.Perhaps to not see unions but rather workers who are perfectly
    capable of making their own political decisions as long as we ensure that the receive all the
    information needed to do so.I believe it would be an ( historic ) mistake to treat unions as a
    political force in electoral terms.
    Another point – I noticed in newspaper photos of the recent anti – Littlejohn protests
    that the posters being held had Socialist Worker emblazoned across the top.I mean no offence to members of that group , but the public perception of them is of extremists and their noticeable presence would have been counter productive.I do applaud them for the
    posters and their admirable ability to organize such events,but in the the hoped for spirit of unity – leave the name off.
    No purists, just people working for people.

  227. Roy Wall says:

    “Sign Up to Support Ken Loach’s Appeal” it says above.

    But what actually constitutes the text of the appeal?

    Is it the first two of the 3 paragraphs above?

  228. Alan Saunders says:

    Surely, if ever there was a time to raise a common voice against the ideological menace that threatens and damages hearts and minds across the globe – surely it must be soon. Anyone from remotely leftish to die-hards must now surely consider both the actuality of creating genuine opposition to the vile framework which is so damaging to most people and an alternative view with which to challenge and galvanise people throughout the world. So, clearly, in the interests of all let us develop common bonds and hopes which are not merely critical but also propose genuine alternatives, hopes and ideals which reverberate.

  229. Godfrey Webster says:

    As secretary of Birmingham against the Cuts I have been involved in establishing unity in action between trade union branches, Trades Council, Left political groups from Left Labour to anarchists, and I am convinced this is necessary.
    But it is not enough. We cannot move forward until all those opposed to neo-liberalism and austerity are organised politically and able to challenge the main parties in local and national elections as well as becoming a force in their localities.
    I hope this is possible although I do not believe it can reach fruition without the participation of existing larger organisations such as SWP,SP and CPB.

  230. andi horbury says:

    this government is killing this country,
    many people will lose their lives through austerity,
    children will go in to extreme poverty,
    prostitution and rent boys will rise, crime will increase,
    Cameron is killing Britain, this isn’t all about London its about the entire country, he really must be stopped now, make him live on benefits for a week, in a squat, and budget like the rest of us, I don’t claim anything im not entitled too, yet they strip me of 30% appauling

  231. Pete says:

    We do need to do something, because this is getting beyond a joke. The welfare state and NHS is being dismantled on the basis of lies that are not being challenged by the opposition. This government and the opposition are serving an agenda being dictated by the likes of CAPITA, SERCO, ATOS, GROUP4, who own so much of this country already and it was labour who paved the way for them to come in for the kill.

    • Neil says:

      “This government and the opposition are serving an agenda being dictated by the likes of CAPITA, SERCO, ATOS, GROUP4, who own so much of this country already and it was labour who paved the way for them to come in for the kill.”

      What’s more some of the public sector trade unions tacitly condoned it! In my opinion one of biggest boosts this initiative could have is some of the trade unions decided they’s had enough, deaffiliated from the LP, and set up an independent socialist trade union movement. Even better if the bulk of the 40+ leftist MPs who recently went against their own Tory-lite Labour Party did similarly!

      If these events happened it would shatter the current political consensus, causing dramatic changes in political alignments and allegiances which would be highly propitious conditions for the development of a strong new Left party and movement.

  232. Robert Eagleton says:

    Anything whoch materialises from this appeal must truly be a unified left or it has failed. I agree whole-heartedly with the comrade who said we need the SWP, SP, and the CBP. I’d argue that we also need the CPBG, Worker’s Liberty, the Green Left, and possibly even RESPECT in it if we want real success. On a more fundamental point I believe that any party formed must be revolutionary. We also need to realise that a petition will not unite the left, we need to run a campaign calling for unity as the CPGB did from 2006-2008. It’ll take a hell of a lot of negotiating to unite the left but it can be achieved.

    • Laura Salisbury says:

      Ken, there’s already is one. It’s called the Green Party. I’m sure a man of your knowledge would be fairly converse with their policies? Why don’t you join the Greens?

  233. Brenda Ellis says:

    It is about time. Where has the left been all this time? We have seen all the campaigning and hard work over years destroyed overnight along with most things we all fought hard for. The present system does not work, international monopoly capitalism is the choice of greed, it destroys our earth, divides us as people, causes wars. Action must follow discussion or it will fail. Popularising change and sustaining change needs to happen. All we get is the mantra of WE cannot afford it. It is THEY who cannot afford it because of their greed. Nationalise all the banks, the transport system, food production, re-nationalise the NHS, a national equal system of education. Each according to their need, a fair and equal system that cares for all of us, a society where we all care for each other and take responsibility.

  234. Marian Carty says:

    I am not sure about a party. A movement that includes trades unionists, comminity fighters and the courageous and socialist labour members of parliament, socialist labour party members and anyone else who wants to fight and work for an end the this anti democratic, oppressive system.

    • Sarah says:

      Yes, I’m a bit torn as to whether it needs to be a party. My fear is splitting the left ad leftish vote could keep the Tories in power – and the Tories really are worse, even than Labour.
      On the other hand, a party appealing to a sense of justice (which most people have), the re-foundation of the NHS on its original terms, and so on, could possibly be a threat from the left, (much as UKIP is a threat from the right) which might make the mainstream parties adjust their policies accordingly. Look how quickly the 3 big parties lurched rightwards on immigration in the wake of Eastleigh (prefaced by Cameron saying he wasn’t going to lurch to the right, of course).
      But talk is cheap.

  235. Andy Macdonald says:

    Lets do it. Lets learn the lessons of the past and ditch both Blairism and Leninism. Some new thinking, embracing the successes the people have made – from the Diggers to the people of Eigg. Land, Food, People!

  236. Dave Palmer says:

    We need a New Part to Replace the Labour part which has become, since Tony Blair, Nearly as right as the Tories. At the moment the Country is on the road to The RIGHT as the Tory Goverment dismantles all the things that we have faught for over the Year..

  237. hindle says:

    we need to persuade all eligible working people to make sure they are registered to vote in elections. There are thousands of potentially left wing voters who are outside the franchise. The tories will try to make it as difficult as possible to register.

  238. sue crockford says:

    We need to be vigilant with the this government who masquerade under a badge saying ‘Conservative’ when it’s a word they can’t define and don;t believe in. What an irony – the left looks after what’s valuable and vulnerable but is branded as destructive – and the destroyers wear sharp suits and sharp shoot.

  239. John Meehan says:

    Adding a supporting voice from Ireland; the Spirit of 45 film is very moving; when I saw it in Dublin a collective shuddering hiss went around the audience in Dublin’s Lighthouse Cinema when the action moved from the 1940’s to the start of the Thatcher era in 1979; how strange it was to hear the British Warlord’s words praising Saint Francis only a day or two after a new Argentine Pope had called himself after the saint of Assissi.

  240. Martyn Wiggins says:

    We need a Movement/Party that will deliver Social Justice, Freedom, Respect for all, not just a wealthy clique. It has to be a Party for peace in the world, not lies and endless war. Labour sad to say is a busted flush, they walk hand in hand with Tory and Lib Dem alike, there is no difference between any of them.

  241. James says:

    The left and right is finished.

  242. Bruce Whitehead says:

    Surely we should be reclaiming Keir Hardie’s Labour party? If enough socialists re-engage with New Labour and protest against the Blairite policies of the cuckoos who stole the party in a shameless power grab, surely we can re-instate true socialist policies like Clause 4? Many Labour party members and voters are suffering in silence, maybe even supporting the husk it’s become, and only need a strong rallying call from a decent leadership (which should be a woman and a man). I admire and respect Ken Loach but I think he’s wrong that we need a new party. Fragmenting the left is just what the cobbled-together right want. Bruce Whitehead. WordPress: News and Musings in Scotland.

  243. Jenny Jacobs says:

    There already IS an alternative. Join the Green Party – the only party committed to social and economic justice not only in this country but worldwide. We need to develop a wider perspective and realise that we are all connected.

    • Tim Oxton says:

      Sorry to disappoint you, Jenny. What you say is true, but the Green Party’s commitment is not universal. Their branch in my home town of Colchester recently decided not to support the Alliance for Green Socialism, and continues to prioritise environmentalism over social justice. Therefore I cannot join the Green Party. Of course I want to do my bit for the environment – don’t we all? – but that has to fit in with the establishment of economic and social justice worldwide, which you so rightly advocate.

  244. David Herold says:

    The Labour Party is still contaminated with Blairism and as a consequence it has lost its soul and its reason for being and I see no evidence , what so ever ( no matter how much I wish to find it )that anything is changing for the better !

  245. Jean Woods says:

    We certainly need new beginings!

  246. Rufus says:

    I received a ‘survey’ today from Dave C asking for my views on welfare changes and how the government was doing, etc. I didn’t fill it in of course but I did send it back with a few choice comments, including the hope that this blatant propaganda had not been funded by taxpayers. It would be good to think that a few million others might do likewise.

  247. Andrew S says:

    How can we stop a new party splitting the vote as the SDP did?

    • SaintChristopherRM says:

      Maybe a workable coalition? One that isn’t so out of touch with reality.

  248. janette says:

    can someone tell me why we aint being sent voting cards out and have to apply for the think its another crappy tactic this government is doing so no one can vote hmm

  249. fjb says:

    This unelected so called government is self serving and an abomination to democracy. Rather than represent and serve the people they have declared war on them. They are an avatar of organised crime on a massive scale. The other major parties are almost as bad except for UKIP who are worse. Th so called coalition is like the Nazi party only Hitler found time to restore the German economy in the midst of his atrocities, whereas over three decades of corruption and incompetence have destroyed ours. the left wing partys seem to be part timers playing politics with no real organisation. Is it too much to ask for a government to represent and serve the people? Given the history of the last 30 years it apparently is. The people have had enough.

  250. Robin Leslie says:

    We are witnessing the nemesis of neo-liberalism, an extremism too far.
    By 2015 the Tories will either have bled to death via UKIP or committed suicide through disintegration.
    RIP Tories

    • fjb says:

      then instead of the tories, a right wing plutocrat party who looks after the rich, hates and victimises the poor and victims of unemployment, we will have the ukip: a right wing plutocrat party who looks after the rich, hates and victimises the foreigners, poor and victims of unemployment. They will get rid of the foreigners, pull us out of europe, our only human rights protection and economical crutch, Scotland, Wales and Northern ireland will declare independence the England will be a lonely country ruled by a right wing plutocrat party who looks after the rich, hates and victimises the poor and victims of unemployment. England can not stand alone. Her people are too selfish.

  251. Reb English says:

    The sooner we unite against austerity the better

  252. Maggie Gee says:

    Blairism still runs rife through the Labour Party and the Millipede is not strong enough to stop it. The Unions were smashed into bits by Thatcher, so they haven’t the power to support a Labour Party if there was one! Only two Labour MP’s are worth their salt and they are Dennis Skinner and maybe Helen Goodman (though I have to find more about her). Ed Balls was on the Radio 4 this morning and all he could say was “you don’t ask us to be on here often enough to make a difference”, Making the difference should be via Parliament not the Media, and your lot haven’t done it.

    • Nicholas Kulkarni says:

      a long while ago I was involved with with the liberal Democrats and was told by a Labour Agent at a local election that the LD had lost its way. I told him I agreed but that Labour under Blair was the reason. Since New Labour had moved so far Right that we were now the Loony Left it was hardly surprising we were finding it hard. Now with the LD so far up the Tory backside that it is hard to tell them apart it is starting to look very like there is no longer a Left Wing to parliament at all because the Millipede is still as far right as Phoney Tony ever was and as for Brown Nose the Bankers Friend what can you say. Never forget though it was Thatcher the deregulated the Banks and closed the Friendly Societies and most of the Member only building societies got turned into banks. The history of this cosying up to the corporate far right is long indeed.

      • fjb says:

        The labour party has lost its way. Blair was the symbol of that but remember john prescot? he was pulled away from his true by corruption but he’s no longer a significant but appears to have naturally drifted back to the left. I saw him n question time a few weeks ago and he’s the only politician who had the balls to state the plainly obvious fact that the unemployed are not responsible for unemployment.
        Thatcher’s privatisations and labours refusal to counter them have a lot to answer.

  253. Nicholas Kulkarni says:

    we need not only a new party but also a new type of politics. One must lead to the other or we will but add to the mess. We all need to realize that the price of this will be the destruction of the city of London as a home for banking and finance for it is the vested interests of the powerful that have brought this country low and the rest of the world with it. Make no mistake the tail has wagged the dog for centuries now. One of the Rothschild’s is quoted as saying “Let me issue and control a Nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws”.

    Letter written from London by the Rothschilds to their New York agents introducing their banking method into America:

    “The few who can understand the system will be either so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours, that there will be no opposition from that class, while, on the other hand, that great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that Capital derives from the system, will bear its burden without complaint and, perhaps, without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.”

    • fjb says:

      I agree. Money for one thing has two strong an influence. It’s that they all go for. It need changing or discarding.

  254. Trevor Fallas says:

    I have never been very political, but enough is enough. The gullible masses get swayed by the right-wing press into believing that they are surrounded by scroungers, but instead of trying to convince them of their error, the Labour Party panders to their bigotry for the sake of political expediency. Thank you for making it possible for us to bring about a change. For my own contribution, I would like to make a suggestion.

    I am convinced that most unemployed are as desperate as me to get back into work. Each of us has a different obstacle to overcome – such as a criminal conviction, a dependency, a disability, or a mental illness – which puts off most employers. Yet, there are sure to be jobs out there which are perfect for each of us in different ways.

    In my own case, I have always suffered from severe social anxiety, which has made it difficult to remain in sustained employment. Despite this, I have had a dozen jobs over the years – two of which I held down for six years each, and one of which I held down for four years – so I cannot be faulted for effort. However, if I could just once find a job where I could work in isolation, then I would never again need to be out of work. What’s more, this is the kind of job that most other people would turn down as being unbearable for them.

    To get to the point, perhaps we could incidentally use these early days of party formation as an opportunity to network for each other, in the same way as the Tories do with their Old Boys network? Firstly, this would take away the government’s ammunition, since it would prove to the rest of the public just how much we want to work. Secondly, it would serve to lift out of poverty those who could be found suitable work. Thirdly, these new wage-earners would then be in a better position to help to fund Left Unity.

    I am sorry to have written quite so much. Keep up the good work.

    • fjb says:

      before the tories came in i avoided politics like the plague, but as you say, enough is enough. the flaunt their criminal activities and corruption because they believe the law doesn’t apply to them.

      • Trevor Fallas says:

        And that plague is not just any particular party. That plague applies to the whole political class. So, what say me and you agree to a plague on all their houses?

  255. Philip Englehard says:

    Retired nearly eight years on health grounds, & disabled, I am heartedly sick of this Coalition & its “Labour” lap-dogs. We all deserve better than this!

  256. afairchanceforall says:

    The Need for the Creation of a New Political Party!

    I despair at the state of politics in this country.
    The need for a new political party in the UK is very urgent to bring back choice to voters.
    There are no real choices, ever since Tory Blair, was in power.
    I support the austerity march.
    Something needs to be done. The rich line their own pockets, whilst keeping the poor poor, thus maintaining the status quo.
    In Tory speak. Rich = Good, Poor = Bad.

    We need the Left back in politics, so that everyone has a chance to improve their life.
    If there is no Left wing party, the people need to create a new one.
    None of the mainstream parties are worth voting for in this country, because they are all right wing.
    There is no choice.

    And if benefits are paid according to how much a person contributes, which is proposed under a new Labour policy, who will look after the sick and disabled. Will they be punished and left destitute?
    What is happening in this country is deeply immoral.

    If the majority are denied a basic chance to get on in life, they should rebel. The majority should rise up against the political elite, who can go to their private doctors when they have destroyed the NHS. The rich will get treatment and the poor will suffer or die. It will be just like in America! It disturbs me how the poor are being portrayed in the press.

    If you believe in a fair country, each person should be intrinsically valued in their own right, not so in this country, where the rich are seen as virtuous contributors, and have had the good fortune to grown up in a privileged environment, and the poor are seen as spongers and benefits scroungers. Wealth begets wealth and the poor are being stripped of any chance to get on. The government are taking away our income, with the bedroom tax, and their other unfair policies, and denying us justice by taking away Legal Aid.

    If you reach a certain level of income, you will be kicked out of your social housing, and have to pay the exorbitant rates of the private landlords, thus taking away your income, and any chance of getting on in life, whilst lining the profits of the private landlords, even if you work hard. This government promotes inequality! It used to be, years ago, that if you worked hard, and had cheap social housing, you could save up and buy a house, but the government too are taking this away. Their short-sighted view does not comprehend, that if people can genuinely prosper, they will permanently get off of benefits, because they will no longer need them.

    If the government (or any of the three main parties) will not represent the ordinary people of this country, then it is time to create a new political party that will.

    I wish Ken Loach every success in creating a new political party, that gives the voters a choice and will redress inequalities in our present society. It’s time we took our democracy back!

  257. Dave Knibb says:

    I am fully in favour of this, but remember all too well that this was the thinking behind the original Social Democratic Party. Hopefully, the Labour Party has now moved so far away from representing the labour force that a new party will now get the full support that the SDP never had.
    My personal opinion is that we will never have a truly representative parliament while our elected representatives are paid so much more than the average wage and then get ridiculous expenses on top of that. The argument that we have to pay more to get “the best” is clearly nonsense!

  258. dbanbery says:

    I think the first thing to do is discuss political Terminology. We need a new language to debunk the idiotic justification narratives of the right.

    The word “NeoLiberalism” is an example of this new language already emerging, and while it is deemed as a pejorative by the right, the right have turned the term “Socialism” into a dirty word.

    Oh and on another note, while i fully subscribe to the need for a comprehensive respresentation of the left, what is categorically a BAD start are such articles inflaming divides from within existing parties of the left. we are supposed to be unifying and coalscing support, not breaking it apart more. a more considered response to this is the following blog entry.

    While i agree that we need to “sort ourselves out” i also think that there is a stong need for some sould searching within our politics as a group.

  259. david foley says:

    A new party is not the answer, it will inevitably go the same way as all before it. It should be a movement, a broad church of thinking across the whole scope of leftist thinking. Party politics is corrupt and morally bankrupt it’s time for the People to take back power from the handful of self serving egotists and forge a new way.

  260. david foley says:

    From reading the above posts its looking like party politics is already to hyjack this movement before it even gets off the ground. So Respects, Greens, et al leave it alone, let people have their say and back off.

  261. Bazza says:

    Heart yes,head not sure. Good for working people who r hurting or split Labour vote? Some of us r w class, does our conscience hold us back? New left party would have to b fundamentally HONEST. 2. And deal SECTARIANISM – A REGISTER OF FACTIONS/PARTIES/INDIVIDUALS incl independent left,labour left? (do own thing but COME TOGETHER) but will TOP DOWN trot leopards who aim recruit cadres to lead us all to the promised land change spots? 3. Need a grassroots, bottom up, democratic, peaceful, socialism. 4. Simple name. 5. Appeal w class, progressive m class. 6. Use simple langauge. Need critical thinking. X.

  262. Jamie says:

    Here’s few things I’d like to see policy wise: 1) Repeal the NHS reforms regarding competition and privatisation. 2) Legislation to prevent MPs or their families personally profiting from any policy / legal changes brought about by their political party during or after their term of office, along with a full public disclosure of their business interests in a quarterly review. Also criminal proceedings for defrauding the public for all those who are caught. 3) Renationalisation of our Water and Energy supplies. 4) If you work in this country or your business operates in this country you pay tax in this country for the money that was earned here at the standard rates, no exceptions, no loopholes including for the banks that operate here. 5) Either minimum wage increases to a level that the poorest people can actually afford to survive without state intervention or prices are capped for essential goods such as food water heat and power for the same reasons. 6) Any company making a net profit, even if that profit is smaller than the year before cannot make workers in this country redundant without their consent. This consent cannot be given prior to the offer. Just off the top of my head for starters.Any takers?

  263. eileen says:

    The people that are really in power are the Tory press, a new left wing party would have to do something about them or they would not have the slightest chance of ever getting into power, let alone staying in power. It is them who determines who wins the election and if we don’t come up with a way to deal with them and their media power (not only the papers but the television channels – who are all owned by big business), they have the real power. Coming up with an alternative will only allow them to accuse us of trying to begin a ‘communist’ or ‘socialist’ state with the people having no real power. These words have been contaminated over the years to the extend that people don’t know what they really stand for. The countries of the east that were operating under the banner of ‘communism’ and ‘socialism’ were really fascist dictatorships. The press is going the be the biggest problem and we need to tackle that – we need to convince people to boycott certain press – that they are being fed lies by then and that they are not operating in their interest. We need to educate people about the media and who owns the media – and yes, I think new alternatives need to be considered. We need to start discussing this and taking this seriously.

  264. Glennin Luton says:

    Ken says “Britain needs a party that rejects neoliberal policies and improves the lives of ordinary people”. Shouldn’t the Labour Party be doing precisely tha

    I’m not a member of the Labour party because I dont do ‘poliTricks’, which is the ‘2 cheeks of the same arse’ set up we have now. But if there was a party which genuinely fought for the interests of working class people and reflected this in its principles and practices (eg wage levels for officials and MPs that are no more than the average workers wage, reintroduction of clause 4 etc) I would join it.

    If local candidates standing on a ‘reclaim Labour’ or ‘Real Labour’ sort of ticket, with pledges to introduce wage ceilings on officials and MPs, to re-introduce clause 4, and a proposed 20% wealth tax on the richest 10% to clear the ‘debt’ instead of attacking the poorest, metinks they would be in with a much better chance of winning than a new left party.

  265. john says:

    it’s about time somebody pulled the left together and fought these people instead of fighting each other.

    • pip says:

      Neo-liberal economics have failed any and every possible test for success, except one – the rich whose privileges and power they were destined to enforce, are, as they hoped, very, very, very much richer. The rest of society is in the process of being reduced to enforced poverty, either relative or absolute. The economies of those who have most closely followed the Chicago School thinking, amongst whom the UK was nearly first, and almost foremost, are in tatters. And the worst is, it did not have to be this way.
      Almost every forward thinking economist now knows that neo-liberal economics destroy national economies (oh and economies are national). Will Hutton told us as much before the 1997 election: the body of evidence is now overwhelming. If the UK Labour party wont lead the fight to re-think, re-design, and re-construct an economic policy that actually works in the interests of the nations of the world whose economies have been hi-jacked – a move that is really the only possible way forward, then others will have to. So here is one piece of the good news, in this re-designed economy, a strong welfare programme is part of the building block not just of justice, but of long tern economic success.

  266. George says:

    I think that the left will never be given a fair crack of the whip with the Mainstream Media given that much of the MSM is of the right and they love to beat the left down. New Labour is still very much with The Labour Party and with Blair and co hanging around and with the Ed’s at the helm many will not vote for them, me included.

  267. Noel Lyle-Stirling says:

    We have been without representation for some time now.
    The mainstream parties are all pawns of the corporate elite.

  268. Pam Lowrey says:

    I do fear that splitting the left wing vote will just allow the Tories to stay in power. We should use this energy to put pressure on the existing Labour party and work from within.

  269. Beverley Coxhead says:

    Its time we had a decent left wing political party as I feel that Labour has forgotten what they originally stood for…and are far too right wing now…and I am sadly disappointed with them…I would like to see a Left Unity take off and I would definitely vote for that political party candidate…

  270. Cliff Shardalow says:

    Someone saying ‘rescue the Labour Party, I don’t think so’. The option would be not to rescue it but to get it back from those that have hijacked it.
    On references to previous attempts at and multiplicity of new parties, I think its important that we a) capture the new refreshing energy of UKUncut etc. and also b) avoid creating enemies and divisions – the ‘Unity’ bit can only be achieved if we do this and will also minimise the effectiveness of inevitable press slurs.
    We’ll need a set of principles covering policy of course but also personal conduct. And electoral success will be at the cost of the Labour Party so we’d need to be happy with that!

  271. Cliff Shardalow says:

    And we will need some leadership! Ken, are you up for it? And those leaders will need to serve not swerve!

  272. john weston says:

    I now live in Abroad, but I do wish Ken Loach every manner of success in his venture to reverse the UK Establishment’s drive towards subjugating working people to their form of feudalism. The endeavour will not be easy, as the programme is global and manipulated by the richest sectarian group of people in the world, who have western governments in their pockets. You will have to research deeply and fearlessly, the last 100 years (especially WW2) to discover the causes of this present political malaise, and in order to comprehend the desperate need for change–or inevitable destruction of communities and nation states.
    The fervour and commitment of 1945–at the very least is necessary for the task.
    For your own sakes ignore the propaganda articles, by moguls running the media to dumb down people with glitteratti/celebrity distractions and misinformation.
    George Orwell had not today’s technology, but understood much of the abuse of power–and into whose hands such a technology might give control.
    We all have a responsibility to be guardians of freedom and a true democratic system for the generations to come–we are failing because we are being deliberately misguided and unrepresented by corporate politicians.
    Good Luck Ken and all those who seek Victory for resurgent Britain.

  273. c walker says:

    Everyone I speak to says there is no point in voting they are all the same, most went to the same expensive Private schools are bankers or in the city etc or job politicians rendering most of them I’m alright Jack (not all) Out of touch with most peoples every day lives and to put it suctsinctly – up themselves There are always exceptions to every rule including some who abuse benefits but the main problem is getting some truth from the papers or anythng else Is it still less than 3% of the poplulation has 90% of the wealth is their land on the landregistry – probably not are they on the rich list probably not are they a law unto themselves probably, seeing whatever the bankers do pays it’s just how much I’d like to know who the paper our informers owe their allegience to. I see economic slavery all around me and bills constantly on the rise .As Iundrstand it in America no one can own the water as it is a necessity of life Here – anyone can own it mostly people from abroad and prices keep going up that’sa nice little earner wouldn’t you say

  274. I love the passion and fire that I’m reading here and hope that some real change comes out of this movement.

    I have a fundamental issue with the way our democracy (for want of a better word) has developed. Politics attracts those who seek power, by the very nature of the thing. Unfortunately the kind of person who seeks power, should not be given it because they are generally self-serving narcissists.

    As an idealist its all very well for me to say don’t allow the greedy into power, but they will always rise to the surface. The realist in me however recognises one thing which is completely absent from our political establishment… POLITICS IS AND SHOULD BE A NATIONAL SERVICE. It should not be an opportunity for gain in any field other than the service of the country.

    As such the only way democracy can truly work for all the people is if we fully engage with it at all levels. That means to have it enshrined in law that we must all take part in the political process. The concept of jury duty and national service could be applied to political service. Much like the army, you could choose to stay in or leave after you have served your term. This would, by some means, reduce the number of powerseekers and dilute the political establishment with “ordinary people”. Can you imagine the effect this would have on corporate links with parties?

    These are just some thoughts I have when trying to reconcile my idealism with the reality of politics

  275. Ian Wilson says:

    The political system in this country is an illusion, they let you believe you have a choice………you don’t!
    Every mainstream party panders to the ‘the city’ and the working people are always left to pick up the pieces for their constant failures, lies, deceit and daylight robbery!
    The top 1000 earners have increased their collective waelth by a further £19bn in the last financial year to a princely sum of £415bn! All in it together?….I don’t think so!
    Labour has abandoned it’s core principles and left it’s core support at the mercy of capitalist jackals. Ed Miliband has denounced our strike action…twice, abstained on a Bill which will have a devastating effect on millions and continued to talk about cuts at an anti-cuts rally!
    ‘One Nation?????!!!’ Nothing but soundbites and spin!
    In a bold statement when taking the reins as Labour leader, Ed promised us ‘Labour had learnt from it’s past mistakes.’…….Obviously not Ed, you’ve got the words ‘blairite’ running throuh you like a stick of Blackpool rock!

  276. Ian Wilson says:

    In reply to people who believe ‘left wingers’ are fragmenting The Labour Party…….The Labour Party has fragmented The Labour Party! They’ve abandoned the core principles of the party, Clause4 is nothing but a distant memory, Blair repealed nothing and neither will Miliband!
    The game is up, it has always been ‘us v them,’ people are waking up to the fact that ‘the establishment’ and any political party in power will always have a boot on our throat!

  277. Gleyze says:

    Thank Mr Loach…. Lot of persons like you here want to fight agains this silly word…
    From France to you Good luck !!!!
    Hasta La Victoria !!!

  278. steeply says:

    A new party needs to have a firm grasp on common sense
    This needs to be primary to any philosophy or dogma

    A brutal capitalism has taken hold on the world to the detriment of maybe 70% plus of the people

    But whether we call ourselves socialists or not, capitalism is not going away any time soon and only a tiny proportion of people would support getting rid of it.
    The main issue for me is social justice and to see it incorporated into every organisation and institution and for individuals held responsible for the cost of any aggressive and exploitative policies,decisions or actions and the harm they do to people or the enviroment

  279. david says:

    after todays gains by the ukip party i think that we now more than ever need to have a party that unifies the left

  280. Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for info approximately this subject for ages and yours is the best I have found out so far. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the source?|What i do not realize is in fact how you’re now not actually much more neatly-liked than you might be now. You are so intelligent.

  281. Calvin says:

    This well-argued piece puts the case against starting a new Left Party

  282. Nick says:

    Is bringing existing Left wing groups together part of the appeal? If not why not?

    P.s. can we have latest comments at the top please?

  283. David Walker says:

    The Tax Payers Alliance and the Institute of Economic Affairs are very effective in getting their right wing message out. They also have a lot of millionaire backers.

    If the Left Unity get bogged down in electoral politics, it will compete with others.

    How about being a place to come together if you identify with being on the left to help policy development and push other parties to the left.

    Left Unity could be very effective at pushing other parties by being non-partisan. There are lot of left vested interests that support left centralism but true economic democracy is local economic democracy.

    I support community ownership of shops, workplaces and homes. Once we own the assets we use, we can be free. Politics can help that but if Left Unity is to be non-partisan it can help empower all of our communities.

    All the best.

  284. Brian D. York says:

    We have just seen a screening of Ken Loach`s “Spirit of `45” Very moving, very sad to reflect on just what could have been, but where we all went so terribly wrong.I agree with one of the tenets near the end of the film, that all is not entirely lost, not irrevocable, but the proviso has to be that people really pull together to want and create a better society for our children, as much from the point of view of the erosion of the NHS as for unemployment, etc.
    The problem is that parties of the left do exist, but nobody votes for them come election time, whilst paying them lip-service from the comfort of their armchairs.
    How do you address that?
    Brian D. York.

    • PhilW says:

      You address that be getting organised and campaigning against the government’s reactionary policies all the time, in the streets, in your workplace if you have one – and not just at election time.

  285. steve hayes says:

    Going to see The Spirit of ’45 this evening. Should be interesting. Totally agree that the left voice should be heard. The Tory press and others use the term ‘Left’ as a derogatory term. ‘Left’ to me means caring about others, those less well off, more fairness in society and creating strong community relationships that will create a better society. That also for me includes caring about other species on this planet, all are essential for our continued existence.

    I have just joined the Green Party. It offers all the socialist values and vision I have ever wanted. I cannot understand why more people who think similar to myself don’t look a little more at them and their policies. I was genuinely surprised.

  286. Luca says:

    Bring back Militant Labour!

  287. Robboh says:

    For such a project to succeed it needs a strong bar to the SWP,SP,AWL,WP and all the other dangerous loony left cults that care nothing at all about the people affected by the cuts. I know, I lost my job and 20000 other of my public sector colleagues stand to lose theirs and for all the talk and meetings of the left NOTHING has changed. Counterfire, COR, are nothing but sociopathic narcissists, careerists and arrivists, manipulators and saboteurs, that prey on young impressionable idealistic minds. When I think about these people its enough to make me join New Labour. p.s. another word of advice please stop mentioning Lenin or Stalin, or anyone like that. Working class people will be put off from voting for you.

  288. Sheogorath says:

    ConDem Cruelty

    Amount gained with benefits cap: £17 million.
    Amount saved by cutting Legal Aid: £350 million.
    Amount gained with bedroom tax: £465 million.
    Amount saved by scrapping disability benefits: £1.4 billion.
    Amount lost to corporate tax avoidance: £69.9 billion.
    Amount spent on bank bailout: £500 billion.
    Finding and exposing evidence of ConDem cruelty: priceless.

    There are some people money can’t buy. Everyone else is a Tory politician.

    Copyright © 2013 Romersa’s Protégé. Individuals and groups are free to copy and share this work for any purpose except large scale distribution subject to credit being given and any derivatives being released under the same or a similar licence. All other rights reserved.

  289. Benedita Whitehouse says:

    As LAMPAG (Lambeth Pensioners Action Group)Membership Secretary,I joined thousands trade unionists on 1 May in a march and rally against austerity, cuts jobs and attacks on public services and solidarity across the world for workers rights. But it seems as if everything we have won to make life better is being hit. We need unity to defend the Welfare state and public services and pledge ourselves together to bring about real changes.

  290. Anne Brian says:

    I am so angry about austerity. We have gone from being a family that was just managing, to one where we have to borrow £100 a month just to survive. I watch the news every day terrified that there will be a new government measure to make matters worse. I just don’t know where to vote now that Labour is not there for us. I am angry with the BBC and their increasingly pro-Tory bias. I am so glad there is going to be a new party. Please God don’t let it fizzle out or get destroyed by the media. My only slight misgiving is the logo. Should it really be quite so Russian-looking? This could put some ordinary folk off I think. It shouldn’t, but it could.

  291. Anne Brian says:

    Maybe people are correct that to force Miliband to be more Left-wing would be the way to go? It could be catastrophic to split the anti-Tory vote. At the moment, Tory and UKIP vote will split the Right. Lib-dems are dead in the water. A Tory-UKIP coalition would be a living hell. Why does the Labour party accept donations from big business? This is wrong and is changing its focus. Miliband is a wuss who will not stand up for justice for ordinary folk. He has had so many opportunities to do so but he side-steps every time. He could make a beautiful, impassioned speech to unite people on the side of what is morally right. But he doesn’t! Even wolves look after the infirm members of the pack. In a civilised society, there has to be proper provision for everyone, “from the cradle to the grave”. Why won’t Miliband take on the evil-doers? If he won’t, let him step aside because there are plenty of people who would like to! The Tory press call him “Red Ed”! I wish!

  292. JayB says:

    Before I comment, I’m not a member of any party, but feel closest to the policies of Counterfire and Socialist Resistance. I have been considering joining LU.

    There are a lot of encouraging, thoughtful and positive posts on here, that make me feel that going along to my local LU group might be worthwhile. I just hope when I get there it is not full of people who just want to bleat about how their existing party is the answer, or throw around facile establishment labels like “extremist”, rather than plan how to give the Left a united effective socialist electoral face that can work with other initiatives (like People’s Assembly).

  293. Vincent says:

    You seem to be attracting a fair few comments,my only comment would be please do what it says on the tin,I am fed up to the hind teeth with lying polititions. I wish you well

  294. Cameron by himself might be a complete idiot and an Eton indoctrinated tosser…His moves against the NHS and the Welfare state…is nothing short of trying to speed up the New World Order’s end game (AS defined by the Bilderberg group/Rothchild game plan). Lets not forget that these two protective policies were Payment in kind for all the working class lives and blood that was spilt in World War two. The Welfare system is being devalued with an eye on raping the workforce financially (as happened with Transport, Communications, Power and Water privatisations) the way this is achieved is by privatising welfare. Remove the safety net and the workers will beg for the chance of being sold the replacement “Unemployment protection insurance”…which just happens to be the product of an American Corperate Insurance Company that began lobbying for drastic changes back as early as 2002. (Didn’t know that before you repeated the Government’s anti disabled hate speech, did you? Talk about “loud-mouths” shooting themselves in the foot huh?). Bedroom tax is a device to displace the “Useless” sick from their homes which will be then taken over by the “Hard-working ordinary decent….Blah, Blah Blah” (Tory speak for self-appointed slave class society – seriously how much bargining power will you have when the only alternative is to lose your job and end up on the unsustainable level of welfare support you have all endorsed for me and my kind?” Once the disabled are denighed their homes they will end up homeless and unable to cope (Or survive?) once on the street they will lose the political obligation status…That’s the plan of the Tory cabal!

  295. GEORGE HERSCHEL says:

    As a full time carer (now aged 62 male) for my mother a WWII disabled veteran and war widow she is aged 90+60 days we both feel ignored as I have a small occupational pension the only support I get from the state is the cares allowance of just £59 per week ….she pays for her own care indirectly from her war widows / war disabled pensions …..the cares allowance is conditional on the carer working 35 hours per week and is £15 lower then the J.S.A. and as a full time 24/7 carer I save the N.H.S. alone tens of thousands per year yet get not a single bit of support the family who can provide care for and elderly / young disabled relative will be part of the social care system care should be built around the family and we should be rewarded for doing so…

  296. Ro Wall says:

    In a recent edition of “The Keiser Report” on Russia Today TV channel, Max Keiser claimed that inflation in Britain is not 2.8%, as the government claims, but 9.5% per annum currently.

    The government figures are selectively based on prices’ inflation whereas real inflation, i.e., currency inflation, is a different thing. The £ Sterling is losing value at 9.5% per annum.

    This means that there is a wholesale process of robbery of people’s savings going on combined with a continuing devaluation of wages.

  297. Robert Thomas says:

    From reading just some of the replies especially the one by Robboh, makes clear how difficult it is to unite the ‘Left’. I hope this manages to do it but it’s not historically likely as the ‘Left’ seems to like nothing better than splitting itself!

    If it doesn’t work we are ALL in deep merde! :(

  298. Can we unite behind the Green Party? If not, why not?…discuss

  299. Miguel says:

    Personally I am on standby to work to the best of my ability for this project to work. I am not a leader of it and have no agenda other than that I sincerely believe that to the left of the Labour Party there is a coherent space which is socialist, democratic, emancipatory and progressive. There are thousands waiting to commit to a party that of course will have issues and tensions but which sees the role of industrial democracy/workers control, equality and welfare, anti-racist and anti-imperialist/militarist beliefs, and a commitment to a green agenda as fundamental to our futures and to humanity. A party not compromised with capital or large scale organisational interests. A party which has an element of humility and builds on the key term used for Left Unity: ‘opening political spaces’. Providing room for rational and progressive argument and action. Will it replace the Labour Party – unlikely. Will it have a large electoral impact – hopefully. However we can set examples and show there is more to the left which is creative and innovative without being drawn into the state apparatus like Labour. The British left needs to be less fearful, and less concerned with hiding its heritage. I have been involved working and researching with organised labour as an academic for a long time. I was once in the 1980s in the Labour Party due to Benn and Livingstone but left due to the policy review under Kinnock and Mandelson. We have been waiting for this moment and searching for a credible and innovative and inclusive left.

  300. Steve says:

    Unfortunately Robboh’s post is a prime example of why it is difficult to unite the ‘Left’. He labels other left-wing groups as “dangerous loony left cults” and “sociopathic narcissists, careerists and arrivists, manipulators and saboteurs” and states that they “prey on young impressionable idealistic minds”. These are exactly the comments we hear from the Tories, Labour, etc and anyone else with a vested interest in the status quo.

    The old Establishment policy of “divide and conquer” is made so much easier when they don’t even have to do the dividing themselves.

    Any group or person that looks for points of disagreement with other groups will always find them. To then use these points of disagreement to dismiss those other groups in their entirety is illogical, pointless and destructive (it will also always raise a quiet cheer from the Establishment).

    Any group, including a new political party of the Left, needs to find points of agreement with other groups and work together on them. Uniting behind even a small issue (whilst maintaining separate identities if desired) is a gain for everybody and a step toward a more unified ‘Left’.

    This is why grassroots work is so important: working with people at a local level helps them understand that they can change things as well as establishing contacts and credibility for a group. It is also an important way for groups to learn what issues people are really concerned about and are willing to engage in. It is undesirable for a group to just step in and try to do all the work themselves. Even if the group succeeds it will have reinforced people’s perception that they, in themselves, are powerless. The people will then remain susceptible to any group or party that appears more powerful.

    The formation of a new political party of the left needs to be done from the bottom up not from the top down. If it starts as a structure imposed on people with the belief that it is correct and people must agree if they want to engage with it, the party will simply retread the road taken by every other similar attempt. The political system is self sustaining and highly resistant to change. Previous new parties have only had any success by being essentially the same as the main parties but with a slight difference appealing to disaffected members and floating voters.

    What is needed is a communication network of people with similar (not necessarily identical) left-wing principles working at a local level. The network will facilitate help, discussion and advice but it should not impose methods and ideology on members. Grassroots activism should be identified to local people as being part of the network in order to establish credibility and recognition of a larger group. Successful activism working with local people should feed into a more unified ideology and methodology which should continually be refined without becoming rigid. Only when credibility and recognition is widespread should the network establish itself as an identifiable, organised party to put up local councillors for election. That credibility and recognition are essential to build the support necessary for members to be elected because the other political parties will work together to defeat a new party and maintain the status quo.

    Various councillors elected around the country will further increase credibility and recognition and pave the way to eventual parliamentary candidates. Again, widespread support through credibility and recognition are essential for this to succeed.

    All of this will take time. Seeking a quick fix, throwing resources behind a single, big name candidate in an effort to get a party MP as soon as possible is doomed to effective failure as history has shown.

  301. Richard B says:

    It was easy to implement the welfare state when Britain was one of the few advanced nations selling things to the world.
    Wake up folks, we have a lot more competition now. You cannot impose costs in order to give workers a better deal, without turning away Chinese consumers. No consumers = no sales = no jobs.

    And purlease, none of the fantasy narrative we can somehow make better products than the Chinese and others and thus capture some sort of God given right to higher wages.

  302. Paul says:

    I was really excited by the potential of Left Unity and hoped we could form a genuine party of the left but I’m left utterly despairing the latest email from Left Unity which uncritically backs the leadership of the Unite (and I want to distinguish the leadership from the actual members here – this is in no way an attack on trade unions) over the furore over the Falkirk seat.

    Like most people involved with Left Unity, I think trade unions are both essential for protecting the rights of workers a vital link between the Labour party and the working population. I also agree with the necessity of building a new party of the left and that the Labour party are not doing enough to challenge spending cuts and do not represent a sufficient enough alternative to disastrous coalition policies.

    However, in order to create something new, it is essential that the party has the trust of the people, that the honesty and integrity of the party are without question and that it takes a rational, thorough and clear approach to any issues that are raised. I’m very concerned that, by emailing the Left Unity subscription list and blaming the entire situation on the Labour Party (whilst, by default, exonerating the Unite Leadership of any wrongdoing on little more than their word alone), it undermines any attempts to do this.

    Much as it pains me to say this, I think it’s hard to look rationally and objectively at the facts (or at least those so far available) over the Falkirk seat and not feel that, at the very least, Unite’s leaders have very serious questions to answer about their conduct. The trade unions are essential and, for that reason, it is essential that the leadership of trade unions both act with honesty and integrity and are seen to act with honesty and integrity. Without that, we end up with a left of petty factionalism, uncritical protection of our own and a thoroughly biased party that defends or condemns people without investigation or research. I do not think this is the party of the left that we need or one that I want to be a member of.

    • Paul says:

      PS I should add that I appreciate the fact that Len McCluskey and Unite are calling for an independent investigation into what’s happened and I agree that that’s a good way forward and that Labour should order such a thing to take place. I just think it’d be better for Left Unity to await until we actually have an independent review of the facts rather than pre-judging who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong simply because of what we hope – rather than know – the outcome of such an inquiry would be.

  303. Mark says:

    Socialism has no chance of succeeding in Britain if public perception of it is not radically changed and focus shifted towards core principles and values. Most ordinary working people have no conception of socialism or capitalism and don’t care about the “left” or “right” politics of the ideologically motivated and the politically savvy. For most working people, politics is emotive, not ideological. You have to appeal to hearts and minds and not expect folks to just agree with your argument or principle. All the major political parties scarcely ever refer to capitalism or “the right” when putting forward their social policies to the general public. If you start talking to ordinary people about socialism and “the left”, they wont know what you are talking about and will run a mile. You will alienate the very people you are trying to appeal to.

    Learn from history. Why did Margaret Thatcher appeal to so many working class people and repeatedly win elections? Some people argue that she was a working class revolutionary who believed capitalism was in the interests of ordinary people. That myth however can be demolished in one swoop. It was not capitalism that was in the interests of ordinary people, but liberty.

    Without having to shout about capitalism it or even explain what it is, Thatcher appealed to a basic human compulsion that exists at the heart of every human being – the desire for individual freedom. But it was an illusory freedom, one that duped the public into a false sense of liberty that instead worked to undermine and destroy freedom and democracy. Expressions prefixed by the word “free”, such as “free market” and “free enterprise” appealed to the emotive ‘core’ values of human beings and deceived them into a false sense of personal liberty that was in fact just another form of authoritarian coercion.

    The failure of the post war consensus and the subsequent defeat of the Labour Party in 1979 was due to Labour’s lack of foresight in not liberalising the state and democratising the workplace. Libertarian Socialism was the next logical step for Labour in 1979, but the party failed to put that argument forward to the electorate and failed to put trade union power back under the control of workers.

    Thatcher achieved these goals with the most heinous and undesirable consequences. She did not curb union power, she destroyed it. Her underlying agenda was to dismantle the state and let the power of the market, as opposed to workers power, drive the engine of the economy. She was a devout acolyte of the free market fanatic Friedrich Hayek, who advocated laissez-faire capitalism completely free of state intervention in the market place.

    Hayek was a socialist before he converted to capitalism and was, in part, responsible for the modern neo-liberal agenda adopted by Thatcher and Reagan. Hayek however failed to grasp the core philosophy of liberalism that evolved in pre-industrial and pre-capitalist society. Consequently he lost the plot in terms of what libertarianism actually meant for social welfare by appending it to the philosophy of market liberalism and capitalist economics. Hayek believed, as Thatcher did, that the only route to personal freedom and social liberty was through capitalism.

    Thatcher appealed to ordinary people because she was giving them what they desired the most – liberty. But it was free market liberty, not social liberty. Liberty in the market place is what Thatcher was selling to the masses. Her politics spawned and encouraged the culture of greed and selfishness as the most amenable route to freedom and liberty. It was only through the cumulative acquisition of money that you could attain material advantage and social status. That’s what Thatcher meant by freedom – it was not your birthright, it’s something you had to pay for and earn through a competitive struggle with your fellow man. Principally, you had to buy your freedom.

    Thatcher was giving us the opportunity of freedom and liberty, but at a cost. That cost was no freedom at all unless you applied yourself competitively to her capitalist doctrine. Ordinary people had no real choice in the matter. The doctrine was imposed and became all-pervasive, extending into every aspect of our social and personal lives, pushing us always in the direction of hardship and disadvantage until we responded to it’s imposition. Thatcher’s politics demanded of every person to make themselves a useful contributor in perpetuating its evil, or perish. She was giving us liberty and freedom via the market system and the power of money, not via the adoption of core social libertarian values and principles which appeal to the vast majority of people.

    Labour failed to develop and progress the achievements of Clement Attlee in the post war era due largely to corruption in union leadership, which was destroying and bankrupting the country. That failure to grasp a golden opportunity in British history is what fundamentally set the stage for Thatcher’s election victory in 1979. She then proceeded to dismantle and reverse all that Attlee achieved over the 11 years of her governorship and set the agenda for every successive Labour and Tory government thereafter.

    When people think of socialism they think of a monstrous monolithic machine along the lines of the former USSR or China. It’s a stigma that will remain forever associated with socialism. For socialism to appeal in Britain, socialists must stop talking about socialism and start talking about how the current system (capitalism) is destroying liberty. Stop referring to your fellow socialists as “comrades” and instead refer to them as “friends”. Get rid of the term “Left” and start talking about liberty and libertarian values – these are the things that appeal to people emotively.

    Some argue that socialism would make a nice alternative to capitalism, and I would agree that it is infinitely better than what we currently have. But it must embody liberty as it’s central core value. Public ownership can only ever be a transitional phase towards a more effective management of resources and the complete devolution of the state. For democracy to work it must emancipate the individual from the bondage of authoritarian coercion. That is Libertarian Socialism.

    If any new political party is emerge from Left Unity, then may I suggest something along the lines of ‘The United People’s Party’, or simply ‘United People’ or ‘UP’ for short. Socialists want to raise people UP from austerity, UP from poverty, UP from hardship and depravation. UP could provide an alternative narrative to the bile and hate that comes out of groups like UKiP and the EDL, organisations which claim to represent the working class and uphold the values of liberty but are actually working against liberty, and they need to be exposed.

    So, remain socialist, remain true to your socialist values, but don’t fight for socialism, as people wont listen. Use your socialist principles instead to fight and argue for liberty. Liberty is what appeals to the masses, not socialism or capitalism.

  304. Mark says:

    On suggesting a name for a new party of the Left, in addition to ‘United People’s Party or ‘UP’ for short, a name like ‘UP Front’ may be more appropriate. UP Front conjures up the notion of being ahead of everybody else, transcending left and right politics and focusing on the core values that really matter to people without even mentioning socialism. UP Front is a deliberately emotive name; it engenderes a disposition of confrontation, boldness and courage among those fighting for it’s cause. It’s a name that would, I’m sure, appeal to the public and inspire others to join the fight for liberty against social injustice.

    • Abu Jamal says:

      I Really Like the ‘UP Front’ suggestion for the name of a new party of the left! A bit too much like Wolfie Smith’s Tooting Popular Front in 1978! But I acutally think it could work!

  305. Craig Weatherhill says:

    It’s now crystal clear that the voting public have no distinct choices at the ballot box. The mainstream parties, and UKIP, sing from the same song sheet. The Labour Party abandoned its roots, principles and people from the sad moment when John Smith died. Our services are being dismantled, piece by piece. Our personal rights and liberties were taken apart by Blair and are being devastated by Cameron. The people no longer matter – it’s all about corporations. The current slogan is correct – this is no recession: it’s a robbery. We not only see 1984 in place but, if we’re not careful, Soylent Green is fast approaching. The people of Britain need a viable, credible alternative at the ballot box. One that cares for all sections of society. And we need it NOW, not next month or year, but NOW. Only 18 months separates us from another 5 years of what we have. After that….it’s arguable whether we’ll ever have the right to vote again.

  306. says:

    A time to talk about history. Money and how to counter the capitilist propoganda. To have a voice that speaks independantly. Fact based policy making. Looking forward and backwards.

  307. Maybe says:

    The only thing that saddens me about this (apart from the need to have it at all) is that you’ve called it left unity. Both parties have lurched so far to the right that there will be Tories who agree with what you say but won’t join because they feel excluded. Unity would have been better as this terrible divisiveness that Britain has needs to stop, it’s destroying the country.

    but I’m signed up and am ready to take it on.

  308. Chas says:

    As is only to be expected, the green ink brigade is out here in force. If they are representative of supporters of this new party, we are in for an hilarious time. Great to see the left fracturing again – it’s just like the sketch in ‘Life of Brian’! Cracking.

  309. tony walker says:

    a name as already been registered but i think it was done to stop someone else using it. i am told the reason for jumping the gun like that was for a benevolent reason and i am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. The Left Party is fairly broad but also kinda neutral. Apparently they had to register a name.
    tony walker

  310. trace says:

    I’d be up for some kind of link up with the Greens. Once I could no longer honestly vote for the Labour Party (though I support some Labour individuals), I’ve supported the Greens.

    ‘Left Unity’ isn’t a great name, how about something like ‘Mass Left’; ‘Forward Left’; ‘The Progress Party’; ‘Mass Progress’; ‘Elvis’; ‘The Beatles’; ‘The Rolling Stones’?

  311. Paul Johnson says:

    I know names are important, but belief is another. Any name that is chosen is going to be ridiculed and the Tory and others will always point the finger and accuse the party of various distinctions and loyalties like trade unionism socialism stroke communism.

    We will be able to or should not hide behind a label. Especially when we want and need all people’s to join and engage in what we want to achieve. Therefore, I suggest left unity should use its name as it means the beginning of a movement that can and will change so much if we allow it but more importantly back it. I joined because I believe this is the time to raise my voice and compromise with others with similar ideas. I hope we get it.

  312. Adam Read says:

    I feel that socialism has to undergo some kind of reinvention to appeal to a whole new generation. Musician Colin Turner is already making some headway in this direction and has prepared a website making a powerful and very refreshing argument for social change. To me it looks like socialism, but it is presented from a whole new perspective based on simple common sense. Please spare a few moments of your time to view the 6 minute presentation video and visit the website, particularly the FAQs. I feel left unity could present its case for socialism in a similar way.

  313. Rob says:

    A great idea, Ken, but not a unique one:

  314. Shaun Wilde says:

    I am nearly fifty and have watched, first with demoralisation, and more recently with anger, as the running of this country has become the preserve of a self-selecting group of opportunists who all share – with the exception of a very few honourable dissidents – the same neoliberal ideology.
    I am a socialist, but am also painfully aware of how often those on the left descend into internecine warfare rather than presenting a coherent opposition to greed, the destruction of the welfare state, the theft of public assets and murderous oil wars.
    As such, I just hope that this group I have joined today can unite around a group of achievable policies. The discussion of what those policies will be now needs to begin.
    For me, those policies must include the ending and reversal of private sector involvement in the NHS. They must include the institution of a living wage, the reversal of benefit cuts, a huge publicly funded programme of social housing, large scale wealth redistribution and government sponsored job creation.
    I could go on and list many more things I would like (renationalisation of rail and the utilities, for example) but what will do for a start to attract huge numbers of ordinary people?

  315. Shaun Wilde says:

    Sorry, shot my mouth off without reading first. Thanks.

    • jonno says:

      what is happening with the welfare/social security commission?,its absolutely fundamental that a new Left grouping/party like LU has as a priority such a vehicle.

  316. shaun kerr says:

    “Housing”, along with food, clothing and medical care is mentioned under article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.-

    we need a new constitution in this country one that enshrines a contibutions based free at point of entry- welfare state and education and housing in law –

    we need to simply start from this point and move towards a socially democratic republic that has moved its hierarchical symbols of state and power to one side the royal family the queen must step down as head of state FIRST- by all means if she wants to stay in her palaces ok but she will pay tax like everyone else ! by all means if people want to worship monarchy that ok but not as above and beyond the people – no more divisive symbols of an establiment class/caste orientated society ! Firstly and formost equality all men are equal under this grey cloudy sky ! lol – this should be the number one priority of any new left orientated party !

  317. maggie says:

    For me It really is about having a fair society where all can share in the pleasures of life.Corporations now appear to control politics and are sucking all the wealth to a few already rich individuals,without any moral consideration or integrity.It feels really sinister and premeditated,or is this the result of allowing market forces to control the movement of wealth?
    Can any government control the greedy ones or is this about a lack of desire to do so? Thre is no doubt now that we are in real battle between the rich and poor.Could someone explain to me why there is so little said about the millions of pounds of tax payers money paid to rich landowners each year,and the poorest in our society being demonised as idle scroungers? Are people so stupid that they swallow tory rhetorick designed to get the relatively poor at the throats of those even worse off than them.

    I wish to attend the conference and become a founding member and have benn unable to do it online as yet,any tips?

  318. Briony says:

    I have read through a good proportion of this thread with interest and have come to the conclusion that what my friends and I have been discussing over the past 6 months or so this group is trying to achieve. However, I have to say that the graphics and the name are holding me back from signing up and from posting your group for my friends and family to see. This is because we are not socialist (in the real definition of the word!) but we are seated to the left of the political spectrum and feeling that we are not being represented by the supposed elected representatives that currently sit in Parliament. The Russell Brand interview with Jeremy Paxman (u-tube it if you have not seen it) expresses coherently and honestly the way a good majority of the country is feeling. However, if you want them to join in this movement you will need to come away from Left Unity as for many it will smack too much of the Socialist Party (which does not appear to be where you want to situate yourselves) and isolate them from what appears to be a serious and genuine movement to reintroduce the people to fair political representation.

  319. gnasher says:

    The populace is being conned again with this Left/Right nonsense……It’s called divide and conquer, there is no left and right there is only Right and Wrong

    • Huw Davies says:

      I agree; the whole ‘Left-Right’ thing is a distraction and a diversion. This is about morals and basic principles (without labels). We need to stop arguing about whether one is on the Left or the Right of an issue but, concentrate on the issues themselves.
      And besides, isn’t this Left-Right approach just another form of discrimination?

  320. James says:

    Don’t forget to check out The Venus Project and the Resource Based Economy. To cut a long desc. short, we are critical of Capitalism and we promote sustainability and a proporus future for all. Link

    • James says:

      *prosperous. Excuse the spell check (:

    • Mark says:

      The Venus Project is an interesting idea but it offers no prescription on how to get from A to B. It’s objectives however are attainable through the anarchist principles of Libertarian Socialism, which offers practical solutions for transitioning from current state capitalism to the kind of future envisioned by the Venus Project. If a society like that is desireable you have to first figure out how you are going to get there. You can’t just wish it. You have to plan, deconstruct and then reconstruct; and it must be done with the will and consent of the people making democratic choices.

      There’s a lot of misunderstanding about anarchism. People imagine a system of disorganised choas and pandemonium. Far from it. If we could flick a switch and have anarchism tomorrow, admittedly it would be destructive and catastrophic. But it’s very simple-minded to take that view. No one would advocate change of such accelerated and destructive magnitude. For anarchism to work, democracy is absolutely central. We currently don’t have democracy; the existing model is an illusion.

      Anarchism involves the gradual devolution of the state though democratisation and reform. It begins by first challenging the legitimacy and authority of the existing democratic system and its hierarchical power structure. Revolution is always ugly and undesirable; but it’s only when those who cling to power and refuse to let it go, that revolution becomes an unfortunate necessity.

      The objective of anarchism is to achieve ‘industrial democracy’: to devolve power down to variable denominations that would enable individuals, groups and communities to make their own determinations and control their own destinies. The denominations are global, national, regional, local and individual. The state doesn’t disappear under anarchism; it simply becomes a benign moderator for regulating change by the democratic consensus of the population as a whole.

      Anarchism is where liberty and social responsibility co-exist for the security, development and progress of all as a result of global, national, regional, local and individual choices. For example: we can choose to have a police force; we can choose to not allow killing, rape and murder; we can choose to have traffic lights and road regulations; we can choose how industries are organised and run and which should be automated etc etc. Anarchism is therefore a system of organisation in which society chooses its own oppression democratically in the interests of what works and rejecting what doesn’t, as opposed to having oppression imposed by an abusive and exploitative authoritarian state system. Such abusive systems impose artificial incentives to work and create an obligation to earn wages. You have to work to live and pay your bills etc. In the long term, anarchism allows technology and automation to free us from such conditions and allows our passions and interests to determine how we live. In this regard, you would be free to create your own incentive to work.

      Put simply, anarchism offers a balancing mechanism in which we bargain between liberty and social responsibility until we are able to emancipate ourselves through the transformative effects of technology and the democratic process.

      Then you would have achieved the goals of your Venus Project.

      Check out Libertarian Socialism

      • Mike says:

        This is only your version of anarchism.
        Read it up on Wikipedia.
        IMO there are far too many variations to make its adoption a pragmatic possibility.

      • Chris says:


      • Mark says:

        Anarchism doesn’t provide a socio-economic model for organising society. It is a school of thought that questions the legitimacy and justification of forms of authority and coercion, and seeks to dismantle them: ie less government or no government at all. In general terms, anarchism means less state and more liberty.

        There is no “version” of anarchism. For example: capitalist anarchists seek greater autonomy and private control with less government intervention, generally in favour of laissez-faire or anarcho-capitalism; while socialist anarchists seek greater democratic control through local and federal arrangements, as opposed to a top-down monolithic state. No one in their right mind would advocate a society based on a literal interpretation of anarchism: having no government, no regulation and no law. Such a system assumes human beings are benign and incorruptible. In this regard, we may as well just give up on civil society and return to a savage state of ‘survival of the fittest’.

        Democracy is central. It is the pragmatic arbitrator between liberty and the state. In my view, libertarian (anarchist) socialism provides the best model for a progressive technological society that seeks to emancipate humankind, not enslave it.

        Many socialists and capitalists have lost sight of the notion of progress, and quarrel among themselves using the same old and worn-out arguments that will never be resolved to deal with the concerns, hopes and aspirations for the 21st Century. Ironically, we need to look back to the predomonant concerns among the Enlightenment thinkers. They saw human society as an evolving and ever progressing social organism. The values at the core of this ‘organism’ were always embodied in the pursuit of liberty – the ever onwards march of humanity towards emancipation from earthly shackles and encumbrances.

        Liberty, I believe, must be at the core of socialist thinking and become elevated to popular consciousness, well away from the tired old notions of socialism being a system of centralised concentrated power – a product and stigma of the 20th Century.

        Margeret Thatcher sold capitalism to the British public on the back of liberty, combined with individualism. It worked! It was, however, an illusion; because personal liberty under capitalism (unless you are born into privilege) can only be attained through a competitive struggle for material advantage. The greater your personal advantage and wealth, the greater your freedom and liberty. If the Left is ever going to win back hearts and minds, then socialism must reclaim liberty in popular consciousness, and combine it with progressive ideas of mutual social concern and aspiration. It must be shown that working together for the material advancement of each other is far superior to the socially degenerative, competitive struggle for individual material advantage at the expense of others. Human beings innately desire liberty and recoil from alienation. Without coercion and control, people wilfully cooperate for mutual advantage, as well as for kinship with their fellow human beings, when the forces of competition and struggle have been expunged.

        Greater personal liberty is gained from the incremental social advances made as a result of technological progress. By working cooperatively to attain greater individual liberty, our human capacity for development and growth is opened up to infinite possibilities. The reason why an astonishing number of young people turn to the organisations like the Venus Project or the Zeitgeist movement is precisely because they offer hope for a better future in an increasingly alienated world. Socialism isn’t appealing to their hopes and aspirations in the way that it could and should for the 21st Century and beyond.

        Just for fun, here’s Jean Luc Picard to demonstrate the point:

  321. simon tyszko says:

    hi there
    would anyone like to come talk about left unity on resonance fm at some point. im on every week between 3-4 tuesdays.

  322. Steven Ronald Ronson says:

    As Labour Party member of many, many years and a lifelong Labour voter, I am troubled by the ‘universal embrace of unbridled capitalism’ by (seemingly) every man and his dog. Surely, this cannot be the case. There’s a strong need for mass nationalisation and public funding of our schools and the NHS. I feel that Tory Blair took Labour to the right to capture votes in the so-called ‘middle ground’. It now seems clear that Labour’s commitment is to that ‘cohort’ of ‘Daily Mail’ readers and the small business community. Bugger the rest! I am a proud Socialist and I will not stand idly by and watch all hope for equality, fairness and compassion be destroyed. There has to be another option, although it will be hard work convincing a ‘dumbed down’ electorate (as John Lennon said ‘drunk on sex and TV’) that Socialism is good for them. A real uphill task that has to be won! If this system carries on, there is no hope.

  323. Jonathan Mackeen says:

    Its great to see a new left wing party with the right views about Socialism and equality for all. Liberty and Freedom foe All.

  324. MontyBest says:

    I am nearly 60, my family have always been supporters of the Labour Party, I think that when my mother resigned from the LP because of the Iraq War, was when I too became disenchanted with the LP, we have a good MP in ANdy Slaughter but! He voted to support the Tories cap on welfare and that was the red-line for me!

    At last there can be a choice, and I look forward to Left Unity becoming a political force that people will vote for!


  325. Mary Kersey says:

    I am glad to see a political party with some guts. I was despairing of who to vote for in the future – however I am not sure I will have the choice unless there is a local candidate in West Wales

  326. ian gorse says:

    At last a true alternative to voting labour which has become a wing of the tory party in recent years. I’d never heard of the left unity party until a leaflet dropped through the letterbox today. I’m thrilled that this party is fighting the corner of the common man against the vulture capitalists who are destroying this great country. THANK YOU. Ian

  327. Ian says:

    We build Socialism brick by brick – regardless of the views expressed on the fragmentation of the Left every positive move, ever contact explaining the failures of capitalism puts another brick in place. I’m an anarcho-syndicalist but stand shoulder to shoulder with all on the Left in my desire to replace greed with need. Let’s build a force that attacks the cause and let us develop the solutions together. Let Unity be our umbrella.

  328. Tim says:

    In the face of anything neoliberal – the more the merrier! However there are other formations with social, economic, and environmental conscientiousness so it is important that this formation doesn’t speak as though it is somehow innovating or leading the way and should give credit to the hard work done by other groups. That should be a clear policy if it is to be consistent with its name “Left Unity” – create unity within all the socio-economic alternatives to the left opposing the present neoliberal political desaster…

Left Unity is active in movements and campaigns across the left, working to create an alternative to the main political parties.

About Left Unity   Read our manifesto

Left Unity is a member of the European Left Party.

Read the European Left Manifesto  


Events and protests from around the movement, and local Left Unity meetings.

Just Stop Oil – Slow Marches

Slow marches are still legal (so LOW RISK of arrest), and are extremely effective. The plan is to keep up the pressure on this ecocidal government to stop all new fossil fuel licences.

Sign up to slow march

Saturday 6th July: National March for Palestine

National demonstration.

Tell the new government: End the Genocide! Stop Arming Israel: Assemble 12 noon, Central London

Full details to follow

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Get the latest Left Unity resources.

Leaflet: Support the Strikes! Defy the anti-union laws!

Leaflet: Migration Truth Kit

Broadsheet: Make The Rich Pay

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