Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wither the left?

I ask, once more.

I was home over the weekend, in Redcar - you may have heard of it, it's the place where the steel jobs were (btw, it's pronounced Rehcuh, you have to make an attempt at swallowing your own tongue while saying it to get it right).

We never used to have trots on the high street, but last time I was up the Millies were there, doing a stall, and this time, the SWP were out and about. It was too cold to stop and argue with them, but I bought a paper.

Joy of joys - while fumbling around for change, student trot opened up a wallet stuffed with twenties - yes, my vile and unsubstantiated prejudices against trots confirmed once more - result.

They were peddling the line "fight for every job" - now, I don't think that's sound tactics at even the most basic level, the fight should be concentrated on raising the general cost of redundancy, so occupying the steel plant and holding the owners to ransom sounds like a better option for me - those scrap plants must be worth something.

Even then, they are doing a disservice in not relaying the basic fact that we cannot beat gallivanting unemployment, and a firm determined to close down a plant to save costs. The only possible response is political action. Even at a sort of Latin American Left reformist level, you need to take the fight to politics.

Then, the question becomes, do we use state power to bribe capital to keep an uneconomic plant open, or do we use it to change the relationship between labour and capital forever? We need to get that question on the agenda, and focus like a laser upon it. The trot answer of trying to stir up discontent as an inchoate force will not get us anywhere, especially because most workers have the wit to know when they're on a hiding to nothing.

The political unity of the workers is the only thing that will win through, not tilting at windmills.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

At your Service

By request: my review is written, but only about 700 words, I don't think the subject warrants more.

On the question of errors, it is error strewn. Petty, stupid things, yes, he gets Trotsky's partner's date of death wrong (by two years), he claims that Oslo and St. Petersburg are on the same longitude 59N (think about it), square brackets close round, in one paragraph A sacks B and then Trotsky regrets the sacking of A - they're names were mysteriously transposed, names even change spelling mid-paragraph.

Service names and thanks his proof reader and editor - but maybe he shouldn't have.

Anyway, I need to tidy my review, I had to check it wasn't just my copy that was error strewn, and I'll submit to the Socialist Standard.

I'll say here I think the errors are being used as a distraction tactic, they're big complaint is despite all the praise he heaps on Trotsky as a writer, orator and individually brave man, he clearly just didn't like him.

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