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27 May 2003

Hilary Wainwright, editor of Red Pepper magazine, on How To Win Elections and Still Be a Leftie. This proposed strategy sounds amazingly like the doomed (because not followed (don't get me started on the hyprocrisy of it all)) "fusion" strategy of the now defunct New Party in the US. This was a project I was involved with early on, was very enthusiastic about, and was incredibly burned by. Burned, as in taken advantage of, used and abused, and dumped (in fact, though in the minds of the organisers they were "supporting" me) near the finish line. I wonder if it would work here. The New Party went into decline and demise fairly soon after I emigrated to the UK. I had left the party about a year before, but was still supportive of their aims - if only they had ever followed their own programme! There are some remnants of the party still in existence in the form of local electoral organising groups. It appears, on a cursory examination, to have survived best in areas where the Democratic party is weak, or more rightward leaning. But another factor that certainly contributed to its demise was the infection of American politics at all levels by money, and that factor is not so prevalent here. So maybe the UK challenge to New Labour from the left has a chance, where the US challenge to "Tweedledum-Tweedledee two-party politics" did not.

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