Yeah, so i wrote this essay about a month ago, when we were 3 weeks out from the election. That went great didnt it.
anyway theres a bit in the second to last paragraph whre i say “ We have to escape the quagmire of the traditional intra-left squabbles that stand in for genuine theoretical debate and have a wide discussion about strategy in the current British political context.”
We should probably do that now.
What if the left loses the next election? What are the consequences? The question isnt just a rhetorical one. Its a real query. What do we do if we are fucked?
As I’m writing this, twitter and the major news websites are engaged in a furious back and forth over statements made by, in order, the Chief Rabbi, the Archibishop of Canterbury, the Muslim Council of Britain, the Hindu Council, and the Sikh Federation. As we are all very much aware, its election season, and thus Discourse Time. As the debate is mainly about the Labour/anti-semitism issue, and is happenning in the context of a particularly grim election campaign, its making everyone depressed as hell.
3 weeks out, the polls look shite. They’re probably wildly innacurate, due to high youth registration drives, possibly dodgy polling techniques, and a large chunk of voters as yet undeclared, but they remain, for the time being, shite. They were wrong last time, but it would be foolish to expect lightning to strike twice. It is fair, with the currently available information, to assume that Labour will lose, and Johnson will get his majority. Especially given that the most accurate poll to date at time of writing, using an information base of around 100,000 interviews, indicated a tory majority of approximately 359 seats to 211 held by labour.
So what if we lose?
We know the stakes. The next tory government is going to kill a lot of people. Many young and vulnerable people will become homeless. The NHS will enter a final fugue state of ratcheting privatisation, and turn into a system for funnelling public funds into the American pharmaceutical industry. The DWP will become more and more brutal. If they lose, labour will quite possibly collapse, and Corbyn will almost certainly stop being the leader of the party. There will then be a continuation of the labour civil war regardless of if he stays or goes, as a wretched sideshow to the continuation of Brexit.
Individually we might have ideas rattling around in our brains for how to ideally combat this. Collectively though, we havent a clue what to do next. This is the issue confronting pretty much the entirety of the left in Britain, including everyone from the old left minor parties and trotskyite campaign groups, right over to the anarchist scenes. The fact of the matter is, we have not put anything like the energy into community organising, radical trade union work, creating alternative insitutions or other similar programs that we have put into the Labour Party over the last 4 years. This coincided with a variety of factors, including stagnation of the smaller parts of the UK left over the last few decades, wich made them unviable vehicles for change. The end result is that instead of a dense and durable forest ecosystem of left wing organisations and projects, with have one very large, possibly rotten tree and very little else.
We have to escape the quagmire of the traditional intra-left squabbles that stand in for genuine theoretical debate and have a wide discussion about strategy in the current British political context. Class struggle is intensifying. A recession is almost certainly around the corner. The Tory party is moving to a new, more aggressively protofascist stage of governance. With electoral approaches likely on the verge of defeat, the few strong points of the far left and working class politics at the moment are a slight and emerging resurgance of militant union struggles, occasionally successful generalised activist campaigns, the re-emergent climate movement (and its slow but hopefuly solidifying turn away from XR), and the vast array of unaffiliated left wing activists who were brought into the fold by the crbyn/momentum pheonomenon.
Those activists are very likely about to have their hopes destroyed. They can either quit the movement out of despondence, or they can move into a different area of organising as thier primary work.
P.S: I’ve not bothered to clean up the spelling or grammaticla errors, and tbh i cant be bothered. Also i was gonna do a couple more paragraphs about how we should pivot to other forms of organisting, such as new protest methods borrowing from Hong Kong style multi-tactic radical unity, or long termist grassroots stuff, but shortly after i got to the point of writing that this essay stayed at, some new polls dropped that indicated Labour might have been imporving, so i left this on the back burner.