What happened to the Left?

…and why is the Left silent about this?

According to The Melbourne Times (Greens have a Jolly good chance in Richmond, Bianca Hall, February 24, 2010), in Melbourne, the socialist with a pathological hatred of pumpkins, Steve Jolly, is due to announce his candidacy for the seat of Richmond, currently held by the ALP’s ‘Tricky’ Dick Wynne. A Yarra City Councillor, if he does in fact contest the seat, Jolly’s preferences could prove crucial to the eventual outcome of the election.

A Greens victory would be an electoral breakthrough for the watermelons.

In the upcoming Victorian State election (scheduled for Saturday, November 27), Richmond, along with Brunswick, Melbourne and Northcote, is one of four seats in which the Greens hope to be able to seriously challenge the ALP. In Brunswick, like Richmond, the entry of an independent, left-wing candidate — in this case, widely rumoured to be Phil Cleary — could also tip the balance of preferences in the Greens’ favour. The ALP has been doing its level best to ensure that this is the case, by first ignoring, and then crassly attempting to capitalise upon, public disquiet over Sue Maclellan‘s fear and loathing of rock and/or roll. Then again — Hallelujah! — the Victorian ALP is The Party That Brought You Mister 0.08% Senator Steve FieldingPraise Jesus! — so…

Speaking of Christians, in disappointing news for the remaining Midnight Oil fan, the Minister for Uranium Mining, Woodchipping & The Yartz — who appeared on 3CR’s SUWA show earlier on Friday in what might be reasonably termed a feisty mood — has now realised he failed to read the fine print when he sold his soul to the ALP and was parachuted into the safe seat of Kingsford Smith in 2004. In brief, bringing the Government into disrepute means being demoted by KRudd. The main beneficiary of Garrett’s demotion appears to be former ACTU Secretary Greg Combet, who was bumped into Parliament in 2007. A current union official, far less less happy with the role of the ALP in the trade union movement — even going so far as to suggest that the couple undergo a trial separation — is Dean Mighell.

Obviously, the relationship between the trade unions and the ALP requires some intensive arbitration and mediation.

    The Socialist Alliance will also contest the election, as will various other micro-parties (perhaps even the Communist Alliance, who knows?). But the only serious challenge to the ALP from a vaguely leftist direction will almost certainly be coloured Green not Red.

In summary, in April 2009, “John Brumby’s Labor government … opened a red-hot $1.14 favourite with leading election bookmaker Centrebet to retain power when Victoria goes to the polls late next year, with the embattled Coalition a $5.10 outsider”; odds have since shifted slightly in the Coalition’s favour, a Labor win bringing $1.23, a Coalition victory $4.00.

See also : Melbourne : ALP ~versus~ Greens (August 24, 2009).

In the UK, the New Left Review celebrates its 50th birthday. Stuart Hall writes on the Life and Times of the First New Left in its anniversary issue (January-February 2010). See also : A life in politics: New Left Review at 50, Stefan Collini, The Guardian, February 13, 2010 | Slavoj Zizek’s failed encounter with Leninism: ‘The bread of justice must be baked by the people’, Paul Kellogg, Links | In defence of Leon Trotsky, Weekly Worker, No.806, February 25, 2010: “Hillel Ticktin demolishes Robert Service’s much hyped Trotsky: a biography“.

Two more things.

There’s some stuff going on in Greece apparently, and Guy Rundle’s reportage is available in Crikey (An anarchist protest like O Week with tear gas, February 25, 2010), in the Morning Star (General strike sees Greece paralysed, February 24, 2010), in the Green Left Weekly (Greece: Crisis, resistance and challenges for the left, February 20, 2010) and no doubt elsewhere. Fred Weston and Stamatis Karayannopoulos are scientists, social scientists, and they explain the crisis in Greece using facts and figures. See : The crisis of Greek capitalism and how it is impacting on the labour movement, February 19, 2010.

Otherwise, After the Greek Riots and taxikipali‘s posts on libcom.org are the best sauces of news in English that I’m aware of.

As far as the antifascist counterdemo planned for today afternoon in Amerikis Square, both the fascist gathering and the antifascist counterdemo were declared banned by the district attorney. As a result, antifascist marches were prevented to reach the square by strong riot police forces and marched instead in the streets of Kypseli chanting antiracist and proletarian solidarity slogans. The fascist scum never even appeared for their advertised bigotry stunt at the square.

Bloggy… Left

Αντιφασισμός is a Greek blog and one which, I assume, is like an online brick in the face of Greek fascism. (Great links page too.)
Red Thread Brisbane e-journal is “a collective thinking space for revolutionaries in Brisbane.” (NB. Dave promised me if I plugged this and his new interpretive dance troupe Vegan Steel he’d recruit a dozen Brisbane reds to become fans of slackbastard.)
The gaping silence : More Work, Less Pay? You Bastard!

Bonus!

“In light of the station’s maturity into a stable economic and social entity, the theme running through its existence remains prescient. As first station manager Sue Matthews wrote in 1981, “When the mainstream catches up with the alternatives, it’s time for people like us to be assessing just where the edges we’re supposed to be pushing against now lie.”

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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8 Responses to What happened to the Left?

  1. Phil says:

    More Work, Less Pay? You Bastard!

    Eh? (More about the book here.)

  2. Grumpy Cat says:

    I better get to work then! (Recruit that is, you Slack Bastard!)

  3. @ndy says:

    Ah… well, I think my bRane went like this: for some reason, the term ‘More work! Less pay!’ brings to mind Kenny, and South Park, as in ‘Oh My God! They Killed Kenny!’… ‘You bastards!’

    Quite why that’s the case, I’m not sure. I think maybe it’s got something to do with destroying capitalism, and hence work.

    BEHIND YOU!

  4. @ndy says:

    Grumpy Cat,

    You will not be paid for the time it took you to write that message. Please return to your work.

  5. Paul Justo says:

    Had a look at that blog – mad stuff, I’ll be on the drink later today and will reread it then, might make more sense.

    I also found this statement quite disturbing in the Red Thread blog –

    “In fact the refusal of all dogman allows us to open up the space of ideas.”

    What has he got against Dog Men? I know a few crane operators who won’t be happy about this seemingly arbitrary exclusion of a very important group of workers – qualified workers at that – Prompt Sheet – Crane Driver and Dogman Competency.

  6. @ndy says:

    On the contrary, this is praise for the role of dogmen — and, by implication, all those involved in the lifting of extremely heavy weights — in rupturing capitalist hegemony.

  7. Paul Justo says:

    Dogmen of all countries, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains (literally).

  8. Grumpy Cat says:

    Nuts, a hilarious typo!

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