A Future That Works

A Future That Works
NO2aTory/Liberal coalition - Vote with your feet for an alternative to a neo-liberal economy and neo-conservative state Yes2aLeftFront and a Red/Green Left Alliance

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Broad Left victory in French Senate elections

The Socialist Party and Left Front which includes the French Communist Party took control of majority of seats in the upper house of parliament for the first time since the foundation of the Fifth Republic in 1958. They have won control from the centre-right and right-wing parties lead by President Nicolas Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement.

Senate Socialist group leader Jean-Pierre Bel said ‘‘this is a day that will mark history. For the first time, change is in motion’’. Senators for the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) were re-elected and they gained one new seat giving them 15 seats and Pierre Laurent national secretary of the PCF said ‘‘The citadel of the right has fallen’’, adding that the result was ‘‘a final sanction of government policy’’ reflecting ‘‘the anger of local and regional politicians facing repeated attacks by the Sarkozy administration against local democracy….A page is turning - the days of the right in power are numbered. It's a great sign of confidence and hope for the future of elections in 2012’’.


  1. Ed Miliband says that something has gone wrong in society as spoke of the ‘‘failure of a system’’ that has delivered a ‘‘crisis’’ from the ‘‘promises made over the last 30 years’’, bankers, corporate capital, rigged markets, energy conglomerates, companies all ‘‘powerful enough they can get away with anything’’ and cartels that set top pay. Julian Glover a former Blair aide says ‘‘New values that also happen to be old values and Ed's values or to be cruel, Tony Benn has got his party back’’.

    Maybe Ed Miliband has smelt the coffee and the mood of the people. Martin Kettle Associate Editor of the Guardian says ‘‘This was a speech rooted in the ethical socialist tradition of Robert Owen, John Ruskin, William Morris and RH Tawney’’ though it was William Beveridge a liberal that ‘‘whom Miliband actually acknowledged in the speech’’ to the Labour Party Conference today, the Labour love affair with neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism may be coming to a close as Ed Miliband rebrands the party as a party of social-democracy and socialism and a return to its political roots.

    This may not be radical enough to address the current crisis of global capitalism but it represents a change in the political options open to the people of Britain and that is a change from having an option of three neo-liberal/neo-conservative parties. Like France and Germany and other European and Scandinavian countries what we need now is a stronger Left Unity Alliance in Britain like the Front de gauche in France and Die LInke in German.

  2. A former Blair aide exaggerates when he says ‘‘Tony Benn has got his party back’’. What was significant is the reference to the politics of ‘‘the last 30 years’’ and those ‘‘powerful enough they can get away with anything’’. Ed Miliband isn’t Nye Bevan or Harold Wilson so he may not be on the ‘‘left’’ or the ‘‘centre-left’’ but he was distancing himself tentatively from the ‘‘centre-right’’ and ‘‘right’’ wing axis that has dominated the Labour Party for the last two decades.

    The dynamics of the historical and material reality of Britain, Europe and a global economy on the edge of a financial vortex and recession turning to depression should move Ed Miliband and the Labour Party to the left if it’s to have any relevance to the concrete reality facing the ordinary people of Britain. It’s up to the broad left activists inside and outside the Labour Party to create a dynamics which push Ed and Labour to the left and ensure that there is an alternative to the neo-liberal economics and neo-conservative governance of the Tory/Liberal coalition and not a reserve Labour neo-liberal and neo-conservative option as there was in 1997.

    This is why the example of the European Left group and particularly the German and French examples are of significance. If the left parties of Britain are to play an active role in shaping the political trajectory of Britain in the current crisis and beyond they need to note how the Front de Gauche and Die LInke have operated in response to the crisis. This is why Ive argued at my branch and at district congresses of the Communist Party for ‘‘left unity’’. Not just with the Socialist Party or the Labour Left but with the European Left and European United Left/Nordic Green Left Group, rather than taking an isolationist nationalist position.

    The Parti Communiste Français are now in a position to make life difficult for President Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right coalition government and to influence the social-democratic Parti Socialiste of France, this tie in with the Communist Party of Britain’s strategy for a left government based on a Labour, socialist and communist majority. We are obviously at a political disadvantage with the First Past the Post electoral system compared with the left parties of France and Germany. This is why it’s important in my view to work from within the European Union alongside the European Left and European United Left/Nordic Green Left Group against the neo-liberal economics and neo-conservative governance of the Tory/Liberal coalition and the treaties and directives of the EU.


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