There is a problem facing the left. Across Britain there are millions of people who have marched against war, global poverty and privatisation. These people reject the central tenets of New Labour’s pro-market, pro-US agenda and would never vote for David Cameron.
There is an emerging layer of rank and file activists in the trade unions. The majority have taken part in these same protests and reject the pro-Labour approach of their union leaders. Yet how many of these people identify themselves as being part of the left? The answer is too few.
Last weekend’s Convention of the Left in Manchester had a great array of speakers and produced a fine statement but it largely attracted activists from the far left.
The task facing socialists is to construct a left in every town and city. This requires us to be integral to movements against war and fascism and of the trade unions. Socialist Worker will of course promote and build the SWP but we also have to create a wider community of left wing activists.
Stoke—where Labour’s support has crumbled allowing the BNP to gain nine councillors—is a warning of what happens if such a left does not exist. We need a left which give hope to those who know New Labour has deserted them.