red flag

Why do we think the UK is no good at radical?

A message to my country, and to my local Labour Party.

We had our first revolution almost before anyone invented the concept. Just before lunch, we used to gibly say when I was at school – the Magna Carta, 12.15 (actually, that was the year – 1215, not the time – it’s a joke that doesn’t work in properly punctuated type but anyway…) Okay, the Magna Carta wasn’t radical by our standards – it was only the landowners applying the brakes to the king’s godliness but it was – well, revolutionary, in its day.

In the 17th Century, Oliver Cromwell’s parliamentarian battles resulted in UK citizens shocking themselves  by executing a king. It was a mess – civil war always is. Nowadays, different historians call Cromwell a religious dictator, a borgeois revolutionary and a hero of liberation – depends where you’re standing (probably best not to be standing in Ireland) but the thing is, he offered radical change, and easily drew an army to his banner.

Meanwhile, Hastings had its America Ground incident, when local fishermen saw the United States going for independence and thought, that’s a good idea.

After the Second World War, Atlee’s government brought us something close to real socialism, and set in train a social contract that led to the UK becoming increasingly civilised up until it was defeated by the Conservative manouvres that led to Mrs Thatcher.

There are other examples in our history. We can do radical. Let’s do it now. Let’s take a step beyond ‘hooray, we can finally get rid of Johnson’, and accept that NONE of the political parties that currently have a foothold in Westminster are good enough.

It’s time for people to demand something more radical than an establishment team-swap. My town is possibly poised to go Labour if there’s a general election now but the trouble is, the powers-that-be wouldn’t mind.  The Labour Party is no longer radical. If any proof were needed, we see it in the fact that the Party has successfully seen off Hastings local party’s choice of candidate…

Hastings Independent Press logo
Click here to read all about it

(Actually Maya, I don’t think it was racism in this case – from the moment you declared, I thought, this is pointless. The LP is not going to accept the woman who stood at the Cenotaph and challenged Tony Blair directly, reading out the names of the Iraqi dead. You got arrested for your pains, which is why The Labour Party doesn’t like you and, probably, why Hastings Labour Party does – but anyway…)

The Labour Party rejected Maya, and imposed their own plant…

Merton TV logo
Read about Dollimore’s track record here

Personally, I am fairly confident that the local party is rebellious enough to reject the Labour Parachute Regiment and opt for the compromise candidate Christine Bayliss, who has at least worked in Hastings in the past, and as a councillor in neighbouring Bexhill and Battle, has for some years led the way in the two constituencies working together on political campaigns. Click the link below to read about Chris’s campaign…

Chris Bayliss
Christine Bayliss for Hastings and Rye

I’ll vote for her, if that’s how things go.

But isn’t that just playing into their hands, Hastings? You know, I think Hastings should go a step further, and declare UDI. I was a Labour CLP officer in 2017. I saw how the Labour Party lost us the election, when Hastings did have a truly radical candidate. I was at conference in 2019, and saw how Starmer’s splitters were poisoning the Brexit situation and using the resultant split to finish off Corbyn’s Labour.

The Labour Party is not much use to us.

Hastings, if you’re radical enough to reject the parachuted candidate, why not reject tyranny altogether, and go independent. The Green Party made inroads on our Labour Council in May because people thought our Labour council too comfortable. They wanted something more radical and believed the Hastings Greens more radical. I think that was a mistake. Hastings now has a radically minded council leader…

Hastings Demands Better banner
Read about some of Paul Barnett’s ambitions for Hastings here

But Barnett is currently hedged in by what I think of as ‘the Thatcherite Greens’. (I don’t think they were being Thatcherite on purpose, it’s just that they have no political analysis so don’t know what they’re doing). Just think how much better Barnett would do with an independent socialist group backing him.

Look at Liverpool, where there is an Independent Group on the city council now, Labour’s ‘rejects’ giving the Labour right-wingers a run for their money because radical socialists are more popular than Starmer’s Labour.

Only yesterday, I was talking to Mandy Clare who not so long ago was one of our left-slate NEC choices. Now, she’s doing just fine as an independent councillor in Chester. Apparently, they have Greens up there who are socialist. That’s the great thing about being independent – you can work with whoever is doing the good work. Starmer’s Labour is not the party for people who need radical change. It won’t win the northern constituencies who rallied to the likes of John Trickett, Ian Lavery and Laura Pidcock.

Hastings Labour Party – You need to be radical in response to Hastings’ needs. You have nothing to lose – the Labour Party will only let you win an election if they are sure they’ve stopped you actually doing anything radical – and just think, if you went independent, all the Hastings socialists who were kicked out of the party by Starmer’s lot would come back to you. You’d have the organisation and the experience, you’d have a force all ready to campaign for the independent socialist candidate of your choice.

HILP has a good ring to it (Hastings Independent Labour Party) – actually, it could be HARILP, if Rye want in.


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