Paul Anderson, Tribune column, 15 October 2004
Welcome, comrades, to the European Social Forum in England’s London! On this weekend, the activists from all over the Europe and total globe involve and celebrate wildly in a festival of talks and actions against the capitalism and the globalisation. You can meet all progressives of the continent, no kidding — every tendency left on the shelf, pretty much 57 varieties like the Heinz company say! As delegate from the Slavka Movement of the Oppressed Minorities and member of the Slavka Revolutionary Workers’ Party central committee, I salute you!
It is naturally minus the imperialist pro-war social democracy, the opportunist poodler Blair and his co. But it is naturally also embracing the comrades semi-detached from any serious tendency but in struggle against what in the German it calls “the real politics”. I think here of the Red Pepper, Mrs Wainwright’s magazine, in forefront of anti-reality left here, with links to same currents in Brazil and elsewhere, with international circulation and many readers in proletariat!
As well there are — of course! — the Muslim brothers, in historic new alliance against the imperialism. Perhaps they can hook up with the lesbian sisters and come together for peace, like John Lennon sings in Beatles? It is festival against the war and the racist hate — solidarity with the martyrs against criminal Zionists and illegal occupiers of Iraq!
Make no mistake about it, we are one in struggle against imperialism. It is one struggle, one fight against mad dictator Bush and the corporate cronies who bring capitalist “civilisation” in ruins of Iraq.
We salute Respect coaltion, which is rocking the bourgeois politics to foundations in Hartlepool, Leicester and Aldgate East, all famous battles in this year of struggle, followed by comrades worldwide.
We salute also Comrade Scargill, leader of the struggling National Miners’ Union, in headlines this week for famous proletarian unity move. The knees of Blair and fellow scum are trembling in their bed!
The comrades you can listen this weekend are also the most famous top dogs in Britain for struggle.
Biggest dog of all is Comrade Galloway, partisan of anti-imperialist struggle and staunch friend of Iraqi people. He is leader of British proletariat against the lying so-called Labour Government! So what if bourgeois press say he takes shilling of Saddam Hussein? We say there is one solution only, death to bourgeois press scum!
Almost equal supreme dog is Ken Livingstone, leader of London workers. He too is the great anti-imperialist fighter. Many years, he backed the late Comrade Healy against the Pabloite revisionists and degeneration of workers’ international; now he struggles with class-fighters of Socialist Action who are staff of the revolution at City Hall!
But let us not forget the lesser dogs! Comrade Murray, leader of innumerate masses who march against Iraq war last year and rigid member of the mass-party, Communist Party of Britain. Mrs Comrade Chairman, second-in-command of the mass peace movement, militant of the mass-party, Social Workers’ Party. And many other dogs of other mass proletarian tendencies too numerous to mention!
Aaargh! OK, I can’t keep this nonsense up for the whole of a column. I’m no Craig Brown. I admit defeat. And I apologise if it’s not very funny. But seriously — how can anyone take this beano as in any sense politically important?
The participants represent no one but themselves. The overwhelmingly dominant factions on the British organising committee, who stitched up the agenda for the big plenaries, are the dinosaur sects of cretino-Leninism — the SWP, the CPB, Socialist Action. They couldn’t save a deposit in a general election and their politics stinks. The Respect Coalition, the nearest thing they have to a political project, is a principle-free alliance of leftist posturing and Islamist reaction fronted by a charismatic egomaniac.
OK, Ken Livingstone has given the shindig his backing — but that is the London mayor at his most Machiavellian, making sure he never has a challenger from the left however long he continues to pursue the boring gradualist social-democratic capitalist politics that are his (and our) only hope in the real world.
Perhaps if 50,000 people turn up to the ESF, as the organsiers initially predicted, the sheer weight of numbers will give it an unpredictable dynamism. But that is looking rather unlikely: even the organisers are now predicting only 20,000, and the best intelligence is that the actual number will be half that.
But I’ve got better things to do even if 100,000 arrive. Ipswich are playing at home, and I can’t stand Leninist bores.