Sunday, 10 May 2015

Letting Britain Bleed

The British general election result is depressing for all on the left or with a scintilla of liberal sentiment.  The first-past-the-post voting system has produced a Tory majority, even when Labour may have actually increased its vote (marginally) in percentage terms.  The divisions between the south of England and the rest of the country have widened more than ever.  A Conservative government will retain its ludicrous nuclear arsenal, continue to behave at times as if Suez had never happened, and continue to immiserate large swatches of the population - it offers economic 'stability' but this will only be the stability of continuing class polarisation, of the expansion of precarious employment, and Little Englandism vis-a-vis Europe and immigration.

On the other hand, we must also note that what Tom Nairn famously called 'the break-up of Britain', writing at the same moment as the Sex Pistols sarcastically yelled 'God Save the Queen', progresses apace - Scotland is surely lost to 'Great Britain', with unpredictable results for the whole of the UK, and Northern Ireland in particular.  Just how positively will it reflect on Cameron and his 'Conservative and Unionist Party' to preside over Scottish secession?

The major job now in British politics is the fate of Labour: how the party will recover, or finally die.  Here are some articles worth reading on this matter.

Tariq Ali, writing on Counterpunch, says that Labour should be let bleed:

Farewell to the United Kingdom

David Runciman on the London Review of Books: 

David Runciman: Notes on the Election


Richard Seymour on his excellent website Lenin's Tomb:

This is not 1992


Here's a fine list of reading on the Verso website to prepare for the fight ahead with the Tories, but note also Tariq Ali's stricture in the comment-space of this piece on what he sees as the publisher's sentimentality about the UK:


A Conservative nightmare



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