Dave Brown writes in Indymedia on the NZ left and union scene. Brown contends that the growing “left” political movement in NZ, based around Laila Harre, Matt McCarten, Socialist Worker, UNITE, the Workers Charter Movement, the National Distribution Union etc is part of the huge World Social Forum Movement, led by Castro, Chavez, Morales and Lula.
Brown is spot on. However he is critical, because as a member of David Bedggood’s Trotskyist sectlet, the Communist Workers Group, he regards this movement as not radical enough and likely to divert workers down the Parliamentary road rather than lead them to real r-r-r-revolution.
It’s an interesting take on how the ultra-left views the extreme-left.
The post 9-11 world situation has seen an intensification of the class polarisation and worker-peasant struggles world wide. This resistance has in places broken out of the confines of the parliamentary straightjacket and the noose of the popular front, taking to the streets to down governments in Argentina and Bolivia, and reversing the coup attempt in Venezuela.
The only thing keeping these movements from breaking free of the bosses, and taking power, is the leftwing of the labor movement which steers workers back onto the parliamentary road. Critical in playing the role of keeping workers in parliament is the ex-Marxist, Stalinist, Castroite, and ex-Trotskyist ‘left’ organised in the World Social Forum.
This ‘left wing’ of the WSF currently backs the popular front governments of Lula in Brazil and Morales in Bolivia, and uncritically supports the main leaders of the WSF, Chavez and Castro, all of which are, under the guise of being anti-imperialist, continuing to do deals with imperialism.
In NZ, under pressure from a worsening economic situation, a similar reawakening of working class struggle is evident especially among young workers. This fact is recognised even by the sellout leadership of the CTU that doesn’t want to see the youth radicalisation get out of control.
After some early conflict between the CTU and McCarten’s union, the CTU endorsed the Supersize my pay campaign and now sees McCarten as a reliable ally in running the CTU youth franchise. McCarten proved that he could contain the youth in the unions when he diverted the Supersize campaign into backing Green MP Sue Bradford’s Bill to can Youth Rates.
McCarten has taken his union into the Workers Charter, and the Alliance recently welcomed the Workers Charter initiative. McCarten’s ex-Alliance ally, Laila Harre is now National Secretary of the NDU which is also launching a campaign to recruit young workers. The Alliance under the leadership of Jill Ovens looks like making inroads into the staunch Labourite SFWU in the Northern Region.
With a firm foothold in the reviving union movement, this positions the Workers Charter-Alliance’ bloc to fill the ‘left space’ and become the NZ ‘movement’ within the WSF acting as the left wing of the popular front in NZ, locking workers into the parliamentary road and deals with the bourgeoisie.
The CWG is a member of the Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction and where we have members our first task is to warn workers of the treacherous role played by the left-wing of the WSF acting as the agents of the bosses to strangle independent workers movements. We do this in Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. Here in NZ our task is to challenge the WSF left for the ‘left space’.