In his Morning Star column of Saturday the 22nd December, George Galloway wrote of the possibility of the Broad Left standing a progressive list of candidates to contest the London Assembly Elections, which are due to take place on the 1st of May 2008 . Such a Left list in London is long over due and if it can draw in support from across the London Left then it should be welcomed and supported. For far to long Capital has held sway in London, despite the fact that in many ways it is one of the most radical cities on Earth. Sadly to date this radicalism is not represented within the London Assembly, bar the odd Green and the Mayor when he is having a good day.
If one is to be critical of London’s current Mayor Ken Livingstone, it is because beyond his own election he has never made any real attempt to build a progressive coalition, let alone a new Left Party. Indeed his decision to return to the Labour Party must rank as one of the most opportunistic decision any Left-wing politician has made in decades. Still we are were we are; and there is little doubt for all Ken’s faults he is head and shoulders above the Conservative candidate Boris Johnson, who represents the ruling class elements who under David Cameron are making a real attempt to grab back the levers of power from the middle classes as represented by the New Labour elite.
In today’s New Labour Party, Ken Livingstone being on the political left is something of an aberration to say the least, although central government and its new Labour cohorts in the London Assembly quietly monitor and restrict his every move. However, as those of us who are on the left have no viable alternative to offer up as a candidate for Mayor of London, I see no reason why the London Left should not give its support to both Ken Livingstone and a Broad Left list. The more so if some sort of deal, official or otherwise can be reached with the Livingstone camp. If this were to happen there is every likelihood that for the first time the Left may have Comrades sitting in the London Assembly; and during the process of the May 1st electoral campaign trust could be slowly re-built amongst the various Left organizations and individuals who were part of any broad Left List.
If this were to occur it might just be possible to put the implosion of the Respect Party on to the back burner and the Left may be able to move forward collectively. Not easy I know, but the current situation demands it and there are undoubtedly left forces who would be willing to work for a broad left list and beyond, especially now the control freaks have temporally decided to withdraw from the field of play.