In the interests of pluralism I forward this further discussion statement from someone in CATP and notice of a discussion meeting in London on Sunday 14th May.

Chris Burford



Campaign Against Tube Privatisation -

Now is a good time to re-assess our positions in this election.

I think many people got over-excited by just listening to the rest of the left and isolated sections of advanced workers - and (including me, who thought one of Tatchell or the LSA might come closest) failed to make a sober assessment of the balance of forces we were faced with. It is now clear that the "Livingstone factor" was mainly only present in the mayoral race, although it probably exaggerated the left vote, bit not to a significant degree.

Nonetheless, Livingstone has won mayor - & he will no doubt claim that his position on voting Labour/Green has been vindicated. As someone who always supported the "labour" part of that, I am not surprised. There was no significant challenge to labour from workers' candidates. The only 2 results at all like that were the 2 people who had the foresight to stand as "pro_livingstone" (one was also "independent labour" and polled strongly), doing very well, up there with the Greens who are an established party. Although it is true that if all the left candidates added up got 5.2% that is hardly earth-shattering on a 34% turnout,and a) it's fantasy politics, in an election this size it is practically impossible to get the left outside labour to unite around one candidate and b) it doesn't necessarily follow that all those that voted CATP or Tatchell would have voted LSA had those 2 options not been standing. A vote for CATP jsut expressed opposition to tube privatisation (progressive and correct but not for the same programme as an LSA vote), whilst many who voted for Tatchell probably did so because of their respect for his work over the years for gay rights and wouldn't necessarily have backed the LSA.

It seems to me that the idea that you can "shortcut" your way to success on the back of the fracture and schisms that occurred in the london labour movement over Ken was wrong. The idea that the LSA was some embryo of a mass workers' party of the future, and not just an alliance of a few individuals along with a no.of small propoganda groups, looks to have been proven wrong by events. To me it is clear that although workers are disillusioned with this government and often stay at home rather than vote Labour, there is no sign that they are going to be won over to an LSA type body in the foreseeable future.

But now we must all unite to fight tube privatisation - Livingstone appears to be making a stand which is good for all who believe in class politics.

I would be intested in the views of the LSA, CATP etc candidates around us about this and also on the related topics about where to go from here.

The Meeting will be held:

IN:             the Calthorpe Arms, Grays Inn Road (corner with Wren Street)

FROM:           2.00 pm                 ON:     Sunday 14-MAY-2000

TOPIC:                  "Lessons of the LONDON ELECTIONS"

London Socialist Discussion Forum is supported by "New Interventions"
and "What Next?" magazines, and is a forum for non-sectarian discussion
of issues facing revolutionary socialists today.

If you want to attend you will be very welcome, and if there is any subject
that you would like us to discuss, please contact me with the details,
and I will bring them up at a planning meeting.

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