Left Unity is a young political party but we have to be greater than a political party, we have to be greater than an election force. Unlike the politicians of today, unlike the parties of the day – We cannot talk about problems and solutions, we have to be providing solutions while highlighting the problems, we have to be working with communities and helping people. We are in perhaps one of the most important times in human history, the world is going through drastic changes, the country is going through drastic changes, people are crying out for a new politics, a new way of doing things and we have to be part of that.
How then do we achieve this?
1. Being part of the social movement
2. Providing substanial community support
3. Providing education and advice
4. Work alongside communities to help them with their needs
Left Unity must stand shoulder to shoulder with the oppressed, the downtrodden and those in need, that is why we must be part of the social movement. We cannot set ourselves outside or above the people we are fighting for, we have to be fighting with them, we have to be sharing in their victories and in their defeats. We must be on the front line in the battles that hold dear to us as an organisation, we must be at the protests, the occupations, the sit ins, we must take part in and lead our own campaigns for change and justice. Martin Luther King points out “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Left Unity must be engrained within communities providing help and alleviating the symptoms of the capitalist system through real substanital help. It must be helping those that cannot eat, it must be tackling the things it says it is against, if we are to carry out a new politics, we must be doing more than saying we want to help people, we must be helping them. We need to be fighting poverty, we need to be fighting for the poor, when people think of Left Unity, it should not be as a party of talkers but as a party of doers. We must be associated with being the champions of the oppressed in more than just words. The Black Panthers carried out a breakfast program ensuring that poor children were not going without food in the morning, it is this kind of action that we need to be doing within communities.
We must act as educator and advisor to those that need educating and advising, education is important in improving our own lives, and there is a time when we all need advice. With the cuts to services, with the attacks on education, what is happening to us as a class? An educated populace is harder to manipulate, harder to control – we need to be at the forefront in educating communities, so they can organise to defend themselves and their own interests, we need to be at the forefront of providing advice, be it legal, benefit related, or even working on a budget. Knowledge is power and we have to provide the knowledge to the people so that they can have the power. It is the little things which make the big things, and if we can do these little things right on the ground, Left Unity will be seen as a revolutionary political party in how it conducts it self. If we provide the education to the people, they wil be empowered “People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take” (Emma Goldman).
We must be listening to community needs and acting on what communities want, each community is different and Left Unity has a local agenda, with local branches – We must understand then the needs of our communities. There is not a one size fits all answer to helping a community, needs are diverse and our approach to addressing community problems needs to be also. We can only come to understand the needs of a community by being part of that community ourselves, and acting upon the will of that community, if Left Unity has to stand for anything, it must be for the community! We must stand for helping local people with the problems they are faced with, at the same time carrying out a national agenda, local issues must be at the forefront of our agenda for substanial change.
If Left Unity focuses only on electioneering it will fail, it will lose sight of its goals and it will be hurled into the dustbin of history, if we focus solely on campaigning, we wil be seen as little more than a pressure group, which is why our strategy must be in multiple directions, we cannot focus solely on one or the other, but work in a direction where they compliment each other. If we are helping people, if Left Unity is seen as an organisation which cares for the people, listens to their needs and provides answers to their problems with actions, we will get voted for, because we will be known as an organisation which is doing what it says on the tin. We have to be it all, or we are nothing, we have to be advocating change and at the same time instigating it!