I am involved with Left Unity because it is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. The left as a force within this country is spent, it is on its knees and the only way it stands a fighting chance against the onslaught of capitalism is if we work together. Thus I became part of the Left Unity project, sceptical of what it really was, and afraid it was more of the same but lucky enough for me, it did not turn out to be any of the things I expected! There is no one ideology of Left Unity, you can be a Leninist, Marxist, Maoist, Makhovist and everything in between, I am not being told I have to kneel down and pray to Karl Marx five times a day, I can have an opinion.
Our local branch is pretty free to do as it pleases which is a massive plus, there is not some central top down leadership attempting to control my every action and thought, I feel like I am free to express myself and that I have a voice. Right from the get go the party has been an inclusive place for all those along the left, a place where we can come together to fight our common enemy and work for the common good. It also seeks to be more than just a political party, it seeks to be a social movement and if the left can’t pull its act together, what then? For me to not just pay lip service to the term Left Unity, I had no choice but to get involved.
Before the founding conference and beyond members within Left Unity hold the power, we created the constitution, we can submits motions and far from Left Unity pretending to have all the answers, it asked all the right questions. There seems to be a real commitment within Left Unity for members to have wildly different views and be allowed to express them as they wish. Not only that but we have some really interesting policies which are their to either curb someone attaining to much power or to keep them in check in case they do, e.g Only being allowed to hold a position for three years and yearly elections both of which are massively important in holding the leadership to account and providing power to the grass roots.
Left Unity has that commitment to grass roots, bottom up leadership which to me makes it an ok place to work. I do not want to be part of an organisation where everyone thinks and acts the same, because that is not healthy and the fact Left Unity has a massive local agenda, I feel it does not jeopardise my anarchist views. We all want to see the end of capitalism, and there is no point in arguing about what comes next until the end of capitalism is a possibility, we have a long way to fight and it makes no sense being spread out and divided, unity is our strength.
I hope I’m not the only Anarchist within Left Unity, and if there is enough of us we should get a tendency together.