Tatchell's reply: "A new left-wing McCarthyism"

Tatchell, Peter
http://bright-green.org/2016/04/04/tatchells-reply-a-new-left-wing-mccarthyism/

Publisher:  Bright Green
Date Written:  04/04/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX19175

The future of progressive politics is under threat, again. But this time from the left. Historically, socialists and greens have made gains by building broad alliances around a common goal, such as the campaigns against the poll tax and the bombing of Syria. We united together diverse people who often disagreed on other issues. Through this unity and solidarity, we won. Nowadays, we are witnessing a revival of far 'left' sectarian politics and it is infecting the Green Party too. Zealous activists, seemingly motivated by a desire to be more 'left' and pure than rivals, are putting huge energy into fighting and dragging down other campaigners.

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Tatchell’s reply: “A new left-wing McCarthyism”
Peter Tatchell 4 April 2016 Tatchell’s reply: “A new left-wing McCarthyism”2016-04-04T14:45:42+00:00 Comment, England & Wales, Rights & Democracy 46 Comments

Photo courtesy of Peter Tachell

In February Bright Green carried a blog by Chris Jarvis of the Norwich Radical entitled “How I fell out of love with Peter Tatchell“. This is Tatchell‘s reply.

The future of progressive politics is under threat, again. But this time from the left. Historically, socialists and greens have made gains by building broad alliances around a common goal, such as the campaigns against the poll tax and the bombing of Syria. We united together diverse people who often disagreed on other issues. Through this unity and solidarity, we won. The government of the day was forced to back down.

Nowadays, we are witnessing a revival of far ‘left’ sectarian politics and it is infecting the Green Party too. Zealous activists, seemingly motivated by a desire to be more ‘left’ and pure than rivals, are putting huge energy into fighting and dragging down other campaigners. Corporate thieves and war criminals often get off scot-free by comparison.

The issues many of these sectarians highlight are not the mega crimes of mass murder in Syria and Yemen, fuel poverty, unaffordable housing, global hunger, climate destruction or transphobic and racist violence. They prefer to hound fellow activists.

Good people are being forced out of the progressive movement by hair-splitting, holier-than-thou ‘left-wing’ puritans. Their dirty tactics of smears and false accusations are borrowed from the far right, and have a whiff of McCarthyism.

Lenin once wrote a pamphlet called Left-wing communism, an infantile disorder. If he was around today he’d probably add a new chapter about the ultra ‘lefts’ who are sabotaging green and socialist politics with their destructive in-fighting.

The often dishonest, poisonous, aggressive tone of the current wave of sectarian attacks is a total betrayal of the ethics of comradeship that are supposed to be green and left values. People’s good intentions and long radical commitments are dismissed, even ridiculed; often over minor disagreements and sometimes based on distortion and fabrication.

The far right rarely receives the hatchet jobs that sections of the ‘left’ do on their own people who fail to follow the ‘correct’ party line.

These tactics are not only cruel to the individuals who are targeted, they also weaken progressive politics and drive good people away, which strengthens the political right and the power elite. As a left-wing green committed to securing radical social change, this destructive behaviour concerns and disturbs me.

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