Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Celebrate the Bradford Spring

'No party to the left of Labour has ever taken a Labour seat in a period when Labour has been in the opposition' George Galloway noted about Respect's historic electoral breakthrough victory in Bradford West, a victory which continues to reverberate in a quite humourous manner as bourgeois commentators who had previously gleefully thought they had successfully consigned the spectre of a left-of-Labour alternative to the dustbin of history got a rather rude awakening. Many had previously dismissed Galloway as a 'celebrity' buffoon, but now one reads regularly about how of course Galloway was always going to always win, apparently precisely because of his celebrity status. As Jonathan Freedland put in The Guardian, 'few politicians could go head to head with Galloway and win'. I can't remember many commentators telling us this fact before last Thursday.

Anyway, the good people over at Philosophy Football have marked the 'Bradford Spring' by doing what they do best - producing a T-shirt - which will doubtless bring a smile to the face of everyone fighting for an alternative to what Respect leader Salma Yaqoob called the 'austerity' agenda of Cameron and Clegg and the 'austerity-lite' politics of Ed Miliband. And as Alex Callinicos notes, 'a radical and revolutionary left that plans to have a future has to start by acknowledging the achievement of Galloway and Respect. They have re-opened an electoral space to the left of Labour. We now have all to work together to ensure that this great second chance isn’t wasted.'



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