In our latest Edge Notes we asked readers whether, with the election of George Galloway, the launching of new parties on the left and the number of independents planning to challenge Labour at the next election, they felt more or less optimistic about socialism. These are the replies we received:

Less. Any anti-Tory vote will be seen by Starmer as approval of his standing – but it isn’t. FPTP gives us no alternative if we want the Tories out. Starmer’s Labour is the least worst option.

John

Yes and no. I always felt that Corbyn was a lightning rod to keep opposition on safe ground that didn’t challenge the status quo. His policies were actually quite middle of the road if you look at what a European social Democrat would go for.  I feel the left is very weak because we’ve had 40 years of individualistic nonsense and neoliberal hypnotism. There isn’t a coherent opposition that can challenge the racist, selfish consensus, even though it is completely incoherent itself.  The right‘s unravelling is good, their rabid raving shows how desperate they are. Things might work out as long as we can actually build an alternative quickly enough. I think the Greens might be a basis for this and have joined the party recently. That said, I think we still have a hell of a lot of work to do and Galloway’s old-fashioned views on so many things will hold us back.

Francis Fish

Time and energy will tell. We need the organisational skills – and funds – and could, I believe, sweep both main Parties off the board, at the upcoming General Election. Do we have those? The right wing and Zionists remain within Labour, ready to sink – and must not be allowed to enter a new Socialist Party. There needs to be a rulebook which firmly rejects them and blacklists their return. The we’d stand a chance of Govt. 

Charlotte Peters-Rock

Less, it’s back to the same old multiple left parties more interested in arguing among themselves than building a left coalition which was basically what Corbyn’s Labour was.

Paul Callaghan

I didn’t think there was a chance of socialism under Corbyn. He was and is a naïve man who would have been removed by the state. The people in this country are starting to wake up and fight back. I’m not sure that the blind alley of parliamentary elections is the answer, but a party or united front organisation is needed to support grassroots democracy and build political consciousness for a long struggle 

Nigel Thomas

Less optimistic. Too many people still feel the only hope of ousting the Tories is by backing Labour and refuse to see that there is no difference between the two parties on issues that matter to 99% of the population. They say “Starmer is doing this to get elected and will track left when in power” without any apparent recall that Labour supporters were proved wrong about this with Blair in 1997. Personally I will be voting for any left independents if they are on the ballot or, failing that, spoiling my ballot paper. Again. Unfortunately I don’t see the options for left candidates being numerous enough or well-promoted enough to appeal to the numbers that could destroy the neo-liberal duopoly we are suffering, bar notable high-profile exceptions such as Galloway and possibly the independent candidates standing aginst Starmer and Streeting. I would love to be proven wrong, but it just feels the moment passed with Corbyn and the establishment will never allow it to happen again in any form.

Richard Goodchild

Mixed feelings, whether there’s enough real desire for change and whether people will trust independent socialists when it comes to an election or just flip flop to Starmer in the vain hope he might be less authoritarian as a PM. Personally I don’t trust him or his Thatcherite wannabes with their hints at privatisation and austerity and frankly nothing of the drastic reforms required for poverty, immigration, corruption and climate disaster. Borrowing on a huge scale to finance regreening, rejoining Europe and taxing the rich would be my priorities.

Gabriel Peachey

I think socialism took a beating in 2017 & 2019 when the establishment, including the Labour PLP, closed ranks to prevent a socialist win. In truth delivering on such a massive platform of change would have been hard even if Jeremy had won but the prize would have been far greater. An emergent socialist youth ready to push the levers of power and take a stand for our shared future.

Robin Layfield, Community Independent Councillor for Stroud District

Much less optimistic about now than about then. But maybe we are getting organised more than any time since then. I think we need to abandon the idea of the Labour Party being a vehicle for change – it is controlled opposition and Corbyn’s leadership was an accident they will never allow to happen again.

Peter Bloor

For socialism to ultimately succeed, it has to come from somewhere other than the Labour Party, so the prospect of independent and other left candidates with genuine chances of winning seats has to be a good thing. The lack of a central ‘vehicle’ to co-ordinate everything is what could hold the project back, with some electoral clashes inevitable if this can’t be achieved. For this to work socialists have to accept that they will not agree with socialists from other groupings on every single issue but will back them anyway. This happened in Rochdale which proves such a strategy can work.

Dawud Islam

I don’t agree! The left has seriously lost its way since ousting Jeremy Corbyn.
The traitor Keir Starmer is not to be trusted!

Steve Cann

Less optimistic

John Henry

Transform and the Workers’ Party I feel are opportunistic endeavours like Respect and will amount to yet another car crash. However, some independent candidates could offer a new direction, but only if they are part of a struggle and fight developments outside of Parliament.

Norbert Lawrie

I feel the time is ripe for a new party for socialists as millions of us were left disenfranchised by right-wing Labour. I see the left as being largely disunited, fractured. This is always an issue for the left and it usually takes certain campaigns to unite, briefly. It needs to be permanently and with a solid purpose of challenging the right-wing neoliberal orthodoxy and their global ambitions.

Raysto

So what? It’s baby steps and small stuff that will not be repeated nationally as there is no true left-wing party that can capitalise on this. Labour will lie, dissemble and call itself left and people will fall for their lies because of the evil media, the worst Tory BBC and Tory ITV – heck even the so-called lefty Daily Mirror is taken in by Tory-lite Labour and the establishment has decided the fix is in and Labour will be the next government. So what is there to be happy about? I am voting Green even if locally it is solid Tory scum voting area. There is no chance ever of a decent candidate challenging sadly here in East Sussex Rother area.

James Kemp

I feel increasingly optimistic. I am enthused by the all the independent candidates and the win in Rochdale. There is potentially a chance to get some genuine socialist MPs and councillors elected, without them having to answer to the authoritarian deadweight of the Labour Party. 

Lindsay Baker

I see the left more divided than it was in 2019. As a society we are polarised to such an extent it’s unhealthy and the government is happy with this almost divide and rule mentality.
I abhor the current leader who has no moral compass. He certainly isn’t a socialist and neither are most of the opposition. For the first time ever I will not contemplate voting for Labour and at this time feel I never will.

Ann Marcial

I am not optimistic about the prospects of socialism. Starmer has done a thorough job of either expelling MPs on the left or silencing them. The public will vote for one of the two major parties with some occasional exceptions. We seem to be in a one party state now and I am not sure how socialists can break that. When the next Government completes its 5-year term we shall be in the same or worse position than we are in now. This will then be the chance for the far right to become the populist party of government.

Steve Priestley

Less optimistic until recently. Labour’s missteps over Gaza, however, increase the chances of a significant number of independent socialist MPs.

Steve Holden

No, Galloway is a self-seeking idiot. We have sold all sides arms; will Galloway stop arms sales? lsrael paid to have Jeremy Corbyn vilified; he was going to stop tax loop holes and arms sales. UK businesses and MPs happily paid and went along with the vilification. They could not have such a positive disrupter. It would cost them too much.

Jeanne James

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