You meet friends in unexpected places, so the saying goes, but for No2Nato making friends has been just as easy as making enemies. The demand is clear, pithy and powerful – withdraw Britain from Nato, cease fanning the flames of war.
It is simple, so simple in fact it takes little effort to find a range of folk who avidly support the demand. Socialists such as George Galloway and Chris Williamson sit comfortably alongside alternate media figures such as Anya Parampil and Max Blumenthal of the Greyzone who in turn do not balk at finding themselves besides former British diplomats Peter Ford and Craig Murray.
Why does this upset ‘the left’?
The politics may differ on a range of issues, but the maturity in handling the question at hand is what marks out those speakers and activists who come from what is left of the forlorn remnants of British socialism, where cancel culture, no platforming and extreme childishness replace good old fashioned left-sectarianism, which now looks like a moderate old grandparent.
The trick is you need not agree on everything to work on something. Our American cousins refer to this as bipartisan politics, lefties might call it anti-sectarian, but perhaps it is best to keep to the theme of simplicity: lets call it unity.
What happened to unity and what happened to ‘the left’?
In Britain the old remnants of the left have proven over recent decades that they are entirely impotent in erecting any form of platform based on unity. Each group and party is convinced their sect carries the word of god and if only the working class would listen to them they might be delivered salvation.
The inability of these ‘revolutionaries’ to speak to a broader audience than their immediate sect, the failure to make common cause with those it has limited disagreements with, left a huge space to fill. Our friends at the Greyzone are but one (standout) example of a plethora of new alternative media outlets, which have taken up the mantle of anti-imperialism. They have achieved what the old left have been incapable of, exposing to millions the every day crimes of imperialism. Its what one Russian revolutionary referred to as ‘broad political exposures’. The old left could not change with the times, nor could it respect those that worked outside of its control, its direct supervision, its particular sect. And so, it lost its audience, alienated the working class and failed to sink roots in the space created after 1991 with the collapse of the USSR, the liquidation of the CPGB and the rise of New Labour.
Give and take
Respect must be earned and in turn given, we all know that with trust you need to give a little in order for it to be earned in greater quantities. Respect among allies in the face of cancel culture, de-platforming and growing intolerance of political difference today takes on a revolutionising quality all of its own.
“The true patriot… will endeavor to rally round one standard the divided friends of liberty, and make them forget the subordinate objects with regard to which they differ by appealing to that respecting which they are all agreed.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
The workers, when united, will never be defeated!