Sunday, 11 November 2007

The launch of left turn

This blog came about as a result of the coincidence of two unrelated events:
1. I got broadband at home
2. The crisis in Respect

I really don't like political blogs. With the exception of Lenin's Tomb they all appear to be written by people who are not really activists at all but who engage in political tittle-tattle and don't really know what they are talking about. This is true almost by definition (if they were activists they would be out educating, agitating or organising. Thus I have done my best as of now to stay away from both blogs and sectarian websites.

In recent weeks, however, in an attempt to find out more about what was going on I resorted to googling 'Respect crisis' on the internet. Up came a whole host of 'reports' on blogs and websites of the sectarian left, mostly the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) and Workers Power but also the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and the Socialist Party (SP). From my own experience and knowledge of Respect I knew that the vast majority of these 'reports' were at best heavily-biased or highly innacurate and at worst downright lies. My instinct in the past has always been to ignore these people as irrelevant. However, in the face of a serious crisis in the left-of-labour project and an almost total traditional media news blackout (except on odd occasions when reporting the apparent demise of the left seems favourable to denying the very existence of a left on the part of the mainstream media) I couldn't help wondering how many people would read these reports, believe them, and not go anywhere near Respect or the SWP (or even the organised left in any form) ever again. A friend of mine who regularly posts on various sites, putting the voice of reason, asked me if I was replying to the blogs. I said 'no, I don't see the point'. Because being one lone voice submerged in a plethora of 'he said...', 'well she said...' seems pretty pointless to me. However, it occured to me later that creating an alternative blog altogether that kept the arguments political and based them on fact might be a better way of countering the other blogs misinformation.

I am an activist and I hope I am better informed than bloggers like Socialist Unity, Liam MacUaid or David Osler (Dave's Part). My blogging may not be as prolific as theirs but I hope it will be more accurate. I also hope it will be an improvement on the many sectarian websites whose members are now rubbing their hands with glee at the supposed imminent demise of a coalition that has been the best chance for the left in Britain for fifty years. For all those people out there trawling the internet who want to find answers to their questions, to get involved and, most importantly, change the world, I hope my humble opinion will be of benefit.


  1. Congratu;lations on your broadband... and yes, I found your log by searching for Respect SWP. I'll come back and have a look when you've got a bit more posted.

    Health and safety at work note: unless you are happy with your employers finding your blog - now or in future - you might want to move it to a URL that doesn';t have what looks like it might be a real personal name on it...

  2. erm, "log" should be "blog"...

  3. Thanks for the tip. That had already occured to me actually. I will move it somewhere else.

  4. Elaine Graham-Leigh19 November 2007 at 20:21

    Excellent blog, Mr Left Turn. Not being a devotee of computers, I do find the existence of the blogosphere per se a bit depressing, but since most of the blogs are so poisonous (not to say mendacious), it's about time old Lennie had some company in sanity blog-land. Well done for stepping in - doing the dirty work at the keyboard-face so that the rest of us don't have to!


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