A group wants to form a new party to ‘transform’ politics after Keir Starmer’s betrayal of the left

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Transform Politics is the name of a new group looking to form a fresh left-wing party in the UK. It’s made up of individuals and pre-existing parties – and it’s launched its campaign with a flurry of interest on social media, as well as some criticism.

Transform Politics: some familiar faces

The group appears to be the brainchild of Left Unity – the Ken Loach-and-co-founded party. Transform Politics shares the same registered address – working out of Housmans Bookshop in Islington. The project is also supported by the Breakthrough Party, the People’s Alliance of the Left, and Liverpool Community Independents. Some of these groups formed in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s departure from the Labour leadership, and party.

Transform Politics officially launched on Tuesday 25 July:

It says on its website that:

This is an era of crisis: climate change, the cost of living, the erosion of democracy and the spread of war.

We urgently need an answer. But in Britain, while the Tory party fuels these crises, the Labour Party is failing to provide an alternative.

The right wing has regained control of Labour. Jeremy Corbyn, and his politics that inspired millions across our society, have been cast out.

Labour now opposes strikes, rejects renationalisation, refuses to defend refugees, and won’t scrap student fees – or even the two-child benefit cap. [original emphasis]

Keir Starmer has overseen the driving out of 200,000 Labour members. ‘The many’ who supported Labour politics from 2015 to 2019 are denied a political voice.

We need a political organisation that offers a real solution: one that challenges the system at the root of every crisis we face.

Transform Politics has a ten-point list of “core principles” of any party that forms. It says that “the party”:

  1. Is a left party, of and for the working class in all its diversity, seeking to redistribute wealth and power from the elite to the people.
  2. Is eco-socialist, supporting transformative political, social and economic change in order to build a truly sustainable world and achieve climate justice.
  3. Is internationalist, opposing war, imperialism and colonialism, welcoming migrants and standing in solidarity with oppressed people everywhere.
  4. Is feminist and anti-racist, fighting for a world where social injustices including racism, xenophobia, ableism, homophobia, transphobia and the oppression of women have been eradicated.
  5. Is committed to eradicating regional inequality within Britain and supports the right of the devolved nations to determine their constitutional futures.
  6. Is a democratic party, in which members empower, organise and educate each other.
  7. Develops policy democratically, drawing on the knowledge and experience of its members.
  8. Contests elections in order to offer voters a socialist alternative and build power locally and nationally, without promoting the idea that voting alone can solve the present crises.
  9. Seeks to build power in communities, workplaces and on the streets.
  10. Builds meaningful relationships with a wide range of organisations including trade unions, community and campaign groups, social justice movements and left organisations outside Britain.

Transformational- or Cor-bots in disguise?

On social media #TransformPolitics was trending on 25 July. There appeared to be a lot of support for it, for example:

Cautious optimism also existed; hopefully no one in Transform Politics has been a ‘very naughty boy’:

Of course, Transform Politics also had its cynics:

The inevitable references to a certain toy/film franchise came thick and fast:

Others implied it was all a bit familiar:

And for some people, it was simply all about the “Israel lobby” (no surprises there, given there’s a book out):

Of note is that so far, the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and George Galloway’s Workers Party of Great Britain (WPGB) have not got involved. Oh, and nor has Chris Williamson’s Resist Party (Remember that? No? Why on earth not?). TUSC was part of PAL, but the latter excluded the former due to its involvement with the WPGB.

Some people believe that TUSC already does what Transform Politics is aiming to do:

Also, others noted that there’s the small matter of the Greens already being a left-wing party – albeit perhaps not a socialist one:

Plus, under the First Past The Post system, Transform Politics will probably struggle to get anything more than local councillors elected – as people pointed out:

Watch this space – or more collective watching of navels?

As of 9am on Thursday 27 July, Transform Politics said that 3,000 people had signed up:

Overall, the group notes:

Now we are taking the next step: inviting all who agree with our core principles, outlined below, to move rapidly towards founding a new party of the left.

We want you to join us in this vital initiative. Together, we can transform politics. The time is now.

So what can we gather from all this? Well, there’s clearly a group of left-wingers on social media who feel politically homeless and are looking for a new base. There’s also people who’ve ‘been here, done it’ before – with little success, but feel this initiative is worth it. Then there are those that think it’s another pointless exercise in an already divided left. It seems that at present, this is where Transform Politics is at – and where it heads next will very much depend on how much support it gets.

Featured image via Transform Politics – YouTube

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