Monday, April 17, 2006

The bunfight: latest

The Euston Manifesto is now five days old, and it has been a fantastically successful exercise as far as I can see. As Norm reports:
"After 4 days, 98,500 results on Google if you search 'Euston.Manifesto'.... in the last 24 hours 'Euston Manifesto' has been between the fourth and the ninth most frequent search item at Technorati."
The way that it has been debated has also been interesting. There's been loads of vitriolic crap as can be expected. And to all of you who posted it - wherever you posted it - thank you. You made the Manifesto's point more cogently than those of us who supported it ever could.

Here is something that I've never seen articulated before though: If you are involved in the Stop the War Coalition, please note that one of your most widely-read and influential bloggers says this:
"...if the Muslim Brotherhood are fighting to bring down the Egyptian dictatorship, of course the Left should work with them. If they try to limit the revolution, then the left should turn against them. As for a certain off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, if the MAB are fighting against an imperialist war on Iraq, the antiwar left should work with them, precisely on that issue. If they are prepared to offer electoral support to Respect, (while also supporting the Greens, the Lib Dems, Labour etc in other contexts), then the left should be appreciative of the fact that Muslims, even those of a conservative outlook, look to the left to stop the Islamophobic crusade, and deliver justice and freedom from oppression."
Yes: "If they try to limit the revolution, then the left should turn against them."

Whatever you think about the whys-and-wherefores of the war, do you still think that there is no need for a Manifesto that seems to be a restatement of the bleedin' obvious? I can't imagine that even a lot of StWC activists are happy having bedfellows such as this?

A while ago, I wrote a post about how the feverish bunfight that we hear on the left does not reflect the offline conversations that I've been having with left-leaning acquaintances. Where columnists or bloggers scream certainty, ordinary left-liberals are unsure. There is a lot of uncertainty around about the role of the left and about the future of internationalism. Whatever your views on these issues, the debate around the Manifesto has foregrounded a lot of them nicely. The tone of that debate has also spoken volumes.

And this is the real divide on the left. It isn't between 'pro' and 'anti' war. It is between those who recognise that simply reaching for the 'imperialism' charge-sheet is just no longer enough, and those who don't. A section of the political class that stopped thinking after Vietnam has now started to wonder again.

This is the achievement of the Euston Manifesto.

1 comment:

billy p said...

thousands of hits...four bundred signatures...hmmm sounds that it aint too popular.