Thursday, 25 September 2008

Sketch: Convention of the Left

The star turn was absent but more than 200 people turned out for Left Question Time - the finale of the Convention of the Left, which ran alongside the Labour Party conference.
Perhaps Big Brother and Talk Radio’s George Galloway would have felt uncomfortable down amongst the common people. Because the convention had no platforms.
Well-known panellists - like would-be Labour leader John McDonnell and trade union baron Mark Serwotka – sat at ground level with the audience around them.
Galloway was replaced by Manchester Respect Renewal activist Clive Searle who held his own with the revolutionary elite - despite never having been the victim of a tabloid sting.
Derek Wall of the bourgeois Green Party was easily the most left wing.
He repeatedly called himself a Marxist and gave a clenched fist salute as he left the hall to catch his train to leafy London.
Lindsey German was easily the most reformist – despite representing the Socialist Workers Party, the most prominent far left group in England.
After other panellists had been applauded for demanding free public transport Lindsey struck a blow for moderation by calling for a £15 train fare between London and Manchester.
Robert Griffiths, from the Communist Party of Britain, made everyone laugh with a story about trying to sell Geoff Hoon the Morning Star.
But the anarchists from Ashton howled with derision as he denounced repressive state machinery.
The wounds of the Spanish Civil War are still raw in Tameside.
Red Peppers Hilary Wainwright - a ‘60s-style spaced-out academic – won the prize for practicality by saying the movement should stop making unreasonable demands on people’s time.
And Colin Fox, from the Scottish Socialist Party, sent everyone home inspired when he recounted just how successful his organisation had been. Before the split.
Getting these people in the same room was a massive achievement.
The recall conference is on November 29.
Left Question Time, Friends Meeting House, Manchester, admission £5.


Culture Vulture said...

Further reading: John Nicholson, organiser of the Convention and moderator of the Question Time event writes on the Guardian website -

Culture Vulture said...

That didn't work.


without the break in the middle!

Renegade Eye said...

I guess I didn't miss anything.

Really good blog.

Culture Vulture said...

Thank you Rene
Please don't walk away.
Actually the Convention was good.
This post deliberately picked out the quirky.