Some of the article I agree with, some I don't.
I don't, for example, agree with Treen's 'once over lightly' approach to the British Socialist Workers' Party. This is a party that has lost hundreds of members as a result of the central committee's attempt to bury a rape complaint against a senior member.
For Treen to characterise this simply 'as a deep-going crisis inside the British SWP that is producing a sophisticated discussion on the relationship between reform and revolution' really isn't good enough.
He betrays his obvious sympathies for the sectarian SWP by avoiding mentioning the International Socialist Network that has emerged out of the SWP's failure.
The ISN is in discussion with other British socialist organisations to form a new party. This development offers more for socialist politics than anything the discredited SWP can offer.
I would of thought that the effort to create a united, plural and heterodox revolutionary tendency on the left in Britain was an emerging 'red shoot'?
Mike Treen's comments on Russell Brand's call for a new revolutionary politics is also worthy of comment. Writes Treen:
Whilst I don’t accept Brand’s argument that we shouldn’t bother to vote I have a lot of sympathy for where he is coming from. A big reason why many people have stopped voting is that they have experience after experience of governments (of either the traditional right or left) which carry out policies that seem only designed to protect the rich and screw the rest of us. Often they carry out policies that are the opposite of what they campaigned on.
Why does Treen dismiss the idea of not voting, especially since it is all the rage in New Zealand? It is tokenistic for him to say that he has a lot of sympathy for such a view but only to the point that it isn't carried out.
The reason is that Unite, a supporter of the Mana Party, has fallen in behind the bid to get a
Labour-Green-Mana government elected next year. Rather than beginning the hard work of building a new left movement in New Zealand, we're being offered the politics of minimal gain and no vision.