Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Manchester Peoples Assembly- A Stage Managed Spectacle.

LAST night a packed Central Methodist Hall Manchester was subjected to a centrally controlled politi cal rally and manifestly failed to live up to its billing as a Peoples Assembly.    It was completely regimented by an authoritarian chair on a raised platform and sttod in stark contrast to all the popular assemblies organised by Occupy Manchester.    The so  called open mike was little more than a charade with some speakers cut short by the chair and others not given an oppurtunity to speak.    The Assembly was esssentially an anti-Tory rally in which 2 warm up speakers preceded the  celebrity turns Mark Steel, the comedian and Owen Jones, author and Labour Party Member.    Marks performance was a typical comedic rant which went down well but was short on any real analysis and alternatve vision.    Jones on the other hand played the straight man and delivered a script which would not have been out of place at a Labour Party Conference.    A plethora of Tory bashing but bereft of any critique of Miliband's Labour policies and in my view a disappointing speech.    What was lacking throughout the night was a virtual complete absence of any internationalist perspective and an obsession with national politics.    This failure to recognise the significance of the global and transnational nature of capitalism was glaringly obvious.   All an all a missed oportunity to build a genuine alternative to austerity and global capital.    But what else could one expect from such a gathering in which Counterfire the Trotskyist split from the Socialist Workers Party seemed to have a preponderant influence with their popular front policies of building alliances with the Labour left. 

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