Thursday, June 6, 2013

After The B.C. NDP, The Next Gigantic Step.


Written by

The calamitous B.C. May election is over.  A full-scale, grass-roots eruption should have taken place – with the whole province watching as the NDP Top Twenty were publicly disgraced, disowned, discarded, dismissed ... booted out. That should have been followed by new policies based on face to face confrontation: anti-neoliberal militancy, planetary environmentalism, fundamental tax revision, dogged pursuit of Campbellclark lawlessness, major policies of re-regulation and provincial ownership through Crown Corporations.

 But the purring, NDP corporate collaborationists remain. The NDP faithful sigh wearily, helplessly. The completely useless NDP MLA’s preen themselves, and The Party goes on as it will go on … into the oblivion of a Party that becomes indistinguishable from the government it pretends to oppose but in fact collaborates with in the service of neo-liberal larceny and the destruction of democratic freedoms.

Environmental catastrophe is on the doorstep.  [The NDP refused offered cooperation by the B.C. Greens, guaranteeing a Liberal victory. Of course.] Corporate criminality grows before our eyes. Fake accounting becomes the rule of the B.C. Liberals as unnecessary deficits balloon. Attacks on working people by federal and provincial powers increase insidiously. And no public force that must be heard confronts the lying propaganda of neo-liberalism – until it is becoming the full-blown ‘false consciousness’ of ordinary British Columbians.

British Columbia is cursed in its New Democratic Party.  But ‘left’ ? (Social Democratic) parties have been collapsing into their apparent neoliberal rivals all over the Western World.  The examples are everywhere. In Britain, Tony Blair’s “third option” plummeted British Labour and the country into what many believe was fraudulent, expensive, criminal participation in the war against Iraq and collaboration with the insane U.S. “War on Terror”.  The present Labour Party of Ed Miliband is playing with ideas of “Blue Labour”, another name for collaboration.  The list goes on … and on.

Why is it happening? And what is the solution?  At a time of genuine crisis in the environment, of unchecked military excess, of corporate pressure to erase democratic freedoms (with government collusion), of an almost volcanic misuse of financial instruments at home and worldwide so that the planet trembles on the edge of climate disaster and fiscal meltdown – why have the so-called ‘conscience parties’ either disappeared or joined (in whatever clandestine manner) the Party of Thugs, Thieves, and Deceivers?

The answer may be in history.  And the solution may be there, too.

Some people forget the role of the Soviet Union and the Russian Revolution from 1917 to 1989. (Consideration of injustice, brutality, and terror in the Soviet Union is irrelevant to the point being made here – a simple point.)

In fact and in action the Soviet Union offered an alternative to Western, dominantly U.S. capitalism.  The gigantic propaganda program to erase that fact has been mostly successful.  But in the simplest historical terms, developing and emerging countries – as well as established ones - were offered support from the “Socialist” Soviet Union. 

The U.S. spent trillions of dollars in those decades to out-woo, to out-manoeuvre, to out-militarize the Soviet Union.  And, finally, it did. But all through more than seventy years the other option, the Socialist option, was present in the world.
It was a real card governments could play in negotiations with capitalist forces and, especially, with the U.S.A.  If the capitalist forces wouldn’t grant reasonable lives to the population, there were always … the socialist forces … waiting.

Communist parties, Socialist parties, Social Democratic parties – even Liberal and Conservative parties (in Canada, as elsewhere) pushed for – and attained – significant advances in standard of living and lifetime security for others than those we now name the ‘corporate fascists’, ‘the one per cent’, ‘the neoliberals’.

Of course John Diefenbaker believed passionately in the right of First Nations people to vote – and gave them that right.  Of course, Lester B. Pearson really believed in universal medicare for the Canadian people – and made it happen.  The first was a Progressive Conservative, the second a Liberal. (Stephen Harper, neoliberal, we may say with confidence, believes in neither of those things.) The changes happened without an NDP government in power in Ottawa.  But they happened with a CCF/NDP present – and behind it in the distance a major world power which called itself the child of Karl Marx and his scalpel-sharp exposure of the evils of Capitalism.

The atmosphere after the Russian Revolution was of a potential for change and a potential for a better world for all humankind. The sordid brutalities embarked upon by the Soviet Union, the sordid banalities and brutalities of the competition between Capitalism [‘the free world’] and Communism [‘Soviet totalitarianism’] scarred the earth.  But they did not prevent the fact of alternatives being alive and present.  Indeed, when the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Empire collapsed the world became a dangerous Capitalist monolith.

So much so, that – of all people – Prince Charles remarked that perhaps the change was not for the best.  He suggested that the balance of forces that had existed was probably, overall, a good thing. No one, I think, believes Prince Charles is a closet radical.

The Capitalist Monolith has grown unchecked.  “Communist” China decided to out-compete the Capitalist West on its own terms and has very early become a “mature” Capitalist power, as  “Western” Capitalism is now a “mature” Capitalist power.  The “mature” condition of Capitalism is simply Capitalism which has manoeuvred to the point that it dominates governments, is more powerful than law, and considers human beings dispensable (throw-away) objects.  [See Dahka, Bangladesh.]

The basic difference between the Soviet Empire and the new Chinese Empire is that the first was based on a philosophy antagonistic to Capitalism and to the capitalist ownership of the means of production.  The second is founded on the fullest development and celebration of Capitalist methods – so much so that the most powerful people in the Chinese government are recorded to have acquired fantastic personal wealth.  (Their close collaboration with Zimbabwe’s brutal Robert Mugabe in diamond extraction, for instance, helps to guarantee life expectancy there at 37 years for men and 34 years for women.)

So China didn’t replace Soviet Russia as the power that balances the Capitalist West. There is no country in the world that serves that purpose.

In a nutshell, that explains the B.C. NDP.  Pummelled by vicious global neoliberalism, pummelled by the sold-out Mainstream Press and Media, pummelled by the Harper neoliberals, pummelled by B.C. corporate fascism, pummelled by U.S. corporate interests and the U.S. government’s drive for planetary dominance, pummelled by the successful buy-offs of the B.C. neoLiberal government, and pummelled by the propaganda to the effect that any government action that even suggests “socialism” is evil – the B.C. NDP has joined the B.C. Liberal Party in fact – though not in name.

That leaves the task of building a real political alternative in B.C. to the people of British Columbia. The task involves a kind of simple, people’s heroism.

The people of British Columbia have no option but to build a new political force that wins government in British Columbia.
How might that come about?  Failing the appearance of one or some galvanizing, magnetic, honest, people who inspire confidence and manage the rare historic magic of rapid organization and solidarity, a program less speedy must take place.

And it perhaps arises out of the movement in the last months for Independent Candidates.  The idea fixed in my mind after a conversation with Susan Heyes.  She pointed out that the slogan for the idea is in its initials. IC : I see!  I see what has been going on, and I demand change.

There are already social/political/activist/workplace/ community groups of all sorts alive and well and operating in the province.  They might decide to be centres for creation of Independent Candidates – without, at the beginning, special extra meetings and organization.  A starting point ….  Or any small group in a constituency might decide to launch - from a kitchen, a library room, a church basement, a community hall, a workplace lunchroom - an Independent Candidacy with a fundamental platform. We know what some of the planks would be.  But each constituency group would lay out its platform priorities – which would (I suspect) turn out to be amazingly similar across the province.

Each constituency organization (or organizations) would name their Independent Candidate who would be the voice of the IC movement in that constituency.  When a number of Independent Candidates were named, a provincial round table could be held to fashion some ground rules for alliance... and for further meetings. [Candidates would likely announce willingness to ally with any other group wanting genuine change. And they might announce on-going activist events to challenge present evils … and to grow support.]

The Independent Candidacy movement would make its rules and patterns.  Would all Independent Candidates agree on an across-the-board fundamental platform?  Or would they decide to get into the legislature and negotiate on some issues there?  Would they allow a central organizing committee, or would they jealously guard the breakdown of Insider Group, non-representative dominators who exist now in the B.C. Liberal and New Democratic parties?

The field is wide open and the possibilities are exciting and liberating.  First Nations candidates might flourish. I suspect that – as the Independent Candidacy movement grew, both NDP and present Liberal “voters” and members would find themselves drawn to its honesty, its grass roots reality, its offer of genuine alternatives to present corruption, its participatory life, its presentation of hope.

Such a peoples’ political creation could well grow and grow far outside the borders of British Columbia.  B.C. would become known in the world as the place where democracy was renewed and where corporate fascism met its first real challenge ... and the beginning of its defeat. If that could be the result, then British Columbians could celebrate the almost incredible ossification, paralysis, impotence, political sell-out and intellectual poverty of a B.C. NDP that went into the May 14, 2013 provincial election ... and came out of it virtually unchanged.

Written by Robin Mathews


("The Obvious Solution Party".....The ideas are there, perhaps a party name should represent actions of atonement that need to be taken, titles like Conservative, Liberal, or of a colour like Green, these names to me are exclusionary, Conservative implying saving or preserving, moderate in tone, those traits are opposite to North America`s and Britain`s Conservative powers, Liberal implying openness, acceptance, non-secular yet Liberal policies are nothing more than a softer shade of gray, and Green, images of community gardens and hand-knitted wool clothing, as a party the Greens have never presented a program based in reality, they never had to, their expectations have never been powering Governments, merely platitudes, as noble as they may be, control, power or permission to lead comes with having to present a realistic option, an option that answers all, or at least most of the questions, here in BC the Green party presented no budget, no three year forecast, and, a corporate media allowed them free passage, that free passage was allowed as it helped elect the corporate BC Liberals.

The NDP, The New Democratic Party, maybe they need a change of name, the party isn`t new, Democracy isn`t new, Democracy was here in BC in the distant past, it existed at one-time in America and Europe, now only a very small group of countries actually practice Democracy, those few Nordic countries don`t even call it Democracy, for the name of correct doesn`t have to be labeled, Conservative or Liberal and even Green are names of exclusion..."The Obvious Solution Party"........Grant G)

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open


Anonymous said...

"The people of British Columbia have no option but to build a new political force that wins government in British Columbia."

Yes, the faint hope clause, but I will be dead before BC will come out of the current political stench.

istvan said...

Robin I don't disagree with you but you seem to be a very bitter man...It makes your essays hard to get through...

Grant G said...

Istvan....Robin Mathews is a very kind gentle man, he is also very pragmatic..

Robin speaks how the MSM should..

For example, tonight on Voice of BC..Tieleman, Baldrey, Martyn Brown, and a comment from ex NDP cabinet minister Mr. Ramsey were discussing why the NDP lost

Ramsey stated, and I quote..

"Cristy Clark was a great campaigner"

What was needed to be said was...{Christy Clark lied her face off with false facts, lies, fictional LNG revenue sources, promised $trillions, conned, fooled and deceived while the media wandered around looking at the floor, hands in pockets, asked no questions}

Like I said before, the same old good old boys club are making excuses, no one wants to take a sword...Until Adrian Dix, Bill Tieleman, David Schreck, Brian Topp, Jan O`brien, Moe Sihota take a sword the party is dead..

Yes the campaign was bad, the message poor, but underneath everything was a flawed, damaged goods, suitcases full of baggage, unelectable Adrian Dix!

Those clowns mentioned above, they will do nothing to burn their bridge to the Voice of BC, they refuse to tell the truth for fear of not being invited back.

They are cowards, all of them, they would sell their own mother down the river for a guaranteed appearance on radio(CKNW),,or VOBC, Global or even Sun News.

Especially Tieleman, he looked weak tonight, he sounded even weaker, he needs to be put out to pasture.

Good Day

dan said...

Absolutely agree with the previous comment. I see the article from a different angle with the same result.

Long-time back the Reform party federally merged with the cons and created made a new identity; right or wrong we have it now to deal with.

Long-time back the Socreds imploded and the provincial right re-invented themselves. Now we call them Liberals.

What has the NDP done to re-invent themselves?


The NDP has allowed a certain group of party members to define them internally while allowing a political opponent to define them publically.

Perhaps the neo-liberal bashing worldwide has taken its toll but what has the NDP done to counter that push?


The NDP provincially has allowed themselves to become an anachronism, defined as such by an opponent, without even a whimper of protest.

This is not leadership. Unless the NDP begin to entertain the idea that leadership must be demonstrated to the populace on a continuing basis, the NDP will be dumped into the political landfill of history.

Hugh said...

Here's a recent article about energy madness in BC:

kootcoot said...

istvan - anybody who doesn't harbor a certain degree of sadness, bitterness and downright anger about the state of British Columbia (and most of the so called "capitalist" world is either one of the pirates that make up the 1% or hasn't been paying attention.

Anonymous said...

I support the idea of new direction, however, not a rebranded BCNDP Party but a new party with a direction that is fresh and well conceived. With an objective and goals that will form a life of their own.

There are tens of thousands of dissatisfied political refugees, that are looking for a home.

Grant G said...

@Hugh..Justine`s article was thin gruel, actually it was crap, very few detaiols, and those prevented were crap..Cite C even if built will power but 1 LNG plant..

BC Hydro, or should I say the province can raise user rates at will, it might be unpopular but the Guv can raise rates.

Justine also talks about an Alberta utility making preparation to power up BC`s northeast..Newsflash Justine, it`s the coast where gas is to be turned to LNG where power is needed, not the gas fields..

And lastly, BC LNG producers have signed no deals to sell LNG, no commitments to build have been made.

Her article in the Globe, not worthy, she must have mailed it in..


istvan said...

Grant & Koot I have been an ndp supporter since I started to vote in '72 . I was at the convention when CJ was anointed.I am so glad that my chosen candidate the usless lenny didn't make it. We have to re-think this NEW DEMOWCRAT party NOW!!!