By Elliot Nathan
Following on from the success of a well attended public meeting with the well known children’s author Alan Gibbons as guest speaker, Leeds Left Unity has arranged for Kate Hudson to speak at a debate on ‘the left and Europe’.
Kate is an academic and political activist. She is currently the General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and sits on the National Council of Left Unity. Kate was Head of Social Policy Studies at London South Bank University until recently and is now a Visiting Research Fellow. She has penned a number of books on the subject of the European left.
Although many social democratic parties in Europe have shifted to the right and adopted Thatcherite economic policies, some new parties and coalitions have appeared to fill the vacuum created on the left of the political spectrum. Examples of this include Syriza in Greece and Die Linke in Germany. Why hasn’t this happened in Britain and what can we learn from the European experience? The conditions are overly ripe in the UK for a successful political response to the rightwards stampede of Labour aren’t they?
Leeds Left Unity was established in March 2013 and meets regularly to, among other things, organise activities giving support to local anti cuts campaigns, including Keep Our NHS Public and opposition to the Bedroom Tax. The group arose in response to Ken Loach’s appeal to discuss the formation of a new political party of the Left to bring together those who wish to defend the welfare state and present an economic alternative to austerity. The background to this appeal is succinctly summarized by Ken:
“The welfare state is being dismantled by the coalition government, bringing great suffering to the most vulnerable in society and eroding the living conditions of millions of ordinary people. Worse still, the Labour Party is not presenting a strong opposition to austerity and instead appears to have wholeheartedly adopted neo-liberal policy, advocating its own brand of austerity and privatization”.
So, what are you waiting for? Come along to the debate on 31 July and be part of the search for an alternative – another world is possible!