Thursday, April 13, 2006

Harry's Place on the Euston Manifesto: never compromise with the enemies of freedom

Harry gives his view about the battle within the left,
But the biggest battle of all is one that is decades old – it is the struggle within the left to ensure that our support for the forward march of liberty is never compromised by alliances with enemies of freedom. It is about a world view that sees democratic-socialism as a tautology because there is no socialism without democracy, because socialism, if it means anything at all, is about the expansion of existing liberties and not the negation of them. It is the struggle to ensure that the left’s commitment to social justice is matched by a determination to always be on the side of those who have no voice.

It is decades old because once that division was reflected in attitudes towards communist regimes. If once the question was are you with the Hungarian or Czech revolutionaries or the Soviet tanks which crush them - now it is about being, without any fear or apology, on the side of the student in Iran not the thugs who beat her. It is about solidarity with trade unionists in Iraq not their murderers, with the human rights activist in Belarussia and not the dictator they oppose, with the cartoonist in Copenhagen and not those who issue him with death threats, with the democracy campaigners in China and not the oligarchs who jail them, with the poor in Zimbawbe and not the gangsters who force misery upon them, with the dissidents in Muslim communities not those who would silence them.

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