Left Unity – an initiative to create a new party of the British left. She spoke to Ed Lewis about what motivated the creation of Left Unity, how it is developing and if it can avoid the problems that have beset similar attempts in the past.
Left Unity is a new party that appears to have grown quite quickly since Ken Loach's initial call in March. Over 8,000 people have signed this call and there are email addresses for around 80 local groups. So, to start with, can you briefly outline what Left Unity is what you think accounts for its relative popularity?
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I would stress that Left Unity is about a dialogue and development towards a new party of the left, conceived of as a broad and inclusive party engaging many people who have never been involved in organised political activity before, as well as people who have. It is not about pulling together existing left groups that come with different ideological platforms. It is about working towards a new political party based on individual membership collectively deciding what policies and programme we will have. When/if the new party is founded, and establishes its policies/programme, then people can back that and get active, or go elsewhere to develop other political projects.
What can you tell me about the demographics of the people that have been getting involved in LU in terms of class, race, gender, age, sexuality and ability? how might you ensure that the party is not dominated by people from privileged social groups?