Me and a few others are involved at the moment in putting together a new political website to take over where the late lamented UKWatch left off. Here's something I've drafted for the 'about' section of that website to explain what we're....well.....about.
'New Left Project' is a working title that we may or may not stick with. The site should come online in the autumn.
About the New Left Project
The New Left Project takes as its starting points:
First, a belief in the value and equality of human life;
Secondly, an endorsement of the fundamental rights that flow from this (as set out for example in the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights); and
Thirdly, the view that those rights are best honoured by cohesive, co-operative societies based primarily on collective and democratic social organisation and run on the principle of economic and ecological sustainability.
The New Left Project takes the view that the political economy of Britain is - in common with much of the rest of the world - characterised by the undue influence of various concentrations of socio-economic power. The disproportionate influence that these institutions, corporations and elite groups of individuals wield over how our societies are governed elevates the goals of power and profit over the principles of human equality and freedom. Wars, poverty, inequality, potentially catastrophic damage to the Earth's climate, and other unacceptable constraints and denials of human freedom, rights and welfare are largely caused by these fundamental imbalances in the distribution of political, social and economic power, both in individual societies and across the globe.
We are conscious of the fact that, to the extent that progress has been made over the course of history in addressing power imbalances and challenging injustice, these successes have been won by popular political action, rather than being handed down by the powerful as gifts. The end of the Atlantic slave trade, voting rights, women's suffrage and the defeat of Apartheid all came for the most part as the result of individuals organising together, campaigning and articulating the case for progressive change.
With this in mind, the New Left Project seeks - via this website - to contribute to and facilitate broad-based campaigning for progressive political change, in line with the values, beliefs and opinions set out above. We will engage with as wide a range of issues as our knowledge and resources will allow; from climate change, to economics, foreign affairs, and many others. Our focus will reflect the fact that we are UK-based, but also that we recognise and value the long-standing internationalist tradition in progressive politics.
We will produce original analysis and comment pieces. We will work to spread useful information and ideas by drawing attention to books, articles, video and events that we believe will inform and interest our readership. We will facilitate debate and conversation between people who broadly share our views and beliefs, with the aim of aiding the development and improvement of progressive politics. In all these activities our goal will be to achieve and maintain a high standard of productive, thought-provoking and informative discussion at all times.
In this way, the New Left Project hopes to make its own contribution to the efforts that are being made by millions of activists in countries across the world to challenge economic injustice, environmental damage, war, imperialism and human rights abuses.