Friday, 21 December 2012
I wrote a guest blog this week for John Gray who is a Labour party councillor in the East London Borough of Newham, a trade union activist and Chair of the UNISON, regional London Labour link committee. I wrote about the role of trade unions in Europe and the article can be read here.
Monday, 17 December 2012
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
This week I wrote an article for Progress, which is the New Labour pressure group which aims to promote radical and progressive politics for the 21st century. I was responding to their recent series on fighting the far-right which has been engaging and thought-provoking. My experience of tackling the far right comes from my own personal fight, that won my council seat from the BNP’s London regional coordinator Robert Bailey, to become the youngest woman on Barking and Dagenham council. You can read the article here.
Sunday, 2 December 2012
The troubled Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) leadership bid and François Hollande’s popularity slump may have left an open door for Front National and their leader Marine Le Pen to resurge.
Indeed Le Pen recently stated “the Union for a Popular Movement is dead” and has also been making her delight of the UMP crisis clear on social networking sites, as they clearly see an opportunity to become the main rivals to the Socialist party in France.
Le Pen did not win a parliamentary seat - however, her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen did, becoming the youngest member of the French parliament. MM is said to be attracting younger members to the party.
The recent UMP leadership battle largely had the party of former French president Nicholas Sarkozy divided, and although Jean-François Copé was eventually declared the winner, he only won by 98 votes.
The caveat is that Copé is seen as more right wing than his contender François Fillon. In this sense, if Copé can unite the party again, UMP could actually draw in Front National supporters.
With the next presidential elections being so far away, there may be time for UMP to become a formidable force again. However, if the UMP party fragments because of this crisis, it could create a vacuum for the right wing which Le Pen’s French Fascists would be only too happy to fill.
There is no room for complacency from either UMP or the Socialists who must keep their eye on the ball to ensure a Front National surge does not occur.