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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Coalition for resistance 19 June

Good meeting last night at Friends House in Euston with a plethora of mainly good and relevant speakers. Excellent news about the TUC finally getting its act together and organising another mass demonstration on the 20 October. Not sure whether the tactic of going out 2 or 3 times a year will shake up the establishment? But we never the less have to organise and make the day a success.

We had two speakers from Greece. One wasn't actually from Greece but is originally from there who works in the UK but is a Syriza supporter? He explained why Greece was being used as an experiment by the powerful but I didn't actually see how the argument he tried to develop made the point or much sense and it was, unfortunately confusing or inconclusive.

We then had a charismatic speaker who had arrived from Athens representing Syriza. He explained how the rise of Syriza signals the change of politics in the whole of Europe but didn't explain why despite the party winning 26% of the vote last time around ( 6 May) they were unable to form a government because all the other parties on the left, like the Communists with 26 seats, refused to work with them. In other words Syriza will never be in power because to do so they will need to work with the hard left and Syriza is seen as the radical left. He also didn't explain why Alexis Tsipras, their leader, was sending out mixed messages before the election stating that he did not want the country to leave the euro but simply wished to renegotiate the terms of the austerity measures giving the impression that he had the power to do so when most know no single force within the country has that authority.

It is hard for those of us who follow Greek politics in some detail to explain why the 'Syriza phenomenon' is simply a temporary development representing the protest vote. The sudden rise of this party reminds me of the Mavrou era in 1974. Mavrou was the care taker PM after the fall of the dictatorship and whilst he got a considerable number of votes following the first election his party then disappeared without a trace. Syriza is full of rhetoric and the electorate will soon realise that they are a party that wish to remain in opposition and offer very little apart from popular slogans. If they were a force then the 'established left' wing parties would want to work with them. They don't!

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