Monday, 28 September 2015

David Lindsay Interviews Andrew Jordan

Andrew Jordan recently resigned as President of the Socialist Labour Party that was founded by Arthur Scargill in 1996, and joined the Labour Party. David Lindsay is the Editor of The Lanchester Review.

DL: You joined the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) at 17. What motivated you to join? 

AJ: Having grown up in County Durham I understood at an early age that there was only one political party that could represent the interests and concerns of the vast majority of people.

I could also see the extent to which the support of local people at that time was being taken for granted, not withstanding of course that the then Prime Minister was a County Durham MP.

By the time I was 17 the Iraq War had taken place and young ambitious people who wanted to achieve were about to see a big increase in tuition fees, a real barrier to any social mobility and self improvement, especially in areas like the area I grew up in.

I felt that the only basis for challenge was from the left of those policies and therefore I joined the SLP.

Did you ever think about joining the Labour Party in the past? If not, what was it that prevented you from considering Labour?

No because I never saw a Labour Leadership that was bold enough to tackle the sorts of issues I have already mentioned and implement a truly socialist manifesto.

Prior to your decision to join the Labour Party, what was your view of that party?

I have always had a great deal of respect for the Labour Party members and activists that I know. Nevertheless, until now it has been my view that the Labour Party was unlikely to be the best mechanism to achieve implementation of the policies and principles that I support and that the vast majority of Labour Party members believe in.

Please outline your recent decision to join the Labour Paty. What was it that persuaded you to leave the SLP? Was it a tough decision? What did you have to take into consideration?

It was a tough decision and I have a great deal of affection and respect for SLP members, but I do not believe division between smaller parties is the way to take the trade union and labour movement as well as country forward any longer.

I believe we have a real opportunity for change and a real opportunity to build a strong, inclusive and more representative Labour Party.

Do you consider the Left to be too fractured at present with parties such as Left Unity, TUSC, the Socialist Party, Respect, the SWP, and so on, splintering the Left vote? How do you think that this situation can be rectified?

Yes. After more than ten years of being an SLP member and more than four years of being President, I have decided to step aside from it.

I hope that my example will encourage many from across the left to leave their baggage at the door and to constructively engage in unity by joining the Labour Party.

It is perhaps easier to be sentimental or to stay in your own personal comfort zone in a smaller party, but that really is no longer the best way forward and will be of no help to communities and people across Britain that need help today and hope for tomorrow.

Many on the Left are describing the rise in the popularity of Jeremy Corbyn as a 'once in a generation' chance for the Left after decades of varying forms of Thatcherism. Would you agree?

Yes, absolutely.

Have you been inspired by the surge in support for a figure of the Left? How did you feel watching Corbyn's success from the viewpoint of membership of another political party?

I think that Jeremy Corbyn's election brings new hope and an opportunity for the Left. That also means other parties of the Left should, in my opinion, react as I intend to do personally.

We need to bring down the old barriers to unity within the movement and as individuals constructively engage in the policy debates that will now take place within the Labour Party.

What do you think the future holds for the Labour Party with Corbyn as its Leader?

I think it will be a challenging journey but there is a real desire for new approaches and solutions to bring about social change and improvement.

It is my hope that a strong, inclusive and more representative Labour Party will have the strength to meet these challenges.

Do you hope to play an active role in your new Party?

I do very much hope so. I hope to put the skills I have developed over the years, both in my political and trade union capacities, to good use to whatever extent I am able to do within the Labour Party.

What would you say to those people in other Left parties who may feel tempted to leave and join Labour?

I have set out my thinking and if other people can identify with it then I hope that they will reach the same conclusion and act upon it.

How do you respond to Labour Party members who might be suspicious of those who were now joining from smaller Left parties and from other Left activism?

I can only make it clear that from in my own case I am leaving my baggage at the door prior to joining the Labour Party. I hope that my example will encourage many from across the left to leave their baggage at the door and to constructively engage in unity by joining the Labour Party.

I think that whether people are long-term Labour Party members or, like me, are new to the party, what we should all be striving for is a strong, inclusive and more representative Labour Party.


  1. Jeremy Corbyn reveals the anti-British scorn of the Far Left in all it's glory.

    His new speech on the EU referendum is worth reading to get a sheer sense of how much the Left despises its own country, as George Orwell once wrote.

    Corbyn says....""I recommend everyone to read Professor Ian Kershaw’s book “To Hell and Back. Europe 1914-1949” just to remind ourselves of what a capitalist, nationalist, frontier-closing Europe was like and the wars and exterminations of the Europe in the first half of the last century was like.

    I want a different Europe but unlike David Cameron and Nigel Farage I am not prepared to take a risk with our participation in Europe from the EU to the European Court of Human Rights just to pander to those dreaming of the old Europe of populist nationalisms.""

    Jeremy Corbyn genuinely thinks British patriotism is comparable to the "populist nationalisms" of Continental Europe that gave rise to Nazi Germany.

    What made the Left hate this country so much? Because its existence stubbornly defies their socialist ideals?

    1. Hardly! Ask anyone why they are proud to be British, and their answer will start with the NHS and proceed from there. It is the mere fact of a right-wing Government that is a threat to the United Kingdom.