Berlin election: Pseudo-left supports right-wing election campaign of the Left Party

By Johannes Stern
15 September 2016

Recently, the notoriously right-wing former Berlin finance senator, Thilo Sarrazin (SPD), gave gushing praise to the Left Party, explaining to Germany’s premier business newspaper that it was the ideal partner to impose austerity, incitement against refugees and rearmament at home and abroad. Despite such a scathing exposure of the right-wing character of the Left Party, pseudo-left organisations such as Socialist Alternative (SAV) and the Revolutionary Internationalist Organisation (RIO) are campaigning for it in the Berlin state elections.

On September 8, the official web site of the RIO prominently featured an interview with Sarah Moayeri, the candidate of the Left Party for the Berlin constituency of Neukölln 1. RIO operates in the environment of the Left Party and the trade unions and is internationally part of the “Trotskyist Fraction—Fourth International (FT-CI).” Moayeri is a member of Socialist Alternative (SAV), a pseudo-left grouping that has been part of the Left Party for a number of years. She is the representative of the group on the Left Party executive.

The aim of Wladek Flakin, who conducted the interview for RIO, and Moayeri is quite straightforward. They are desperately trying to mobilise support for a party seeking to enter government at the state and federal level as part of a so-called red-red-green (SPD-Left Party- Green Party) coalition, a party that implements the same anti-working class and anti-social policies as the SPD and Greens and is despised by broad layers of the population.

At one point, the RIO admits: “The Left Party in Berlin does not have particularly good reputation. It was in government (in Berlin) between 2001-11 and privatised everything that was not nailed to the floor. Will it be confronted with this heritage during the election campaign? Or is that forgotten?” Moayeri answered: “Of course, we are confronted with it. People do not forget 100,000 privatised apartments or the elimination of 35,000 public service jobs, all of this did indeed impact dramatically on people’s lives.”

To justify their support for the Left Party, Wladek Flakin who conducted the interview for RIO, and Moayeri introduce an argument that is hard to beat when it comes to cynicism and absurdity. After Flakin established that “the Berlin Left Party under Klaus Lederer wants to be part of a red-red-green coalition at any cost,” Moayeri asserted, “The people who vote for me are those who do not vote for red-red-green, but rather for a voice of movements and social struggles.”

Do the pair assume the electorate are idiots? It is obvious that a vote for the candidate of a party that privatised everything “not nailed to the floor” and that wants to be “to be part of a red-red-green coalition at any cost,” is not a voice for “social struggles,” but rather a voice for social cutbacks and Lederer’s objective of joining a coalition government!

The assertion by Flakin and Moayeri that the local organisation of the Left Party in Neukölln is “left and oppositional” is a brazen lie. The keynote speaker at its Left Party campaign event on September 3 on Hermannplatz in Neukölln was none other than Gregor Gysi, a man who personifies the right-wing policies of the Left Party. In addition to a call for red-red-green, at the heart of Gysi’s address was the demand for more police and a more aggressive foreign policy focused on the interests of German imperialism.

Moayeri and the Neukölln Left Party invited Gysi because they support his policies. On their web site there is a photo of the event with Gysi, under the title “Inspiring start.” In addition, there is a prominent link to the election programme of the Left Party, which calls among other things for a massive build-up of the Berlin police.

The programme says, “In particular, in buses and trains and at stations in public transport” there must be “additional security staff.” The section headed “Improve the working conditions of police” states that the “basis for police to carry out their duties responsibly, is sound training and equipment. Therefore it is necessary...to employ more police officers.”

Flakin’s penchant for the Neuköllner Left, the SAV and Moayeri, whom he describes as “a left activist in the Left Party,” underlines the RIO’s own reactionary political role. Behind its official call, “to cast an invalid vote on September 18” and “create a front of the anti-capitalist left,” is not the building of an independent revolutionary party of the working class, but rather the political orientation of the pseudo-left swamp to the right-wing policy of the Left Party and the entire red-red-green and trade union milieu.

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