04 February 2011

Labour allegiance to Mubarak's party

Having read the vituperative and somewhat nonsensical hatred expressed by a couple on the left about John Key's comments on the situation in Egypt, I thought I'd do a little digging and found a slightly more substantive link between the New Zealand Labour Party, Australian Labor Party and the British Labour Party, with the ruling (at time of writing) National Democratic Party (NDP) in Egypt.

You see as much as the left now rage against Hosni Mubarak, the truth is that the NDP has been aligned with all three Labour Parties since the NDP was allowed to join Socialist International in 1989.

You see, until 30 January 2011, they all shared membership of Socialist International, the international non-government organisation that allows socialists to network.  It is dominated by leftwing parties from democracies (it doesn't have Chinese or North Korean membership), but they are all expected to share philosophies and political alignment.  So there you go, time to label Phil Goff, Ed Miliband and Julia Gillard as all leading parties that have provided warm camaraderie between Egypt's dictatorial ruling party and themselves, for it is true.

Time for a loud rant about how disgusting and despicable it has been that these parties have all provided succour to the NDP?  Philosophical comrades for over 21 years.

Of course that doesn't fit the leftwing monologue about Mubarak being a dictatorial tool of neo-cons, when his politics have actually been aligned with centre-left parties.  

Now a bit of rational reflection will tell you that this link is rather tenuous, but if you belonged to a political party, which belonged to an international organisation that invited the NDP to speak, what would YOU think?

Maybe Lianne Dalziel needs to be asked, since she attended Socialist International's last Congress in Athens in 2008, with Mohamed Abdellah of the NDP of Egypt.

The NDP being expelled from Socialist International 30 January doesn't make up for the 21 years of friendship, during which time Egyptians were getting imprisoned, tortured and harassed for objecting to this party.

The simple truth is that the parties of Socialist International can't begin to claim the moral highground given they were parties to giving the Egyptian NDP and effective one-party state legitimacy and moral authority, by allowing it to be associated with them.

Stepping back from this you need to look at the history of the NDP, which was created by President Anwar Sadat, but was essentially a partial reformation of the previous Arab Socialist Union, Nasser's own party which has its origins in the third world anti-colonialist philosophy that developing countries only need one political party to unify the people - in other words a ruse for dictatorship.

The philosophical parent for Egypt's dictatorial and corrupt ruling party is socialism.  It was embraced by liberal democratic socialist parties across the world.  So let's not pretend that Mubarak, the NDP and indeed Egypt's entire post-colonial political history are all nothing to do with the left and socialism, when they most decidedly are, as inconvenient as that truth is.

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