I had a très rapide jaunt to Paris this weekend to attend the annual fête of Lutte Ouvrière (LO - Workers' Fight). This is the jamboree of one of the longest established of the French Trotskyist groups. The other long established French Trotskyist group, the Ligue communiste révolutionnaire (LCR - Revolutionary Communist League), dissolved itself last year to form, with others, the non-Trotskyist Nouveau Parti Anti-Capitaliste (NPA - New Anti-capitalist Party). As far as I can tell, it is now suffering a massive crisis of identité and efficacité.
I have been to the LO fête for many years (though not every year). It's a lot of fun in the sun plus a chance to keep my rusty French going and meet up with some old friends. I can't actually remember how old I was when I first went but I must have been in my mid 20s. What a frightening thought.
Anyway, this weekend gave me, among other things, the chance to reflect on some of the things that have changed since I first attended. When I first went to LO fête the following were not ubiquitous and I at least could only have dreamed of them:
mobile phonesWe did, however, have a Tory government...
a tunnel under the Channel, and the Eurostar - it took practically all day to get to Paris.