Labour Party

Mutual aid and politics

Published on: Mon, 30/03/2020 - 21:29
Author

A Sheffield Labour activist

Our Labour Branch got its (left wing) council candidate and our Campaigns Committee to set up a Facebook group for people in our neighbourhood who were interested in a mutual aid group.

This group now has 600 members on Facebook. We have divided the ward into its polling station areas and set up a WhatsApp group for each one. The co-ordinators of those groups and the leading people in our Branch Labour Party are in a central “co-ordinators’ chat”.

Everywhere we say that the group was set up by the Labour Party but everyone is welcome. “Leaders” from the polling station areas have been co-opted

No coalition government!

Published on: Sun, 29/03/2020 - 13:53
Author

Editorial

The Guardian reports discussions among “senior Conservatives” about a national unity government or some other form of cross-party political collaboration during the Covid-19 crisis.

It suggests there is widespread sympathy for this idea at the top of the Labour Party. Socialists should argue and rally the labour movement against it. Taking responsibility for the Tories’ policies is the opposite of what we need.

According to the Guardian, the Tories arguing for a coalition or similar arrangement are quite open that they want this in order to benefit themselves.

“One argument circulating among

Fight the epidemic - yes. Back the Tories - no

Published on: Wed, 25/03/2020 - 08:38
Author

Mohan Sen

The Labour Party has made some important demands for the Covid-19 crisis, including improving the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which underwrites part of wages and extending it to the self-employed; insisting employers guarantee to keep people in work; and increasing a range of benefits.

The problem is that the party shows no sign of campaigning around these demands. Its leadership acts as if that the epidemic obliges it to express positive support for the Tory government.

Big demonstrations and crowded public meetings are obviously out at the moment. But Labour wasn’t going in for those

C-19: override private profit! Fight for workers' control!

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2020 - 11:06
Author

Editorial

In this epidemic, Workers’ Liberty fights for the labour movement to make itself an essential service.

The labour movement, as yet, lacks the capacity to take over society and reshape it so as better to minimise and control epidemics. Neither we as Workers’ Liberty, nor the labour movement generally, has the depth of expertise to qualify us to second-guess the established bourgeois public health experts.

But the labour movement does have, and must develop more, expertise in pushing back and overriding the barriers to social well-being raised by the interests of private profit.

On 17 March the

The anatomy of Labour's "youthquake"

Published on: Wed, 18/03/2020 - 09:15
Author

Matt Cooper

In the 2017 British general election, Labour succeeded in closing a 20% deficit in the course of the campaign. Labour ended up with only 2% less than the Conservatives, and denied them a majority.

There were many reasons for that turnaround. One was a “youthquake” — an increase in turnout among younger voters who overwhelmingly voted Labour. The effect was so notable that the Oxford English Dictionary made “youthquake” their neologism of the year.

In the 2017 election around 62% of 18-24 year olds voted Labour. Only 27% voted Conservative. (Unless otherwise stated, data on age and voting is

Desperate Stalinists face their Thermidor

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 10:51
Author

Jim Denham

The Morning Star and its political masters in the Communist Party of Britain are getting desperate: the only chance they’ve ever had of wielding governmental influence in the UK lies in ruins.

Only yesterday, it seems, they had a Labour leader who openly supported the paper, surrounded by close advisers whose ideology reflected the CPB’s most hard-line Stalinist wing. And after the surprisingly strong Labour showing in 2017, governmental power (or at least, influence) could not be ruled out.

Now all that has been snatched away from them – or, as some would say, they’ve blown it.

No wonder they

Clive Lewis on the left after Corbyn

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 09:00

Clive Lewis talked with Sacha Ismail

What Corbynism started to talk about in 2015 was an end to austerity, and trying to return to a sort of 1945 moment, trying to recapture a Keynesian economic approach — redistribution of wealth, trying to use social democracy to move us towards a more socialist economy in stages.

But also at the beginning it was about democratising the party, which I think is what attracted so many of us. The idea of democracy and membership engagement and members having a real say over policy really resonated.

New Labour came in and put their boot on the throat of the

A left opposition to Starmer

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 08:46
Author

Sacha Ismail

Barring a surprise, Keir Starmer will be elected Labour leader on 2 April by a big margin.

How will the left respond? The signs are that Starmer will want to not marginalise left MPs, but rather “incorporate” them, as Harold Wilson “incorporated” the left MPs in his day.

Although the 2019 Labour Party conference showed that at constituency level the Labour Party is much more left-wing, in a general way, than it was before 2015, the actual organised Labour left is weak. Momentum has a big membership, but does not even aspire to discuss and campaign for left-wing policies.

What left MPs do, and

Phillips: argue it out, not suspend behind closed doors

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 08:17
Author

Mohan Sen

The issues involved in the suspension of former Equality and Human Rights Commission chair Trevor Phillips from the Labour Party on charges of Islamophobia are somewhat murky.

Listening to Phillips talk about them does not clarify a great deal, and the party itself seems to be avoiding comment.

Phillips is a longstanding Blairite, but until this row burst I had no idea that he held controversial views on anything to do with Muslims or Islam. Looking around to catch up now, my reading is firstly that Phillips is unpopular for saying some things, for instance about the failures of

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