Labour Party

Momentum Internationalists sets out it plans

In his recent speech to the Fabian Society, Keir Starmer used the word “internationalism” a lot. But the substance of what he said — or didn’t say — made clear that he plans to stoke nationalism as an election gimmick, and bolster an international order that is responsible for appalling crimes around the world. A real internationalist alternative is needed. For socialists, internationalism is the beginning of wisdom. If we believe that the important division in society is between exploiters and exploited, then it follows that British workers have more interests in common with Algerian or...

Dissolving Labour's policies

Winning the next general election is Keir Starmer’s declared priority. Of course, it would be good if Labour wins the next election, and even better if the Tories were forced to call an election sooner rather than later. But Starmer’s strategy for winning amounts to presenting himself as Mr. Moderate: abstaining in parliamentary votes on the Overseas Operations Bill and the Spycops Bill, in the name of national security; voting for the Tories’ Brexit deal in the name of national unity; and failing to support workers who refuse to put their health at risk in unsafe workplaces. The eight interim...

Starmer wraps himself in the flag

Keir Starmer’s 5 January address to the nation had a surreal quality. Hunched before a Union Jack, he fretfully listed groups of people who would be inconvenienced by the new lockdown and its “difficulties”, before rallying to tell us that the “strength of the British people” will see everything right, and in particular that Brits will get vaccinated before any foreigners do. It was as if a distressed and confused performer had been forced by his employer to go on TV to do Captain Mainwaring impressions. Politically, Starmer gave no indication that he was the leader of the political wing of...

Condemn Starmer u-turn on free movement

The Labour Campaign for Free Movement is seeking signatures and Constituency Labour Party and union motions calling on the Labour leadership to support democracy, migrant rights and the 2019 Labour Party conference decision on free movement: see here (up with other motions here). This is a response to Keir Starmer saying on 10 January, when asked if Labour would stick to its free movement policy: “I don’t think there’s an argument for reopening those aspects of the treaty”. A year ago, asked when running for Labour leader whether he would bring back free movement for EU citizens, Starmer said...

An Open Letter to my fellow Labour councillors

Dear colleagues, The past decade in local government has been defined largely by one thing: cuts. And if this government has their way, this will be the story for the next decade too. Rishi Sunak has heaped yet more misery on councils. His budget provided £5bn less than the Tory leadership of the Local Government Association said is necessary just to “stay afloat”. Following the disastrous impact of the pandemic on councils’ finances, we are facing a new wave of cuts. Although the impact may not have kicked in across the country yet, cases like Luton (where £22m of emergency cuts were...

Jeremy Corbyn's new project and the "grassroots people"

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is launching a new "Peace and Justice Project". Sadly, its basis is no defined policies, but rather that it is "founded by Jeremy Corbyn". Its website is not named after policies or even general ideals, but thecorbynproject.com. The Labour left surely needs to remobilise, after the disarray created by Labour's erratic floundering over Brexit and antisemitism, the December 2019 election defeat, and the (only weakly-resisted) shutting down of local Labour Party life in March-July 2020 on the pretext of virus precautions. Solidarity has argued for the...

Raise voices against the Evans-Starmer purge!

Dozens of constituency or branch Labour Party officials, chairs, secretaries, and so on, have been suspended without due process simply for allowing debate on "banned" motions about other disciplinary crackdowns. “If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that", declared Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner on 29 November, following a new message from Labour Party general secretary David Evans that local Labour Party officials could be suspended for allowing debate on restoring the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn. It's a Catch-22 logic: suspensions can never be stopped...

Shapurji Saklatvala: a revolutionary trailblazer

Saklatvala speaking in Hyde Park, demanding the release of the Reichstag fire suspects in Germany (1933) This is the sixth and final part of a series. For the other articles, see here. The British trade union leaders’ surrender of the 1926 General Strike after nine days, as the strike was spreading and growing stronger, came as a shock to the mass of organised workers. Communists had played a central role on the ground and taken the brunt of repression; yet they too were ill-prepared for what took place. For two years the Communist Party had campaigned around the slogan “All Power to the [TUC]...

"Progressive alliance" or socialist politics?

The proposed launch of a Compass Labour Network has started a new round of debate on the old idea for a "Progressive Alliance" between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

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