Labour Representation Committee

LRC shame

Over recent times, and recent weeks especially, the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), once a relatively lively and open group of the Labour left, has descended into little more than a Jackie Walker fan club, a cult dedicated to the denial of antisemitism. Over the weekend 4-5 January, it has crossed the line. Its Facebook account, having previously posted conspiratorial crap and posts about violent, right-wing Jew-hate being the only “real” antisemitism, shared content by Laura Stuart, a far-right activist who has circulated racist material including from David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan....

McDonnell and Jackie Walker

The controversy surrounding John McDonnell’s alleged support for Jackie Walker is not a clear as the press coverage suggests. After his speech at the LRC conference, McDonnell took some questions from the floor. Jackie Walker, who after many months of suspension is facing a disciplinary hearing in March over comments connected to Jews and antisemitism, asked one. Not about her case and status in the party as such, but about the abuse she has received online and on the attempts of right-wing Labour MPs to conduct a trial-by-media. Both indisputably real and bad. It seemed she went out of her...

A debate about Momentum: Martin Thomas answers Jon Lansman

This explanation by Jon Lansman of recent events in Momentum was circulated in the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy. Since it contains nothing confidential, and is the only political explanation available from the Momentum leadership other than the article by Christine Shawcroft in Labour Briefing (Feb 2017), which we replied to last week, we reprint it here. Maintaining the centre-left coalition I wanted also to counter the lies and misinformation which are widely repeated by sectarian elements on the Left who wish to turn Momentum from a broad alliance it was intended to be, seeking to...

Motion passed at Labour Representation Conference, 20 February 2016

Motion proposed by Workers’ Liberty and passed at the Labour Representation Committee conference, 20 February We also call on Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and other left party leaders to be politically bolder, on several levels: a. Pushing for the party to get actively mobilising and campaigning on big issues in the class struggle such as the NHS, and to pro-actively support workers' and social struggles; b. Adopting clearer, bolder, popular policies on key issues (e.g. taxing the rich, nationalising the banks, reversing all cuts); c. Actively educating the labour movement and the wider...

Hundreds at inspiring Labour left conference fringe meeting - but we also need discussion on way forward

At a left-wing Labour Party conference fringe meeting on 28 September, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told the audience: "The view now is straightforward and I tell you this: when workers want to take action, we will support them automatically. Our movement should not be divided, there is one struggle. We need to take industrial action and we need to take direct action, on the streets and into the occupations... We are campaigning to close the [immigration] detention centres, we are in solidarity with the people in them. It might not be popular right now, it will be a struggle... The secret...

Build support in the workplaces

Pete Firmin Political Secretary of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), spoke to Solidarity in a personal capacity. What are the main lessons of the Corbyn campaign so far? That the existing left doesn’t have to control everything — the reason the campaign has surged is because it’s got out of control and in the positive sense. Nobody has controlled it or been able to control it top down. It’s flourished in ways nobody’s expected. That has been incredibly positive. In addition lots of people new to politics or at least Labour Party politics have come around it; there’s a big layer of...

The forgotten Keir Hardie

John B Askew, in the Call, referring to an appreciation of Keir Hardie which has appeared in that Räte-Korrespondenz, an organ of the German Communist Party, says that Keir Hardie, “the man who set out to found an Independent Labour Party, and yet was resolutely determined to ignore the class struggle or the Marxist theories which alone could give such a party a firm foundation, presents a contradiction which is none too easy to unravel.” Strange that Keir Hardie’s real opinions should be so little known by British socialists. We have before us a pamphlet containing reprints of three articles...

The forgotten Keir Hardie

During his lifetime he was not always well regarded by contemporary socialists, particuarly those in the Social Democratic Federation. After his death labour movement biographers, keen to make Labour respectable, tried to play down his socialist credentials and stressed his religious and temperance background. This article by Sylvia Pankhurst, written in 1921. John B Askew, in the Call, referring to an appreciation of Keir Hardie which has appeared in that Räte-Korrespondenz, an organ of the German Communist Party, says that Keir Hardie, “the man who set out to found an Independent Labour...

LRC commits to build Defend The Link "as widely as possible"

The annual conference on 23 November 2013 of the Labour Representation Committee, a Labour left grouping launched in 2004 by John McDonnell MP and supported by the affiliation of six trade unions, voted to build the "Defend The Link" campaign "as widely as possible". It also passed a motion from AWL for an "internationalist campaign in the European elections", based on the LRC's policy passed in 2011: "In or out, the fight goes on"; "For a Workers' Europe". The motion committed LRC to campaign for "cross-European working-class and socialist struggle", for social and democratic "levelling-up"...

Labour and Tories: two cheeks of the same arse?

Recently the Tories drew level with Labour in opinion polls for the first time in 18 months due to the UK Independence Party's national vote collapse. The probability of a second Tory government is increasing. The Tories want to cut our industry to the bone. But what would Labour do with it? Would a Labour government be any better? How can workers in our industry and across society have a say in politics as the major parties gear up for the next General Election? The Tories have wholeheartedly endorsed the McNulty report, which recommends sorting out the problems caused by privatisation with a...

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