Labour Party

The left and Starmer

Published on: Tue, 07/04/2020 - 10:35


On 4 April, Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner were proclaimed Labour’s new leader and deputy, and the Labour right won all three by-elections for the National Executive Committee, against a divided field of left candidates.

The left should neither rally to Starmer uncritically (as some have done), nor give up on the fight inside the Labour Party (as others have suggested).

1. Demand fight against the Tories

The media reports that Starmer and his inner circle think it is clever and “statesmanlike” to refrain from too vocal criticism of the Tory government in the Covid-19 crisis. This is wrong.

Labour members need democracy to hold Starmer to left policies

Published on: Sun, 05/04/2020 - 14:16

Dave Kirk

Keir Starmer was supported in his leadership bid by many MPs and organisations on the hard-right of the Labour Party. Their support was at least partially based on the idea that he can be pressured to return the Labour Party to New Labour-type neoliberal policies.

However, Starmer could not have won the clear, indeed overwhelming, victory he did by getting only right-wing votes. He was undoubtedly supported by many who backed Jeremy Corbyn. He won their support in part by pledging to stick to a lot of the policies that the left won Labour to after 2015.

In his leadership campaign he made ten

Mutual aid and politics

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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