Left groups and people

Left win in Nottingham East

26 October was called “Super Sunday” because of the number of Labour parliamentary selection meetings held on that day – nine, and in important seats. The most positive development was undoubtedly the selection, in a fiercely fought contest, of Nadia Whittome in Nottingham East. Nadia’s campaign was distinctive in terms of her advocacy of policies far to the left of mainstream “Corbynism”; her strong opposition to Brexit; her commitment to “working-class representation”; and her pledge to take a worker’s wage and to always submit to open selections. In a wider picture of limited shifts, from...

The world of online hate

In 2013, the Australian journalist Ginger Gorman became the subject of an online hate campaign. In 2010, she had interviewed two gay men, seemingly an ordinary couple, about their adoption of a young boy. Three years later the men were convicted of child sexual exploitation; they had been involved in an international paedophile network. Naturally Gorman was mortified that she had, however inadvertently, given these men a platform. But a few days after the conviction Gorman began to be inundated by tweets from ″conservatives″ saying she was a paedophile collaborator, and, equally horrifying to...

The left and the election

On 29 October Labour for a Socialist Europe is meeting to discuss its plans, including plans to organise an internationalist-left profile within the Labour campaign in the general election likely to come soon. A basic leaflet is being printed, and an L4SE video has been produced. Other materials being discussed include: • short “position papers” or “explainers” on a range of issues, to be available on the website and printable in short runs or from pdfs for street stalls and hand-to-hand use: Green New Deal, public ownership, union rights, etc. • posters • stickers • tote bags Everything is...

Eddie Dempsey and the misogynistic warlord

I want to add something to the crucial points Becky Crocker made about Eddie Dempsey in Solidarity 519. The picture featured is Dempsey visiting Alexander Mozgovoy, an uber-nationalist, uber-misogynistic paramilitary leader in the pro-Russian militias during the war in eastern Ukraine. When Mozgovoy was killed a week after they met, Dempsey wrote a glowing obituary of his comrade, which I’ll quote below. If you want to get a grip on Mozgovoy, this is what he declared about women in the territory he controlled as a warlord, and of course by implication more generally: “If I see even just one...

Graham Hellawell 1964-2019

Graham Hellawell has died, aged 55. Supporters and members of Workers’ Liberty may well remember Graham from when he took an active and leading part in the Campaign for Free Education in the mid-1990s. As President of Huddersfield University Students’ Union, Graham helped to set up CfE. For a while the Campaign was a very large force inside the National Union of Students battling against the Blairites’ attempts to ditch free education policy. Graham was also active in Unison, in health campaigns and in the fight against racism and fascism. In the 2001 General Election he stood as a Socialist...

“Two states” is the only road to equality

John Strawson disputes the argument that the “two states” policy in Israel-Palestine — self-determination for both nations there — has become “unviable”. John Strawson is a professor of law at the University of East London, a former visiting lecturer at Birzeit University in the West Bank, and a former activist (in the 1970s) in the International Marxist Group. He develops his argument in polemic with Perry Anderson, who is now a professor at University of California Los Angeles, and who has been a leading figure in the New Left Review editorial team since 1962. Perry Anderson announced a new...

The message from Andrew Murray

Ever the Stalinist nostalgic, in his new book The Fall and Rise of the British Left, Murray laments the passing away of “a largely vanished world of working-class power” and the fact that “none of the scenarios which gripped the left I grew up with in the twentieth century appear fully plausible any more.” What is to fill the vacuum? Murray’s answer is not: Slough off the dead weight of Stalinism, re-assert the centrality of independent working-class politics, and reforge a labour movement fit for the overthrow of capitalism. Instead, and this is his explanation for Corbyn’s election as Labour...

Free Louisa Hanoune

Louisa Hanoune, leader of the Workers’ Party in Algeria, linked to the “Lambertist” left group in France, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. On 25 September a military court sentenced her for “plotting against the state and undermining the army”. Also sentenced to 15 years were Said Bouteflika, brother of former president Abdulaziz Bouteflika, now pushed aside by the military regime as it seeks to hold on to power, and two former state intelligence bosses, Mohamed Mediene and Bachir Tartag. The prosecutors based their case on reports of a meeting of the four. They tried to discredit...

Brexit, the white working class and liberal left

Six months ago now a debate was sparked by comments made by Eddie Dempsey, an activist for “full Brexit” and in the rail union RMT, at a “Full Brexit” rally on 26 March. Dempsey said that “people that turn up for those Tommy Robinson demos or any other march like that – the one thing that unites those people, whatever other bigotry is going on, is their hatred of the liberal left and they are right to hate them” (emphasis added). He further commented that “too many in the Labour Party have made a calculation that there’s a certain section at the top end of the working class, in alliance with...

Labour Conference: debating a Green New Deal, Brexit and free movement

The process of “compositing” (merging a large number of similar local Labour Party motions into a manageably small number of options for debate) at Labour Party conference on the Green New Deal was long drawn out and arduous. Eventually, however, the delegates agreed to send forward three options. One motion, supported by the GMB union, included some radical bits but, crucially, no target for suppressing carbon emissions. The second, backed by far more CLPs and with the Fire Brigades Union as the mover, was more radical. It specifically included a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030...

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