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


Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 11:19

Leeds East MP and deputy leadership candidate Richard Burgon’s politics are, in general, close to those of the Stalinist Morning Star. So it is ironic that he has made eloquent arguments for Labour Party democracy that virtually no other prominent figure is making.

Interviewed on Novara Media, Burgon argues forcefully that Labour members must make Labour policy – including manifesto policy – through conference. He maintains and develops this argument for about ten minutes, defending it against persistent attempts by Novara interviewers Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani to talk him out of it.

Labour NEC: vote Townsend and Wright!

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 11:26

Mohan Sen

The by-election for three places on Labour’s National Executive Committee is messy, with multiple “left” slates or partial slates in competition.

Momentum, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, the rump Labour Representation Committee, and the (Chris-Williamson-ite) Labour Left Alliance are supporting different combinations of candidates.

• CLPD are backing Lauren Townsend and Cecile Wright for the two CLP places
• Momentum, Lauren Townsend and Leigh Drennan, plus Nav Mishra for the BAME place
• LRC, Jo Bird and Deborah Hobson, plus Hassan Ahmed for BAME
• LLA, Jo Bird and Mohammed Azam,

West Midlands feels the Byrne

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 11:22

Gerry Bates

Right-winger Liam Byrne has been selected as the Labour candidate to unseat Tory West Midlands metro-mayor Andy Street in May.

Out of 6,948 votes, Byrne received 3,105 first preferences. There were two left candidates, former Dudley council leader Pete Lowe on 2,034 votes and former Respect activist Salma Yaqoob on 1,809.

Yaqoob’s transfers did not go to Lowe, or not much more than they went to no second preference or to Byrne. After transfers Byrne beat Lowe 56.5-43.5%.

Byrne has, for obvious reasons, made vague leftish noises, but he was a loyal minister in the Blair-Brown regime, nominated

Labour’s climate policy: the fine print

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:16

Misha Zubrowski

The environmental section of Labour’s manifesto is more ambitious than previous policy announcements, but less so than sections of the policy passed at this year’s Labour conference.

It has received much hype but less attention to detail. This article unpicks some of the finer points.

The rhetoric, at least to start, seems refreshingly left-wing, it suggesting a direct working-class approach. “Just 100 companies globally are responsible for the majority of carbon emissions”, they recognise. They thus commit to “work in partnership with the workforce and their trade unions in every sector of

“Labour Transformed” launches

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:16

A new Labour left organisation is being launched from elements around Labour Campaigns Together.

Labour Transformed has put out a launch statement and plans a conference on 14 December in London. It’s not clear why it has been scheduled to clash with the Another Europe Is Possible conference.

Prime movers include James Meadway, formerly of Counterfire, and a former adviser to John McDonnell, and Seth Wheeler, formerly of Plan C.

The statement contains much to agree with on anti-capitalism, socialism, internationalism and the importance of democracy in our movement. It says, rightly:


Left splits over West Midlands mayor

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:33

Jem Vale

The entrance of former Respect party leader Salma Yaqoob into the contest for the Labour candidacy for West Midlands mayor is causing a bitter row within Momentum and the Labour left as a whole throughout the region.

In principle, the idea of a female ethnic minority candidate is attractive. But Yaqoob’s record makes her a highly problematic prospective candidate.

There are many aspects of Yaqoob’s record that have caused concern, but the most obvious is her campaign, as an independent candidate, against Labour’s Naz Shah in Bradford West at the last general election in 2017.

Now, Shah –

Haringey: losing momentum?

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 10:56

Simon Nelson

In 2017, a grassroots rebellion against a right-wing Labour Council led to the election of the first so-called “Momentum Council”.

The new councillors were often supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, but most of all opposed to Haringey Council’s proposals for a public-private partnership with Lendlease to deliver the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) — a gentrification scheme that was set to socially cleanse large areas of working-class Haringey, hand in hand with a known blacklisting developer.

A concerted campaign by the local Momentum group, the wider local Labour left, and the anti-HDV campaign

A workers’ answer to climate change

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 10:18

Misha Zubrowski

Workers’ Liberty’s conference this year will be discussing and debating maybe amending a document, “Fighting Climate Crises”. This article is a section from it. Solidarity 523 carried the second and final instalment of it. The document has since been updated. See a more recent version, in conference motion form, here.

The first research demonstrating that carbon dioxide released through burning fossil fuels would drive global warming was published well over a century ago, the first government warnings in the 1960s, and the first IPCC report in 1990.

Now, the scientific consensus about serious

The message from Andrew Murray

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 09:18

Ann Field

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

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