Labour Party

Labour to blame in Scotland?

Scottish Labour and/or its leader Kezia Dugdale bear the blame for the re-election of a Tory government on 8 June. That’s the line currently being systematically promoted by cybernats. And it’s not confined to the fringe elements of cybernattery.

The cybernat campaign to blame Scottish Labour for the election of a Tory government signals a further lurch by the SNP activist base into fantasy politics.

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Why we need explicit socialist organisation

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The assessment by Ben Selwyn, an English correspondent for the Canadian socialist e-letter The Bullet, is typical: Labour’s great mobilisation on 8 June “placed socialist ideas firmly back on the political agenda... let the proverbial genie of class politics out of the bottle”. Even conservative commentators interpret the Grenfell Tower fire as showing how working-class people are abused in an unequal society. The word “socialism” comes up more in workplace discussions.

Capitalism is a resilient system. Its entrenched logics cannot be conquered by a well-meaning mechanic who goes into the system, spanner in hand, assuring the people that she or he is only adjusting the settings, and yet hoping that the successive tweaks will produce a socialist surprise.

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How to go forward from 8 June

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Editorial

The 8 June election result has re-energised Labour’s activist base and helped put basic working-class demands back on the agenda. The increase in turnout among young voters, and the huge Labour lead among young voters, signal a major shift in British politics. All of this opens up a new period of Labour revival and recomposition.

The election result opens up new chances to instil socialist purpose in the labour movement, but it is down to us to do the instilling: it is not happening automatically or organically.

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The curious incident of the left that didn’t bark

Author: 

Colin Foster

Instructing a stolid and unimaginative official detective, Sherlock Holmes drew his attention to “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”. His stooge, or feed, responded: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

The SWP, Socialist Party and Socialist Appeal don’t get involved in the Labour Party, fail to oppose the re-raising of national frontiers in Europe, and advocate socialism only in coded and roundabout ways.

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Build solidarity with the Picturehouse strike

Author: 

Joe Booth

Joe Booth, a young socialist, writes his thoughts about the importance of linking the Picturehouse workers’ struggle to the struggle in the Labour Party.


Since October 2016 Workers′ Liberty has been helping the dispute of Picturehouse workers for the Living Wage, sick pay, and maternity/paternity pay. People should support the Picturehouse workers in their fight for a Living Wage and use the momentum of the Labour election gains to build solidarity.

Support the Picturehouse workers in their fight for a Living Wage and use the momentum of the Labour election gains to build solidarity.

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Labour is wrong on press freedom

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Labour’s manifesto committed the party to implement the recommendations in part one of the Leveson enquiry.That would mean supporting Section 40 of the current Crime and Court Act. Under this law newspapers (including Solidarity) have to pay their opponents’ legal costs in libel and privacy cases, even if they win!

Publishers can avoid these charges by signing up with Impress, the recognised regulator financed by Max Mosley.Both the Society of Editors and the National Union of Journalists are against all of Leveson’s recommendations. They said:

It is right that the Labour Party want to challenge the dominance and influence of the big media companies, but further state regulation, including massive financial penalties, would be wholly regressive.

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Contrast and compare

British Labour Party: continued pink-neoliberal policy from 1997 through to 2015, with a shade more pink from 2010. It went down from 43% of the poll in 1997 to 29% in 2010, and recovered only to 30.5% in 2015.

2017: left policy. Share of poll up to 40%, and overall turnout up to 69% (which still leaves much work to do, but...). 3.5 million extra votes gained.

French Socialist Party: continued pink-neoliberal policy. 2012: won the presidency and a parliamentary majority (with small allied parties).

How Labour's electoral performances compares to that of other European social democratic parties.

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Force the Tories out!

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Editorial

We have a Tory minority government. But how long Theresa May, or any Tory, can stay is another matter.

The Tories look likely get a working majority in Parliament, at least on budget and confidence votes, by a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).There will be divisions between the Tories and the DUP, and within the Tory Party as the talks on Brexit proceed and as economic stresses sharpen. The Tories are likely to drop more abrasive policies like reintroduction of grammar schools, but they are in deep trouble.

Recycle the energy from election doorsteps into action on the streets and in the workplace, and rearm the labour movement politically

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RMT branches call for Labour reaffiliation

Following Labour's surge in the general election, several branches of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers union (RMT) have called for the union to reaffiliate to the party, in emergency motions to the union's AGM.

RMT, whose predecessor union helped found Labour, had its affiliation effectively severed in 2004 after the national union refused to prevent its Scottish branches backing candidates of the Scottish Socialist Party.

Following Labour's surge in the general election, two branches of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers union (RMT) have called for the union to reaffiliate to the party, in emergency motions to the union's AGM.

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Nationalists in decline

Author: 

Dale Street

Compared with the 2015 general election, the number of SNP MPs fell from 56 to 35. Scottish Tory MPs increased from one to 13, Scottish Labour MPs increased from one to seven, and Scottish Lib-Dem MPs increased from one to four.

Eleven of the new intake of SNP MPs have majorities of less than 900. In some constituencies their majorities were wafer-thin: two, 21, 60, 75, and 195.

The Scottish Labour left needs to recruit new Labour voters, especially youth into the Party and break the grip of the right.

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