Labour Party

Defend freedom of movement

Author: 

Editorial

With the Tories in disarray on how to conduct Brexit negotiations with their increasingly frustrated European Union counterparts, the labour movement debate about how to approach Brexit is also hotting up. A welcome recent development is the launch of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement (LCFM) on 4 August with the prominent support of Labour MPs Clive Lewis and David Lammy.

Right-wing politicians of UKIP and the Conservative right have made the perceived threat to British workers from EU migrant labour a hot political issue. In some areas of traditional Labour support — though perhaps remarkably few — this has lost Labour some political support. But it is Labour’s job to make the counter-arguments, to unite British born and foreign born workers against the employers that set out to exploit them all.

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Newcastle abuse and lessons from Rotherham

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

On Friday 11 August the Sun newspaper published an article by Labour MP Sarah Champion under the headline ″British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls … and it’s time we faced up to it″.

The Rotherham case bears many similarities to that of Newcastle. There were multiple factors involved there: vulnerable young women, poverty, the use of drugs and alcohol, authorities disbelieving or in some cases blaming victims as well as, the patriarchal attitudes of some men, attitudes which are prevalent in many communities, in different forms, and which make women and girls “fair game” for sexual exploitation.

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Labour: left making gains

Author: 

Keith Road

Voting has opened in the Conference Arrangements Committee elections where left wing challengers Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes received four times as many nominations as their incumbents.

The left in Labour is starting to make some gains.

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Back workers’ rights to move freely

Author: 

Editorial

Jeremy Corbyn has restated a view expressed to ITV in May that Brexit means leaving the single market and an end to freedom of movement across the UK.

In his own words, he told BBC journalist Andrew Marr that, “There would be Europeans workers working in Britain and British workers working in Europe as there are at the moment. What there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”

It’s Labour’s job to win hearts and minds and convince people of a different politics: one that puts class, not nation, front and centre.

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Yes, antisemitism is an issue

Author: 

Ira Berkovic

Controversies have arisen in some local Labour Parties and Momentum groups around whether to endorse definitions of antisemitism proposed by various civil society organisations. Two main definitions have been promoted in the labour movement, one from the European Union Monitoring Centre (EUMC) and one from the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA). Both include short “definitions”, supplemented by lengthier “guidance”.

Ira Berkovic discusses recent controversies on definitions of antisemitism.

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Left wins conference delegates

Author: 

Keith Road and Sacha Ismail

Good news for the Labour left and socialists in the Labour Party. Many members who joined in 2015 and 2016 have now become eligible to stand as delegates to Labour’s annual conference (24-27 September) and there has been a significant increase in the number of delegate registrations. Many Constituency Labour Parties are now sending as many delegates as they are entitled to, rather than just one delegate, or none, as so many did during the Blair/ Brown/ Miliband years.

A big influx of left-leaning delegates and newer and younger members attending conference has the potential to shake up it up and help get the left prepared to win more influence in the Labour Party.

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Make May resign!

Author: 

Editorial

According to the media over the 8-9 July weekend, the argument among Tory MPs is whether to replace Theresa May now by David Davis, or to wait to replace her until the autumn. Even Tory party chair Grant Shapps has no confidence in May: “Theresa May will need to operate a completely different model to remain in power”. Getting May out will be a first step in bringing down the Tory government. Only a first step.

For the Tories in office to take a skewed snapshot vote and interpret it as a blank cheque for their policies is not democracy.

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Stop these Stalinist threats

This picture was taken at Durham Miners’ Gala on 8 July. In the picture, (originally posted on Facebook) the person on the left is George Waterhouse, RMT activist and prominent member of the Communist Party of Britain. The person on the right is Alex Halligan, a prominent Salford Labour Party activist.

A small but vocal Stalinist scene has developed in the Labour left — and is tolerated and even encouraged by non-Stalinists prominent in Momentum, because it is convenient to have people around who will energetically attack left-wingers.

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Labour responds to election result

Author: 

Keith Road

Labour’s election result has been rightly celebrated by the Labour left. It was also cautiously welcomed by the Labour right. So what will now be the political mood inside Labour?

While open hostility to Corbyn may no longer work, the Labour right are organising among Party members, preparing for conference in September and attempting to tighten their grip on the party apparatus.

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Brexit: fight for free movement!

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

As the UK-EU negotiations on Brexit begin, the political landscape in Britain is in flux. The general election result was widely interpreted as a riposte to the Tories’ push for a hard Brexit. Now senior Tory critics of a hard Brexit, and indeed of Brexit per se, are becoming bolder.

The bulk of Labour members are very likely in favour of free movement yet this has not found expression in the hierarchy or public position of the party.

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