Left groups and people

Force the Tories out!

Author: 

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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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Bob Crow: an unapologetic socialist

Author: 

Janine Booth

Janine Booth reviews Bob Crow: socialist, leader, fighter — A political biography, by Gregor Gall (Manchester University Press)


As the first book about Bob Crow published since his untimely death three years ago, Gregor Gall’s political biography of Crow provides us with an opportunity to review his life and his time in the railworkers’ union NUR and its successor RMT, to highlight the key reasons for his effectiveness and impact, and to examine the limits of those.

A review of Bob Crow: socialist, leader, fighter — A political biography, by Gregor Gall (Manchester University Press).

Culture and Reviews: 

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Keep fighting for free movement!

Despite wide support on the Labour left for freedom of movement, there has been no active campaigning. The result is that those on the left that have compromised on this issue, the union bureaucracy and Labour’s right have made the running. That is why on immigration the manifesto, is, at best, a vague compromise.

Interviewed by ITV on 15 May, Jeremy Corbyn said that Brexit means the free movement of citizens between the UK and the EU is going to end, even if Labour wins the election. In January Corbyn had said much the same, only later to retract, saying that he was not proposing new restrictions on the rights of people to move to the UK. At that time he hinted that free movement would be part of a negotiation to keep the UK in the single market. No such clarification now.

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Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Momentum conference found lacking

Author: 

Keith Road

About 500 people attended Momentum’s “Building to win” event in Birmingham on 25 March. As expected there was no chance to have a debate about the way forward for Momentum, just 15 sessions ranging from “Nice people finish first” to “Community organising at the grassroots” and “Momentum Trade Union Solidarity”.

A democratic conference that allows full discussion of the kind of work and role of Momentum is sorely needed.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Excluded from Labour for being a socialist!

Author: 

Keith Road

A Socialist Appeal member, expelled from the Labour Party, recently went court to contest the expulsion. Unsurprisingly the Party had their side upheld and he will not be reinstated, at least not through court procedures.

The need for a campaign to open up the Labour Party, end auto-exclusions and suspensions, and fight for natural justice against bureaucratic manoeuvres.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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What’s happening on 11 March?

Author: 

Simon Nelson and Keith Road

The Momentum Grassroots conference on Saturday 11 March (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Conway Hall, London, WC1R 4RL) presents an important opportunity to shape and coordinate the work of local groups after the 10 January coup in the organisation. We hope for a large turnout, with delegates representing groups from around the country.

Momentum still has a huge pool of resources and a membership of over 20,000. To walk away and squander the biggest opportunity the left has had in a generation to transform the Labour Party is wrong and should be resisted.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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What is the “social strike”?

Author: 

Daniel Randall

Recent strikes by “gig economy” workers (e.g. Deliveroo) are profoundly significant. They explode the myth, peddled by some on both left and right, that so-called precarious workers can’t organise, and that the proliferation of those types of work is in the process of rendering labour organising historically redundant.

A fetishisation of novelty can sometimes blind us to the fact that what’s required is not “new kinds of strike action”, or new forms of organisation, but rather a rediscovery and relearning of old lessons, ideas, and strategies, now forgotten or lost.

Marxist Theory and History: 

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Trade Unions: 

Momentum vote: only 42% pro-coup

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Last month’s elections to Momentum National Co-ordinating Group saw 75% of the 12 seats elected by Momentum members (out of 32 NCG places) go to candidates endorsing the constitution imposed in January.

In the North and Scotland region, the pro-constitution slate won all four seats. In the Midlands, Wales, East and West region they took three, and in the South East Region two. Yet only 42% voted for pro-coup people. Their over-representation was due to this being a first-past-the-post election, so the biggest minority could sweep the board.

Only 42% of Momentum mermbers voted for pro-coup people in national elections. Their over-representation is due to this being a first-past-the-post election, so the biggest minority could sweep the board.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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A debate about Momentum: Martin Thomas answers Jon Lansman

Author: 

Jon Lansman and Martin Thomas

This explanation by Jon Lansman of recent events in Momentum was circulated in the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy. Since it contains nothing confidential, and is the only political explanation available from the Momentum leadership other than the article by Christine Shawcroft in Labour Briefing (Feb 2017), which we replied to last week, we reprint it here.

Maintaining the centre-left coalition

What was behind the 10 January coup in Momentum?

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Momentum conference called

Author: 

Ed Whitby and Tracy McGuire

This report of Momentum’s National Committee which met on Saturday 28 January is by Ed Whitby and Tracy McGuire, northern regional delegates. More can be found on Ed’s blog.


Approximately 20 committee members attended the 28 January National Committee with a number of apologies. There were also over 30 observers, mostly from London, though also a number from further a field.

Momentum’s National Committee met on Saturday 28 January.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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