Labour Party history

Clement Attlee — the compromising committee man

Author: 

John Cunningham

Aware that the life of the post-1945 Labour leader and prime minister has been done before, Bew’s biography attempts to give new angles on Attlee’s life. He isn’t successful and the search for new perspectives ends up recounting endless Cabinet intrigues, Attlee’s relationship with Churchill, and countless opinions on Attlee from everybody and their uncle.

A review of Citizen Clem: a biography of Attlee by John Bew, published by riverrun, 2016.

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Changing attitudes, changing the world

Author: 

Peter Tatchell

The 1967 Sexual Offences Act (which partially decriminalised sex between men in private) was a very partial limited reform but nevertheless progress all the same. However, many Labour MPs opposed that legislation and as far as I know no trade unions supported it.

Peter Tatchell spoke at Workers’ Liberty’s Ideas for Freedom event about the struggle to win the labour movement to recognition of LGBT rights.

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Revolutionary versus “democratic socialism”? A reply to Luke Akehurst on "entryism"

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

An October 2015 article by Luke Akehurst, a prominent and combative Labour right winger who recently failed to be elected to the party's NEC, was recently drawn to my attention. The article, published on the LabourList website, was about “entryism”, by which Akehurst means the presence of a revolutionary socialist group like Workers’ Liberty within the Labour Party. It has renewed relevance during the current events.

A reply to prominent Labour right winger Luke Akehurst's October 2015 article on LabourList.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Trident renewal and the future of the Labour Party

At Workers’ Liberty’s Ideas for Freedom event (7-10 July) Luke Akehurst of Labour First debated Labour left activist Laura Rogers on whether the Labour Party should be in favour of renewing Trident.

At Workers’ Liberty’s Ideas for Freedom event (7-10 July) Luke Akehurst of Labour First debated Labour left activist Laura Rogers on whether the Labour Party should be in favour of renewing Trident.

Luke Akehurst: I’m in favour of the renewal of the Trident system, of buying a new set of submarines to enable the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

What is the nature of the British deterrent? It’s a minimum, independent, strategic deterrent. The most important concept here is deterrent. The whole point of having this system is not because you want nuclear war.

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How Connolly became a socialist

Author: 

Michael Johnson

James Connolly was born in poverty in the Edinburgh slum of Cowgate in 1868 to Irish parents. His father, John, was a manure carter for the Edinburgh Corporation and his mother, Mary, a domestic servant.

Michael Johnson begins a series on the life and politics of James Connolly.

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How councillors could fight the cuts

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Councils lost about a quarter of their funding during the 2010-15 Tory and Lib-Dem coalition government. Now they face the same order of attack again. Libraries, social care, and all community services beyond the minimum councils are legally compelled to do face futher chops.

Labour councillors should refuse to make cuts, defy the Tories’ plans, and help mobilise the labour movement and the community to defeat them.

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The Ice-pick again?

Author: 

Martin Thomas

According to Stephen Bush in the New Statesman, the Labour Party machine’s spate of expulsions and bannings in the run-up to the leadership election which Jeremy Corbyn won was talked about as “Operation Ice-pick”.

The name echoes the sick in-jokes popular among leaders of the Labour student organisation in the 1970s and 80s; they admired the Stalinist assassin who used an ice-pick to kill Leon Trotsky in 1940.

Workers’ Liberty was involved in the Socialist Alliance and stood some candidates against Labour in seats where there was no chance of letting in the Tories in the early 2000s. Workers’ Liberty people contested some elections after 2003, mostly under socialist unity banners, but have backed no anti-Labour election campaigns recently, and have taken themselves off the Electoral Commission list of electoral parties.

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Build a Labour youth movement!

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Since the late 1980s, the Labour Party has had only a token youth movement. Yet throughout working-class history, the energy of younger activists has always been the first essential for a dynamic labour movement.

History suggests that the new Labour leaders could more or less at will transform Young Labour into a lively movement. They should change the rules to give a democratic breath of life to Young Labour, and openly campaign to build it. Even if the leaders drag their feet, there will be local openings now for building lively constituency Young Labour groups.

Since the late 1980s, the Labour Party has had only a token youth movement. Yet throughout working-class history, the energy of younger activists has always been the first essential for a dynamic labour movement.

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Organise Labour's newcomers! Remake the party!

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

The trade unions and the working class have re-taken the Labour Party! An enormous beginning has been made to regain the working-class representation in Parliament that in the years since the Blairite coup in 1994 has been more or less absent.

The trade unions and the working class have re-taken the Labour Party! An enormous beginning has been made to regain working-class representation in Parliament.

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