Labour Party history

Editorials - February 1995

Editorial comments on Blair's "modernisation" project in the Labour Party and the peace process in Northern Ireland.

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How to fight the Labour right

Author: 

Keith Road

The Labour Party has 600,000 members and Momentum has 20,000. That should be good news for the activist left in the party. Certainly, if the left organises on the scale it did for the two leadership elections that delivered majorities for Corbyn, then it should be capable of making real progress in other Labour internal elections, in getting through positive rule changes which would strengthen and democratise the Party.

The huge potential of left support that arose out of the Labour leadership elections should be able to stop the right, but the left has to up its game and ensure that activists are prepared to fight locally for both socialist policies and for democratic procedures across the board.

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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 history of the Progressive Alliance

Author: 

Luke Hardy

The result of the Richmond Park by-election has encouraged more calls for Labour to enter a “Progressive Alliance” to oppose “hard Brexit” and the resurgent populist right. Memories must be short, as only last year the Lib Dems were an integral part of a government attacking migrants, the disabled and the poor.

The proposed or actual alliances with other parties have had different names at different times, but they all amount to subordinating Labour politically to the politics of “allies”‘ among the ruling class.

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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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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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