Labour Party history

Editorials - February 1995 AWL Thu, 04/28/2011 - 00:11

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

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Illusions of Power: The lessons of last time round

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 12:09 Author: Keith Road

In the early 1980s, many Labour councils were committed to defy Tory cuts. Sadly, every single one of these councils backed down in the end. There are many lessons to be learned from that defeat.

Today business rates are set by, and channelled through, central government. In the 1980s, councils set and collected rates levied on local businesses. They had more scope to offset central government cuts through these tax-raising powers. In that context many argued that this tax-raising was progressive and redistributive.

The Russian revolution and the British left Matthew Wed, 05/31/2017 - 10:46

It is February 1917. A large crowd are gathered to hear socialists and pacifists denounce the war. As the speeches start the snow begins fall... The hundreds who assembled that snowy night, looking like a scene out of Dr Zhivago, were not in Petrograd 1917 but in Waterfoot, Rossendale.

How to fight the Labour right Matthew Wed, 02/15/2017 - 14:00

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.

A debate about Momentum: Martin Thomas answers Jon Lansman

Submitted by Matthew on 15 February, 2017 - 1:32 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

The history of the Progressive Alliance AWL Fri, 12/09/2016 - 10:44

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.

Clement Attlee — the compromising committee man Matthew Wed, 10/19/2016 - 12:31

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.

Changing attitudes, changing the world Matthew Wed, 09/07/2016 - 11:43

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.

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

Submitted by Matthew on 7 September, 2016 - 11:21 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.

Trident renewal and the future of the Labour Party AWL Wed, 07/27/2016 - 13:07

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.