General Secretary: debate the issues!

Submitted by SJW on 14 March, 2018 - 1:26 Author: Keith Road
Jennie Formby

The withdrawal of Jon Lansman from the contest to replace Iain McNicol as the next Labour Party General Secretary makes almost certain that Jennie Formby will get the job.

The contest should have been an opportunity to talk about what a left-led Labour Party should be like in its culture and structures. It became an opaque fight where any differences between candidates were unclear and impossible for ordinary Labour members to decode.

Open up the Labour General Secretary contest

Submitted by SJW on 9 March, 2018 - 6:03 Author: Simon Nelson
Jennie Formby

The contest which has opened up over who will replace Iain McNicol as General Secretary of the Labour Party should be an opportunity to talk about what a left-led Labour Party should be like in its culture and structures. Whether it can be anything other than an acrimonious factional battle, and one that is impossible for ordinary Labour members to decode, remains to be seen.

National Policy Forum row

Submitted by Matthew on 28 February, 2018 - 12:22 Author: Keith Road

The 17 February meeting of the Labour Party National Policy Forum (NPF) saw a row over electing a new chair.
Created as part of the Blairite process of blocking internal democracy, the NPF substitutes itself for the fully demonstratic policy-making conference that is needed.

Abolition of the NPF as one of the aims of the democracy review would be a welcome step.

Momentum dominates left slate for NEC election

Submitted by Matthew on 14 February, 2018 - 12:12 Author: Simon Nelson

Momentum has proposed a slate for the elections to the constituency section of Labour’s National Executive, to be held this summer. As we understand it, this slate has also been (narrowly) approved by the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance. The first-time additions of Ann Henderson, Huda Elmi and Nav Mishra to the slate do make it the most diverse it has ever been. However, not everyone is happy.

HDV: death of a sell-off

Submitted by Matthew on 7 February, 2018 - 2:25 Author: Simon Nelson

The resignation of Claire Kober, the Blairite leader of Haringey Council, has left the Haringey Development Vehicle, the scheme her leadership had championed, in tatters. It was a victory for the Stop HDV campaign and the Labour activists who had systematically worked to select candidates for the May council election who opposed the sell-off of £2 billion of public land, the destruction of social housing, and a partnership with the blacklisting giant Lendlease.

Defend Jon Lansman

Submitted by Matthew on 31 January, 2018 - 12:25

The labour movement should rally to the defence of Labour National Executive member and Momentum leader Jon Lansman against George Galloway’s threat to sue him for defamation.

Galloway says he has “instructed solicitors to bring a case for defamation against Jon Lansman”. That is a response to a tweet by Lansman defending Jewish comedian David Baddiel after Galloway made a tweet (now deleted) that “no supporter of the Palestinian people” would march “behind” Baddiel (apparently a reference to planned protests against Donald Trump visiting Britain).

Books that can win

Submitted by Matthew on 31 January, 2018 - 11:47 Author: Colin Foster

The author Alan Sillitoe described how, as a national serviceman aged 19 in 1955, he was got to read Robert Tressell’s The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by an eager colleague saying: “This is the book which won the 1945 election for Labour”.

The Tories, in 1945, tried to counter by mass-distributing a book of their own, Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom.

The political shift of 1945 was shaped by books, and conversations around books, not by tweets or memes. If we want a similar big shift today, we need similarly heavy ammunition.

Momentum Youth shut down

Submitted by Matthew on 10 January, 2018 - 1:18 Author: Michael Elms

After Momentum’s internal democratic structures were shut down in January 2017, its nascent youth wing was taken over by a small friendship group.

Momentum Youth and Students became obsessed with factionalism, lauding trade union leaderships (in the hope of gaining employment in their offices), and weird Stalinist iconography. It was mainly active on social media.

Selections, factionalism, and Akehurst

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 1:22 Author: Will Sefton
Selections, factionalism, and Akehurst

“We may well have reached 'peak Momentum'. These are the most favourable political circumstances Labour’s hard left could envisage.

“They feel politically vindicated by the general election result, have a well-funded, well-staffed organisation holding a vast amount of data on Labour members and have reshaped Labour’s membership through successive rounds of mass recruitment.”