Immigration, asylum and anti-deportation

Letters

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 10:39

Kelly Rogers’ interview on the Labour conference in Solidarity 520, and article in 519, sketches an impressive intervention, replete with important lessons.

One is that sticking resolutely to our politics, not selling out on the hope of a favourable compromise, can “work”, as well as being more principled. Another is that even an — unfortunately — tiny group of revolutionaries within a much larger, reformist, Labour party can have influence well beyond its size. That is, if you have clear, bold political ideas, and good, open organising.

I want to add two points.

First, the division of the

The island, the refugees, and the yachts

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 09:05
Author

Jean Lane

I started coming to Symi, a tiny Greek island in the Aegean, closer geographically to Turkey than the Greek mainland, 30 years ago.

Missing a few years in the middle, I resumed coming five years ago. In these five years, the island has seen many refugees being washed up on its harbour side; mainly from Syria plus some from Afghanistan, Iraq, and sub-Saharan Africa arriving from Turkey just across the water.

Although there was consternation on the island from residents who themselves were suffering the effects of the collapse of the Greek economy, the response to the refugees was (and

Brighton, Labour, and the left

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:33

An interview with Kelly Rogers, a committee member of Labour for a Socialist Europe (L4SE), Another Europe is Possible, and the Labour Campaign for Free Movement, about Labour Party conference.

Q. What picture did the motions booklet give before conference?

A. The bulk of anti-Brexit motions were sent to conference as a result of work by our coalition, comprising Another Europe is Possible, Labour for a Socialist Europe and Open Labour.

For a number of months in advance of conference we were phone-banking Labour Party members in our networks, convincing them to support our motion and

Free school meals for migrant children

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:03
Author

Gerry Bates

On 2 October, the Labour council in Lewisham, south London, agreed that no child in its schools would be denied a free school meal because of their parents’ immigration status.

“No Recourse to Public Funds” (NRPF) policies deny many migrants access to a social safety net, including means-tested school meals.

The Labour Party is now committed to abolishing NRPF outright, after last week’s Labour conference voted near-unanimously last week for a migrants’ rights motion proposed by LCFM [the Labour Campaign for Free Movement]. NELMA (North East London Migrant Action) and LCFM (Labour Campaign for

Labour must respect free movement vote

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 11:44
Author

Ben Tausz

See accompanying reports from Labour conference in the same Solidarity

Labour must respect free movement vote

Labour members and trade unionists have called on party leaders to implement the radical migrants’ rights policy adopted by a landslide vote at last week’s party conference.

The resolution, written by the Labour Campaign for Free Movement (LCFM), represents possibly the most dramatic leap leftwards on immigration in the party’s history. But just a day after the vote, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott contradicted it, telling Radio 4 that in renegotiating Brexit, a Labour government

The left at Labour conference

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 11:44
Author

Kelly Rogers, Matt Cooper, and David Ball

Workers’ Liberty comrades and those around us had a huge impact on Labour Party conference this year (21-25 September, Brighton).

When the Leader’s Office was fishing for compromises on Brexit in the run up to conference, some prominent Remainers were arguing that we’d already won everything we wanted, and that it was reasonable for Labour not to argue explicitly for Remain.

It was at the Labour for a Socialist Europe steering committee that was all put to bed. Following that, the AEIP/L4SE campaign was clear all the way through conference: we were going to refuse to accept being swallowed

Labour Conference: debating a Green New Deal, Brexit and free movement

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2019 - 09:24
Author

Alan Gilbert, Chris Reynolds and Martin Thomas

The process of “compositing” (merging a large number of similar local Labour Party motions into a manageably small number of options for debate) at Labour Party conference on the Green New Deal was long drawn out and arduous.

Eventually, however, the delegates agreed to send forward three options. One motion, supported by the GMB union, included some radical bits but, crucially, no target for suppressing carbon emissions.

The second, backed by far more CLPs and with the Fire Brigades Union as the mover, was more radical. It specifically included a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030,

Preview of Labour conference

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 11:14
Author

Michael Elms

2019 Labour Party Conference (21-25 September, Brighton) is an opportunity for socialists in the Labour Party to stop the political retreat that threatens to bring to an end the left-wing “Corbyn surge” which started in 2015.

The most pressing business is about Brexit. 90 motions have been sent in about Brexit. 81 of them call for Labour to take a clear Remain stance. Most originate with left wing Remain groups Labour for a Socialist Europe and Another Europe is Possible.

Yet a few days before conference, a small group of senior trade union bureaucrats met with Corbyn’s staff and tried to pre

Convergence on the right

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 10:09
Author

Cathy Nugent

″The right has changed; it has embraced the ideas of its outliers″, argues Dave Renton at the start of The New Authoritarians, Convergence on the Right. By embracing the outliers, Renton says, Trump and others have ″radicalised″ their conservative message.

At the same time Renton says, the left has failed to reassess the shape of the new right spectrum and have been weak on challenging its central ideas. The most important of these, for Renton, is its particular form of racism, how the ″right seeks to restrict welfare benefits to members of the [invented] national community, excluding migrants

Tories’ Brexit targets migrants

Published on: Wed, 04/09/2019 - 10:56
Author

Colin Foster

New Home Secretary Priti Patel wants to end free movement from the European Union into Britain overnight on 31 October.

She has pulled back, according to reports in The Independent and The Guardian, only because lawyers warned her that moves “to end freedom of movement without a vote from MPs could see ministers taken to court — with a 70 per cent chance of them losing their case”.

Under all variants of EU withdrawal with a deal, free movement would continue for some two years of the “transition period”. The Tories introduced an Immigration Bill in January to empower the government to make

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