Brexit

The future for Labour for a Socialist Europe

Published on: Fri, 24/01/2020 - 15:56
Author

Interview with Urte Macikene

Urte Macikene, convenor of Labour for a Socialist Europe, discussed next steps for the campaign with Martin Thomas


What should Labour for a Socialist Europe do, now that Brexit is almost certain to go through?

For Red Flag, opposition to Brexit was never just about ensuring we stay in the EU. It was about using the fight against Brexit to explain how the rise of far-right nationalism is just one of a number of global problems which can never be solved by any one national policy, because they’re part of a deep crisis of the international capitalist system we live in. What follows from that is

Among first victims of Brexit: child refugees

Published on: Sat, 11/01/2020 - 10:26
Author

Josh Lovell

The Tory Brexit Withdrawal Bill went through the House of Commons this week with a series of amendments - one ending the right to family reunion for unaccompanied child refugees within the EU.

The so-called "Dublin regulation" is set to be removed with a majority of 96, a damning sign of what is yet come and the callousness of this latest Tory government.

But none of this should surprise us. Only days after their victory in December, prominent members of the far-right took to social media to announce that they had now joined the Conservative Party. Be they Tommy Robinson or Paul Golding (and

A weather-vane not a signpost

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 12:31
Author

Jim Denham

Any socialist who didn’t feel sick to the stomach on the morning of 13 December has something seriously wrong with them.

But the reaction of the Morning Star and its political masters, the Communist Party of Britain went beyond that and verged upon grief and hysteria.

Instead of studying the polling evidence for the reasons, they lashed out at the only (supposed) “cause” of defeat they could countenance — Labour Remainers. Their hysteria even involved an element of perverse gloating. The 14-15 December Morning Star used its front page to crow (in large block capitals) that “Remain is Over”,

Poor choices for Labour leader

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 12:11
Author

Sacha Ismail

Labour’s National Executive Committee has set a short timetable for the leadership election. MPs and MEPs have one week to nominate candidates (7-13 January).

Constituency Labour Party [CLPs] and affiliates have one month (15 January-14 February). Voting will run a month and a bit (21 February-4 April).

New members can vote if they join by 20 January. There will be a registered supporters system, in addition to affiliate supporters (eg people registered through their unions).

To get on the ballot, candidates need 10% of Labour MPs and MEPs (22), and then either 5% of constituency parties (33)

Tories: prepare the fightback!

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:42
Author

Editorial

Boris Johnson has talked of ending austerity, bolstering public services and appealing to the working class, but on all the evidence so far that is a threadbare velvet glove on an iron hand.

NHS spending is set to increase, but by nothing anywhere near what is needed to fill the shortfall from its 2010-20 cuts. The tide of privatisation will continue to roll forward.

The NHS is probably the best protected part of the public sector. The Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that by 2024, non-NHS spending will be 14% lower than in 2010.

The provisional local government funding settlement

Paul Mason and the Labour left

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 12:40
Author

Sacha Ismail

Did Paul Mason write his own headline for his latest New Statesman article? “Corbynism is over – Labour’s next leader must unite the centre and the left”.

The article is better than the headline, but the headline does indicate the problem with Mason’s arguments. As often, he combines useful left-wing insights with ambiguity and right-wing elements.

Mason’s starting point is that Labour’s shift to a more anti-Brexit position was too little too late. “Because we had to waste half a year, and a fractious conference, winning over Liberal Democrat and Green voters, could not simultaneously do the

Labour leadership: neither “LOTO continuity” nor “back to Blair”!

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 11:58
Author

Sacha Ismail

Labour Party general secretary Jennie Formby has written to the National Executive Committee proposing the process of electing a new leader and deputy leader should begin on 7 January and conclude by the end of March.

Under new rules agreed since the last leadership election, to get on the ballot paper candidates need nominations from 10% of MPs (21) plus either 5% of constituency parties (33) or 5% of affiliated organisations by conference voting strength, two of which must be trade unions.

Since the Parliamentary Labour Party is still much more right-wing than the party membership, that may

Five arguments about why Labour lost

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 11:48
Author

Sacha Ismail

“Labour has lost the working class”

Over the years, but particularly in the Brexit era, older people have swung to the right and younger people to the left.

In 1983 18-24 year olds backed Thatcher over Labour by 9 points, while over-65s backed Labour by 6. This time 18-24s backed Labour 57-19, while over-65s backed the Tories 62-18! Among women voters aged 18-24, only 15% went Tory.

Older people are more and more over-represented in areas where Labour lost the bulk of its seats, and young people more and more under-represented. And older people are much more likely to turn out and vote.

What

AEIP declares for re-entry to EU

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 11:30
Author

Gerry Bates

Another Europe Is Possible held its conference on 14 December, with about 100 present at any one time.

AEIP was set up as a left pro-Remain group in the run-up to the 2016 referendum, and Workers’ Liberty supported it then.

It organised “Left Blocs”, for example, on the big October 2018 and March, July, and October 2019 anti-Brexit marches.

Previously operating as a sort of NGO, AEIP became a membership organisation and held a founding conference in December 2018.

AEIP is officially “cross-party”, but the Green Party presence at this second conference seemed smaller than in 2018.

AEIP decided

PCS plans new drive

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 10:06
Author

John Moloney

Like all workers, civil servants are now facing at least five years of an extremely reactionary government. Workers’ rights and trade unionism will come under renewed assault, and as government workers we expect PCS will be in the frontline of that.

We even had members on strike on election day, with our members at Ealing tax office striking for half a day to demand the office remains open. They also struck on 5 December, and have now struck five times in total. Further strikes are planned in January if necessary.

The union will be launching a new organising and recruitment drive in 2020. We

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