Labour Party

Ten out of ten if you're right-wing?

The Labour Party’s “future candidates programme” released its latest results on 15 October. It was first introduced under the Miliband leadership. Starmer has modified the criteria to allow people who have only recently joined the party to apply, but, more to the point, those selected are broadly supportive of Starmer, and Momentum reports that all left-wing applicants have been unsuccessful. The programme itself will consist of a mix of webinars and face-to-face learning with marking and graded outcomes! Left-wing Labour members should have no truck with this sort of candidates programme. It...

Trade union struggle and political struggle - an interview with John McDonnell

John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington and former Shadow Chancellor, spoke to Sacha Ismail. After Labour Party conference, what do you think will happen with Starmer’s leadership? Do you think he’ll be around for a long time? It’s impossible to tell at the moment. At the conference he used the traditional Blairite, Mandelson playbook. Attack your own party to demonstrate you’re a strong leader; do a big personal speech to try to demonstrate you’re a normal human being; make banal statements instead of policy commitments. It didn’t work: the bounce in the polls didn’t happen. The...

This Labour decision was not so left-wing

The Israel-Palestine composite passed at Labour Party conference is widely considered a victory for the left, like other policy votes there. In fact it is not. It includes no solidarity with democratic and socialist forces on the ground, such as the Jewish-Arab movement Standing Together in Israel and trade union and other groups. Instead it looks exclusively to big-power “sanctions” “against actions by the Israeli government that are illegal according to international law”. It is not for us to object to diplomatic leverage such as that from the USA which pushed Israel to withdraw from Sinai...

After Corbynism, the old dilemma remains

The booklet Corbynism, What Went Wrong? by Martin Thomas is written from the point of view of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL), a Trotskyist political organisation which was mostly frozen out of the Corbynista and Momentum movement. The booklet recounts the history of the Corbyn phenomenon from the 2015 beginning until the 2019 end. It regrets the lost opportunity of those years to build a mass movement, particularly of not bringing in even more young people, and at the same time illustrates the mistakes it feels were made. And – equally tellingly – lists its differences with “the...

MI becomes "Labour Left Internationalists"

The Labour left group Momentum Internationalists (MI) met by Zoom on Sunday 10 October to plan activity after the 25-29 September Labour Party conference. The discussion started with reports on the conference itself and on MI activity around it. Despite its small resources (compare Momentum, which has 20 paid staff), MI was the most active group at conference on left-wing policy issues. Momentum largely limited its comment to rule changes, explicitly eschewed comment on the several moves to refer back parts of the National Policy Forum report (some of which succeeded), and constructed its The...

Issues behind CWU conference

The option presented by the Executive to the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) Special Virtual Conference on 7-9 November, to maintain the union’s affiliation to the Labour Party, is right. But the detail it contains, a focus on lobbying and supporting the Labour metro mayors, makes no sense. Dave Ward, the CWU general secretary, has moved on a little, but essentially this is a reprise from when Dave Ward pushed disaffiliation to gain profile against Billy Hayes, whom he defeated for general secretary in 2015. He did that to appear more left-wing, though in fact Hayes, for all his flaws, was...

More legal agonies for Labour

Further legal agonies in the Labour Party. Labour HQ is reported by Labour List and the Guardian to be about to name five ex-staff (Seumas Milne and others) as the leakers in April 2020 of the 850-page aborted-draft EHRC submission. Labour List says that the five, represented by the celebrated high-price defamation law firm Carter-Ruck, may then sue the Labour Party for the naming. Previously, Emilie Oldknow and other former Labour staffers (of another stripe) who are already suing the party over the leaked document have demanded the names. Labour HQ has refused to give what it says would be...

Make Labour councils back Royal Parks workers (John Moloney's column)

Royal Parks workers’ month-long strike is continuing. There’s no new offer from the outsourced contractor yet; we think they are talking to Royal Parks, to see how much license they’ll be given to resolve the dispute. The contractor says any changes to staffing levels that result from the restructure we’re opposing will be “minimal”, but that could mean almost anything. Until we get something firm then the dispute will continue. We want to increase the pressure on Royal Parks centrally. We’re writing directly to the Board of Trustees, which includes two leaders of Labour councils, Camden and...

Stop the Police Bill! Free jailed protesters!

Over eighty protestors have been arrested, at least 35 charged, and at least nine have been sentenced to jail in connection with the first Kill The Bill protest in Bristol. The now-famous 21 March demonstration developed into clashes with police, with pepper spraying, dogs, and horses being met with chanting and resistance, escalating among some to throwing objects and burning a police van. Police and prosecutors have been relentlessly pursuing protestors. After retracting initial lies about police officers injured, and performing no arrests on the day, police have since used footage to...

What happened at Labour Party conference - reports, articles and interviews

• For conference democracy, against Starmer (our editorial) • After Labour conference • The policies Labour conference demanded • "For a Socialist Green New Deal!" (speech by Edinburgh Central delegate Hannah Taylor) • Starmer's attacks on Labour democracy • Unison activists protest stitch-up • Scratching the surface: The World Transformed • Workers' Liberty at Labour conference • Interview with Billy Hayes, on Proportional Representation and the conference generally • Interview with John McDonnell

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