Labour Party

Labour, demand Johnson quits!

Enough of Boris Johnson! The way he has conscripted his Cabinet ministers to defend his wretched Rasputin, Dominic Cummings, is a symptom of much more. We need to get rid of the Tory government and the whole nexus of privilege and profiteering which it serves. Getting rid of Johnson will be a start. It would be hard even for a Tory successor to get away with his tinpot-tyrant stuff, like his attempt to shut down Parliament last year and his rush for a hard Brexit formula before 30 June. Make Labour speak out!

Forward Momentum drops democratically-agreed left policies

On 2 June Forward Momentum published its “plan to take Momentum forward” . This 1,075 word document was put together following two gatherings of delegates mainly elected in local and other (e.g. BME) meetings of FM supporters. In that sense, the process was reasonably open. There were, however, serious problems both with the process and the political positions the majority used it to take. First of all, the delegate meetings included unelected “founding members”, who nonetheless got a vote. In addition, a number of important policies which were adopted by these meetings were not included in...

Nominations open for Momentum NCG

Both the main groupings standing candidates for Momentum’s national coordinating group (NCG), Forward Momentum and Momentum Renewal, have now announced their full, 24-strong slates of candidates. Nominations, and sign-ups for Momentum membership to vote in the election, close on 11 June, and voting is 16-30 June. The Momentum Renewal (momentumrenewal.co.uk) slate is far more “celebrity” heavy than the Forward Momentum one, with Labour conference arrangements committee member and London party vice-chair Seema Chandwani; Scottish deputy leadership candidate Matt Kerr; NEC member Huda Elmi; Jon...

Why I'm standing for the Momentum NCG

Ruth Cashman, co-secretary of Lambeth Unison and Labour for a Socialist Europe convener, is standing for the Momentum National Coordinating Group after she nominated in the Forward Momentum primaries as part of the Momentum Internationalists slate, but was bureaucratically barred from standing . She sent us this statement. I’m standing for the Momentum National Coordinating Group as a trade union activist with a wide range of experience in a union branch and local left that have organised numerous struggles, in workplaces and the wider community, around a range of issues – from cuts to...

"We need much more organised pressure on Starmer"

Nurse, Unite activist and socialist Mark Boothroyd spoke to Sacha Ismail. What are the most important things for the left to argue and fight for in this crisis? How does the dominant labour movement response measure up? The labour movement needs to campaign for more extensive economic support, to expand the furlough and self-employed schemes, extend them to those not covered and so on. People need to be able to stay home and sustain themselves. Clearly sick pay and the right to self-isolate on fully pay are essential. The level of statutory sick pay is utterly scandalous, it needs to be raised...

Push Johnson backwards

The Conservatives’ Immigration Bill passed its second reading in parliament on 18 May. It will proceed to committee scrutiny, expected to run until 25 June. The Bill would end free movement with the EU and write a blank cheque for the Home Secretary, who will be able to create a new immigration regime with limited oversight. Plans published so far indicate an extension to EU migrants of the existing regime’s barriers and hostile treatment of “unskilled” (i.e. low-paid) workers. “Guest worker” schemes will facilitate hyper-exploitation and abuse by employers. Labour rightly whipped its MPs to...

Labour: restore accountability

Labour’s National Executive Committee has agreed to cancel the party’s annual conference, which was scheduled to take place in September. Labour NEC member Alice Perry says that “a policy conference can take place online instead”, but with no details of what this means. The mainstream media has quoted “Labour sources” saying that the leadership does not mind losing an opportunity to rally support because it also means avoiding clashes with and challenges from the left. No conference means more time and space for Starmer to continue moving Labour to the right with minimal opposition. There...

Fight coming council cuts

Without an urgent cash injection, sweeping cuts of 20% could be seen in local authorities right across England. So the Local Government Association has reported. In real terms, the net funding shortfall from the pandemic emergency is estimated at £10 billion. Labour-held Stevenage Borough Council has been one of the first to break cover, reporting a £4.5 million black hole, expanding to £8 million by the end of year: see here . The council’s whole annual budget is £9 million. Without a bail-out this deficit could force the council to declare bankruptcy and issue a Section 114 notice, allowing...

Call for action on social care

Late May has seen significant developments in the fight around social care. After months of refusing to even address the issue of sick pay and isolation pay for care workers, the Tories have announced a £600m “infection control fund”. Guidance for the fund states that part of its purpose is to “maintain the normal wages of staff who, in order to reduce the spread of infection need to reduce the number of establishments in which they work, reduce the number of hours they work, or self-isolate”. This is potentially an enormous victory. But the announcement has been very quiet, no doubt because...

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