Ken Livingstone

Dick Whittington's heir —The Truth About Mayor Ken Livingstone

Robbed of the official Labour candidacy by Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone defied the New Labour leaders and in the summer of 2000 was elected Mayor of London. No sooner was Livingstone installed as Mayor than he created a Tory-Liberal-New Labour “popular front” government for London. The most “left-wing” plank in his election platform had been opposition to Blairite plans to privatise London Underground. His record, as distinct from his reputation, for many years, at least, did not identify Livingstone as a leftist. Yet he had the support of many left-wingers in the Labour Party and trade...

Do revolutionary socialists have a place in Labour?

Although the Labour leadership's new bans on four organisations have been justified mainly in terms of the issue of antisemitism, the question of Marxist and Trotskyist politics has also been raised. We republish this article written by one of our comrades for socialist Labour Party magazine The Clarion in February 2017, which discusses the issues in the form of a reply to Labour right-winger Luke Akehurst. At the time dozens of Workers' Liberty people had recently been expelled from the Labour Party. Do revolutionary socialists have a place in Labour? By Sacha Ismail Some activists on the...

John Mann becomes a Tsar

Labour MP John Mann is standing down as an MP to become a Tory adviser. He will take up a full-time role as the government’s “antisemitism tsar”. Mann’s record on other issues is so bad that his elevation is likely to do more harm than good to the fight against antisemitism. A Bassetlaw constituent of John Mann’s got it right back in 2016, writing on an internet chat forum: “[Mann] could probably be mistaken for UKIP most of the time. He’s pretty awful, though I did enjoy him shouting and swearing at Ken Livingstone a few weeks ago.” Theresa May appointed Mann as her adviser on tackling...

Corbyn in the 1980s

The Times of 6 July 2019 ran an article by Dominic Kennedy, "Corbyn's hard-left blueprint revealed", attacking Jeremy Corbyn for his links in the 1980s with Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. Sean Matgamna, editor of Socialist Organiser in the period described, talked to Solidarity. We have serious political differences with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. But Corbyn has the record of an honorable, serious left-winger, who - unlike many others who had some association with Socialist Organiser in the 1980s - did not change his coat in the years of Blair's New Labour...

Letters

Missing the mark on Willsman Sean Matgamna’s piece in Solidarity 509 “A victim of panic” appears to miss the mark. Sean says that Pete Willsman “Possibly he gives credence to some form of ‘Jewish Conspiracy’ theory”. This underplays what Willsman said and in doing so seems to excuse him as a fool rather than someone who knows what they think. I would give Willsman more respect than that. I think he genuinely believes what he says and he does so from a position of influence with the votes of 70,000 Labour members (including my own) behind him. Sean asks if expulsion should only be reserved for...

Left antisemitism and the "#JC9"

The decision of Momentum to remove their endorsement of Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) secretary Pete Willsman from the #JC9 slate for Labour National Executive Committee has exposed fractures between Momentum, its supporters, other parts of the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance, and the Labour Leader's office. Willsman has been dropped because of a rant he made at a Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) in which he says he has seen no evidence of antisemitism in the Labour Party, despite sitting on the Disputes Panel for many years, which is currently dealing with multiple...

The 1980s and left antisemitism

Consider Ken Livingstone and the Labour Party, Al Capone and the US government. They jailed Alphonse Capone, a multiple-murderer gangster, for tax evasion. That was odd, but I think it better they got him for that than that they didn’t get him at all. So with Ken Livingstone’s separation from the Labour Party on antisemitism. Livingstone has for nearly four decades been a public purveyor of political antisemitism. Here I want to consider how serious antisemitism has spread into the Labour Party by way of the ostensibly revolutionary left — the WRP and the SWP — and their ex-members migrating...

Defend Jon Lansman

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). Over the years Galloway has run or threatened...

Livingstone and the “anti-Zionist” left

Other articles relevant to the Ken Livingstone controversy AWL statement on how we think Livingstone should be dealt with Ken Livingstone: bad history, worse politics Trotsky and the Jewish question Jeremy Corbyn, Zionist? “We condemn the Oder-Neisse frontier established by the victors and the practice of mass expulsions as inhuman measures which can never be approved by socialists. But we warn the refugees against the illusion that their problems can be solved through conquest by force of their former homeland through World War Three. A new war would destroy their homeland along with the rest...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.