Labour Party

Labour should scrap Universal Credit

Submitted by AWL on 17 October, 2018 - 10:26 Author: Luke Hardy

The intervention by Gordon Brown, together with the campaign being run by the Daily Mirror to stop Universal Credit, exposes how weak Labour’s policy is on this area and benefits in general. Labour's policy on Universal Credit is “pause and fix”, which means: opposing the latest cut to tax credits that is being rolled into universal credit; reducing the waiting period and making it easier to opt for the housing element to be paid direct to landlords.

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Fighting capital or just a greedy few?

Submitted by AWL on 17 October, 2018 - 9:11 Author: Dale Street

Published at the close of September, Matt Bolton and Frederick Harry Pitts’ Corbynism — A Critical Approach is not always an easy read. Bolton and Pitts go well beyond the argument that Corbyn does not understand antisemitism, does not really like the European Union, is a bit of a populist, and has a history (and present) of hanging out with some dubious characters. Rather, their book attempts to “elucidate the essential characteristics of Corbynism as a political orientation (and) outline and critique the general worldview which motivates such a platform”.

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And why not a united Ireland?

Submitted by AWL on 17 October, 2018 - 9:03 Author: Editorial

The Border in Ireland has never made democratic sense. It was drawn to maximise the "little Orange empire" for the Protestant-Unionists of the north east in the 1921 partition of Ireland. It has been a running sore for almost a century.

To this day, along almost all its length, the majority of the population on the Northern side of the Border is "Catholic", Irish-Irish rather than British-Irish in its identity. The Border makes no political or human sense now. For a long time there have been no border checks.

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Due process, not personalities

Submitted by AWL on 17 October, 2018 - 8:53 Author: Keith Road

The rancour that has been produced by the upcoming nominations for the expanded National Constitutional Committee has reopened the row between the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) and Momentum.

The Centre Left Grassroots Alliance, which included both organisations in its negotiations, was unable to reach an agreed slate. Depending on who you believe, CLPD then released the details of their preferred slate, as agreed or without agreement.

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Ten times the price, but…

Submitted by AWL on 10 October, 2018 - 11:58 Author: Martin Thomas

The history of the old Labour left weekly Tribune was not a glorious one. In its early years, which were also the time of the Moscow Trials, it supported Stalin’s regime in the USSR uncritically.

Between 1947 and 1950 it was firmly on the side of the USA and NATO in the Cold War.

From the mid-1980s, under Nigel Williamson and then Phil Kelly as editors, its politics dissolved into soft-leftist alignment with Labour’s establishment, and its last 30 years were a slow but dismal slide into extinction.

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Under the Banner of Marxism

Submitted by AWL on 10 October, 2018 - 11:45 Author: Paul Vernadsky
In Defence of Bolshevism

The AWL’s new book, In Defence of Bolshevism, will upset many people on the left – and is warmly welcomed for doing so.

The bulk of the book consists of texts by the foremost Heterodox Trotskyist, Max Shachtman. In 1949, Shachtman published Under the Banner of Marxism, originally written as an answer to Ernest Erber, a former Third Camp comrade who had just deserted.

In this review, however, I want to pay attention to the book’s introduction by Sean Matgamna, tying in the texts with today.

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Being a revolutionary, not a sceptic

Submitted by AWL on 10 October, 2018 - 11:08 Author: Eduardo Tovar

One of the most positively transformative events in my life was joining the AWL in January 2016. Although I had long considered myself a socialist of some form or other, when I first encountered the AWL in the autumn of 2015, my politics were very ill-defined.

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Labour needs a critical left wing

Submitted by AWL on 3 October, 2018 - 12:33 Author: Keith Road
Labour needs a critical left wing

More than 12,000 people attended Labour Party conference 2018, with local parties sending noticeably larger delegations then in previous years. There was less of a focus on Corbyn as “a celebrity”, an improvement, and proceedings involved less political grandstanding. But the level of political debate was still, overall, quite low.

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Canvassers for hire?

Submitted by AWL on 3 October, 2018 - 11:45 Author: Steve Allen

The prolonged debate about “One Member One Vote” (OMOV) within Labour Students flared up again over the summer, as the National Chair removed all mentions of the policy from their social media accounts. It is right to criticise the National Chair for this apparent cover-up, and to criticise their three predecessors who were also elected on platforms to implement OMOV.

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The Israel-Palestine debate

Submitted by AWL on 3 October, 2018 - 11:09

Diary of a delegate

As with many things at Labour conference, the setup for debates is at best strange and at worst actively unhelpful. The session on “International issues and Security” covered discussion on the Brexit motion, a motion on Windrush and a motion that dominated the debate on Israel/Palestine.


Submitted by Tony Greenstein (not verified) on Sat, 06/10/2018 - 19:54

I don't know how you can call yourself on the Left since your position on 'antisemitism' i.e. support for the Palestinians and opposition to Zionism is no different from Progress. The irony is that all those years of you talking about 'left antisemitism' have not been wasted. The Labour Right has now taken them up.

From the river to the sea means an end to the Israeli apartheid state and one secular democratic state as opposed to the present ethno-nationalist state. That any socialist can oppose this speaks volumes about the chauvinist and frankly racist nature of the AWL politics.

Submitted by John Pearson (not verified) on Sun, 14/10/2018 - 12:03

I have, for many years had a great deal of respect for comrades in the AWL. As principled rank-and-file trade unionists, in organisations like PCS Independent Left, their approach to fighting for democratic member control of unions and a militant class struggle trade unionism knocked into a cocked hat the approach of seeking deals with left bureaucrats (and becoming left bureaucrats themselves, often on very handsome remuneration packages) that was pursued by other groups that called themselves Trotskyists, such as the SP and SWP.

The work of AWL members in campaigns like 'No Sweat' was exemplary and, in my view, it played a substantial role in laying the foundations for the growth in militant trade union organisation in the fast food industry that we are now seeing.

In solidarity work with victimised trade unionists too, AWL comrades played roles that I held in very high regard. I personally received magnificent support in my fight against the betrayal perpetrated by the leadership of the PCS union (with the full support of SP and SWP NEC members) when I was sacked for union activities by Hewlett Packard.

I of course had seen the Zionism of Sean Matgamna given full flight on AWL platforms. I remember a public meeting in Manchester and the sight of local AWL members holding their heads in their hands when Matgamna expressed his opinion that, "Islam is a particularly violent religion". But then again, I had previously seen Matgamna cuddling up to Ulster unionists. I thought for some years after that the AWL tolerated the wacky views of an old man through emotional attachment.

I now realise that I was wrong. I am not a Labour Party member but I do grasp the need for solidarity with socialists who are LP members and who come under attack by that organisation's well oiled witchhunting machine. When the AWL attacks Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, Chris Williamson MP, this is anathema.

The final straw for me however is the confirmation, in this article that AWL actively organises against the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. There can be no rational explanation for this than support for the racist, apartheid state of Israel.

Any political respect I had for the AWL as an organisation has ended.

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