Left groups and people

Desperate Stalinists face their Thermidor

The Morning Star and its political masters in the Communist Party of Britain are getting desperate: the only chance they’ve ever had of wielding governmental influence in the UK lies in ruins. Only yesterday, it seems, they had a Labour leader who openly supported the paper, surrounded by close advisers whose ideology reflected the CPB’s most hard-line Stalinist wing. And after the surprisingly strong Labour showing in 2017, governmental power (or at least, influence) could not be ruled out. Now all that has been snatched away from them – or, as some would say, they’ve blown it. No wonder they...

Why is Biden winning?

Joe Biden turned out to be the big winner on Super Tuesday. While not all of the votes have been counted, Biden seems likely to end up with a majority. He is now positioned to do well in the rest of the primaries and is likely to come into the Democratic Party Convention with majority of delegates. The major media, as to be expected, are hailing him as the Democratic Party saviour. Bernie might make a comeback. Perhaps, as some have suggested, Elizabeth Warren, whose own campaign has no way forward, might endorse him. Sanders and Warren aides are reportedly discussing that possibility. That...

Clive Lewis on the left after Corbyn

Clive Lewis talked with Sacha Ismail What Corbynism started to talk about in 2015 was an end to austerity, and trying to return to a sort of 1945 moment, trying to recapture a Keynesian economic approach — redistribution of wealth, trying to use social democracy to move us towards a more socialist economy in stages. But also at the beginning it was about democratising the party, which I think is what attracted so many of us. The idea of democracy and membership engagement and members having a real say over policy really resonated. New Labour came in and put their boot on the throat of the...

The story of the Polish workers

Buy the book referenced, or listen to the audio, here. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the founding of Solidarność (Solidarity), the Polish independent trade union, at what was then the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk. Solidarność both emerged from and provided the organisational infrastructure for the mass strikes of August 1980. This intense period of struggle thrust strike leaders like Lech Wałęsa and Anna Walentynowicz into the international limelight. With the signing of the Gdańsk Agreement on 31 August 1980, Solidarność became the first independent union to be recognised by a...

How Sanders wins

For all our articles on Sanders by Eric Lee, going back to October 2019, see here. For some time now I’ve been arguing that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the front-runner in the race to be the Democratic candidate to face off against Donald Trump in November. A few months ago, and even a few weeks ago, that was a debatable proposition. Today, it is a view shared by nearly everyone paying careful attention to the Democratic primary. The main competitors to Sanders are falling away one by one, their weaknesses on clear display to all. Biden, once seen as the front-runner, has no base of...

Labour leader: a blurred election

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has something of Jeremy Corbyn 2015 about it (and then some). Unfortunately for Rebecca Long-Bailey, the same cannot be said of her Labour leadership campaign. She has had some large-ish (stress ish) rallies, but many have been flops. In general her campaign is lacklustre. Politically poor videos seem to be taking the place of public mobilisations. We have gone from the situation of 2015, where a scattering of left-wingers quickly cohered into a dynamic, enthusiastic, organised campaign, to one where the left is transformed back into a (now bigger)...

A patronising appeal to the poor

“Why did Labour lose so badly (in the 2019 general election)? Because there was one central issue in the election campaign: Brexit. In that context, a party that could provide only a hesitant and ambiguous answer because of its internal divisions had no chance.” “If Corbyn had been able to counterpose a resolute Left Brexit to Johnson’s plans – that is to say: using the end of the neoliberal EU treaties for the purpose of a social restructuring of British society – then a different result would have been very possible.” “There is nothing irrational about the fact that the upper middle classes...

Michel Lequenne, 1921-2020

“The last Trotskyist” — so Michel Lequenne, who died on 13 February 2020 aged 98, sometimes described himself, according to a tribute by Antoine Artous and Francis Sitel. Arguably he was indeed the last surviving Orthodox Trotskyist with an unbroken political thread from the early 1940s. There are other Orthodox Trotskyists — the more-or-less theory-free network around Peter Taaffe’s Socialist Party, the “Morenist” diaspora, those post-Mandelites who still call themselves “Trotskyist” — but they scarcely attempt to offer a systematically-developed ideological tradition. In the introduction to...

Health, education, Green New Deal

We are bringing our people together around an agenda that works for the working people of this country, not the one per cent. All over this country, workers are sick and tired of earning starvation wages. You can’t make it on 9 bucks an hour or 11 bucks an hour or 12 bucks an hour. We are going to raise the federal minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. We are going to provide equal pay for equal work for women. We are going to make it easier for workers to join unions. We are going to create millions of good-paying, union jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and building the ten...

Nevada: bump in the road?

Next Saturday (22 February) voters in Nevada will participate in caucuses to choose their 48 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Early voting has already begun. According to the latest poll, Sanders has a 7 point lead over Biden, with no other candidates reaching the 15% threshold required to win delegates. This represents a major shift, as Biden had been leading in all the polls in Nevada up until very recently. A Sanders victory in Nevada would represent more than just a hat trick, following his victories in the popular vote in Iowa and New Hampshire. It would mean that he has...

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