Labour Party

Labour must oppose a Tory Brexit deal!

The more-than-rumour is that Keir Starmer’s leadership will impose a parliamentary whip to force Labour MPs to back the Tory Brexit deal possibly coming soon — even a high-pressure “three-line whip”. There is no good Brexit. But any possible deal will fall at the hard, economically destructive, socially regressive end of the Brexit spectrum. The left and labour movement should oppose this big, convulsive step backwards. We should refuse responsibility for the Tories’ disastrous plans, and loudly tell the truth about what they represent. We should demand the Parliamentary Labour Party votes...

Suspend "thousands and thousands"?

“If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that", declared Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner on 29 November, following a new message from Labour Party general secretary David Evans that local Labour Party officials can be suspended for allowing debate on restoring the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn. Local Labour Party discussions on suspensions or expulsions from the party were already barred by a March 2019 instruction from the previous, "Corbynite", general secretary Jennie Formby. Officials of at least one local Labour Party (Islington South) had been told in mid...

"Labour councils should be fighting the government for more money"

Croydon council, in South London, has issued a Section 114 notice. This means the council will now only provide a bare legal minimum of services, ie make even more drastic cuts. A local union activist spoke to Josh Lovell and Sacha Ismail about the possibilities of a fightback in the borough. Like other local authorities, Croydon is the victim of ten years of cuts. It has lost 76% of its central government funding. The Labour administration has also invested in some dubious ventures, a number of which have not worked out – but the fundamental frame is these dramatic cuts to its funding. Covid...

Labour suspensions spread

Following the suspension of multiple members of Bristol West Constituency Labour Party (CLP) Executive (EC) from the Labour Party for allowing a motion to be discussed, the regional office has postponed the CLP’s Annual General Meeting with two days’ notice, because of alleged “problems” with communication about it happening. It has been postponed until February, and our CLP meetings banned during the same time period. It’s not clear to me that there were any major “problems”. The meeting was set to attract hundreds, and the left to maintain control. The unelected officials’ motivation is...

Young Labour stands firm

Young Labour chair Jess Barnard was “instructed” by Labour Party HQ on 23 November to “take down” a tweet by Young Labour in favour of restoring the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. Barnard stood firm, so the tweet is still there, and there’s no news of moves by Labour HQ to suspend Barnard or shut down YL.

Antisemitism overstated?

Phil Pope (web comment): Do you think the scale of antisemitism in Labour was understated, overstated, or defined precisely as it is? Do you think there is more or less antisemitism in Labour than in other political parties or in society at large. As you have quoted the CST (which you generously describe as a community charity) you might want to refer to their research. Rhodri Evans replies: Antisemitism in Labour — “understated, overstated, or defined precisely as it is?”, asks Phil Pope. The current blow-up in the Labour Party started with Jeremy Corbyn choosing (when he could just have kept...

Neurodivergent Labour builds on successful first year

Neurodivergent Labour marked the end of its first year with a constructive and democratic online AGM on 28 November. Reviewing the past year, Chair Janine Booth described ND Labour’s response to political developments during the year, including taking on anti-vaccination propaganda and supporting trade union disputes while helping them to become more accessible. Campaigns Officer Andy Forse reported on ND Labour’s involvement in the ongoing campaign to stop the deportation of 22-year-old autistic man Osime Brown to Jamaica. Trade union organising received a boost with the passing of a...

Interview: What happened in Labour on Brexit

Michael Chessum, national organiser for Another Europe Is Possible, spoke in a personal capacity with Sacha Ismail. Written up and edited by George Wheeler. You’ve written an article on openDemocracy, arguing that the anti-Brexit Left made a serious mistake at the 2018 Labour Party conference. What’s your thinking? We’re in this period of mopping up after Corbynism, and I wanted to challenge myself to reflect about what we might have got wrong, rather than what others got wrong. I don’t conclude we were wrong in any of the politics we advocated. What I conclude is that we began determined not...

Video: Fighting council cuts

Video and audio introductions from a meeting on the history and lessons of fighting council cuts, with Josh Lovell, Labour Party councilor. Sweeping cuts are now taking place and are expected in local authorities across the UK, but neither Labour nor the left are prepared for this. If Labour does not take up the fight it will have much less chance of winning back working-class voters, and importantly, saving the jobs and services we all rely on. Josh Lovell, a Labour Party councillor (in opposition) discusses the history of past battles in local government going back to the 1970s, and how we can apply lessons learned from those struggles today. From a meeting of the same name, on 4 October.

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