Labour Party

Labour Executive elections and Momentum

Momentum has announced its support for a “united left slate” for the Labour Party National Executive Committee elections, following negotiations within the “Centre Left Grassroots Alliance”, an umbrella group of Labour left committees and organisations. Immediately following its announcement, several objections were raised - both to the basis on which the slate was drawn up, and the particular inclusion of Laura Pidcock and Ann Henderson, two candidates with questionable track records on the issue of trans rights. The fact that a “united left slate” has been decided, again, without even a...

Make Labour fight for “grand schemes”!

Both the government and the scientists who criticise it say that finding people with Covid-19 symptoms, testing to confirm, tracing their close contacts, and getting sufferers and contacts to self-isolate, is central to controlling the virus. Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds told the Marr show on Sunday 5 June: “I’m not going to say to you that Labour is going to be advocating some massive grand scheme right at this moment when social care is in crisis”. But we need grand schemes exactly at this time of crisis! The Tories’ floundering has imposed a massive grand Covid-19 death toll, threatens a massive grand risk of a whole new second wave of the virus, and is generating massive grand job cuts.

STV for Labour National Executive

The elections for the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) seats on Labour’s National Executive (NEC) will this year be conducted by Single Transferable Vote (STV). Long campaigned for by Open Labour, the move has been voted through by the NEC on 30 June for a process starting 10 July. As noted by Jon Lansman in an NEC report-back for Momentum, many of those who voted for this also voted against the use of STV or AV in other sections. While pleading they want democracy, they also continued the lockdown bar on CLPs making political decisions, with the exception only of NEC nominations and candidate...

Fabrication not antisemitic?

No one, I think, now denies that the story of Minneapolis cops learning neck-kneeling from Israel was a fabrication. But, in the wake of Rebecca Long Bailey’s sacking from the Shadow Cabinet, some still suggest — for example, in Momentum’s 1 July Zoom report-back from Labour’s National Executive — that it wasn’t antisemitic. Denunciations of Israel (so the argument goes) can’t be antisemitic, because only antisemites can identify Jews with Israel and consider a denunciation of the Israeli state as an attack on Jewish people. But here we have a very special sort of denunciation. That it’s...

Support the Tower Hamlets workers!

Thousands of council workers in Tower Hamlets struck on 3-6-7 July against mass sackings and the imposition of new, significantly worse terms and conditions under the “Tower Rewards” scheme. As we go to press Tower Hamlets Unison reps have been meeting to discuss their next steps. There may be more strikes in the week starting 13 July. Picket organisers reported a strong strike turnout and good numbers at socially distanced pickets across the borough, plus many more members “striking from home”. Refuse workers organised by Unite and GMB supported the action, and some refused to cross picket...

Nationalise social care!

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, has called for politicians to “decisively answer” how social care can be reorganised to deal with the problems exposed by the Covid-19 crisis. Stevens is no left-winger. He spent the best part of a decade as Chief Executive of US private healthcare corporation United Health. He has defended and promoted privatisation in the NHS. But so glaring is the problem of a radically fractured and privatised social care system that in his interview with the BBC he hinted at some kind of public ownership: “ If you take back the history coming out of the...

Hold Starmer to 2030!

On 29 June, a Labour spokesperson said that while Starmer “had supported” the 2019 Green New Deal policy, he would not commit to retaining the policy, and that the party’s position would be decided in “4 or 5 years” with the next manifesto. This should ring serious alarm bells for the left and environmentalists, and reminds us of the need for an organised and vocal left Labour membership to hold leadership to account. In a general sense, the comments from Starmer’s team show a clear lack of respect for party democracy. The motion passed overwhelmingly at 2019 conference called for “net-zero...

Top Labour official suspended

Novara Media reports ( bit.ly/novarareport) that half a dozen former senior Labour officials have been suspended in connection with the party’s leaked report on antisemitism (and in fact a wide range of other issues). This includes Emilie Oldknow, who was reported to be Keir Starmer’s choice for new General Secretary of the party until the leaked report made that impossible. A Labour NEC (National Executive) member told Novara: “Almost three months since the leaked Labour Party report, which exposed racism, sexism, discrimination and bullying by senior officials in Southside, justice is...

Support the Tower Hamlets strikers

On 6 July, Tower Hamlets Labour council intends to implement a plan, “Tower Rewards”, to sack its entire 4,000-strong workforce — carers, caretakers, children’s centre workers, housing and homelessness workers, refuse workers, cleaners, social workers, teaching assistants and many, many others — and re-employ only those who will accept substantially worse terms and conditions. Key elements include reducing severance pay on redundancy; a longer working week; ending automatic incremental pay progression; cutting shift, premium and overtime payments; and abolishing the flexi scheme. So much for...

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