Labour Party history

Corbyn in the 1980s

Author

Sean Matgamna

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.

Hatton’s no glory days

Author

Gerry Bates

Derek Hatton used to be famous. In the mid-1980s he was the chief figure in Liverpool’s Labour council, embattled against the Tories. Formally deputy leader of the council, he was able to be the main public figure because he was promoted by the Militant group (forerunner of the Socialist Party), which then had decisive influence in the Liverpool labour movement.

A heroine of Poplar

Author

Ian Townson

Minnie Lansbury was one of the rebel Labour councillors of Poplar (East London) who in 1921 forced the Tory¬Liberal coalition government to start central government payments to equalise resources between councils in poor and in well¬off areas.

Janine Booth’s biography of Lansbury is rich in detail about her life; working¬class conditions at the time; and much more. It is a solid achievement given the scarcity of material available on Lansbury to work on.

Minnie Lansbury — a different sort of Labour councillor

A meeting organised by Lewisham Workers’ Liberty Wednesday 28 March, 7.30 Amersham Arms, New Cross.

Minnie Lansbury was only 32 when she died in 1922, but she had a full and inspiring life.

She was one of the Poplar Labour councillors who carried out extensive reforms in the interests of the borough’s working class and, when the council began to struggle financially, led a mass campaign for poor boroughs to receive more funding.

The story of Votes for Women

Author

Jill Mountford

The first leaflet in Britain to “insist” on woman’s suffrage was written in 1847 by a prominent woman Chartist, Anne Knight. Seventy years later women over 30, with certain property qualifications, were granted the right to vote as part of the Representation of the Peoples Act in February 1918.

Learning the lessons of the Labour left

Author

Will Sefton

A Party with Socialists in it: a History of the Labour Left (Pluto Press 2018) by Simon Hannah.


Clarion editor Simon Hannah has produced a well written and concise history of the Labour left from the party’s inception through to the present day.

Illusions of Power: The lessons of last time round

Author

Keith Road

In the early 1980s, many Labour councils were committed to defy Tory cuts. Sadly, every single one of these councils backed down in the end. There are many lessons to be learned from that defeat.

Today business rates are set by, and channelled through, central government. In the 1980s, councils set and collected rates levied on local businesses. They had more scope to offset central government cuts through these tax-raising powers. In that context many argued that this tax-raising was progressive and redistributive.

The Russian revolution and the British left

Author

Chris Mathews

It is February 1917. A large crowd are gathered to hear socialists and pacifists denounce the war. As the speeches start the snow begins fall... The hundreds who assembled that snowy night, looking like a scene out of Dr Zhivago, were not in Petrograd 1917 but in Waterfoot, Rossendale.

How to fight the Labour right

Author

Keith Road

The Labour Party has 600,000 members and Momentum has 20,000. That should be good news for the activist left in the party. Certainly, if the left organises on the scale it did for the two leadership elections that delivered majorities for Corbyn, then it should be capable of making real progress in other Labour internal elections, in getting through positive rule changes which would strengthen and democratise the Party.

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