Peter Mandelson has effectively called on Keir Starmer (Financial Times, 8 May) to overrule or neutralise Labour Party conference, and to break or neutralise the union say in the Labour Party.
After conference 2020 was replaced by a no-debate online event on grounds of the pandemic, Labour Party conference 2021 (25 to 29 September in Brighton) is an important point for the left of the labour movement to regroup and halt the retreat.
Socialists are putting themselves forward to be conference delegates (the deadline for constituency delegates to be chosen is 11 June). The Momentum Internationalists website carries suggestions for motions to put to CLPs for conference. The deadline for those isn’t until 13 September, but some CLPs may decide motions in May-June.
Also due by 11 June are constituency nominations for National Constitutional Council and the Conference Arrangements Committee: there is apparently conflict in the backrooms over “official left” nominees, but Momentum Internationalists recommend backing whatever “left” candidates emerge.
The letter signed by Mick Whelan as chair of TULO (umbrella body of Labour’s affiliated unions) demanding Starmer repudiate Mandelson’s demands shows that there is still scope for pushing back the right.
The politics of the internationalist left need to be re-asserted, against any and all accommodation to Johnson’s Brexit nationalism and anti-migrant demagogy; and for a vision of working-class, socialist internationalism, rather than the Blairite internationalism of NATO and global capitalist institutions.
Momentum Internationalists will be seeking to organise support for the politics of socialist internationalism at this conference. It is backing the following motions:
1) Build Back Fairer — a motion setting out demands on how society should be rebuilt in and after the pandemic
2) China, Hong Kong, and the Uyghurs — a motion expressing solidarity with the Hong Kong democracy movement and the struggle of the Uyghur people against repression and genocide; and taking a position against Cold-War rhetoric from western powers
3) Global climate justice — a motion setting out what the labour movement should be demanding in terms of a serious and socially-just response to climate change
4) Migrants welcome: end deportations and the racist Hostile Environment — a motion from the Labour Campaign for Free Movement
5) A motion from the Free Our Unions campaign entitled “Unshackling workers from draconian anti-trade union laws”
6) A motion on racism and policing, setting out demands around addressing the unaccountable and racist nature of policing in the UK and putting forward a programme for cutting the social roots of racism and discrimination.