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Posts Tagged ‘LRC

Factionalism in the time of Coronavirus.

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Corbyn supporters warned against continued Labour infighting under ...

Starmer Won Decisive Victory..

Labour Leader Keir Starmer was backed by people from all sides of the Party, including some from the radical internationalist left.

At present most of the left are concentrating on sensible reports on Covid-19 and the government’s flawed responses.

But a few have different concerns.

As expected some people in the Labour Party, also from the left,  were, and are, not happy with Keir Starmer’s election.

A handful have joined other parties.

Or as Corbyn’s best friend, the Socialist Party (former ‘Militant’) put it, immediately the Labour ballot result was known.

Since Keir Starmer was elected leader of the Labour Party, the Socialist Party has been inundated with applications to join.

One enthusiast wrote…

I wish to join a true socialist party. Labour with Starmer is, I feel, going to become centrist and renounce socialist values.

 

Bless!

This is Britain’s most famous Vegan’s take,

The left’s future is not in Labour but in extra-parliamentary struggle .

CHRIS WILLIAMSON believes the struggle to claim Labour for the left cannot succeed

Sir Keir Starmer represents a lurch back to the days when Labour embraced neoliberalism, when Tony Blair made a Faustian pact with Murdoch’s empire and Clause IV was jettisoned, thereby expunging any commitment to socialism.

….

..that is why I am working with others to create a new grassroots movement to build capacity in communities and raise political consciousness.

The Morning Star, which prints this article is wholly independent of pro-Brexit Communist Party of Britain and is run by the Co-Op.

A different approach is taken by these groups,

DON’T LEAVE – ORGANISE
FOR A BROAD LEFT NETWORK
Joint Statement by the LRC, Jewish Voice for Labour and Red Labour.

This is their principal objective.

Socialists in the party need to work together, in coalition, now more than ever. Alongside others in the Labour Party, we will help rebuild the left around a new, national network, which will be a place to organise, educate and debate in order to deliver the socialist society we all need.

We commit to democratic and transparent organisation; working to democratise the Labour Party and the trade unions; defending party members against unjust disciplinary processes and supporting the self-organisation of groups contesting particular oppressions.

Fair enough.

You can follow the activities of this cartel of small factions through events such as this:

 

The Weekly Worker, concentrating on the ‘disciplinary processes’, seems determined to cause as much trouble as possible within this body, firm in the CPGB (Provisional Central Committee) control – with Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, of Labour Against the Witch-hunt (LAW).

Halt!

LAW itself is undergoing yet another internal crisis..

In the latest issue of the Organ of the CPGB (Provisional Central Committee) is said to have got the line “completely wrong”.

 

following the attack on Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy for speaking at an online meeting where two expelled Labour members were present, Labour Against the Witchhunt was completely wrong to call for “solidarity” with the MPs. They had, after all, defended themselves by stating they did not know who was in the meeting. A statement was issued on their behalf making it clear that they would not have taken part if they had known the two expelled comrades were present. This is to bow before, to legitimise, the witch-hunt.

Most Labour members, familiar or not with LAW’s antics, or its leading figure Tony Greenstein, will begin from very different premises.

The performance of our new leader, his ability to stand up and make telling points on the government’s handling of the Coronavirus crisis,  backed by a unity team from nearly every wing of the party, has been widely seen as solid. Any left worth its salt needs to start from recognising that.

 

Elections for Momentum seem the occasion for another battle between different tendencies.

As it unfurls it will merit a post of its own.

But it’s another factionalist war that  is worth signaling today.

Where you may ask?

More obscure than the Weekly Worker?

Yes: a sound of wailing and a gnashing of teeth has been heard from our old friends Skwawkbox.

Starmer confirms no interest in winning back leave seats

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves has essentially confirmed what many working-class Labour supporters feared – that Keir Starmer’s team is essentially uninterested in winning back the more than 50 leave-voting seats Labour lost in the 2019 general election.

Followed by this “bombshell” article, by no coincidence at all aimed at a pro-European MP who has backed Another Europe is Possible.

Russell-Moyle employs Momentum founder Lansman as ‘researcher’.

Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, now on Keir Starmer’s front bench as an environment minister, has employed Momentum founder Jon Lansman as a researcher, according to the latest Members’ register of secretaries and researchers.

Russell-Moyle was reportedly linked to an attempt to replace former deputy leadership candidate Richard Burgon as secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of left-wing MPs as a precursor to widening the group’s membership to include ‘soft left’ MPs and argued in a LabourList article for working with the soft left.

Without his mate as Labour General Secretary, and with the leadership of UNITE said to be up for a new election, (UNITE: the race to replace McClusky begins in earnest) the Skwawky one has taken up his old trade: news fabrication.

This is Steve Walker’s latest misinformation, which you can, if you wish, read in full.

Russell-Moyle employs Momentum founder Lansman as ‘researcher’.

Skwawkbox, so far from the international left, so near to national populism…

Or so a factionalist might say..

It’s hardly surprising that this reaction has just appeared

 

 

 

 

 

The Wind is Changing to Internationalism: Labour Representation Committee (LRC) Backs “Remain and rebel”. stand.

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Image result for Tariq Ali Lexit meeting

Lexit is dead, but considering the state of the left, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which its shadow will be shown.

The prospect of a Boris Johnson government enforcing a No Deal Brexit by decree (through “proroguing” Parliament) is concentrating minds.

The LRC has come down on the right side, or as they put it on Brexit, there is “Only one principled side to come down on – remain. Socialists do not fudge the issues of racism and workers’ rights.”

Things have indeed changed.

The following document was adopted by the National Committee of the Labour Representation Committee on June 29th. It should be noted that this was before the Labour Party National Executive shifted the Party’s position, though we have been regrettably slow in publishing our change of attitude. It should also be noted, that, unlike the official Party view, we argue for the Party to support Remain and Rebel in all circumstances, including in the manifesto for the General Election, whenever it comes, and will be arguing for proposals to this effect at Party conference in September.

The LR is the biggest ‘hard left’ organisation in the Labour Party.

July 16th Remain and Rebel

This is a long statement which should be read in full.

Extracts:

It is increasingly clear that until the Brexit issue is resolved, there can be no return to “normal” politics”.

Hence, we should take up the call for “Remain and Rebel”, rather than simply Remain. That means developing a programme, together with the left and trade unions across Europe to fight neo-liberalism, including the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties and Fourth Railway Directive (intended to “liberalise” rail services across the EU). It means opposing `Fortress Europe’, which has led to the horrendous scenes of migrants dying and being held in dire circumstances at Europe’s borders. It means arguing for free movement. It means supporting those fighting neo-liberalism across Europe, something which failed to happen when the Greek working class was under sustained attack. In response to those who argue that employers use migrant workers to undercut wages and strikes, we argue for campaigns to unionise migrant workers and combat racism.

Not only does the current division mean that we can no longer fudge the issue, but the idea that we can instead talk about class politics is dangerous. Racism and attacks on workers’ rights ARE class issues. And we should also point out that if the Tories were to impose a no deal Brexit, the idea that discussion on Brexit would be over would be pie in the sky; we would be discussing as well as fighting against the disastrous impact of this for years – potentially generations – to come.

Key points:

  • As in the original (2016) referendum, if we are to come down off the fence and drop the fudge, there is only one principled side to come down on – remain. Socialists do not fudge the issues of racism and workers’ rights.
  • However, that does not mean we are uncritical EUphiles, like the Liberal Democrats and the likes of Watson in the PLP (who often appear to be more concerned with using this issue among others to attack Corbyn, rather than serious discussion of the questions involved). Despite the exaggeration by some (such as the claim that the drive for the privatisation came from the EU rather than Britain’s own neoliberals), we recognise that the EU is currently wedded to neoliberalism, and the need for socialists to fight it. The fact that the Leave campaign want to leave to allow even less regulation does not make us uncritical of the EU. On the contrary, we recognise the need to link up with socialists and trades unions across the EU and beyond to fight neoliberalism. That such a fight can succeed on national territory is the myth it always was. International capitalism will attempt to undermine any fight against neoliberalism whether we are in the EU or not.
  • Hence, we should take up the call for “Remain and Rebel”, rather than simply Remain. That means developing a programme, together with the left and trade unions across Europe to fight neo-liberalism, including the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties and Fourth Railway Directive (intended to “liberalise” rail services across the EU). It means opposing `Fortress Europe’, which has led to the horrendous scenes of migrants dying and being held in dire circumstances at Europe’s borders. It means arguing for free movement. It means supporting those fighting neo-liberalism across Europe, something which failed to happen when the Greek working class was under sustained attack. In response to those who argue that employers use migrant workers to undercut wages and strikes, we argue for campaigns to unionise migrant workers and combat racism.
  • In response to claims that to argue for Remain is to ignore the referendum and fly in the face of that decision, we respond that, while this might have been a legitimate argument in the immediate aftermath, it cannot hold forever, particularly in the light of the way Brexit has become bogged down over the last 3 years. We also point out that there were many problems with the first referendum particularly the exclusion of EU nationals and 16-18-year olds – both of whom had a particular stake in its results. We would argue that both these groups must have a vote in any future referendum – or indeed in a general election. At the same time, sharpening our political and economic offer will allow us to reach out to communities where leave had a majority in the referendum. However, any reversal of the referendum decision will need democratic legitimacy, either by a further referendum or a General Election in which Labour makes support for remain and rebel a central aspect of our manifesto.
  • In response to those who say that a reversal of the referendum decision or a rerun would give more grist to the mill of the far right, we can only argue that they have already been strengthened by the first decision, and little Englander nationalism will be further strengthened if we actually leave the EU. We will not defeat the far right by pandering to their prejudices.
  • There are several routes by which the UK could remain in the EU – revocation of article 50 (probably followed by a general election); a general election in which it was clear where the winners stood; or a confirmatory vote. In the current situation, any of these is likely (or not) and there is no overwhelming preference for any one over the others. We would, however, point out that even if a referendum were to take place and the decision to leave be reversed, we would obviously still want to force a general election to get rid of the Tory government.
  • It is not enough for the Party to come out for a confirmatory vote “whatever the deal”. The Party has to commit itself to fighting for remain to be an option in such a referendum and to campaign for a vote for remain on the basis of `Remain and Rebel’. Similarly, `Remain and Rebel’ has to be in the manifesto for a general election. And any campaign for Remain and Rebel this time round must and can be driven by the left – not by people like Alan Johnson who were part of the reason remain did not win last time round. Winning is not a forgone conclusion – but if we do not grasp this nettle the slow car crash McDonnell has predicted may well be.

Exactly.

We will neither defeat national populism by “understanding” the racism that pits the “somewhere” people against the “nowhere” cosmopolitans, the North against the South, the “real” working class against the metropolitan workers and migrants, the genuine British poor against the good-for-nothings.

Socialism brings people together for democratic and social rights. It is internationalist, it is based on co-operation across the world. The EU is a structure within which we rebel, reform and change. That is to join with “left and trade unions across Europe to fight neo-liberalism” 

Outside the EU we stand alone against Trump and the rest of the WTO.

Long live solidarity! 

This Monday meeting is still sending out waves: Rick Parnet, the Clarion (read full article through link).

Love Socialism MPs’ rise shows we can turn the tide on Brexit

The ‘Love Socialism’ anti-Brexit meeting in Parliament last night, 15 July, was packed – maybe 120 people in a small committee room with many more who failed to get in – and the atmosphere was buzzing.

Unsurprisingly: among the 20-odd Labour MPs present were not only the original Love Socialism Hate Brexit people but new additions which included Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer and Diane Abbott and various other senior figures. All made strong – to one degree or another – anti-Brexit and pro-Remain speeches. John McDonnell, who was at an Stop Heathrow Expansion meeting in his constituency, sent a message which was also pro-Remain.

Love Socialism Hate Brexit has rebranded as Love Socialism, Rebuild Britain, Transform Europe. While the relationship of the shadow cabinet big hitters to the new group isn’t clear, they are clearly tilting towards it. There was talk from LSHB founder Clive Lewis of having held the foxhole and reinforcements arriving.

It is positive that Labour MPs feel the need to talk in a leftie way, and even talk about socialism; no doubt some of them have shifted left and no doubt some of them are giving their own, previously more suppressed, inclinations free rein. But we should not get carried away. While building a broad left movement against Brexit, we should try to draw out policy issues (including on free movement and migrants’ rights), promoting radical left policies and workers’ struggles, and encourage discussion about what socialism actually is.

Secondly, there will undoubtedly be differences in assessment of Labour’s new position and how much there is a need to push further. For all kinds of reasons, and whatever the tactical issues about encouraging rather demoralising the movement, I think we cannot be content. In what was generally an excellent speech Clive Lewis struck an off note for me when he concluded by saying – or sounding like he was saying – we need to get behind the policy and not criticise.

The work of the MPs has been important to shifting Labour as far as it has gone. But the work of grassroots left anti-Brexit groups and activists, in the push for Labour Party conference and on the streets, will be critical in turning the shift into victory. Whatever about his wider politics and what he meant by it, Keir Starmer was surely right when he called for activists to keep up the pressure on the leadership.

From the Red-Brown Front, the Full Brexit, the wails and groans continue from the caverns of darkness.

Long read | Labour’s Brexit capitulation is the end of Corbynism

Dr Lee Jones is Reader in International Politics at Queen Mary University of London and a co-founder of The Full Brexit network.

Corbyn might have delivered a different outcome if he was a better strategist and properly understood Brexit as a pivot for democratic transformation, rather than a distraction from his anti-austerity agenda. He might have supported grassroots deselection campaigns rather than cutting off Momentum at the knees. He could have developed a positive, socialist platform for Brexit, to win over metropolitan voters and prevent the hardening of Remain as a political identity. But he did not. Perhaps he and his advisers understood that they would always have been fighting an uphill battle against the interests of his base in the party, and so they ducked it.

Labour Representation Committee (LRC) Heads For Oblivion as it Backs ‘Labour Against the Witch-Hunt’.

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Image result for labour against the witchhunt LRC

Top LRC Activists.

Labour Against the Witch-hunt, an alliance of Jackie Walker, The Weekly Worker (CPGB – Provisional Central Committee) and the Monster Raving Tony Greenstein Party is a at the fringes of the fringes.

This is from its recent (a few dozen strong) conference resolution,

Position agreed unanimously at LAW’s conference on February 2 2019.

The slow coup against Jeremy Corbyn

The war of attrition against Corbyn as Labour leader, carried out by an alliance of the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the Party bureaucracy, the Israeli state, the pro-Israel lobby and the mainstream media, began even before he was elected. Corbyn was portrayed as a terrorist sympathiser, a security risk and an all-round danger to society.

That somebody like Greenstein is involved, and that the campaign makes statements like this, means, simply, that nobody with an ounce of sense will have anything to do with the group.

Not so the Labour Representation Committee.

They welcome them as affiliates and give their policies support.

LAW stands alongside a long list, including Gerry Downing (as an individual), Labour Party Marxists (the Weekly Worker wearing another cap) the New Communist Party, Britain’s Posadist (in fact a rather pleasant woman), the Brent Soviet, the late Ted Grant’s followers in Socialist Appeal, and other political confetti.

LAW stands out for its relentless, “absolute Anti-Zionism’. It has managed to piss off a lengthy list of would-be supporters, from Marc Wadsworth to  Michael Mansfield QC – who no longer have anything to with the clique.

Greenstein himself is launching yet another ‘crowd funding’ for a legal action against his numerous enemies.

Perhaps he would do better spending his time on holiday, as he did last summer, in Italy.

Yesterday this came out,

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) has written an open letter to John McDonnell, urging the Shadow Chancellor to “stop the double speak” or resign.

Stop the Double Speak John McDonnellTell the Labour Representation Committee conference this weekend that by referring to antisemitism as smears, they are the problem. Or resign from the LRC.

Dear John McDonnell,

We write to you as Jewish and non-Jewish members, supporters and former supporters of the Labour Party – but supported by the wider Jewish community. This weekend you will be addressing the conference of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), which you are President.

Just this week you were clear that allegations of anti-Jewish racism in our party are real and not smears. The LRC believe that they have the right, without any input from the Jewish community to define antisemitism. For the conference this weekend the LRC National Executive have published a 48 point statement for debate and discussion, several points are dedicated to antisemitism and Jews. The language used mocks Jews who raise antisemitism and consistently claim that we are acting in bad faith. The amendments published that have been proposed by ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ in the name of expelled Labour member Tony Greenstein are even worse. LRC exists within and nurtures a culture of antisemitism.

LRC are affiliated with both ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ and ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ (JVL). Both organisations ridicule and minimise the real lived experiences of victims of antisemitism. Just this week also on LBC Radio, Naomi Wimborne-Iddrisi of JVL openly mocked our Parliamentary Chair Luciana Berger who has been a victim of death threats. Neither bodies nor individuals associated with these organisations should be given a platform and you should not be indulging these conspiracists.

The LRC completely reject the IHRA definition of antisemitism or any definition that the victims of antisemitism, the Jewish community, feel reflect the prejudice they experience. This approach is in no way consistent with any established conventions within anti-racism movements.

Such a culture feeds an environment whereby Jewish MPs such as Luciana Berger receive death threats, abuse and threats of violence. It feeds a culture whereby Jews across the party are targeted for deselection, sanction or intimidation. It feeds a culture of not believing Jews when they are on the receiving end of hate. It feeds the cancer of antisemitism in our party.
It is not consistent to be honestly robust in an LBC interview without being equally robust to your own supporters at the LRC.

We hope and expect that you will be clear to the LRC that you will say that ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ and ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ are corrosive to our values and that the LRC should not work with them or indeed anyone suspended or expelled from the Labour Party.

LRC are feeding the problem and unless they change their position of condoning and nurturing this racism in our party then you cannot and should not have anything further to do with them and they also should have no place in the Labour Party.

We look forward to hearing your comments this weekend.

Now this is one of the issues in the controversy.

Labour’s NEC blocks parliamentary candidate over tweets about Hitler and Jewish MP

The NEC decided Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt brought the Labour Party into disrepute.

Labour’s ruling body has decided not to back a woman to be a parliamentary candidate over tweets about Hitler and the “Zionist sympathies” of a Jewish MP.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) decided not to endorse Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt to stand for Labour in South Thanet on the basis that she had brought the party into disrepute.

Ms Gordon-Nesbitt was selected in April, having joining Labour when Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

But, writing on Facebook on Tuesday, she said the NEC had decided not to back her over tweets posted from a think tank she set up which defended Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker over allegations of antisemitism.

One tweet posted from The Centre for Cultural Change Twitter account asked: “Has anyone looked into Hitler’s policy on Zionism? Might not be mutually exclusive with his later actions #Scapegoating #Corbyn.”

Another tweet called into question the “Zionist sympathies” of John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, who is Jewish.

 

 

This is the reply from the LRC Conference today: