you can’t say that! ken livingstone as a barrier to working class organisation

Ollie Sutherland was not impressed by the common call on the left for us to vote labour.

What always strikes me as bizarre about elections is the importance the left places on them. Every few years working people get the chance to choose which part of the ruling class they wish oppress them; as it’s always the ruling class in power after the elections, why do most of the left encourage participation in them? Elections are an ideological cornerstone of capitalist ‘democracy’: that people have control over who governs the country and makes key decisions about society. Therein lies the problem: they give people the illusion of control, when people’s lives and society are actually controlled by their workplace and the economic system – not parliament or City Hall. Continue reading “you can’t say that! ken livingstone as a barrier to working class organisation”

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The Hollow rhetoric of Miliband’s New Politics

Barry Biddulph argues that Labour will never be on our side 

Striking is irrelevant for Ed Miliband. He had an awkward lesson for September’s TUC conference: trade unions should offer better relations with their employers. What Labour needed was a continuation of the partnership between business and the unions. The way forward was not negative strikes, but a positive “new economy” built on the Labourite value of cooperation, not conflict in the workplace.

 

Ed Miliband

 

But this  desire for social peace is traditional Labour politics. The Labour Representation Committee originally founded Labour on the basis of  Keir Hardy’s resolution rejecting class war in favour of parliamentary  constitutionalism. Ramsay MacDonald, the leader of the first Labour Government in 1924, advocated and acted on the commitment to growing  capitalist society, not building a working class alternative. Continue reading “The Hollow rhetoric of Miliband’s New Politics”

councils of despair

Sheila Cohen writes on the situation after last month’s elections

The May elections have left a smirk on Cameron’s face – or perhaps we should say deepened the one that was already there. But for the left the result was, once again, a mixture of predictability and despair. While the Tories got trounced in the Northern cities – and the LibDems , of course, everywhere –  any illusion of a return to sanity was flattened by the Tories’ overall performance.

ed miliband is fishing for conservative working-class support

The staunch battalions of the North, it seems, have never forgotten Thatcher and the wounds she inflicted – but in the supposedly affluent South-East, the dynasties that once fell to New Labour have once again reverted to at least the appearance of support for what our rulers love to refer to as “aspirational” policies.     Continue reading “councils of despair”

ireland after the election

Dara McHugh reflects on last week’s Irish election. The piece was written before the Labour leadership announced plans to accept a Fine Gael coalition offer

The election campaign and its aftermath have witnessed strident declarations that all has changed, changed utterly. Most prominent is the decimation of support for Fianna Fail, the party that has ruled for 60 of the last 79 years. Both Fine Gael and Labour have experienced remarkable success in the polls, unparallelled for the latter. These are not insignificant, but the context of continued economic crisis renders the changes in parliament relatively minor.

Whatever government is formed, it will share the titanic debt burden of the previous administration. Although Fine Gael made suitably statesman-like noises about ‘renegotiation’ of the interest rate on the ECB bailout, their timid overtures won only tolerant obfuscation from Frankfurt during the campaign and categorical refusals since. Continue reading “ireland after the election”

no support for labour: no support for the lrc

At a Communist Students’ Exec meeting on the 13th of December, a decision was made to affiliate to the Labour Representation Committee (LRC). This statement was issued by members opposed to this decision, and we republish it here in the interests of debate.

The driving force behind this was Ben Lewis of the Provisional Central Committee of the CPGB, which has recently adopted a set of theses on the Labour Party.[1] Some points of which would get support within the ranks of the LRC, for example the democratisation of the Labour Party.[2] Crucially important though for the issue at hand is the dangerous conception of a permanent united front between Communists and the Labour Party contained within the theses. Where the CPGB’s contradictory perspective of simultaneously organising a political force independent of social democracy and at the same time trying to transform the Labour Party into a “real party of labour” and putting the Labour Party into office in order to expose its leadership, is made. Continue reading “no support for labour: no support for the lrc”

Miliband is no Militant

by David Broder

Yesterday afternoon Ed Miliband loomed large on a TV screen near where I was sitting. The sound was turned off, so there were only subtitles. “Whatever your view on the Iraq war it led to an appalling loss of…” A few seconds before the next word flicked up on the screen. ‘Life’, right? No. “Whatever your view on the Iraq war it led to an appalling loss of trust for us”.

But never fear, Ed, there are many on the left who opposed the war but are now pushing the anti-cuts movement towards Labour. Not just saying we need to pull Labour voters into our struggles, but focussing on the structures of the party and making plaintive appeals for Labour leaders to fight the cuts and fulfil their promises to the Trades Union Congress. Continue reading “Miliband is no Militant”

what use an abbott in a ‘broad church’?

As Diane Abbott wins sufficient nominations to stand for Labour Party leader, Taimour Lay looks at her and her party’s credentials.

What use is a ”broad church” when the pews are empty, the foundations are subsiding and the high priests at altar turn their backs on any shout of dissent? The Labour leadership election, far from being ”saved” by the  inclusion of Diane Abbott, has merely continued to go to form – token ‘left’ candidate takes on four former cabinet ministers of varying degrees of conservatism, ”enlivens” the hustings with some maverick, contrarian and media-populist rhetoric before the vote concludes with a Miliband, Balls or Burnham promising to lead Labour back to ”electability”.

Abbott’s candidacy is theatre designed by the New Labour establishment to present a democratic, inclusive party. For misguided Bennites, it’s also part of their message: come home to Labour, disillusioned socialists, in opposition we will rebuild and steer the party left. Continue reading “what use an abbott in a ‘broad church’?”