Labour Party

Corbyn expresses desire for change

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This has been the summer of Corbynmania. Thousands of people have attended Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn’s election rallies in towns and cities across Britain.

These meetings have been some of the biggest we’ve seen since the anti-war movement in 2003, with venues overflowing into outdoor rallies from London to Liverpool to Norwich.

Corbyn, with his principled stance on war and oppression and vow to end austerity, has become an unexpected figurehead for discontent.

Why did the Tories win?

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The shock of the Tory majority win in May's general election threw up lots of questions for socialists. Sally Campbell looks beneath the results to understand the dynamics at play in british politics.

The immediate response of most people remotely on the left to the election of the Tory majority government last month was despondency. This was not what we had expected; not what the polls had predicted — until that exit poll, which was largely met by disbelief.

Elections and the death of Labour in Scotland

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The political earthquake of the SNP's general election result proves that the anti-austerity message wins. But the lesson is lost on Scottish Labour.

The bemused look on the face of Jim Murphy, then leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, the day after the general election summed up the fate of Scottish Labour. His explanation for what had happened was an object lesson in delusion and denial. According to Murphy the almost total wipe-out of Labour at the hands of the Scottish National Party (SNP) was as a consequence of “two nationalisms — Scottish and English”.

Miliband's losing election strategy

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Last month’s Labour Party conference was a moribund affair, judging by all reports. “Despair” is a word that crops up repeatedly. “Ennui” has also been noted.

Labour MPs should have been upbeat after securing a No vote in the Scottish referendum. After all, Gordon Brown became the toast of the Union when he emerged from his monk-like retreat to head up the “great pledge” for DevoMax.

But the morning after the vote left Labour looking like the biggest loser.

The politics of Tony Benn

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Ian Taylor looks at the life and politics of one of the most important and iconic figures of the post-war Labour left

It is difficult to imagine the British labour movement without Tony Benn. All on the left will miss him and the simple arguments he put for socialism. The man once demonised by the press as "the most dangerous in Britain" was declared a "national treasure" at the end. But the abiding animosity towards him shone through some obituaries.

Miliband's balancing act: Labour and the unions

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Following a row about Unite's role in the selection of Labour parliamentary candidates, Ed Miliband announced a special conference to re-examine Labour's relationship with the unions. Ian Taylor looks at the tensions between Labour and the unions but also the forces that push them together.

A Labour party special conference in March will review how unions fund the party and, by extension, the link between the two. At least, that is what Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged last July to the delight of New Labour acolytes and Blairite former ministers.

Miliband announced the review in the wake of allegations of malpractice by members of Unite in the selection of a parliamentary candidate in Falkirk. It was a decision Miliband appeared to be bounced into at the time. But there seemed little ambiguity when the Labour leader declared himself "incredibly angry".

Making the case for left unity

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The Left Unity initiative has attracted significant interest and a founding conference is taking place at the end of November. Socialist Review invited Andrew Burgin, a supporter, to put the case for why the left needs a new party.

On 30 November a new party of the working class will be launched in Britain. There is little disagreement among socialists that such a party is necessary. What will be its aims and what will be its chances of success?

Neither fish nor fowl

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Something surprising happened in September. Ed Miliband managed to dominate the party conference season and even make mainstream politics spark to life for once.

Miliband's decision to respond to the Tories' boast the economic "recovery" vindicates their austerity measures by focusing on what he rightly called the "cost of living crisis" gave some expression to the mood among millions of workers across Britain.

Labour's surrender to austerity

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In June Ed Miliband and Ed Balls signalled that a future Labour government will accept the framework of the Tories' austerity plans and put a cap on welfare spending. Iain Ferguson looks at Labour's shift to the right and challenges the myths about the welfare state used to justify this turn.

"Even in these hard times, is it too much to expect an opposition to oppose now and again?" (Sunday Herald, 16 June).

For historians of the British Labour Party, June 2013 is likely to be remembered as a key milestone in Party's political and ideological evolution.

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