Labour Party

Where is Unite going?

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Unite is Britain's biggest union. The approach it takes to combating austerity and job losses makes a big difference to workers in all sectors. Eddie Cimorelli asks whether Unite is living up to its militant image

Unite has been derided in the right wing press as a union pushing a backward looking confrontational agenda apparently belonging to a bygone age. Len McCluskey, Unite's general secretary, was condemned before the Olympics when he declared that "the unions, and the general community, have got every right to be out protesting.

Spring in our step

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Respect's landslide by-election victory, which swept George Galloway back into parliament as the MP for Bradford West, sent shockwaves through the mainstream parties. Mark L Thomas looks at why Galloway won and what his victory shows about the possibility of success for electoral challenges to the left of Labour

A few days after the Bradford West by-election, a shellshocked Labour activist described his experience of the campaign: "From around 15 March till the 22.... it seemed we were going to win - we had our headquarters set up in each ward and our campaign was leaps ahead in backing, money and numbers....[then] during this last week I'd check the #bradfordwest hash tag, and for every pro-Labour tweet there were easily ten pro-Galloway ones, seemingly from young Asian Bradford constituents...We'd pass kids in the street who would shout 'Galloway' at us all the time.

Putting Socialism back on the agenda

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Estelle Cooch and Jack Farmer spoke to Owen Jones, a left wing member of the Labour Party and author of Chavs, about New Labour, capitalism and the demonisation of the working class

What was it that first motivated you to write Chavs?

Above all it was to put class on the agenda. I wanted to challenge this idea that we're all middle class now and that all that remains of the working class is a feckless rump. The point is that if you don't have class, then you don't have class politics and if you don't have class politics, then you don't have a left.

Why won't Labour back strikes?

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Many people have been rightly outraged that Labour leader Ed Miliband has refused to back the public sector strike that is set to rock the government at the end of this month. But, argues Amy Leather, it is mistake to think that Labour has ever consistently supported strike action

Cries of shame greeted Labour leader Ed Miliband as he spoke at the TUC conference in September. Despite his declaration of pride in the relationship between the trade unions and the Labour Party, he went out of his way to denounce the strike planned for 30 November when millions of workers will take on the Tories.

Blue Labour: rewriting Labour's history

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Advocates of Blue Labour claim to offer an alternative to both the market and the state. Mike Gonzalez argues that this is a hollow promise and that Blue Labour rewrites the labour movement's past to exclude working class resistance

The Labour Party has a problem. It has a new leader who, like his predecessors, sees Labour as an electoral machine whose sole purpose is to put the party back into power. To do that, of course, requires presenting an alternative - a different programme or vision or set of policies - which can distinguish them from the government in power. Let's get out of the way immediately the fact that the party leaders are almost indistinguishable, cloned products of the new managerialism.

The contours of class

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The huge TUC organised demonstration in March has shown that the working class is still a force to be reckoned with. Mark L Thomas looks at the reality of class in Britain today, while Jack Farmer unpicks the debate within the Labour Party over how to relate to the cuts

After the huge TUC-organised anti-cuts demonstration at the end of March, one thing should be clear: the contours of British society remain profoundly shaped by class.

It wasn't just that the 26 March protest was huge, though it was. With at least 500,000 demonstrating - perhaps even as many as 750,000 - it was the second biggest demonstration in British history, after the February 2003 anti-war march.

Labour's Pains

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The shock resignation of Alan Johnson as Labour's shadow chancellor and the appointment of Ed Balls to the post has brought to the fore Labour's internal tensions over its direction and strategy.

Such tensions centre on how the Labour Party should deal with the budget deficit and respond to the Con-Dem cuts.

Ed Miliband has sought to balance different pressures. Despite trade union support enabling him to clinch victory over his brother, and his apparent distancing of himself from New Labour when he described himself as part of a "new generation" of leaders, he quickly shunned the label of "Red Ed".

Labour's "Red" Ed?

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At times the Labour Party leadership contest seemed to go on forever.

At the beginning it also seemed as if it would be profoundly dull, with four men - of roughly the same age, background and politics - in the running alongside a token "left" candidate in the form of Diane Abbott (token in the sense that she was only there because David Miliband instructed supporters to put her on the ticket).

There is an alternative

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With massive cuts looming debates are beginning about the best way to respond. Should Labour councils refuse to implement Tory cuts?

A debate is opening up about how best to respond to the attacks on the welfare state. I was invited to speak at an anti-cuts meeting in Lambeth recently and a lively argument broke out between members of the Labour Party which took me back to the 1980s - what should a Labour council do when faced with budget cuts?

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