Labour Party

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.

Peoples Assembly : what can it deliver?

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The People's Assembly will be a focus for many wanting to see a fightback. Charlie Kimber argues this is welcome, but we need to address the role of trade union leaders and the Labour Party if we are to build a movement that can break the government and its savage austerity programme

On 22 June, unless you have a very good excuse, you must be at the People's Assembly in London. Practically every trade union leader is scheduled to be in one room alongside hundreds of rank and file activists as well as people who have led campaigns against the bedroom tax, fought to defend the NHS and headed up the revolt by disabled people.

The Politics of Immigration

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Brian Richardson examines the battle lines being drawn around immigration. We also publish an extract from the updated pamphlet Immigration: The Myths Spread to Divide Us that puts the case for opposition to all immigration controls.

The next general election is still two years away, but the battle lines are already being drawn. In a series of carefully planned announcements, the mainstream parties have all made it crystal clear that immigration will be at the top of the political agenda. The 2015 election looks set to herald the most racist campaign in a long time.

Is Leninism finished?

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Do revolutionary parties, like the Socialist Workers Party, that draw on the method of organising developed by Lenin and the Bolsheviks still fit in the twenty first century? Alex Callinicos challenges the critics and argues that Leninism remains indispensable

The demise of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and of the political tradition that it seeks to embody have been widely proclaimed on the British left in recent weeks. Thus the columnist Owen Jones has announced that "the era of the SWP and its kind is over." Is he right?

One nation under Labour?

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At Labour's annual conference Ed Miliband claimed his party could unite Britain as "one nation". Mark L Thomas looks at the reality of Labour's arguments for a responsible capitalism

The Labour List website ran a headline in early October declaring, "There's a class war being waged in Britain - but not by Labour."

This was meant to be a compliment, not a criticism, of Ed Miliband's attack on the Tories as the real enemies of "One Nation" Britain. Yet, of course, it's an observation that is close to the mark.

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.

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