Labour

Is there a future for activists outside the Labour Party?

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The question of a parliamentary road to socialism has never been more important than now, but has it reached a dead end? Socialist Review asks Labour Party members, activists and campaigners for their assessment.

Socialist Review posed these three questions: 1. Do you agree Starmer is using the EHRC report to attack the left generally and Corbyn’s suspension is the first salvo in this? How serious do you think the attack will be? 2. Seamus Milne and others have argued the left should break away from the Labour Party and form a new, left wing version. What are your thoughts? 3. After the defeat of Corbyn and the take over and agenda of Starmer, is the Labour Party still a parliamentary road to socialism?
Moshe Machover, longstanding Israeli academic and writer:

Can the Labour right destroy Corbyn and muzzle the left?

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Sabby Sagall and Lee Humber examine the EHRC report and talk to Labour party members, former members and other organisations about antisemitism slurs and the future for socialists

A cross the left, Keir Starmer’s attacks on Jeremy Corbyn following the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report into antisemitism in the Labour party have met with widespread condemnation. In November, Camden Momentum in north London passed a motion calling on the 33 Campaign MPs in the party to resign the whip if Corbyn is not immediately reinstated. They also proposed Momentum National Coordinating Group should encourage unions to disaffiliate if Corbyn is expelled.

Corruption old and new

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Politics in Britain at the end of the eighteenth century was described as the “Old Corruption”. The state was, at every level, in the hands of the great landowners and their allies. It was used to serve their interests, to protect their wealth and privilege, and they ruthlessly pillaged it to further enrich themselves. Place and position were wholly at their disposal. What made all this possible was the enormous scale of social and economic inequality. This Old Corruption came under sustained assault from a number of directions in the course of the nineteenth century.

Ernest Bevin

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Ernest Bevin Andrew Adonis Biteback, £20
With this new biography of Ernest Bevin, Andrew Adonis (former MP and cabinet minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown) offers a view of the trade union leader and wartime Minister for Labour as a “preeminent leader and statesman”, wishing to restore Bevin to “his rightful place among… Britain’s greatest political leaders”. This work of hagiography is cut straight from the Great Men (or Big Beast) template of history.

How Labour lost

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This is the question circulating in the minds of virtually everybody on the left in British politics. How did we go from the heady days of the General Election of 2017 to the defeat of 2019 and the subsequent resignation of the most left wing leader the labour Party has ever had? Furthermore, how is it that after five years of being at the helm of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters have left so little behind either in policy, organisation or personnel terms?

Antisemitism and the attack on the left: What do socialists say?

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The forthcoming report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission will unleash a new wave of attacks on the left in the Labour Party, it also sets a trap for our movement, writes Rob Ferguson

As Socialist Review goes to press, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is due to publish its inquiry into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party. It is very unlikely to find in favour of Corbyn and his team, the most consistent anti-racist leadership in Labour’s history. It is astonishing that Labour is the first party to be subject to a full statutory investigation by the EHRC since the 2006 Equality Act became law.

The mainstream left face defeat and dilemmas

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It is beggars belief that Piers Morgan and The Sunday Times have been much more effective in calling out the government than the opposition

The defeat of Jeremy Corbyn in December’s General Election and his subsequent replacement as Labour leader by Keir Starmer raises serious questions for the mainstream left. These are underlined by the suspension of Bernie Sander’s bid to become the Democratic Party candidate in the US presidential election and his endorsement of Joe Biden’s candidacy.

Can Corbyn beat the toxic Tories?

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With a general election finally on the way in Britain, Shaun Doherty argues that we need to absorb the spirit of the global revolts against the effects of neoliberalism and austerity.

Against a background of global revolts, some of which are outlined on the following pages, voters in Britain have also been given the opportunity to add their voices to the demand for a world transformed.

After the local elections: can the stalemate be broken?

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Mark L Thomas assesses the state of the Labour party after the council ballots in early May which failed to deliver a decisive result for either side

The results of the local elections in England last month were decried as a failure for Corbyn and Labour by the Tories, with much of the media coverage taking this as their cue. The usual suspects among Corbyn’s opponents on the Labour right were quick to add their voices suggesting that “peak Corbyn” had been reached.

In reply, the Labour left robustly defended the results as an untrammelled success for Labour and another step towards Downing Street for Corbyn.

But neither of these interpretations really capture what the local elections actually point to.

The Caseroom

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Saltire Society first Book of the Year for 2017 has nominated this book for it’s prize. The Caseroom opens in 1891 with 13 year-old Iza Ross starting work at Ballantyne’s Pauls print works in Edinburgh, quickly moving on to 1894 at which point Iza is fully trained as a typesetter or compositor. We learn quickly women doing this work have a different experience to men. “It’s women’s work too” Iza explains, adding, “But lads serve a seven-year apprenticeship; we spend just three years learning.”

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