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Sheffield Labour Left  - For Socialism

A bulletin for Labour Party Members who supported the direction the party moved towards under Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell.
Opposing racism, antisemitism and political Zionism.
Opposing all expulsions/exclusions targeting the left.

SLL E-Bulletin #45 - 24 January 2021

The need for a determined left
 
The UNL (Under New Leadership) Labour policy offering is shrinking fast. Starmer is shedding leadership pledges at the same rate as U turns from beleaguered Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.
 
It is difficult, given that there was no effective party conference in 2020, to know what Labour now stands for beyond supporting his General Secretary in removing democracy from the Party.
 
So, it is for the left to continue to argue for the radical, socialist agenda which proved both popular under Corbyn but, just as importantly, is needed more than ever in this post Brexit, Covid depressed world.
 
Sheffield’s right-wing Labour Group has failed abysmally to put forward any vision for the city after a decade of austerity so what should the determined left be campaigning for?
 
Signs are that union membership is increasing in some industries – partly as a response to the torrent of job losses in the post Brexit & Covid affected economy. But Unison has just elected a right-wing leader and the crucial battle for Unite’s top role is one to watch. 
 
The Unions might be a block at a national level, but the jury is out on whether they can be a platform for activism and more radical movements at a local level.
 
Many of those disillusioned enough to leave the Party have yet to find a home for their political activities while the “soft” left are still reeling from the right’s assault under Starmer.
 
At a national level, Corbyn’s Peace and Justice Project has begun with a promising launch but where this will go – a party, a campaign organisation or a lobbying voice – is as yet unclear.
 
Locally, Sheffield Labour Left appears now to be the only body in the city acting as a rallying point for the determined left and a source of information on what is really going on in the Party.
 
Sheffield Momentum has been disbanded with barely a whimper while the local elections – due in May but increasingly looking like being delayed again – may see Labour lose control of the council. 
 
Meanwhile, the Evans (help us!) reorganisation of the Party is gathering pace, and will no doubt see more comrades realising that not only will their voice not be heard, but they will also have little role in the Party beyond delivering leaflets and phone banking.
 
So, the challenge for the determined left is to keep active, argue for a class based socialist agenda and keep exposing the anti-democratic actions of the right.
 
In the short term, activism will coalesce around urgent causes but continuing to fight within the Party while the right flounder both locally and nationally will be a game of patience and continuing solidarity.

Peace & Justice Project 

Taken from the SLL Perspectives for 2021, adopted at the AGM:

'National Campaigning Bodies 

17. The defeat of Corbyn and rise of the Right again within the Party has led to a wide array of national campaigning bodies, all competing on the same terrain and attempting to carve out a particular niche but all having the same speakers at a multitude of events. 

18. There are numerous ones we could mention and analyse, but the most important at this time would appear to be the new initiative from Jeremy Corbyn, the ‘Project for Peace and Justice’. 

19. This project is attracting tens of thousands of supporters and is also offering an alternative for those on the Left looking for something else than a Starmer-led Labour Party. Though not intended, the effect of this project is to undermine those urging people to stay and fight in the Labour Party. 

20. We do not know the intention that Corbyn has for this project, but his political history suggests that it will be a campaigning organisation and not a pre-political party project. In effect, Corbyn is saying the fight in the Labour Party is done with: that campaigns must now take place outside the Party. 

21. There are at this stage still many questions regarding the structuring of this project : Will there be local branches? Will there be steering committees at a local, regional and national level? How will political and campaigning priorities be determined? Is this a top-down initiative only or will it be based on grassroots activists? 

22. SLL members should participate in this initiative and, whilst doing so, support attempts to make it accountable and democratic.'

Sheffield Labour Left


Sheffield Labour Left (SLL) is a network to help co-ordinate the genuine Labour Party left across the six CLPs covered by Sheffield.
We have a page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SheffieldLabourLeft) and our own website (http://www.sheffieldlabourleft.org), where you can find an archive of our first 35 bulletins.
We are connected to no other group, but work alongside others whose aims we share to see elected a socialist-led government.  In July 2019 we affiliated to the Labour Left Alliance:  
https://labourleft.org
Want to get involved with SLL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.
Local labour movement meetings and events in January and February:

Tuesday 26 January: Sheffield Trades Union Council.  You do not have to be a delegate to attend: the meeting is open to anyone who is a trade union member. However non-delegates and observers and do not have a vote. Starts at 7.00pm. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87842262425

Monday 1st February:  Sheffield Cuba Solidarity Campaign.  Cuba now faces the most serious challenges since the revolution. Meeting with a representative from the Cuban Embassy and more.  Starts at 7.30pm.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83926636412

Tuesday 9 February: Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine (SLFP) AGM.  Starts at 6.30pm.To access meeting please connect to Zoom. To join meeting enter password then the host will let you in.  Meeting ID: 835 2892 9531  Password: 186269.

Next CLP Meetings:

Thursday 28 January:  Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP monthly meeting.  7pm start.

Thursday 28 January:  Central CLP monthly meeting.  7.15pm start.

Thursday 28 January:  Heeley CLP monthly meeting.  7.15pm start.

Thursday 28 January:  Hallam CLP monthly meeting.  7.30pm start.
 
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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