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Sheffield Left - For Socialism - 'For the many, not the few'

A bulletin for Socialists – both inside and outside the Labour Party – supporting transformative, socialist policies and progressive campaigns.

SL E-Bulletin #85 - 26 July 2022

The Forde report at last – but will it make a jot of difference?
 
So finally, the much-delayed Forde report is in. Spin and counter spin greeted its publication with both left and right claiming vindication that antisemitism is minimal/rife *(delete as appropriate) in the Labour Party.
 
For the left, the report produced many lines which confirmed what was always claimed – the right hate the left more than they hate the Tories. Evidence confirmed that officials conspired in the 2017 general election to divert funds away from Corbynite candidates to their mates in the “bring back new labour” brigade.
 
For the right, claims that Forde found no organised conspiracy against Corbyn that made a difference were seized upon as evidence of the left crying wolf.
 
But when the furore dies down, what, if anything, will result from this inquiry into the leaked report that so horrified members who had poured their heart and soul into nearly winning the 2017 election?
 
The reality is nothing will happen. As has been articulately argued already, the right will continue to support Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people and Starmer will periodically reference his crusade against antisemitism as evidence that “Labour has changed” under his leadership.
 
Perhaps most worryingly from all this is the clear recognition that racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will continue in the house of Labour like some sort of Game of Thrones type endeavour. If the dragons of Torydom are slain in the end, no one should care about what gets sacrificed on the road to power.
 
In truth, Forde’s report merely exposes several failures that go wider than a clearly dysfunctional complaints system and a party riven by factional disputes.
 
Labour has always been characterised as a “broad church” with those on different sides of the aisle slinging insults at those on the other. The difference under the new high priest Starmer is that the church is no longer broad.
 
As Forde concludes, antisemitism was used as an excuse to hound and expel a wide range of members for the simply act of disagreeing with the leadership’s views on Israel.
 
But Forde also confirms that antisemites in the Labour Party were no greater in number than those found in wider society. So, its weaponised use to purge the left should have brought howls of opposition from a wider audience.
 
But the news frame in politics has moved so far to the right that racism is now enshrined in Government policy through policies such as dispatching asylum seekers and refugees to Rwanda.
 
The only true conclusion to be drawn from Forde is that Labour is now a very narrow church worshiping at the altar of neoliberalism with the working class locked outside in the cemetery. 

Labour right supporting Eddie Izzard to be a Sheffield MP
 
A not-so-great comedy act according to many, and an even worse politician, Labour right winger Eddie Izzard has been turning up campaigning in local elections in Sheffield as she seeks to be selected as a parliamentary candidate for Labour.

Izzard is hoping to replace Paul Blomfield as the Labour MP for Sheffield Central, and the right wing in Sheffield are doing their best to provide publicity for her.  Failing twice to get elected to the Labour Party National Executive Committee the right must be hoping for an improvement in her electoral fortunes, but just in case it's best to go for the safe seat of Sheffield Central.

The Fulwood Branch, part of Hallam CLP, are putting on a fundraiser for election campaigns with Izzard as the star turn. Though it is obvious to everyone that the real purpose is not fundraising but is to push forward Izzard within the Sheffield Labour Party in the run-up to selections for the next General election, likely to be held 2023.


And as per the Oliver Coppard campaign for SY Mayor, the fundraiser sets out to exclude ordinary people by setting an extraordinary price of £17.50 per person to attend.  At least at the Coppard event people got a meal out of it.  It's as if the right wing of the Labour Party want to exclude ordinary people or they simply can't grasp that £17.50 is a lot of money for most people.  All the talk about many people having to choose between eating or heating doesn't appear to be reaching these people.

Sheffield Left

Sheffield Left (SL) is a network of socialists to help co-ordinate the determined left both inside and outside the Labour Party across Sheffield.
We have a page on Facebook (
https://www.facebook.com/SheffieldLabourLeft) and our own website (http://www.sheffieldleft.org), where you can find an archive of our first 80 or so  bulletins.
Want to get involved with SL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.
Labour movement events and meetings in late-July/August


Wednesday 27th July.  RMT picket.  Sheffield train station, from 7.00am.

Saturday 13th August:  Sylvia Pankhurst Memorial Lecture.  Sylvia Pankhurst on War by Rachel Holmes.  Sponsored by the Sylvia Pankhurst Memorial Committee, the National Assembly of Women, and Wortley Hall. The lecture will be followed by light refreshments.  Wortley Hall, Wortley, Sheffield S35 7DB.  Starts at 7pm.

Sunday 14th August:  Reclaim our moors - stop grouse monoculture.  Meet 11am at Redmires reservoir car park for the annual protest moorland walk, organised by Unite Community South Yorkshire.  Bring food, drink and sensible footwear.  You are asked not to bring dogs, even on a lead, because gamekeepers use this as an excuse for bullying.

Thursday 18th August:  Sheffield Left Open Monthly Meeting.  Details to be confirmed.


Labour Party Constituency Meetings:
Brightside & Hillsborough CLP monthly meetings held 1st Thursday of the month.
South East CLP monthly meetings held 3rd Friday of the month.
Central CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month.
Hallam CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month.
Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month
Heeley CLP monthly meetings held last Thursday of the month.
 
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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