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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 #50 - 26 March 2021

Heart of the City in need of CPR

The loss of flagship store John Lewis from the city centre is a result of the carnage reaped by the failures of central government to deal effectively with the pandemic.  Three hundred jobs will be lost from this closure alone.
 
And now the Council’s much vaunted Heart of the City project to regenerate the city centre looks to be fatally wounded.
 
Back in early 2019, Councillor Mazher Iqbal told the media: “Making the city centre successful isn’t just about shops,” he said. “We have some 66,000 people working in the city centre, and 30,000 already living here. That footfall will give retailers confidence, but it’s also about having the right mix of everything, from good quality office blocks and housing, to restaurants and retail, and public realm.”
 
That optimism now looks misplaced as the list of closures so far includes not just John Lewis but Debenhams, Thorntons, T J Hughes, Peacocks, Dorothy Perkins, Topman, Foot Locker and Carphone Warehouse to name just a few.
 
While all the blame for this cannot be laid at the door of the Council’s Labour leadership – the pandemic has changed everyone’s lives and aspirations – the economic folly of seeing retail as a core part of regenerating the city centre while consumers were moving online can be seen as mistaken.
 
The loss of two flagship names – John Lewis and Debenhams – leaves a gaping hole in the moves to make the Moor the beacon of hope for city centre life. The Moor and Fargate are now a monument to the downturn with every parade containing empty shops.
 
Without the shops to attract people – in what is likely to be one of the worst economic crises in living memory – the cinemas and restaurants that Councillor Iqbal talks about are going to struggle to survive.
 
So, hard as it might be, this is the time for drastic action. Heart of the City needs a complete rethink with a focus on encouraging a local economy that encourages younger, Sheffield based business start-ups and reinvests every penny back into the Sheffield economy.
 
But this is a lot to expect from the tired, out-of-date Labour leadership which seems stuck in the same time warp as a 1970s sitcom – Are You Being Served? A question the electorate will be asking when posting their votes in early May.
 
Whatever the outcome of the local elections, there will need to be some radical answers to the questions being posed by an economic recession which is cutting the heart out of the city. Perhaps the party’s membership needs to be listened to rather than subjected to the same old top down “we know best” rhetoric we get from the right.

Stop the Policing Bill

The Policing Bill grants the police enhanced powers which will limit the right to peaceful protest, grant the police further stop and search powers, criminalise trespass, target the way of life of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, and result in a longer prison sentence for defacing a statue than r*pe.

The rushing of this bill through the Commons is a sign that the Tories want to silence the public, and is a vindictive response to the Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion protests of recent years. The government are now scrambling to look like they have answers to misogynist and gendered violence, but they do not. 

This bill is being rushed through parliament, but we have an opportunity to stop it becoming law. The bill will be revised in committee before going back to Parliament for a final vote; giving us a window in which to make the public and lawmakers aware of the threat that it presents to our society.

The rights and freedoms we enjoy today are the product of struggle and protest. Sheffield has played its own part in this, from the mass trespass of Kinder Scout in support of the right to roam, to the miners’ strikes, and the recent Black Lives Matter protests.

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 45 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 March:


Saturday 3rd April:  Palestine solidarity demonstration.  Town Hall from noon.

Wednesday 7th April:  Unite Community Branch.  6.30pm start.

Wednesday 21st April:  Sheffield Labour Left meeting.  7.30pm start.

Tuesday 27th April:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC) meeting.  All trade union members welcome.  Only delegates can vote.  7pm start.

Labour Party Meetings:

LCF monthly meeting held 2nd Tuesday of the month.

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.

Please check first as many Labour Party meetings are cancelled for April.
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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