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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 #60 - 24 August 2021

The legacy of Tony Blair

The timing of Starmer’s attempts to rebrand himself as Blair 2.0. could not be more ill-timed as the horrors of Afghanistan act as a timely reminder of what defined Blairism.
 
The right is quick to trot out the usual list of domestic achievements such as Sure Start, National Minimum Wage and devolution – some of which seem hollow gains now – but he will always be defined by his foreign policy failures.
 
And Afghanistan is on the list with Iraq as one of his many mindless homages to the now non-existent “special relationship” with the US.
 
It was Blair who, in 2001, blindly followed George W Bush in his war on terror committing British troops to conflicts which history now teach us were futile efforts to maintain Western hegemony over the middle east.
 
Zarah Sultana, one of the few genuine socialist Labour MPs, put it perfectly: 
 
“Just as in 2001, Britain’s political class today seems almost unanimous in its belief that liberal democracy can be built at the barrel of our guns. This fantasy – which was cooked up by neoconservative fanatics in Washington in the 1990s and taken as gospel by their acolytes in London – was wildly implausible back then, as the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott saw well.”
 
And Blair himself gave the game away with his recent spate of statements on the situation: “The problem with what’s happened now is that it’s not just about the Afghan people and our obligation to them, it’s about us and our security”.
 
Much as the “war on terror” was a misguided and ultimately grossly mistaken attempt to seek revenge for 9/11, so the consequent occupation of Afghanistan by the west has proved an act of self-interest which has now dramatically backfired.
 
It is not surprising to see Blair stick to his proverbial guns and claim that continuing occupation should have been the way forward, but the reality is that such acts of aggression have clearly failed.
 
And who is accountable for the 457 British personnel who died in Afghanistan – not to mention the total 240,000 people killed over the last 20 years? It cost the UK £37bn – enough to provide the funds urgently needed by the NHS and social care combined.
 
The truth is the world is a much more dangerous place now than it was 25 years ago with the US role as the “police force” of the world now redundant as the balance of world power shifts towards China.
 
So Starmer’s obsession with depicting the Labour Party as a second-rate Blair tribute act looks even more foolish and misguided if he wants to “Win The Future” (WTF!) – who makes up these inane slogans?
 
What the Labour Party needs now is a leader of socialist conviction rather than one based on confection – keeping the establishment sweet in the pursuit of New Labour 2.0. is destined to fail spectacularly.

Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine statement:

The SLFP Committee has posted the following statement today [21 July] in response to the proscription at last night's NEC meeting (20 July 2021) of 4 groups of LP members - Socialist Appeal, Labour in Exile Network, Labour Against the Witchhunt and Resist.

'SLFP's mission is to promote a movement within the Labour Party for a just settlement of the Palestinian cause. We are in principle opposed to any attempt to restrict free speech over Palestine and Israel or prevent solidarity action with the Palestinian people.

The Committee therefore wishes to express its strong opposition to the proscription by the NEC of organisations of Labour Party members and supporters which have consistently advocated and campaigned for the Palestinian cause inside and outside the Party. We stand in solidarity with these groups and call for the immediate rescinding of these punitive proscriptions.'

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 58 bulletins.

We are connected to no other group, but work alongside others whose aims we share to see elected a socialist-led government.


Want to get involved with SLL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.
Local labour movement meetings and events in late August:


Wednesday 25th August:  'Save the UNIVERSAL CREDIT £20 Uplift!'  Day of Action organised by UNITE Community. Stall and petition outside the Moor Market from 12.00pm until 1.00pm.   Supported by Sheffield TUC and Sheffield Stop and Scrap Universal Credit.

Saturday 28th August:  Demonstration In Solidarity With Afghan Refugees. Outside Sheffield Town Hall from 1.30pm.  Organised by SYMAAG and others.



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.
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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