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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 #51 - 13 April 2021

Labouring over the past

With just weeks until the local elections Starmer and the right of the party are playing down expectations.

National polls put Labour behind the Tories and Starmer is seen as a mystery to voters. 

The burning question of Starmer is what does he stand for? Well, the Labour Group in Sheffield has taken his lead and is standing on a manifesto rooted firmly in the past. 

A simple Google search for the Sheffield Labour manifesto for 2021 yields only a reference to the 2019 manifesto – Forging Fairer Futures – which itself was a rehash of 2018’s offering. 

Some will argue that manifestos are not important when a party’s policies are clear – but most Labour members in Sheffield would struggle to set out the top five policy ambitions going into the vital last few weeks before May 6th. 

One aspect of the poll in Sheffield will be the delayed referendum on whether to move from a cabinet system to a committee structure in the town hall. 

It is easy to see what an own goal this is – offering the Greens and Lib Dems the opportunity to claim Labour is undemocratic in wanting to maintain power in so few hands at the top. 

The Labour Group’s response to all this is to herald Local Area Committees (LACs) as the solution to bringing greater democracy to the Council – but continue by default with a Cabinet model. 

A gift to It’s Our City with their simple criticism that 10 rather 84 councillors decide what happens in the city. 

So Labour not only has little positive to say about how society needs to recover from Covid, the continuing disaster of austerity in local government, rising unemployment, a housing crisis, an NHS on its knees or a social care system about to collapse. 

But in Sheffield it hopes to persist with a cabinet system which looks distinctly undemocratic. A committee system won’t solve all the problems facing Sheffield and experts will tell you that it isn’t that simple – but in today’s politics, messages matter and, on this issue, the messenger – Sheffield’s ruling Labour Group – has once again gone missing. 

Bob Johnson was anointed to replace Julie Dore with a promise to do things his way – it remains to be seen if this ends up being on the opposition benches. If so, you can bet Jeremy Corbyn will get the blame.

Sheffield Against the Policing Bill

Approximately a thousand people attended the second demonstration in Sheffield against the Policing Bill that took place on April 3rd.

On April 17th there will be further demonstrations across the country against this dangerous Bill, including one here in Sheffield.

We should all be in no doubt that the state will use this Bill, if passed into law, to curtail the democratic activities of the left and progressive movements.

The Tory govt represents the establishment and the police act on their behalf. Like the mainstream media, the police are very much part of the established order whose purpose is to maintain the status quo.  If we wish to see genuine change then we need to consistently fight for democracy.

(Sheffield Labour Left are one of the 40 plus local groups signed up to the coalition ‘Sheffield Against the Policing Bill’.)

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 ( and our own website (, 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:
Want to get involved with SLL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.
Local labour movement meetings and events in April:

Every Wednesday: Commencing at 1.00pm the Sheffield Labour Left Reading Group.

Saturday 17th April:  Sheffield Demonstration against the Policing Bill.  Assemble 1pm at Devonshire Green.

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.

Wednesday 28th April:  “Wreath Laying Ceremony for International Workers Memorial Day.  11am by the Memorial Tree outside Sheffield Town Hall on Pinstone Street. Organised by Sheffield TUC.

Wednesday 28th April:  Sheffield’s International Workers Memorial Day zoom meeting “Remember the Dead - Fight for the Living”.  Sheffield TUC will be hosting a public zoom meeting from 1230 to 1330hrs to mark this special day in the trade union health and safety calendar. This annual event commemorates the many workers who die from injuries or illness contracted at work. This year and last year, it has an added poignancy due to COVID: the Government’s disregard for trade union concerns about COVID safety in workplaces has hugely contributed to the massive UK COVID death tally. National and local speakers invited from trade unions, health campaigns and Labour Party.

Thursday 29th April:  SYMAAG “Talks for Change”.  The third in our series of Talks for Change on healthcare for people in the asylum system. To discuss how the hostile environment permeates the NHS and how we achieve healthcare for all during a pandemic. Plenty of time for questions and discussion. Free registration here

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 and early May.
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