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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 #76 - 5 April 2022

“Spineless political opportunism”
 
It seems the Labour Party needs a new slogan. For the course being steered by Captain Starmer and his crew – perhaps “For their benefit but not for you” would be a more appropriate one.
 
Local elections loom in May with Labour clinging on to 'power' courtesy of alliance with the Greens but it seems all is not well on deck at Sheffield Labour Group either.
 
Four comrades have been ousted or resigned as the Labour Group prepares its next push towards the ignominy of defeat to the Lib Dems.
 
Sheffield will not benefit from any national swing against the Tories – the Group will want the Tory vote to hold up if it is to stop a Lib Dem swing. So going along with Starmer’s right wing posturing will do Terry Fox and co no good at all.
 
The highest profile “casualty” of this purge is the resignation of Sophie Wilson from the Party. In her resignation statement, Sophie made clear that “spineless political opportunism” has taken centre stage and relegated the values of fairness and honesty to the dustbin of history.
 
“I am sad to say that now in 2022 I no longer recognise my party,” she said. It is a party which “might just as easily choose the side of the oppressor than the oppressed if it were more likely to lead it closer to a sniff of power”
 
And a sniff of power seems to be the only consistent motivation for the right completely ignoring the need to have policies, be a genuine opposition to the Tories and have enough members to knock on doors to get the vote out.
 
This last point also seems to be on a downward spiral. Expulsions continue apace with Lee Rock, Convenor of Sheffield Left, expelled by the discredited GLU for having the temerity to have once – well before there was ever a suggestion of proscription – have a conversation with someone from Labour Against the Witch hunt.
 
Lee’s expulsion was clearly forced by the outrageously democratic decision of Ecclesall Ward to select him as their candidate for the May elections. A seat that is not regarded as winnable, but the right still couldn’t stomach someone with socialist credentials representing the party.
 
Walkley has suffered the same fate as Ecclesall by selecting a candidate who didn’t fit the right-wing bill for him to be removed after he was selected. 
 
Meanwhile Labour councillor Neale Gibson has been suspended for six months for a contribution on twitter that questioned the Israelis treatment of Palestinians. Another no no for Starmer’s thought police.
 
As democracy slowly sinks without trace, Starmer’s titanic Labour Party has rearranged the deck chairs and to face to the right in a desperate attempt to woo the Sun reading Tory vote. He might care to look behind him and watch his traditional support sailing off on the good boat socialism.

Ecclesall Branch selection shambles
A left candidate won our selection process by a large margin in the first round of voting with 43 members in attendance.
Subsequently, he was informed he was facing expulsion.
At the next ward meeting it was agreed that the chair would convey the feelings of the branch that the expulsion of our candidate was unacceptable.
A few days later he was told he had been expelled from the Party for allegedly being a supporter of Labour Against the Witchhunt years before it was proscribed.
At Hallam CLP, an emergency motion that endorsed his selection, called on the constituency to protest his expulsion and refuse to campaign for an imposed candidate, was ruled out of order. The chair (a self-proclaimed 'libertarian socialist'!) refused to take a challenge to his ruling. A vote of no confidence was narrowly lost 29 to 35.  As a result 25 comrades then left the meeting in protest at not hearing the motion or challenge.
Ecclesall Branch then announced a selection meeting with a short list of one – the hard right candidate who had indicated that they would not be seeking the candidacy having failed to get more than 15% of the vote when Lee was selected.
The chair was challenged over his failure to act on his commitments from the previous meeting but this was ruled out of order. A vote of no confidence in the chair was also ruled out of order.  It was announced that the motion to proceed selection was not necessary – the logic being that if the candidate was not selected they would be imposed anyway.  The stooge candidate was then selected.
Tim - An Ecclesall Branch Member

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 (www.facebook.com/SheffieldLabourLeft) and our own website (http://www.sheffieldlabourleft.org), where you can find an archive of our first 74 bulletins.
Want to get involved with SL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.
Labour movement events and meetings in April

Wednesday 6th April:  Unite Community Branch meeting.  6.30pm to 8.30pm.  Via Zoom.

Tuesday 12th April:  SYMAAG Talks for Change is back!  'Breaking Down Borders'.  Foodhall, 62 Brown Street S1 2BS.  6.30pm start.  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/symaag-talks-for-change-6-breaking-down-borders-tickets-302632380597

Tuesday 12th April:  “Yes! Yes! UCS” - 50th anniversary theatre.  7pm New York Stadium, Rotherham. N.B. venue chosen for good public transport link from Sheffield via train or tram. Sponsored showing supported by Sheffield TUC, Rotherham TUC and Union Branches. Tickets £10 and £5 unwaged. Will include a speaker and discussion. Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/yesyesucs-tickets-289510031297?fbclid=IwAR3M6QaGa1Vh_C9gL86dA34XWa9bSCNYRlGBcRYjmZYXOsGZeXI1-o_uBhw

Wednesday 13th April:  Sheffield Left Public Meeting - 'The state of Labour'.  Speakers:  Sophie Wilson on why she resigned from the Labour Party; Martin Mayer on Unite the union and Labour Party funding; and Lee Rock on the continuing expulsions and Proscriptions of the left from the Labour Party  7.30pm to 9.30pm via zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84520571187?pwd=aXEzaXA3MG5CczlOOCt6U2lVT0ovUT09

Tuesday 26th April:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC) monthly meeting.  Starts at 7pm.  All trade union members welcome, only delegates can vote.

Thursday 28th April:  International Workers Memorial Day.  12.30pm to 1.30pm by the Memorial Tree outside Sheffield Town Hall Pinstone Street. Wreath laying ceremony and speakers. More details to follow. Please bring union banners.

Saturday 30th April:  Barnsley May Day.  Assemble at 12.30.

Sunday 1st May:  Sheffield May Day Rally.  Details to be confirmed.

Sunday 1st May:  Sheffield Left May Day Social.  Evening event.  Invite only for members, supporters, friends and families.



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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