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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.

SLL E-Bulletin #75 - 21 March 2022

Let them eat cake!

As the story goes, this was Marie Antoinette’s response upon being told that her starving peasant subjects had no bread.
 
Well, Oliver Coppard, putative mayor for South Yorkshire, has organised a fundraiser event where the queen of France as she was then would not be out of place.
 
A fundraising dinner in Barnsley has been advertised on 7th April designed to raise money for Labour’s campaign to replace Dan Jarvis with Coppard.
 
The problem for Labour nationally is that it is short of money. More of that later. But the fundraising event raised more than a few eyebrows when it was revealed that the cost was £46.50 for a dinner ticket and – wait for it! –  £36.50 for students and unwaged!
 
The idea, as we enter one of the worst costs of living crises in living memory, that students and the unemployed will have £36.50 available to buy into Oliver’s army is laughable. It would be surprising if anyone could bite at that price. He has now stupidly offered to personally negotiate a rate depending on the person’s circumstances, for those who cannot afford £36.50.  All people have to do is phone him and go through their financial situation with him.  Bad enough when having to seek benefits to survive, but for Coppard to expect members to phone him and do the same for a Labour Party event is quite frankly shameful.
 
But this doesn’t seem to bother Labour’s leading lights in Sheffield. When confronted by the certainty that such an event will only suit the few, not the many, Labour candidates and councillors were quick to defend it.  With some Labour Cllrs even suggesting the left organise a separate event for the poorer members!
 
It seems that today’s Labour party is no longer the champion of the poor and disadvantaged but has now assumed the full Mandelson mantle of being only for those that can afford it.
 
As Labour attacks the Tories in Westminster for their Russian cronyism, it appears that cronies are also welcome at South Yorkshire Labour fundraisers – while anyone on a minimum wage or benefits is not.
 
And why is Labour descending to these depths in pursuit of campaign funds? 
 
Well, the idealogues now in charge will go to any lengths to secure their position – including bankrupting the party.
 
Only a month ago, concerns from Unite that the Labour Council in Coventry was trashing workers’ rights in a dispute with its bin workers led Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham to question why her union was providing money to the Party.
 
Starmer et al were quick to call such a reasonable question a threat to which the Party would not succumb.
 
A strange world where the party created by workers through their trade unions is now eschewing any support in its headlong drive to attract Sun reading Tory voters.

Sheffield Left Convenor expelled from the Labour Party

'Dear Mr Rock,

Notice of Termination of Membership of the Labour Party

We write to inform you that a panel of the National Executive Committee (the NEC Panel) met on 18 March 2022 to consider allegations that you had committed a Prohibited Act pursuant to Chapter 2, Clause I.5 of the Labour Party Rule Book (the Rules). 

Allegation 1: Support for Labour Against the Witchhunt Upheld

The NEC Panel had regard to your written representations submitted and received on 08 March 2020.  [2022]

The NEC Panel found that on or around 23 May 2018, you agreed to chair a meeting organized by Labour Against the Witchhunt and other organisations; on or around 09 April 2019, you signed an open letter published by Labour Against the Witchhunt; and on or around 14 January 2020, you were listed as an initial signatory to a Labour Against the Witchhunt open letter.

The NEC Panel considered that this amounted, in its opinion, to the type of support for Labour Against the Witchhunt prohibited by Chapter 2, Clause I.5.Bv of the Rules.

Consequently, your membership of the Labour Party (the Party) stands terminated. You are no longer entitled to attend any Party meetings or to exercise any other rights associated with membership of the Party.

You have the right to appeal this decision on the grounds set out at Chapter 2, Clause I.6 of the Labour Party Rule Book. Should you wish to do so please submit any appeal within 14 days of the date of this letter, in writing to the address at the top of this letter, or by email to appeals@labour.org.uk.'

Sheffield Left

Sheffield Left (SL) is a network 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 March/April

Tuesday 22nd March:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC) monthly meeting.  Starts at 7pm.  All trade union members welcome, only delegates can vote.

Saturday 26th March:  March Climate Summit – Just Transition and Climate Jobs. 10am til 4pm Quaker Meeting House. One day summit with workshops organised by Sheffield Climate Campaign Umbrella Group.

Sunday 27th March:  Stop the War in Ukraine. Rally outside Sheffield Town Hall @noon.

Saturday 2nd April:  PALFEST Sheffield.  Crookes Social Club, S10 . 7.30pm until midnight.  Pay what you feel.  This event is a fundraiser for the Sheffield Festival of Friendship with Palestine.  Live band, DJs, poets and Palestinian Street Market.

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

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 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

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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