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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 #81 - 27 May 2022

Collaboration not leadership – the order of the day
 
“Labour run Sheffield” may soon be a cliché of history as the Party’s control of the Council slowly - a bit like Boris Johnson’s time as PM – slips away.
 
The new Council’s game of musical chairs – following the May local elections – has seen the Lib Dems given more influence – in addition to previous alliance partners the Greens – as the full implications of the new structure play out.
 
With the new system still in its infancy, transitional committees have been established which, while not having any final decision-making powers, are designed to help councillors shift to the new system.
 
Terry Fox remains leader but in a message to Party members he made clear that the new system was a significant change describing the new arrangements as “the start of the collaborative governance of Sheffield”.
 
Indeed, the word “collaboration” crops up more than once as Fox declares that the Labour Group leadership “entered negotiations with the intention that all the main parties would play their part” in deciding policies that “we could collaboratively deliver”.
 
Five major committees are now chaired by either Green or Lib Dem councillors, so Sheffield is effectively run by a coalition of Lab, Lib Dem and Green councillors with a notional Labour leadership under Fox.
 
How this will play out over time is yet to become clear, but it makes the next set of local elections even more difficult to campaign around as each party will take credit for successes and reject accusations of failure.
 
Indeed, the Tories will be able to claim to be the genuine opposition with their hands clean of any direct involvement in decision making.
 
The challenge for those drawing up Labour’s plans for the election next year will be exactly that – a challenge – in marking out any clear differences between Labour and the opposition parties.
 
While that will be true of the other main parties, the slow, inexorable decline of Labour’s grip on power in the city seems to be reaching a tipping point where the lack of any clear reason to vote Labour is becoming terminal.
 
Meanwhile the future of Kate Josephs – the Council’s Chief Executive caught up in the Partygate scandal – rumbles on. 
 
She remains on “gardening leave” – although after all this time it is difficult to imagine there is much more gardening she can do – while the Council’s cross-party committee considers her fate.
 
Meanwhile Sheffield residents face up to an ever-increasing cost of living crisis where a new slogan – Heat or Eat – seems to have emerged as politicians play party games and sidestep their role in government.
 
Sheffield deserves better than a passive Labour leadership intent on sharing the blame rather than adopting socialist policies that just might win back the city.

Sheffield Opposing Apartheid

Motion carried at Heeley CLP on 26 May 2022:

➢ Supports the importance of BDS, including our right to call for ethical divestment from our pension funds, as a necessary and important way to campaign against apartheid and the injustices and inequality suffered by the Palestinian people across all areas of Israel and Palestine.
➢ Condemns, and calls on our LP leadership to condemn the Governments last minute amendment to the ‘Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill’ 2022 ,as an attack on the democratic rights of public sector pension committees and pension scheme members to express ethical preferences in the investment of their pension fund.
➢ Agrees to promote the petition calling on Sheffield City Council to campaign for South Yorkshire Pension Authority to commit to divestment from companies shown to be complicit in human rights abuses, including those involved in the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people.  The online petition on pension divestment is now active and will run until 30 Jun 2022: View your ePetition.
➢ Commits to encourage awareness and understanding of the nature of apartheid, including circulating the Amnesty Report to members and promoting the short 90 minute course offered by Amnesty https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2022/02/israels-system-of-apartheid/
➢ Notes that Central and Hallam CLPs have already passed a motion on the importance of democratic rights of public sector pension committees and pension scheme members to express ethical preferences in the investment of their pension fund, and the significance of this for campaigning for justice and equality in Palestine.  
➢ We call on the Branch and CLP to support and contribute to a city wide campaign against apartheid in Israel/Palestine.

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 79 bulletins.

Want to get involved with SL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.
Labour movement events and meetings in May/June

Sunday 29th May:  Cuba Solidarity Campaign public meeting.  'End US Blockade on Cuba!'.  1pm to 3pm. Room 5 Sheffield Showroom, Paternoster Row Sheffield S1.  Speaker from Cuba: Elizabeth Ribalta Rubiera from ICAP (Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples).

Monday 30th May:  Sheffield Demands Better.  Organised by the Regional TUC. From 7pm at Sheffield Cathedral, church Street.

Tuesday 31st May:  ACORN all member meeting from 6.30 - 7.30pm, at Union St (18-20 Union Street, Sheffield City Centre, S1 2JP).

Wednesday 1st June:  South Yorkshire Unite Community Branch Meeting. 6.30pm until 8.30pm.  Zoom.

Friday 3rd June:  'DISS THE JUBILEE'.  Republican, anti-Jubilee picnic in Endcliffe Park by the Queen Victoria statue at 12.30pm.  Bring your own food and drink (or use the cafe in the park) and your banners, flags and music!  Anyone who would like to topple the monarchy and build a Socialist Republic is most welcome.  If the weather is crap, we will retreat to The Lescar pub.

Monday 6th June:  'Better Buses for South Yorkshire lobby of Mayor's offices. 9.15am at the SYMCA offices (11 Broad St West, S1 2BQ).

Thursday 16th June:  Sheffield Left Open Meeting.  Details to be confirmed.

Saturday 18th June:  Annual Orgreave Truth and Justice Rally.  Assemble 1:00pm, City Hall, Barkers Pool, Sheffield S1 4FT.

Saturday 18th June/Sunday 19th June:  Small Park Big Run for Palestine.  Noon to noon at Meersbrook Park.

Monday 27th June:  Commemoration of Bill Ronksley's plaque.  10am to 12 noon outside the town Hall, and then inside for refreshments and reflections on Bill's life.

Tuesday 28th June:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC) monthly meeting.  Starts at 7pm.  Held at Trades and Labour Club, Duke Street.  All trade union members welcome, only delegates can vote.

13th June to 9th July:  PalFest.  https://palfestsheffield.co.uk/programme/

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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