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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 #56 - 6 July 2021

Support the oppressed - but no support to the party apparatus!
 
The road to Tory hell is paved with good distractions. We live in a political era defined by Trumpism and dominated by a Tory view of the world that leans heavily on right wing populism and righteousness to justify its moral corruption.
 
Take yourself back to the days of David Cameron – and even Theresa May – when Tory leaders attempted to appear liberal while implementing classic Tory class politics.
 
Now Johnson and his pals don’t even bother to hide their right wing, free market tendencies. Why? Because they have moved the political debate to territory where distraction is the name of the game.
 
“Woke” is the new term of dismissal while “white privilege” gets shouted from the rooftops often with no evidence to back it up.
 
All of this is a product of a shift in the world view that puts right wing philosophies at the centre – the announcement that we must all take personal responsibility from July 19th is as neoliberal as you can get. The individual takes the risk while the state abdicates all responsibility.
 
The challenge for the left is to maintain a focus on class, on poverty, on the most vulnerable and those least able to look after themselves but do so as part of a political programme designed to shift that right wing world view.
 
“Covid death risk almost four times higher for poorest in England” ran the headline in one newspaper – that is the focus. 
 
“English councils spending on homeless B&B housing up 500% on 2010” ran another headline – another obvious symptom of the class warfare being waged by the Tories.
 
Williamson rants about mobile phones in schools – the left should be campaigning for a return to comprehensive education controlled by local government with equal opportunities for all working-class kids.
 
Javid pushes the “open everything up” mantra on Covid – the left needs to focus on supporting health unions in rejecting privatisation and achieving a big pay rise.
 
We know that the right of the Labour party is more than happy to play the Tory game – the weaponizing of antisemitism to suspend and expel Corbyn supporters is testament to that.
 
Whether it is simply by supporting the Palestinian cause or, in the latest example, being asked to support a statement in opposition to transphobia, these are part of the same traps.
 
The left should support any minority being persecuted and deprived of equal rights but signing a statement that threatens the Party’s discredited and weaponised disciplinary procedures against anyone is a dangerous step.
 
The debate about how best to support the trans and non-binary communities raises some complex and nuanced issues. The danger now is that such support for disciplinary action means that the questions that need to be answered will never be asked.

Education and free speech are far more likely to succeed in the longer term than using a sledge hammer approach that calls on the right wing bureaucracy to act in their place.

 

Witch-hunt continues

A member of the Party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the Party, or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a Party member.’ (Chapter 2, Clause 1, 4.)
 
The Labour Party’s witch-hunters have gone back to their roots, once more using Chapter 2, Clause I in their efforts to rid the party of its troublesome left-wing. This clause has been used recently to “auto-exclude” scores of party members, just as CLPs were organising for the first conference in two years.  In particular they have targeted members of Socialist Appeal.
 
The hypocrisy of (mis)using the particular clause is breath-taking.  Whilst using it against the left, the internal groups on the right, e.g. Progress and Labour First, remained unscathed.
 
The right are hoping to delegitimise the socialist left, quarantining the last remnants of the Corbyn virus so the party can once again be a safe host for war criminals and privateers.  Starmer’s shameless courting of our class enemies is nothing new, his leadership campaign being funded by sweatshop owners amongst others.
 
There is pressure now being exerted from the right on Starmer’s leadership, and his stewardship may be coming to an end sooner than he’d like.  But first they need to change the rules at conference to stop any leadership challenges from the left.
 
We should expect to see more suspensions/expulsions in the run-up to the conference. Sheffield Labour Left stands in full solidarity with the comrades of Socialist Appeal.

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 50 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.

 

Date:  Wednesday 21st July.

Time:  7pm until 9pm.

Online: us02web.zoom.us

With international institutions, and local Israeli organisations, now publicly calling Israel an apartheid state, plus the ongoing attempts to oppress socialist-orientated movements in South America and elsewhere, it is as important as ever that socialists here show solidarity with those oppressed and fighting back for a better world.

This meeting is open to all, there will be plenty of time for questions and contributions.

Speakers:

Musheir El-Farra – Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

John Smith – Sheffield Cuba Solidarity Campaign. Author of ‘Imperialism in the 21st Century’.

Maria Vasquez-Aguilar – Chile Solidarity Network (Sheffield)

The meeting will be chaired by Martin Mayer, the Chair of Sheffield Labour Left.

(SLL reserves the right to deny entry.)


Local labour movement meetings and events in July:


Saturday 10th July:  Sheffield against the Policing Bill.  Demo 'Sheffield Says No'.  1pm @ Barkers Pool.

Thursday 15th July:  SYMAAG Talks for Change 5: Campaigning for change with the legal system. 'Challenging the hostile environment through legal processes.' 7pm start.


Friday 16th July:  'The Battle for Beita'.  Palestinian grassroots activists from the village of Beita speak.  Organised by Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign.  5pm start.  us02web.zoom.us

Wednesday 21st July:  Sheffield Labour Left open meeting. See above.

Tuesday 27th July:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC) meeting.  All trade union members welcome.  Only delegates can vote.  7.00pm start.


Labour Party Meetings:

Sheffield LCF monthly meeting held 2nd Tuesday of the month @7pm.

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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