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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 - 2 June 2022

Labour’s unholy Tory alliance


“The Tory Party is the enemy of my class” – so said Neil Findlay, former regional MSP for Lothian last week.
 
Nothing unusual in that you might think. A Labour politician citing class as one of the defining characteristics of the Labour Party. Something that over the last 100 years has been a key factor in any political debate about the Party, its trade union roots and its direction.
 
But Findlay’s comments were sparked by the decision of the Labour Group on Edinburgh Council to do a deal with the Tories and Lib dims following the local elections. Yes, Labour now fills the leader’s position on the Council but only with Tory support.
 
This came a few days before another signal from the current Labour leadership of less of a swing, more a violent lurch towards impersonating the Tories at their worst.
 
After Starmer was trumped by the Tories in Westminster with their cost-of-living package, which was double the one he had called for, Annelise Dodds, Chair of the Party, decided to impersonate George Osborne.
 
In an extraordinary set of interviews, she first refused to name Labour’s main policy aims for the future. This is perhaps because the “pragmatism” of Starmer’s front bench has been all about not being Corbyn and not being Johnson.
 
With most of the media deciding that Corbyn is history, the “not Johnson” line could soon be under threat as the Tories finally seek survival by ditching him as leader. So commentators started to question what Labour stands for as thoughts about a General Election starts to crystallise.
 
Well, Dodds thinks that the best strategy for Labour on fiscal policy is to appear as austere as George Osborne. How else to explain why she called for the Office for Budget Responsibility to look at Sunak’s package for the cost-of-living crisis to see whether it would push up inflation.
 
An interesting question but if the OBR comes back and says yes, as John McDonnell commented, what will Labour do? Ask for the package to be withdrawn and leave the poor of this country without help?
 
As Dodds tries to outbid the Tories in appearing “fiscally responsible”, Labour ties itself up in knots. As McDonnell added in his comments, “Whatever the focus groups are saying, are we seriously going to attack the Tories for spending more on the poor?”
 
But the problem facing Labour is no-one knows what Starmer stands for. He is anti Corbyn and anti Johnson – but remove those and there is one, enormous vacuum where the label ‘Labour policies” used to be.

Sheffield Opposing Deportations

The last few days of May saw Hemin Mohammed Ali fall victim to Priti Patel's unconscionable round up of deportation fodder. Hemin has been in the UK for 22 years and has a home and family in Sheffield, including a young son. He and his family had an agonising few days as he waited in dreadful conditions in a detention centre at Heathrow to find out if 31st of May would be the day he was flown to Erbil where he had no connection, no family and no guarantee of safety.
  
When Hemin's partner Leigh shared details of her terrifying situation it only took a matter of minutes to think of which networks of Sheffield activists to start contacting, knowing they would contact others who would contact others. Before long, countless people were lobbying Hemin's MP, writing articles and sharing the Detention Action link. As things stand, the flight is cancelled but Hemin remains, with others, in detention, his situation under review. The safety of people with unresolved immigration status remains very precarious. Those same networks remain there for Leigh and Hemin and others, ready to provide any political and personal support needed, no questions asked.

As the current Labour leadership busts a gut to demonstrate he is not his predecessor, those links between individuals and groups, many of which were forged or strengthened between 2015 and 2019, continue to provide a safety net for people made desperately vulnerable by this vicious government. That's a lifelong legacy no ineffective leadership will erase.

https://detentionaction.org.uk/

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 80 bulletins.

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

Friday 3rd June:  'DISS THE JUBILEE'.  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.

Saturday 4th June:  Boycott Rally.  Organised by Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).  Noon outside the Town Hall.

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).  This is the first meeting of the Mayoral Combined Authority since Oliver Coppard was elected S Yorks Mayor and the 4 Council leaders will be in attendance.

Thursday 16th June:  Sheffield Left Monthly 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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