Resist the attacks upon the left!
“The aim of the current leaders would seem to be to have a small, tightly disciplined party, with few troublesome activists, where policy is endorsed by a docile conference — standing ovations and little discussion. Leaders are then not accountable to members but speak to the voters directly through a media that welcomes a Labour Party that will make no substantial changes to the established order.”
The words of iconic film director Ken Loach threatened with expulsion from the Party for supporting Labour Against the Witch-hunt.
“Millions of voters who Labour must win back if it is to regain power have little idea what the party stands for or why it would improve their lives, according to a stark internal analysis by Keir Starmer’s new strategist.”
These are the main headlines from a recent report compiled by Deborah Mattinson, Starmer’s new director of strategy.
The Labour Party is being led into irrelevance by a leadership bent on denying democracy and using the left as an excuse for its own incompetence.
But all is not lost as some – and only some – CLPs fight back against interference from paid officials and right-wing officers (see box alongside).
A big test in the coming weeks will be who wins the leadership of Unite the result crucial in determining left influence at a national level.
This, allied with a party conference that will be stage managed to Starmer’s benefit, will go some way towards deciding Labour’s future - is it a genuine party with a legitimate wing calling for socialist change – or just the final delivery of the centrists’ dream which the “gang of four” began when they left the party to set up the SDP back in 1981?
But then the unions were strong and the membership was allowed its say – now we have a party close to financial bankruptcy.
If Mattinson is right, it is also bankrupt of any policies that provide any chance of beating the Tories at their own game.
If climate change is to be addressed, if the pandemic is to be ended – the Party needs inspiring policies and a leadership to tackle those issues.
This could start by supporting the health workers in their pay battle, the teachers as they fight academisation, the homeless as they face the full force of another phase of austerity.
Back to Ken Loach - “Among members generally, there are feelings of disillusion and cynicism towards the party, both locally and nationally. If this is how we are treated, why bother? The Labour Party is seen as a useless, self-serving clique, a waste of time for those who really want to make a difference.”
The left can go down without a fight – or organise around solidarity in trade unions, around campaigns that help those most in need and in resistance to further denials of democracy. The choice is ours…….
Sign the national petition here: