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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 #59 - 1 August 2021

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:
https://www.defendtheleft.co.uk/founding-statement/

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 55 bulletins.

We are connected to no other group, but work alongside others whose aims we share to see elected a socialist-led government.  In July 2019 we affiliated to the Labour Left Alliance.


Want to get involved with SLL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.

Sheffield Fighting Back!

Three of the six Sheffield CLPs attempted to put Emergency Motions regarding the proscriptions and expulsions being implemented by Starmer.

First off was Sheffield Hallam, where the Chair hiding behind the 'instructions' of Regional Officials ruled the motion out of order.  His ruling was challenged, and by a vote of 41 to 30 the majority wanted to hear the motion.  The chair did not reverse his decision but held to the requirement of a 2/3rds majority required to overturn his ruling.  It was therefore his choice to deny the wishes of the majority of members the opportunity to hear the motion.  It was clear that the majority of members would have voted for the motion to oppose the proscriptions etc.

Second was Sheffield Central, where the pro-Starmer Chair also ruled not to hear the motion.  The challenge to the Chair was lost narrowly lost 41 to 45 (2 abut.).  If the motion had been heard and a discussion had taken place it would have been a close vote either way.

Finally, and most successfully, we had Sheffield Heeley, where the motion was accepted by the Chair.  The motion easily carried by 30 votes to 13.  the text of the successful motion is here:

"This CLP declares its solidarity with Socialist Appeal, Labour Against the Witch-hunt, and the Labour In Exile Network targeted for "auto-exclusion". An injury to one is an injury to all. It will not be only the hard-working activists that these organisations provide for the labour movement that will be removed, but all members who are critical of Starmer's weak opposition. As soon as opposition is noticed, an email from disputes will arrive, with no opportunity to appeal.

Further, the proposed creation of a `Star Chamber' to act as judge and jury for further proscriptions and purges is a shocking and repressive move. It belongs to the dark ages and should have absolutely no place in a modern-day democratic party.  

This CLP demands that all unjust proscriptions and expulsions are reversed. These attacks on rank-and-file members and party democracy are hampering collective resistance to Tory social cleansing, which continues unabated with more than 128,000 confirmed COVID deaths, harsh Trade Union suppression, and arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Instead of attacking its own members, the party leadership should be using all its efforts to fight this criminal Tory government on the basis of bold socialist policies;

Build council homes, build hospitals, build schools, build an opposition!"

Local labour movement meetings and events in August:

Tuesday 3rd August:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC) Covid-19 Action Committee meeting.  Freedom or Foolhardy - are the Government putting profit before lives?  Speakers:  
  • Prof Susan Michie, Indie Sage,
  • Jack Czauderna, Sheffield Community Contact Tracers
  • NEU speaker to be confirmed
also: Holly Johnston "Nurses Say NO! to 3%" on the fightback on NHS pay. Nurses and other NHS staff have seen 10 years of wage freezes and below inflation increase. Even 15% would not fully restore what they've lost.
Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83354850991?pwd=N2RKSXRXQlYxbjk2WTFKa0ROQjJLQT09

Meeting ID: 833 5485 0991
Passcode: 791298


Wednesday 25th August:  'Save the UNIVERSAL CREDIT £20 Uplift!'  Day of Action organised by UNITE Community. We are waiting for details of a rally/protest event in Sheffield which will be supported by Sheffield TUC and others..


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.


Please check first with your CLP if meetings are going ahead, as many close down during August.
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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