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Sheffield Labour Left 

A bulletin for Sheffield Labour Party Members who support the direction the party is moving under Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell.
For Socialism. Opposing racism, antisemitism and Zionism.
Opposing all expulsions/exclusions targeting the left.
Bulletin No 16, May 20 2019

Sheffield Labour Left and friends at the Sheffield May Day celebrations

 

Sheffield Local Elections


There is no doubt that Sheffield results in the recent local elections were a disappointment for Labour.
 
These elections were always going to be tough for us, with the Brexit crisis looming over national politics and a local Labour-led council implementing Tory cuts. We lost seats that we didn’t expect to; in other contests, the margins of defeat were higher than anticipated.  Keep in mind that in most places the turnout was very similar to last year (15 had an increased turnout, 12 had a lower and 1 was the same). So, there are no grounds to blame a small turnout for our poor showing.
 
For example, the Beighton result saw a 771 Labour majority in 2018 became a Lib Dem majority of 247.  The Lib Dem share of the vote increased by 14.8% and the Labour vote fell by 13.7%.
 
Similarly, the result in East Ecclesfield saw a Labour majority of 612 become a Lib Dem majority of 216.  Labour’s share of the vote, despite a good candidate in Craig Gamble-Pugh, went down by 11.3%. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems went up 8.8% and UKIP by 11.4%.  The Green share went down by 3.2% suggesting some tactical voting for the Lib Dems to stop Labour.  The good news was that Steve Wilson (of Angela Smith fame only) saw his vote dropping from 1558 when he stood for Labour in 2016 to a pathetic 102 this time around. For someone who was at the time a sitting councillor this is embarrassing. So much for a personal vote!
 
Gleadless Valley also saw a huge shift with a Labour majority of 411 becoming a Lib Dem majority of 919.  The Labour share dropped 11.7%; the Lib Dems by 3.0% (tactic voting for the Greens probably explains this) and the Green share jumped by 14.9%.
 
In Birley, however, the Labour vote (down 13.9%) appears to have gone straight to UKIP, with the Greens and Lib Dems increasing their shares of the vote by only 3.3% and 0.3% respectively.
 
The tree debacle that gave the Green Party a fillip last year resulted in them increasing their vote again in some wards where they have become the largest party, e.g. Broomhill & Sharrow Vale where they added to their majority over Labour, pushing forward from 777 in 2018 to 1,648 in 2019.
 
The Green Party have pushed Labour into third place in both Ecclesall and Fulwood, and to fourth in Dore & Totley.
 
In City the Green Party went from a majority of 16 to a majority of 657, while the Labour Party share dropped by 16.1%.
 
2020 Vision?

 
The worrying thing for Labour is that if these results are repeated in 2020 then Sheffield will no longer be a Labour controlled council. The Labour Group of councillors would drop from 49 to 42, with the Lib Dems moving from 26 to 31 and the Greens from 8 to 11. And with Walkley now a marginal rather than safe Labour (we only have a majority of 41 over the Green Party), losing this would mean we could see a Lib Dem/Green coalition (31/12) of 43 seats to Labour’s 41 seats. This in itself should be a wake-up call for the leadership of the council and for the key officers of the LCF.
 
National Picture

 
Both in Sheffield and nationally we are seeing the Green Party being happy to work with the Lib Dems (strangely regarded as somehow progressive) and the Lib Dems happy to work with the Tories.
 
It is probably best not to draw too many conclusions about what the local election results might mean come a General Election.  It’s likely that we will see some very different results in the European elections on May 23.
 
Of course, come a General Election these choices will have much more meaning, i.e. the fight against poverty, homelessness, etc. As such most voters will be looking to see which party can form a government – concretely, Labour or the Tories (backed by the Lib Dems).
 
The Farage Brexit Party is likely to do well in the European elections; but is likely to fall from this highpoint.  The votes it is winning, and would most likely get in a General Election, are mainly from Tory supporters. We obviously need to fight to convince the many working class supporters of Farage that he and his party do not represent their interests. However, we can take some comfort from the fact that he is not currently impacting too successfully on the Labour vote at this stage.
Orgreave Rally 2019

Annual Orgreave Rally, this year celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Great Miners' Strike

Orgreave Lane, Sheffield, S13 9NE

Saturday 15th June 2019, 1.00pm

Speakers:

  • Matt Wrack   General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union (FBU)
  • Steve Hedley   Senior Assistant General Secretary, National Union of   Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)
  • Sarah Champion Member of Parliament for Rotherham
  • Rose Hunter North Staffs Miners Wives Action Group (WAPC)
  • Chris Kitchen  General Secretary, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
  • John Dunn Former Miner and  Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

Comperes:

  • Chris Peace  Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign & Labour Party Prospective Candidate, North East Derbyshire
  • Joe Rollin Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign & Unite the Union

Music:

  • Sheffield Socialist Choir        
  • Unite Brass Band               

Come along and support the Annual Orgreave Rally organised by the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike and the events at Orgreave.

Please bring banners, placards, drums, whistles, family and friends. Let’s show the Government we will not be silenced, we won’t go away and our vibrant campaign for Truth and Justice goes from strength to strength.

Led by the Unite Brass Band, come and march with us through Orgreave and support our call for a Public Inquiry for Truth and Justice for Striking Miners brutalised by police at the Orgreave Coking plant on 18th June 1984

Join the SSL team at the 'Small Park, Big Run for Palestine'

The event in Meersbrook Park is supporting women's education and the Khuzaa childrens healing project in Gaza, Palestine. Sheffield Labour Left will be entering as a team. Please note that the event takes place over 24 hours, from noon on Saturday June 15 until noon on Sunday June 16. To avoid a clash with the Orgreave event, we encourage SLL members and supporters to come along on Sunday morning from 9am until 12noon for the team run, but it would also be brilliant if you could do a slot in the evening and during the night. More info about the event organised by the Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign here.

Labour Against the Witchhunt

Sheffield Labour Left is encouraging all left activists in the Labour Party to join LAW, which was founded in 2017 to oppose the purge of pro-Corbyn supporters in the Labour Party.

LAW’s honorary presidents are Professor Moshé Machover and Ken Livingstone.

LAW’s sponsors include:

  • Ken Livingstone
  • Alexei Sayle, comedian
  • Professor Moshé Machover, Israeli socialist and founder of Matzpen
  • Ian Hodson, president of the Bakers Union
  • Ken Loach, film director
  • Noam Chomsky, author and activist
You can sign up online by clicking here.

I believe, as I always have, in freedom. The freedom which rests on the sense of responsibility. I consider discipline indispensable, but it must be inner discipline, motivated by a common purpose and a strong feeling of comradeship."
Buenaventura Durruti, (July 14, 1896 - November 20, 1936) was a Spanish born anarchist, a central figure in Spanish anarchism during the period leading up to and during the Spanish Civil War.
 

 

Events in May/June

Monday 20 May:  Burngreave Labour Party are hosting a rally with Labour MEP Candidate Martin Mayer on Monday at 6pm. Join them at Ellesmere Green, S4 7JB.  Followed by leafletting.

Wednesday 22 May:  Sheffield Stop and Scrap Universal Credit. Community stall at Firthpark, junction of Bellhouse Road and Sicey Avenue.  11am to 1pm.

Tuesday 28 May:  Launch event!  Sheffield Labour for a Green New Deal. 18-22 Union Street, S1 2JP.  7pm until 9pm.

Tuesday 28 May:  Monthly meeting of Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC).  Open to union delegates and observers. 7.00pm @ Trades & Labour Club, 200 Duke Street, S2 5QQ.

Wednesday 29 May:  Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine 'Trip to the West Bank: Feedback meeting'. 6pm - 7.15pm @ United Reform Church, Norfolk Street, S1 2JB.

Tuesday 4 June:  Together Against Trump.  Stop the State Visit.  Sheffield City Hall, Barkers Pool S1 2JA.  5.30pm to 7.00pm.

Thursday 6 June:  Brightside & Hillsborough monthly CLP meeting.

Tuesday 11 June:  Monthly meeting of Sheffield Labour Party Local Campaign Forum (SLCF). Each Labour Party branch has two elected delegates who can vote, but all LP members can attend. 7.30pm @ Trades & Labour Club, 200 Duke Street, S2 5QQ.

Friday 14 June: Penistone and Stocksbridge CLP monthly meeting and AGM, Wortley Hall, 7pm.

Saturday 15 June:  Orgreave Rally. See details in box.

Saturday & Sunday, 15 & 16 June: Sheffield Labour Left team at Small Park, Big Run Meersbrook Park (see further up).

Friday 21 June: South East CLP monthly meeting and AGM, Trinity Methodist Church, Woodhouse.

Tuesday 25 June:  Monthly meeting of Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC).  Open to union delegates and observers. 7.00pm @ Trades & Labour Club, 200 Duke Street, S2 5QQ.

Thursday 27 June:  Sheffield Hallam monthly CLP meeting and AGM.  Crookes Social Club from 7.30pm.
Initially set up as Sheffield Labour Left List (SLLL) as a network to help co-ordinate the left across the six CLPs covered by Sheffield. After a productive first 12 months and 10 bulletins, we changed to Sheffield Labour Left, electing a temporary Steering Committee, in December 2018.

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 previous bulletins. We are working on populating the website some more, feel free to send us material.

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 or join? Contact us at the email address below.

 
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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