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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 #79 - 8 May 2022

Sheffield Labour – steering for opposition?

Last week’s local election results demonstrate Sheffield Labour’s slow, passive decline into opposition.
This is a time when Labour should be thriving under the most unpopular Tory Government since Thatcher with a clear vision setting it apart from Johnson’s ragbag of sycophants and incompetents.
Yet the overall net results for the city council can be summarised as Labour losing one seat, the Greens gaining one and the Lib Dems standing still.
It does nothing to change the power balance in the city with the formal title of No Overall Control concealing the likely continuation of the last year’s partnership with the Greens.
Council Leader Terry Fox, who retained his seat in Manor Castle, hailed the results as a turning point with the retention of seats under threat such as East Ecclesfield, Walkley and Stocksbridge although two of these are more likely due to stay away Tory voters.
The gains for Labour were in Crookes & Crosspool and Nether Edge where strong local campaigning delivered gains but the loss of Hillsborough and the failure to take Beighton indicates that Labour – at least in Sheffield – has not regained the so called “red wall” voters.
The map of Sheffield has inexorably changed over the last 15 years with the strongholds for Labour among working class communities in the east and south of the city drifting towards the Tories.
The only compensation for Labour is that the 'middle class' wards in the west of the city are turning to Labour where there is a strong local candidate – with the Greens the bigger electoral threat here.
Hillsborough stands out an example of Labour losing to the Greens with council leader Bob Johnson ousted last year to be followed by Labour Group veteran Josie Paszek this year. Gleadless is another ward with the Greens on the up which should raise alarm bells.
Fox claimed that this year’s elections are a turning point – but where Labour turns to next is anybody’s guess.
An unwillingness to put up a political fight against a Tory Government that is taking the venom of the Thatcher years and increasing its poison has taken its toll.
Labour in Sheffield seems to offer just more of the same – trying to manage the city with no political direction and just a “we are kinder than our opponents” tag.
Derelict shops across the city and a city centre hollowed out economically by the demise of Debenhams and John Lewis speaks of rough times ahead and the endless skyscrapers being built by developers will soon be competing for the title of “best white elephant”.
Labour needs to focus on the poorest citizens of the city who can’t afford heating, can’t afford rent and are being exploited by unscrupulous employers or short-changed by a woeful “welfare” system.
If Labour is to arrest its electoral decline across the city, the turning point needs to be based on recognising that Labour should be the party of solidarity with the working class. But Labour under Starmer is veering so far to the right that it has come off the road. Perhaps that is the turning point Fox was talking about?

Sheffield Left’s Mayday Launch and Social

Sheffield Left officially launched on international workers day with a social event at DINA in Sheffield city centre. Twenty-five members and friends came together on the most important day of the year for our movement to celebrate and look forward to the future of our newly reformed organisation and the path charted by the working class worldwide. The evening kicked off with the lowering of the old ‘Sheffield Labour Left’ banner revealing our new ‘Sheffield Left’ banner which includes the slogan ‘For the Many not the Few’, the room being surrounded by the flags of Cuba, Palestine and Chile. 

Then there was a succession of three short speeches which set the tone for our work going forward, highlighting our internationalism which is at the centre of our programme; Joe Buckley provided an overview of labour struggles in South-East Asia and the prospects for class struggle there, Maria Vasquez-Aguilar discussed the working class movements across Latin America, battling against neoliberalism and US lead imperialism, finally Lee Rock explained how and why we have become Sheffield Left and the movement we have made away from the Labour party and into campaigns of international solidarity, trade union work and local progressive causes. 

This informal evening saw comradely chat between members and friends, helped along by a curated playlist of ‘songs of struggle’ and light snacks provided by Tony Mercer. The night ended with hearty renditions of the ‘Internationale’ and the original version of the ‘Red Flag’. 

The night was enjoyed all round, and it won’t be the last political social that we hold, if you are interested in getting involved in Sheffield Left - get in contact!

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 ( and our own website (, where you can find an archive of our first 78 bulletins.

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

Wednesday 11th May:  Latin America and the Caribbean: Media, Solidarity and Foreign Policy.  From 13:00 to 19:30.  The University of Sheffield, Lecture Theatre 8, LG03b, Arts Tower, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN.  The event is free.  Full details and tickets here:

Thursday 12th May:  Festival of Debate.  'Trade Unions Fighting back in the Community'. 7pm @ Central Reform Church, Norfolk Street. Organised by Sheffield TUC to discuss how local trade union branches and the Trades Council are linking positively with our local communities – and standing up to poverty, inequality and discrimination. Evening panel debate with speakers and discussion.

Friday 13th May:  Sheffield PSC Film Show - 7pm start at The Yemeni Hall, Hadfield Institute, 43 Attercliffe Common, Sheffield S9 2AE. FREE ENTRY 
DONATIONS ARE WELCOME to help continue with efforts to support Sheffield PSC projects in the Gaza Strip, Palestine.  Tea/Coffee/ Cakes and biscuits will be available.

Saturday 14th May:  Sheffield PSC Rally. Outside the Town Hall at 12 midday, to mark 74 years since the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (NAKBA) at the hands of Zionist militias.

Tuesday 24th May:  Sheffield Trades Union Council (STUC) monthly meeting.  Starts at 7pm.  Held at Trades and Labour Club.  All trade union members welcome, only delegates can vote.

Sunday 29th May:  Cuba Solidarity Campaign meeting.  1pm to 3pm. Room 5 Sheffield Showroom, Paternoster Row Sheffield S1.  Speaker from Cuba: Elizabeth Ribalta Rubiera from ICAP (Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples).

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.
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