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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 12, January 7 2019
Their Brexit, their crisis

As 2019 gets under way, it is difficult to predict what the Tories are going to do to get out of the Brexit mess they have created.
 
Much of big business and the establishment do not want Brexit as it will hit their profits, despite the fact that in the longer term it could be used to push down wages and dismantle the welfare state even further. The ruling class, generally, are confident that they can achieve these aims within the EU and are therefore not keen to risk a hit to profits even in the short-term. One thing they certainly don’t like though is unpredictability – hence we see the FTSE 100 slowly falling (down approximately 10% in the last 12 months), as investors look to put money into other financial markets. 
 
In more normal circumstances, the establishment would be confident in putting into government the ‘second eleven’ that is Labour.  But, this time they cannot be confident that the Labour Party tops will indeed play ball.
 
The problem is, of course, the Corbyn and McDonnell leadership of the Labour Party.  Backed up by a membership of over half-a-million, the risk of a socialist-led Labour Party in government that might implement some radical policies - perhaps even with the aim of fundamentally shifting the balance of the class struggle in favour of the working class - does worry the ruling class. Their fear is that a socialist-led government would implement progressive legislation, such as nationalisations, reversing many of the restrictive legislations that makes strike action less likely, halting arms sales etc.
 
Those on the right of the PLP are understandably pissed off. All their disgraceful attacks and coups against Corbyn have failed. Some left-wing members have been successfully witch-hunted out of the party, but the vast majority of Labour Party members remain and still support Corbyn. The Brexit crisis is currently the best chance for the right of the PLP to get rid of the Labour leader and they have found willing helpers in the mainstream media.
 
Talk of a second referendum instead or before a general election can only benefit the right. They know full well that the outcome of any such second poll would be – more or less – identical to the 2016 result. The outcome mightbe reversed, with a small majority in favour of ‘Remain’, but the constitutional crisis that has opened up over the last few years would not be resolved. If Labour got behind a second referendum now, they would probably lose the support of millions of working class voters who are in favour of leaving the European Union (for whatever reasons) and would feel understandably betrayed by the party. And it could  therefore very well spell the end of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.
 
This is why it is so important the left in the party supports the party conference’s position – that is, to concentrate on the fight for a general election to show up and exploit the Tories’ self-made crisis. There is a real chance that - because of Labour’s flexible position on Brexit - it could win such an election. The right inside and outside the party knows that very well. Which is why they try to avoid it all costs and are propping up the ‘Campaign for A People’s Vote’ and its misguided left wing, ‘Another Europe is Possible’. 
 
We call for a General Election Now. This must remain our central call: Not just to get out of the mess that is Brexit under the Tories, but to start to put in place the changes that will help to increase the combativity of the working class and to act as beacon for other lefts throughout Europe and the world.
January 2: Members of Sheffield Labour Left campaigning on Labour's Day of Action For A National Rail Service. 
Sheffield Local Campaign Forum (SLCF)

The agenda for the SLCF meeting of 8 January does show some small signs of life coming from the LCF - if you are a delegate, please make sure to come along or consider becoming a delegate if there is a vacancy in your branch (each branch can send two delegates, at least one of whom must be a woman). 

The bureaucracy's grip on this body has recently loosened ever so slightly, with the election of a new Equalities Officer who is trying to get some discussion going around issues that go beyond the usual focus on local electioneering.

With over 8,000 local party members so much more could be achieved, for example by organising effective and Sheffield-wide support for the current RMT strikes.



Hallam CLP Selects Olivia Blake as PPC

Labour Party members in Hallam have selected Olivia Blake as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for Labour. Unfortunately, the numbers of members participating in the selection were disappointingly low - with less than 180 members voting out of a membership of nearly 1800.

Olivia was regarded as the more left of the two candidates that were automatically shortlisted, from a surprisingly small field of only six applicants (three of those eventually withdrew and one failed to get any nominations). Olivia spoke openly of her support for Jeremy Corbyn and the 2017 general election manifesto.

The Sheffield Labour Left Steering Committee supported Olivia and asked left members to vote for her in the selection process. We now look forward to campaigning with Olivia to win Hallam again for Labour as part of a Corbyn-led government.
“For what reason, then, should the woman worker seek a union with the bourgeois feminists? Who, in actual fact, would stand to gain in the event of such an alliance? Certainly not the woman worker. She is her own saviour; her future is in her own hands. The working woman guards her class interests and is not deceived by great speeches about the “world all women share”. The working woman must not and does not forget that while the aim of bourgeois women is to secure their own welfare in the framework of a society antagonistic to us, our aim is to build, in the place of the old, outdated world, a bright temple of universal labour, comradely solidarity and joyful freedom."
 
Alexandra Kollontai
The Social Basis of the Woman Question, 1909
Events in January

Tuesday 8 January:  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.

Wednesday 9 January:  Unite Community Branch meeting.  6.30pm to 8.30pm @ United Reform Church.  New Members Welcome.

Thursday 10 January:  Sheffield May Day Organising Committee meeting.  6.00pm to 8.00pm @ United Reform Church.

Friday 11 January:  Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough CLP meeting.  Adlington Community Centre from 7.30pm.

Saturday 12 January:  RMT Strike Solidarity.  10am until noon @ Sheffield Train station.  Bring your banners!

Saturday 12 January:  'Britain is Broken'.  12 noon till 4pm @ Rotherham Trades Club. A free event of politics, discussion music and poetry. Organised by Rotherham Trades Council.

Tuesday 22 January:  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 24 January:  Sheffield Hallam monthly CLP meeting.  Wesley Hall, Crookes, S10 1UD from 7.30pm.

Thursday 24 January:  Sheffield Central CLP Special meeting to vote on whether to change to all-members CLP meetings.  Followed by the monthly CLP meeting.  7.15pm @ St Mary's Church, Bramall Lane.

Friday 25 January:  Penistone & Stocksbridge monthly CLP meeting.  Wortley Hall starting at 7.00pm.

Thursday 31 January:  Sheffield Heeley CLP monthly meeting.  From 7.15pm @ The Spires Centre.

Ongoing until 14 April:  Who We Are: Exhibition of photographs by Martin Jenkinson.  At Sheffield's Weston Park Museum.
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, and after attending a regional event organised by Durham Labour Left, 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.

At present we have 140 left wing members of the Sheffield Labour Party on the email list. 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? Contact us at the email address below.

 
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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