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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 #44 - 16 January 2021

What does Labour stand for today? A good question as much of the energy of the Party seems inward facing in a purge of anyone left of Angela Rayner – and that’s a lot of members!
 
The first electoral test of Starmer’s ‘new leadership' is approaching in May – although how the local elections are going to take place in the shambolic Covid world created by the Tories is anybody’s guess.
 
So what policies are going to be offered to an electorate which, if opinion polls are to be believed, are desperate for an alternative to the chumocracy and corruption evident in national politics?
 
If Sheffield is anything to go by, then the electorate’s desperation may not be eased. 
 
With just four months to go until polling day, once again the ruling Labour Group seems more interested in taking on left wingers than putting forward a manifesto for May. The last LCF meeting spent more time arguing about minutes of a meeting in November, when motions were passed in support of reinstating the whip to Jeremy Corbyn, than it did on policies for Sheffield City Council to take forward.
 
You would think that Labour Group energies might be better spent in discussing a positive set of policies for voters to back in May.
 
But this is the Sheffield Labour Group, where how you manage neoliberal policies is more important than opposing them.
 
The working class have been lied to by the Tories and are now going to be asked to stump up even more money through council tax for the incompetents to carry on regardless.
 
Remember this is the ruling Labour Group that screwed up library closures, victimised protestors over trees and has now engineered a referendum in May on governance as a gift to the Lib Dems and Greens.
 
So where is the radical programme of policies to address the Covid and Brexit disasters which will further cripple Sheffield as a city? Where is the manifesto that promises to protect workers’ jobs, provide housing for the homeless and food for those on the breadline?
 
They are hidden behind the endless publicity from councillors about a budget consultation which, like every annual survey before it, will be shredded as soon as responses are received.
 
Julie Dore has gone but her successor, Bob Johnson, is cut from the same cloth – a bunker mentality that eschews the idea of democracy and engagement with party members in favour of a small cabal of councillors who portray the whole world as their enemies.
 
In such a blinkered world, there is no room for a socialist vision that actually protects the neediest. For that local manifesto, we will have a very long wait.

Soft-left intimidated into silence

As the continuing efforts to ditch the policies of Corbyn continue apace within the Starmer/Evans Labour Party, rarely has there been such a need for socialists to stand up and resist.

And yet, unlike many areas across the country, the response of much of the soft-left in Sheffield is to put their heads down, pretend it isn't that serious and hope for better times, with a number of 'left' Branch & CLP execs not allowing motions to be discussed.  In some cases even going so far as refusing to circulate the motions to the membership. God forbid the membership might be allowed to discuss the issues and vote to defy the national leadership!

These soft left believe that the best way to resist being silenced is to reluctantly accept the censorship and instead allow 'acceptable' motions, verbal statements or letters of solidarity to those who are most under attack.  Of course, none of these approaches will defeat the attacks or motivate others to fight back.  Such a lack of fighting spirit will only lead to further demoralisation and resignations.  With over 50,000 people having resigned from the Labour Party in 2020 the present strategy of reluctant compliance is obviously not working.

Everything for these soft-left 'comrades' is so centred around the Labour Party and capturing positions that the fear of being excluded from the Labour Party, via suspension or expulsion, stops them taking action.  They forget that the class struggle also takes place outside of the Labour Party.  In fact the struggle is moving away from the Labour Party to other actions and campaigns.

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 35 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:  
https://labourleft.org
Want to get involved with SLL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.
Local labour movement meetings and events in late January:

Sunday 17 January:  Jeremy Corbyn's 'Project for Peace & Justice' live launch.  3pm to 4.30pm.  https://thecorbynproject.com/events/

Wednesday 20 January:  Sheffield Labour Left Annual General Meeting. Including: Perspectives for 2021; elections to Steering Committee.

Thursday 21 January:  Brightside & Hillsborough CLP meeting.  7.30pm start.

Thursday 28 January:  Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP monthly meeting.  7pm start.

Thursday 28 January:  Central CLP monthly meeting.  7.15pm start.

Thursday 28 January:  Heeley CLP monthly meeting.  7.15pm start.

Thursday 28 January:  Hallam CLP monthly meeting.  7.30pm start.

Advance Notice:

Tuesday 9 February: Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine (SLFP) AGM.  Starts at 6.15pm.
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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