Jul 1st, 2016by Jon Lansman
Last year Jeremy Corbyn won a quarter of a million votes of Labour members, supporters and affiliates.
On Tuesday, he lost in a ‘vote of confidence’ due to the votes of just 170 people who never supported him in the first place, and many of whom have been actively undermining the Labour Party’s choice of leadership ever since. Those MPs are not listening to the vast majority of their members.
Ordinary Labour members need to be absolutely clear that the vote of no confidence by Labour MPs has no standing under Labour rules; it’s window-dressing a thoroughly undemocratic coup with a made-up attempt to look democratic.
The vote of no confidence has no power in our rulebook – if they want a leadership election there are procedures to trigger one and they should get a candidate and stand against Jeremy.
35 MPs nominated Jeremy last year and 40 stood with him on Tuesday.
In contrast to the Parliamentary Labour Party, who in demanding that Jeremy go are against the position of a majority of both Labour members and voters and whose actions undermine the faith of the public in our democracy, hundreds of thousands have indicated their support for Jeremy this week.
Jeremy Corbyn himself has made it clear that he’s going nowhere and will not be resigning.
This is not an attempt of a coup against Jeremy, it is an attempt at a coup against all of the labour movement – we all now need to work together to defeat the undemocratic attempts to bully Jeremy, and be ready to campaign for him in a leadership election should there be one.
Jul 1st, 2016by Newsdesk
(This talk was given by John McDonnell on Wednesday 29th June 2016 at a Stand Up for Labour event in the George IV pub in Chiswick, West London. The transcript has been lightly edited to account for the difference between spoken and written language but the content is unchanged. We thought that the speech deserved wide circulation.)
Let me just tell you where we’re at at the moment because it’s important that you know. I just want to go back a short while, I won’t keep you long.
When Jeremy got elected last year he got elected on 59.5% of the vote – the highest mandate that any political leader of this country has ever received from their own membership. It was overwhelming in individual members, the affiliated group and also the new supporters. In every category he won. Continue reading →
Jun 30th, 2016by Andy Newman
On Thursday 23rd June the unexpected triumph of the Leave campaign can only be read as a rebuke to the authority of the political class. Certainly racism and anti-immigrant prejudice informed many voters, but that was far from the only motive for so many people rejecting the overwhelming consensus view of experts and professionals who counseled caution.
What credibility did George Osborne have in saying that leaving the European Union would jeopardize the prosperity and strength of the UK economy, when millions work on zero hours contracts, or with only a few hours through agencies; when a million people rely upon food banks; when there is a crippling housing crisis; when there is both a growth of in-work poverty, and also a brutal and inhuman regime of sanctioning the unemployed; when thousands of graduates are burdened by an unimaginable yoke of debt.
For people who cannot afford the bus to go and sign on, what did it matter that they might lose the theoretical opportunity to take a job in Milan or Berlin. When people see their local employers advertising vacancies only in Poland or the Czech Republic, without giving them an opportunity to apply, then the employment law protections enshrined in EU law may as well be dust in their mouths. Continue reading →
Jun 29th, 2016by Andy Newman
The Labour Party in opposition needs to present itself as an alternative government, but just as importantly the role of the main opposition party in a parliamentary democracy is to seek to influence the decisions of government, and shape the political debate.
Given the potentially economically catastrophic vote to leave the EU last Thursday, an outcome that most Labour Party members, and most Labour voters opposed; and which was opposed by the overwhelming majority of affiliated trade unions; then it is essential that the Labour Party quickly develops a policy of how to deal with the fall out.
It should have been obvious that the task for the Labour Party was to keep the media focus on the lies and false promises from the leading Brexit campaigners; and it should have been obvious that the task for the Labour Party was to exploit the division in the Conservative Party and the paralysis of the lame-duck Cameron administration. It should also have been obvious that it was necessary to keep the party unified behind those tasks. Continue reading →
Jun 29th, 2016by Peter Rowlands
Nigel Farage got what he wanted
As someone who was strongly pro EU and had written several articles for Left Futures, as well, as participating in local activity on the issue, I feel a bit gutted, and like most people got it wrong. While things looked a bit desperate three weeks ago it appeared that the murder of Jo Cox had begun a move back to remain, but if that was so it was not sufficient to win.
I shall briefly look at what happened, why, and what it means. Continue reading →
Jun 28th, 2016by Mark Seddon
Jeremy Corbyn addressing a support Rally outside Parliament
Barely ten months ago, I urged my branch, the New York City Labour Party Branch, to first nominate and then vote for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party and for Tom Watson as his deputy. In this I was supported by longtime New York Labour activist, journalist and Tribune columnist, Ian Williams.
I cannot speak for the reasons of others in doing so, but for me, Jeremy Corbyn represented the best chance for Labour to finally move on from the New Labour years, to campaign against austerity instead of meekly accepting it and to re-engage with the many traditional Labour voters who had turned their backs on us. I supported Tom Watson because I believed that he represented another and honourable wing of the party and would be loyal to the new leader. Harold Wilson would always maintain that Labour needed; ‘two wings to fly’. Before any attempts are made to pigeon-hole such support, neither Jeremy or Tom come from the Tribune stable. Continue reading →
Jun 28th, 2016by Newsdesk
Our country faces a huge challenge following Thursday’s vote to leave the European Union. And the British people have a right to know how their elected leaders are going to respond.
We need to come together to heal the divisions exposed by the vote. We have to respect the decision that has been made, hold the government to democratic account over its response and ensure that working people don’t pay the price of exit. Continue reading →
Jun 26th, 2016by Jon Lansman
Although the final nominations have not yet been published in the election for constituency representatives on Labour’s national executive, the left moved into a decisive lead this week. Although nominations, most of which have been made by constituency delegates elected prior to the Corbyn surge of last summer, are likely to understate the left’s support in an OMOV election, left candidates still occupy 6 out of the top eight places and seem likely on this showing to win at least 5 of the 6 places available.
The current position is as follows: Continue reading →
Jun 25th, 2016by Bryan Gould
For over 45 years, and based on my early involvement with the issue in the Foreign Office, I have contested the issue of Britain’s membership of what was the Common Market and then grew into the EU, and I have always been on the losing side. It could be argued that my own political career, and my bid to lead the Labour Party, were adversely affected by what was often seen as an odd aberration. I argued over this whole period that the EU is not Europe and that the actual and very particular arrangement we were offered was not only inimical to Britain’s interests but was not the way to build a better and more lasting European cooperation and identity. Continue reading →
Jun 25th, 2016by Phil Burton-Cartledge
One man is responsible for today’s fiasco, and that is the Prime Minister. Or, thankfully, the soon-to-be-ex-Prime Minister. Dave joins Neville Chamberlain and Anthony Eden – coincidentally Tories too – in the hall of notorious failures. For his political vanity, for narrow party advantage over a hard right insurgency that began petering out before he conceded them the EU referendum, Dave has inflicted incalculable damage on the British economy, on the politics of this country, and goes into retirement trailing a bitter legacy of division and hopelessness. Well done that man. Well fucking done. Continue reading →