It is time to rebuild the organisation of Labour Women from the grassroots 

by Maria Exall

Inside Labour CorbynWith our current standing in the polls the Labour Party needs urgently to review how it appeals to women voters. Whilst such a review should include structural changes such as gender quotas for Party positions including the Shadow Cabinet and the ‘great offices of state’, a standalone position of Minister for Women and Equalities, and of course All Women Shortlists for selection (all matters raised in the recently released Labour Women’s Network survey) the most significant progressive change that could be implemented this year is a renewed and revitalised Labour Women’s Conference.

At present the Labour Women’s Conference takes place on the day before Labour’s Annual Conference. It has proved very popular with regular attendance of up to a thousand CLP and trade union women. But important democratic reforms are necessary to make the Conference a proper voice for women in CLPs and working women organised in trade unions. These include the Conference becoming a decision making event, and the opportunity for the policy decided there to become Party policy via Annual Conference Resolutions and via the National Policy Forum. Continue reading →

The Social Democratic Team GB v. Freemarket English Football

by Mark Perryman

7976310763_8470c7d8f2_zMark Perryman outlines what  Great Britain’s Olympic success does and does not mean

Team GB’s second place in the Rio medals table is nothing less than staggering. It is only 20 years ago that the squad returned with a solitary Gold from Atlanta ’96 clinging on to 36th in the table. This sporting nation is now ranked alongside the Olympian superpowers of USA and China. If it hadn’t been for the partial IOC ban on their competitors Russia would have been in the mix too but still this remains a remarkable Team GB medal haul.

Unlike the football World Cup, the Olympics Medal Table is by and large an indicator of global economic and political power. These superpower nations, USA, China and Russia, cannot claim a single men’s Football World Cup title between them or have come anywhere close, mostly. The Olympics is different.  So how has Team GB ended up on top of the Olympic pile? Continue reading →

A reply to Paul Mason’s “The Sound of Blairite Silence”

by Peter Rowlands

Paul Mason on Owen Smith

Paul Mason has once again offered a solution to the conflict within the Labour Party which is worthy of serious consideration by anybody who wants  to see the party successfully develop in a left wing direction, although some will baulk at its conclusions.

Essentially Mason believes that on the assumption of a Corbyn win a further coup will be instituted from September 5th onwards, when Parliament reassembles, and that its success will be dependent on the ‘soft left’ led by Owen Smith continuing in their role as dupes of the Labour right, although the latter are determined to split anyway, preferably as the Labour Party, but if not as a centre party, with or without Labour’s ‘soft left’. Continue reading →

Reluctant Corbynism, or why people are switching to Jeremy

by Phil Burton-Cartledge

unnamedI’m going to tell you a story. A friend of my went for a selection in an ostensibly safe constituency. The long and short listing exercise was observed, and my comrade made it to the final three. Not wanting to mess about, the prospective prospective parliamentary candidate got the members’ details and visited the first house on the list. They introduced themselves, and was told politely but firmly to save their patter. Why? Because they’d returned their voting papers by post the previous week, several full days before the shortlisting for the ballot was officially finalised. Knowing the selection was blatantly stitched for a favoured son of the party machinery, my comrade refused to participate in the farce, packed their bags, and went home. Continue reading →

Do MPs have a “greater mandate”?

by David Pavett
Tony Blair poster 1983. He knew a thing or two about ignoring party members

Tony Blair poster 1983. He knew a thing or two about ignoring party members

Constitutional specialist Vernon Bogdanor wrote recently in the New Statesman

The Labour Party is composed of three main elements – the Parliamentary Labour Party, the trade unions and the members. But the PLP is the most important, given that it represents the nine million people who voted Labour in 2015, and any future Labour government will be responsible to MPs. A government is not, ought not, and cannot be constitutionally responsible to the few hundred thousand party members outside parliament, who represent nobody but themselves and who are, in Labour’s case, apparently, three times more likely to be well-off urban professionals than the population as a whole. (Emphasis added)

Continue reading →

To tackle abuse, we first have to accept that the Left receives it too

by Robin Fith

Corbyn and ProgressIf you follow Labour politics, you’ll have read many appeals in recent months for a crackdown on abusive and bullying behaviour by Corbynite activists towards their moderate peers. Jeremy Corbyn stands accused of opening the doors of the Labour Party to teeming thousands of misogynistic “brocialists”, racist anti-Israel zealots and bullying “Trots”, who are terrorising MPs and members into a state of silence. Corbyn, this argument goes, has done too little to root out this behaviour, and probably secretly approves of the manner in which it chills and suppresses his parliamentary critics. Continue reading →

How to tackle London’s housing crisis

by Diane Abbott

Jeremy Corbyn’s vision to rebuild and transform Britain can both tackle the housing crisis and win for Labour, writes Diane Abbott MP.

A study for the charity Shelter this week explained that one in three families in England could not pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job, with the reasons cited being high housing costs and a lack of personal savings. The YouGov survey questioned 8,381 adults, including 1,581 members of working families with children and its results painted a stark picture of the insecurity so many people face in Tory Britain today. Continue reading →

Nominations close with Corbyn in commanding lead

by Newsdesk

CorbynConstituency Labour Party nominations in the leadership election closed yesterday, with Jeremy Corbyn securing 285 CLPs, 84.3% of all those that made nominations, compared to Owen Smith’s 53, or 15.7% of the total. This marks an increase of 133 from Corbyn’s total in 2015 – an almost doubling of support, despite 55 fewer CLPs choosing to make a nomination. Given the previous correlations between CLPs and members’ votes, this would appear to show the leadership election may well be over for Owen Smith.  Continue reading →

More of a Marathon than a Sprint – Philosophy Football’s Book Review

by Mark Perryman

Fair Game Front Cover copyMark Perryman of Philosophy Football offers his reading selection for a Summer of Sport

Exhaustive? Exhausting more like. The never-ending summer of sport from Euro 2016, the British Grand Prix, English rugby down under, Test Match cricket, Le Tour, Wimbledon fortnight , Rio 2016 and then before you know it the football season has started. It was ever thus, the sport has just got bigger that’s all, if not always better.

To help navigate our way thought the cause and effect of the highs and the lows there’s no better place to start than John Leonard’s Fair Game an easy-to-read history of the clash between politics and sport. To take a more philosophical approach means engaging with competition vs participation, another one of those big match this versus that binary opposition which serve more to obscure than inform. Continue reading →

Burnham and Rotheram selected as Labour candidates in Mayoral contests

by Newsdesk
Andy BurnhamThis week Labour’s candidates for the metropolitan mayoral elections in 2017 were announced. MPs Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherhm were selected in Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region, while Sion Simons has been selected as the candidate in Birmingham.
Burnham and Rotheram’s selections, and almost inevitable victories in Manchester and Liverpool, will mean that by-elections, and therefore selections, will need to take place in Leigh and also Liverpool Walton.

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