In July, we reported (in The Labour left at its worst) on the bitterly divided annual meeting of Labour Briefing which decided narrowly to become the house journal of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) of which John McDonnell is the chair rather than to remain an independent magazine. The minority faction has since decided to continue to produce “the original Briefing” and so now there are two.
The six members of the Labour Briefing Editorial Board who opposed the LRC “takeover” have formed an editorial collective to continue to produce the the original Briefing. They say:
The LRC robbed many non-aligned readers of their magazine – leaving them as the human collateral damage of the LRC’s turn to empire building. We believe that readers should have a choice about whether they want to receive a magazine promoting the LRC or whether they want to receive and sell a magazine which continues the traditions of Labour Briefing. We are keeping the traditions of Labour Briefing alive:
– the tradition of being the magazine of the grassroots of the Labour Party, in all our diversity (not the magazine of yet another left group);
– of covering the activities and ideas of its readers (not just telling them what self-appointed leaders want them to do and think);
– of being genuinely non-aligned (rather than promoting a single left group or would-be party).
The new issue of Labour Briefing – a special issue costing 50p for 16 pages – is now out and is being widely distributed and promoted. An annual subscription costs £20 (£25 for a supporting subscription). The Labour Briefing Co-operative is receiving messages of support from delighted readers who are pleased to see that Labour Briefing is not dead but was merely resting.
Copies of the original Labour Briefing can be obtained by sending £1.19 in stamps to 7 Malam Gardens, London E14 0TR. Further information can be obtained by telephone (07771-638 329/ 07977-566 519) or email email@example.com.
A 12 page issue of the LRC’s Labour Briefing will also be available at the TUC. It will feature articles by Owen Jones, John McDonnell and Bob Crow. You can take out a subscription online. There will be a full 32-page issue produced to coincide with Labour Party conference. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for bulk orders, advertising rates or to suggest an article.
Outsiders (and even some insiders) may be perplexed by the strong feelings in both camps (and the similarity of the email addresses), but there is surely room for one more magazine on the Left. Readers wishing to comment may have strong opinions but are reminded of the comments policy which says:
Be nice. Don’t make personal attacks on other commenters, Left Future’s bloggers or the subjects of posts on the site. By all means challenge the things people say or do, but don’t be personal and keep it civil.