GMB condemns antisemitic abuse of centre-left candidate for Labour executive

by Newsdesk

RheaWolfsonGMB Scotland today utterly condemned the vile antisemitic abuse suffered by their Glasgow Branch Secretary, Rhea Wolfson, who is standing for a position on the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

A spate of deliberate attacks on social media by Nazi propagandists occurred following confirmation of Rhea’s candidacy and GMB Scotland have said they will bring these hate crimes to the attention of the police, while using every tool at their disposal to flush out the online racists.

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, said: Continue reading →

The canny politics of Ruth Davidson

by Phil Burton-Cartledge

RuthDavidsonMSP20120529 copyMost lefties have one or two favourite Tories. Me? I own a whole menagerie. Who can resist Nicholas Soames and his waspish tweets? Fabbers’ endless self-parodying? The plastic Thatcher tributes by Anna Soubry? And Rees-Mogg’s distillation of Tory toffism? Yet these colourful characters share a less appetising trait: they’re all irredeemable bastards. I might titter at Fabricant and roll my eyes at our Jake, but I have no doubt these people are enemies of the labour movement. They would rather we didn’t exist, and long for the days of the cap-doffing squire and the people who knew their place below stairs. And that’s before you scrutinise their voting records for supporting attacks on the poorest and most vulnerable. Continue reading →

Rhea Wolfson replaces Ken Livingstone on left slate for Labour’s executive

by Newsdesk

CLGA Slate 2016 with slogan half width revisedMomentum, the  grassroots network that arose out of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign, has decided to support Rhea Wolfson’s bid for Labour’s national executive committee (NEC). Wolfson, Co-Chair of the Co-op Party Youth, joins Ann Black, Claudia Webbe, Darren Williams, Christine Shawcroft, and Pete Willsman on the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) slate, which supports Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Wolfson, who actively supported Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for Leader last summer, replaces former London Mayor Ken Livingstone on the slate. Due to Livingstone’s current suspension from the party, he is ineligible to stand. Welcoming Wolfson’s NEC bid, Jon Lansman, chair of Momentum’s steering committee, said: Continue reading →

A frenzied witch-hunt is not the way to combat antisemitism or any form of racism

by Jon Lansman

Jacqueline-WalkerLast week Jackie Walker, Vice-chair of Momentum‘s national steering group (of which I am chair) was suspended by the Labour Party pending investigation of remarks she made in a Facebook conversation. These were brought to the party’s attention by the Jewish Chronicle whose coverage does not describe them as antisemitic though it does claim in a headline (not supported in my view by the text of the article) that she “claimed Jews caused ‘an African holocaust’“.

Jackie Walker is a longstanding anti-racist activist of both African and Jewish heritage, who was instrumental in ensuring that Nigel Farage was defeated in her home constituency of Thanet. The conversation was one about her own heritage, and the roles of both victim and perpetrator played by her own direct ancestors. Some of her direct Jewish antecedents were, according to her own genealogical research, involved in the financing and operation of the slave trade. It was a serious discussion about how one is a victim or perpetrator “to some extent through choice” in the context of her own heritage and current debates about racism. In my view, the tone and context of that conversation makes absolutely clear that nothing about it were antisemitic. Continue reading →

Education, the National Policy Forum and Labour policy

by David Pavett

ChildrenAndEducationMeanwhile, back at the policy making process …

There is very little informed debate in the Labour party about education. There is very little informed debate in the Labour party about anything. It is a Party with various groups and individuals pushing for their particular viewpoint but organising informed discussion in which all of these views are fairly laid out for members to consider the alternatives and make up their own minds is just not a part of Labour’s traditions. That needs to change if Labour is to develop (regain?) any sense of a party with radical social objectives. Continue reading →

Winning in the South: Jez we can.

by Andy Newman

corbyn reesThe election results from Bristol came in over the weekend, and it is worth reflecting the degree to which they demonstrate significant advance, particularly as Labour does need to win in the South of England.

Simon Woolley has already observed the enormous significance of a mayor of Afro-Caribbean heritage being directly elected in a city whose wealth was built on the crime of slavery, and where racial division has many times cast a long shadow over the city’s history.

The mayoral incumbent, the Independent George Ferguson, was swept aside by a tsunami of support for Labour. Marvin Rees (LAB): 63.5% George Ferguson (Bristol First): 36.5% Continue reading →

London: credit where credit Is due

by Seema Chandwani

PrintAfter a tough few months of juggling work, looking after my sister, doing the CLP website and social media for Sadiq’s campaign and of course door-knocking plus observing the most boring count ever – I took off the weekend to relax. But as a self-confessed Twitter addict, I could not resist to have a quick peek in the evening only to find almost everyone on my timeline was engaged in an argument of who was responsible for Labour’s success in London. Was it Sadiq? Was it Corbyn?

Was this debate for real? Absent in this debate were two important factors that I feel is where credit needs to be attributed for what Labour achieved in London. Continue reading →

Local Elections in England – Reasons to be Cheerful

by Michael Calderbank
David Cameron's interpretation: "Labour has lost touch with those they are supposed to represent"

David Cameron’s interpretation: “Labour has lost touch with those they are supposed to represent”

Even before the polls had closed, the attacks from Corbyn’s opponents had started. It didn’t matter what the actual results were – the narrative had been set already. Lord Kinnock, that fount of wisdom on electoral success, opined in Prospect magazine that the leadership’s policies “are an impediment to getting the kind of support we need”. Neil Coyle MP pre-briefed BBC Newsnight that Labour was “moving further away” from election victory under 2020 under Corbyn. Continue reading →

A good start, a long way to go but Labour is on the way

by Jon Lansman
Jeremy Corbyn and Gill Furness the new MP for Sheffield Brightside

Jeremy Corbyn and Gill Furness the new MP for Sheffield Brightside

In his first national electoral test, Jeremy Corbyn has made a really good start and results are better than expected, with a strong swing in Labour’s favour since the general election. Last May, the Tories led by 7%. When Jeremy became leader last September that lead had swollen to 15% in some polls. Continue reading →

A letter to the Chief Constable

by Andy Newman

6th May 2016

Mr Mike Veale

Chief Constable, Wiltshire Police

 

Possible Illegal Practice in Chippenham, contrary to the Representation of the People Act 1983.

Dear Mr Veale

I am addressing this personally to you, due to the sensitivity of the matter.

As you are no doubt aware, in May 2016, the current MP for Chippenham, Michelle Donelan beat the former Liberal Democrat MP John Duncan Hames by 10,076 votes in the general election.

During the short campaign, the spending limit stipulated for Ms Donelan under the RPA 1983 was £15,236.61. The declared expenditure from Ms Donelan’s campaign was  £14,333.73.

However, the declaration of election expenditure submitted to the returning officer, as required by statute, did not declare expenditure related to  the visit of so-called “battle buses” organised by the Conservative Party which ferried hundreds of volunteers to marginal constituencies during the 2015 general election. Continue reading →

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