The LRC: more pragmatic but still too remote from Labour’s mainstream?

On Saturday morning, 200 members and delegates at the LRC conference in London passed a statement, moved by John McDonnell MP, from the LRC’s National Committee which included clear opposition to austerity “even in diluted form“, as well as support for the TUC’s “look at the practicalities of a general strike,” which it says “cannot just be wished into existence. It must be built, and politically prepared for.Continue reading

The Labour Left at its worst

About a hundred people gathered in London on Saturday to determine the future of Labour Briefing — whether it should remain an independent magazine or become the house journal of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) of which John McDonnell is the chair. It decided, by 44 to 37 votes with a few abstentions, to go with the LRC. Although the debate was surprisingly cordial and everyone behaved well on the day, it was an old fashioned faction-fight with people on both sides seething with anger and bitterness. Continue reading

LRC comes out against AV, and debates the cuts

Following on from the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) National Conference I was subsequently elected to represent Leeds LRC on the National Committee. If you’re worried about more potentially disastrous tired guesses about attendance then fear no more, I won’t be making any such guesses this time around. John McDonnell lead off with a political report which in many ways was grim. He described how the cuts agenda was being driven through Parliament ‘day-by-day’ and reported encouraging signs of opposition from some within the Parliamentary Labour Party. Labour’s leadership however is still too concerned with not being seen to do anything wrong. Continue reading

LRC conference preview

This coming Saturday, the Labour Representation Committee will meet for its annual conference. It does so at a crucial juncture in the trajectory of the Labour left, of the Labour Party itself and the wider labour movement. What role the LRC plays will, of course, be largely determined by the direction it takes now. One of the good things about the conference is the fact it’s a working conference as opposed to a rally and this is reflected in a vast array of motions for delegates to debate and discuss. Broadly speaking these resolutions fall into two categories; shaping a response to cuts and a debate about the LRC’s role within Labour and the wider Labour left. Continue reading