A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, March 10, 2008

LRC affiliate backs Respect against Ken

"Labour Representation Committee" (sic) affiliate, the Alliance for Workers Liberty (formerly known as Socialist Organiser) is backing the SWP's Lindsey German against Ken Livingstone for Mayor of London.

Ironically, SO/AWL has a long history of hating the SWP, but apparently they hate Ken even more.

Isn't it time the "Labour Representation Committee" tightened up its rules on affiliates and kicked out the AWL?


Anonymous Rich said...

I don't really know much about them, but if they want to kick out Ken then good luck to them.

I really don't understand why you are so concerned about Ken. Firstly it looks like Ken will almost certainly win another term, so why all the worry. And secondly you share very little with Ken Livingstone and you oppossed him when he first ran for Mayor and won. Was it because he wasn't a member of the Labour party....?

So what has changed Luke?

1:43 pm, March 10, 2008

Anonymous hughes views said...

Oh no! We all know that millions of Londoners have been holding their collective breath just waiting for the Alliance for Workers Liberty to tell them how to vote...

2:09 pm, March 10, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Doesn't it depend what the LRC is? Is it a Labour party affiliate or just a broad based left wing grouping of different members? Looking at the website it seems somewhere in between. I don;t think its realistic to expect all pressure group affiliates to agree to a common programme.

Also, I note that two of its affiliates are David Drew and Robert Wareing. Both of these MP's have a really poor record on gay rights issues. I have contacted the LRC about why they are, locally, supporting Wareing over Stephen Twigg, and pointing out some of Wareing's past statements but they haven't replied.

Can any LRC supporter justify this decision?

2:15 pm, March 10, 2008

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Luke

Isn't it time the "Labour Representation Committee" tightened up its rules on affiliates and kicked out the AWL?


2:29 pm, March 10, 2008

Blogger susan press said...

The LRC does not support candidates who stand against the Labour Party. You don't have to be in the Labour Party to be in the LRC but you could not, for example, be in RESPECT or the SWP. If you care to ignore Luke's usual stirring and take a look at the latest issue of Labour Briefing there is an article by Stephen Beckett which states quite clearly the position on Ken.I'm sure my fellow LRC members in Greater London will be pounding the streets for him. Just like you, Luke. BTW a motion from the AWL was resoundingly defeated at the LRC AGM.

2:35 pm, March 10, 2008

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

As far as I can tell, the LRC membership position is pretty much idential to the Compass one?

Obviously active support for candidates standing against Labour is another matter, and I've no doubt there will be rigorous debate on it.

4:04 pm, March 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

isn't shawcroft the vice-chair of this outfit? and she wants to represent us in Parliament....

9:46 pm, March 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its just another example of the ultra left anti labour politics - remember how Ken stood against Labour - with the support of socialist action - whilst Ken was expelled from Labour his key supporters - Fletcher, O'Neill etc were not - we failed to deal with it then - we should certainly do so now/

10:53 pm, March 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

key supporters. What planet are you on. Half the Labour party actively campaigned for Ken the first time around.

If more than a couple of people had been kicked out of Labour for backing Ken we would have split the London Labour Party into two.

Thankfully the party looked over the edge and even our Tony decided Ken was right all along.

Luke has probably re written his memory of all this by now...

11:07 pm, March 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

we should have kicked the livingstone types out - Labour is a social democratic party and the socialist action types have no place in the party. There are plenty of us who will be with the party when ken's trot mates, who earn over 100k a year, have retired to their mansions

11:42 pm, March 10, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Still no LRC supporter willing to talk about Drew and Wareing's awful positions on gay rights issues?

This is what really annoys me. I have a quite reasonable question - and where is the response??

10:09 am, March 11, 2008

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

If you want a response then I suggest you wait for one from the LRC rather than speculatively hoping that someone sees your posting on a blog.

As an LRC member (personal capacity), I would say that if Wareing and Drew have voted against equality legislation then I would strongly disagree with them on that (and other LRC members on other issues) but reiterate that criteria for membership is limited to subscribing to the fairly basic principles stated on the website.

10:22 am, March 11, 2008

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

Sorry - I was waiting for someone with more knowledge of the matter than me to reply. All I can say is that I think there should be 100% support for equality legislation. I realise that some Labour MPs (on all wings) have been less consistent. Wareing and Drew are both very good on some issues and, assuming you're right, their position here is disappointing. However, I disagree with lots of people on lots of issues whom I share a party with!

10:42 am, March 11, 2008

Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

As far as I can tell, the LRC membership position is pretty much idential to the Compass one?

Obviously active support for candidates standing against Labour is another matter, and I've no doubt there will be rigorous debate on it."

No. Anyone who supports candidates against LP candidates is ineligable for membership, and thus ineligable for full membership of Compass.

10:51 am, March 11, 2008

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

My understanding is that to be a full member of Compass or the LRC you have to be eligible to be a Labour Party member. Not sure about affiliation rules.

1:33 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

JFJ ; frankly, if support for basic equality legislation isn't part of what is expected of a member, then I would seriously be concerned about their priorities.

Why aren't LRC members taking up these issues? Don't they think they are important?

3:02 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

"Why aren't LRC members taking up these issues? Don't they think they are important?"

Again speaking personally, I don't see trawling through LRC MPs' voting records looking for something I disagree with and then questioning them about it as a priority in my life, no.

Perhaps you could write to these MPs and publish the response you get.

As to your first point, you are welcome to join and put an amendment to the constitution of the LRC at the next national conference.

3:15 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

JJJ: I think the fact that the LRC is prepared to openly support someone with Bob Wareing's voting record on this issue, as an Independent candidate, against an openly gay Labour candidate speaks volumes about why I have never been very keen on the hard left.

You see, for many of us, this issue is about the basics of our lives. The approach of much of the left was to oppose gay rights as a bourgeois perversion and even now, to view social movement activity as something of a distraction from 'class struggle'

Left-wing workerism, in other words.

To give them credit, Socialist Action never took this view.

4:09 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

merseymike I think you're talking about a tiny proportion of the 'hard left' - the position you refer to was probably more common (or a slight variation of it) on the 'old' right. Either way - you're right, it is a completely wrong position to take. But to suggest it is symptomatic of the 'hard left' is just unreasonable. It was the so-called 'hard left' that promoted Labour embracing 'social movement activity' in the first place.

4:36 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

The LRC is not supporting any Independent candidate against any Labour candidate.

4:37 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

JJJ: Up here, the Merseyside LRC are ACTIVELY supporting and promoting Bob Wareing's candidacy. He spoke at their launch meeting. I have written to the organiser and didn't get a reply.

Dr. Dunc. Not exactly - if anything it was the 'soft left', the New Urban Left, who took the lead, although I grant you that there was some blurring round the edges. I fully agree about the old style workerist right also being hostile.

But then, I sort of expect little from them because they do not claim to be committed to equality for minorities in the same way.

The hard left certainly do and yet they still contain many among their number whose voting record is poor. David Taylor MP is another one - supposedly on the left, but pretty bad on gay rights. The point is that this doesn't seem to bother these groups all that much, yet if one of their number advocated privatising the NHS I am sure they would be slung out tomorrow!

Isn't gay equality absolutely central to their socialism? I don't think it is anywhere near as central as more 'traditional' issues. Maybe that's why I have never found the hard left very appealing.

5:25 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger Doctor Dunc said...

Well despite presumably being 'hard left' myself (if being an unreconstructed Bennite and an LRC member constitutes such a label!) I've never really understood all these 'hard', 'new urban'... even 'soft' or 'ultra' lefts... I'm just left!

I think it would be fairly clear if anyone looked at the voting records of MPs in all the left groupings that nobody gets slung out on any issues (whether they're considered 'traditional' or 'new') - there ain't so many of us that we can go around slinging them out!!

The LRC's policy on equality legislation is absolutely unambiguous.

People from LRC, I'm sure, supported Bob Wareing (one of their MPs) against being deselected, but the LRC does not support independent candidates against official Labour candidates. Full stop.

8:43 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

You really do meed to tell your colleagues in Merseyside, then!

And irrespective of political stance, Bob Wareing isn't highly regarded as an MP up here.

Incidentally, many of Stephen Twigg's supporters in West Derby (which I used to live in for a year or so) are far from New Labour clones - good solid left wing councillors amongst them!

9:51 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger Dave Brinson said...

Mike- I don't think that identifying Labour MPs who have been lukewarm on LGBT equality is necessarily helping you attack any one wing of the Party. David Blunkett and Ruth Kelly can't be described as left wingers in any conceivable way- equally the likes of Geraldine Smith actually spoke in favour of Section 28. Equality should be at the heart of what we beleive as socialists- and we shouldn't seek to make it a left-right issue in the Party: talk to any grassroots Tory activists, however, and you discover it certainly is a left-right issue in the wider political arena....

10:24 pm, March 11, 2008

Blogger susan press said...

I was at launch of LRC Merseyside-and yes lots of sympathy to Bob was expressed. Not surprising.If he stands as an Independent then LRC can't support him.Fact.

12:29 am, March 12, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Dave: I know very well that there are those on the right of the party who are equally unsympathetic and have said so.

The point I am making is that I would have thought that an organisation like the LRC wouldn't be particularly pleased to have associated with them MP's who have such a poor record. Just because some right wing MP's are anti-gay shouldn't let the left off the hook!

It shouldn't be a left-right issue. That is precisely the point. All in the party should support equality. But this thread is about the left in the party. I have made my views more than clear in the past about Ruth Kelly and Geraldine Smith (my mother's MP!).

Susan: so, if you were at the launch, why was someone with Bob Wareing's views seen as a suitable speaker?

1:13 am, March 12, 2008

Anonymous David Floyd said...

"As far as I can tell, the LRC membership position is pretty much idential to the Compass one?"

Not really, organisations can't affiliate to Compass.

The position in terms of individual members is broadly similar - as it is for the Fabians.

"Isn't it time the "Labour Representation Committee" tightened up its rules on affiliates and kicked out the AWL?"

Yes. I suppose the problem is that if they did that it would also call into question the position of non-affiliated unions who are affiliates to LRC and have backed anti-Labour candidates.

As comrades would tell us, the economics tend to dictate the superstructure.

11:10 am, March 12, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing like the Left using a right wing blog to attack each other - Luke must be laughing. Does the Left unite to attack his New Labour ilk? No, it would rather squabble among itself. Pathetic.

For information, Bob Wareing has voted the right way (pro gay rights) in every vote since 2000. See: http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpid=2029&dmp=826

David Drew's voting record is mixed. Obviously his christianity beats his socialism sometimes: http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpid=1850&dmp=826

10:09 am, March 16, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

kick out the AWL - it is the only way to treat those nasty trots!!!

6:16 pm, March 22, 2008


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount