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.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

No enemies to the left?

Any Labour activist thinking the Greens are a benign political force should have a look at their leader's letter to the Guardian last week:

... a five paragraph attack not on the Tory-led Coalition but on the Labour Party.

Meanwhile the Labour Representation Committee (sic), John McDonnell's faction-within-a-faction on the Labour hard left, has announced the speakers for its annual conference:

As trade union speakers they've picked Matt Wrack, formerly of the Socialist Party (AKA Militant Tendency), leader of the non-Labour-affiliated FBU, and Christine Blower of the also non-affiliated NUT, who walked out of the Labour Party in the early '90s, rather than a Labour member from one of the 14 Labour-affiliated unions.

As a student speaker they've picked ULU President Clare Solomon, again nothing to do with Labour (she was expelled from the SWP and is now involved in this group: http://www.counterfire.org/ ) and whose main contribution to a united student movement has been to appear repeatedly on TV as an apologist for rioters and attacking official NUS President Aaron Porter's efforts to ensure students demonstrated peacefully. I presume they didn't try to secure a speaker from NUS itself or Labour Students.

What exactly is the LRC's political project?

Its National Committee makes interested reading, what with the sections for individual members, "general affiliates" and trade unions:

I note Christine Shawcroft is on there representing the Notts NUM Ex and Retired Miners Association. I will have to ask her which Nottinghamshire pit she worked in.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot see anything that Caroline Lucas has said that is not true though.

3:48 pm, January 04, 2011

Anonymous Mike(The Labour one) said...

She's right. Labour's enemies are those inside who mistakenly thought 'being pragmatic' meant 'being as right-wing as we can get away with'.

You and your Blairite friends are far more of an enemy to the Labour movement than the LRC. None of the problems that Labour has to account for are the result of being too left-wing.

4:04 pm, January 04, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still, that Clare Solomon should be right laugh.

What a retard!

4:13 pm, January 04, 2011

Blogger Merseymike said...

I agreed with a lot of what Caroline said as well, we did introduce student fees, PFI was a mistake, and we did capitulate far too much to the Mail and to Murdoch. All mistakes. And it does make it harder for us to credibly oppose now

the real problem in the party at the moment is not the hard left - there aren't that many of them in any case - but the Blairite ultras who think we should move even further to the right, particularly in terms of supporting spending cuts and further privatisation

As it happens I don't place you in that category as I think you have much more time for the Labour tradition of planning, an active state, and the role of the unions. Do you not agree, though, that there are some who can't handle the fact that things have moved on since 1997 and are trying to destabilise Ed's leadership

5:08 pm, January 04, 2011

Blogger Saltley said...

I agree with Caroline Lucas

I have worked in the NHS for nearly 30 yrs, as a well educated but usually low paid Mental Health Worker. Voted Labour for all this time.

Labour wasted 13 years, privatised our NHS services, bullied any one who spoke out, introduced Foundation Trusts without manifesto promise or debate, PFI, closed services like the renown Henderson Hospital.

Then Labour produced things like the utterly fatuous and useless NHS Constitution would not even make good toilet paper, meaningless bullshit. Meanwhile Labours Darzai and Hewitt, now working with privatisers as Consultant, were busy undermining a National Health Service.

Labour destroyed any real oversight or accountability destroying any User and Carers Organisations that began asking akward questions, so we finishn up with garbage like LINKS and FT Governors

Finally Labours policies led to the 3 Stars Foundation Trust Mid Staff Trust, Privatised, bullied Staff, Bullying Managers Gagging all who speak out.

Labour lost the support of most Health Workers one reason why Labour went down to such an incredible defeat.

I have voted Labour all my life
often with a heavy heart but never again. Labour laid the foundations for these Tories to finish off the NHS.

The utter gutlessness of Labour and its members and the Right Wing Tory Policies you have espoused means I will not Vote for the Partys that organised the demolition of the NHS

If I wanted to vote for Tories I will vote Conservative why bother with Right Wing Labour

This sums up Labour

6:37 pm, January 04, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucas, posing rhetoric - again

LRC Committee, more than a few names tinged with illusions in Leninism; not all Labour members

9:12 pm, January 04, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Greens!

Labour had better not let the grass grow above their knee's as if the party does not change enough this will happen and the Greens could take away activists and supporters of the LP!

1:02 am, January 05, 2011

Anonymous Owen Jones said...

One thing you will never find any member of the LRC doing is working for one of the most right-wing governments in modern history.

If only the same could be said about Blairites such as Alan Milburn and John Hutton.

1:10 pm, January 05, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Greens aren't benign. They're self-righteous and will attack and use any cheap stunt. Just look at how they act in Australia. It's like a fusion of the Lib Dems and Trots.

1:31 pm, January 05, 2011

Anonymous LRC pedant said...

Re Christine Shawcroft - the organisations in brackets for that section are not the organisation which that person represents, but the organisation which nominated the person onto the ballot paper. Obviously Notts ex-NUM thought Christine Shawcroft would be a good person for the National Committee. You could be forgiven for not understanding how nominations work, but a correction might be in order.

It's no secret that the LRC has members (and speakers) who are not Labour Party members. That has always been the case. However, membership is closed to people who belong to parties which run against Labour.

2:20 pm, January 05, 2011

Blogger Otley said...

I fail to see what the problem is with the LRC having non-Labour Party members. So do many other organisations associated with the Party. Nobody who is a member of a party that stands against Labour is allowed to join, much the same as the Compass position (although is that changing now?). Then again Luke has it in for Compass too. Shame, I thought he'd moved a bit to the left of late but apparently still hammering away with the Blairite factionalism. It's getting tired now.

12:45 am, January 06, 2011

Blogger Hughes Views said...

One advantage of coalition government is that it forces minor parties to show their true colours. We've seen this with the Lib Dems but the Greens still have the luxury of being able to be against everyone else.

A PR system for Westminster would destroy the Labour and Tory parties as we know them but it would enable them to regroup without their extreme fringes (lunatic or idealistic according to your taste) that are such a turn off to Mr and Mrs Average Voter.

But most campaigns for fair votes have been hijacked by the disaster that is the AV battle. Another tragedy with Gordon Brown's fingerprints all over it...

8:59 am, January 06, 2011

Blogger William Morris Leek Labour Church said...

I agree entirely with Caroline Lucas. I have just rejoined the Labour party my reason being to confront the heresy that has driven the party these last 17 years. I rediscovered the Commission on Social Justice began by John Smith in the early 90s. If we dusted down that especially the section about the growing income divide betwwen the very wealthy and ordinary low paid workers like myself then perhaps Labour will start to rediscover its soul

11:45 pm, January 06, 2011


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