Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/12882

Posted on 29 September 2011 at 14:11 GMT

Labour Party conference LRC fringe meeting

No way forward given by 'reclaim Labour' speakers

The Labour Representation Committee (LRC) fringe meeting at Labour Party conference in Liverpool was addressed by a heavyweight platform of speakers which included Tony Benn, Len McCluskey, Mark Serwotka and MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

The scene was set for this discussion by the call to arms during the conference by Ed Balls with his ringing declaration to the mass of the working class desperate for leadership: 'Vote for us and nothing will change'!

Tony Benn called for activists to make demands on the Labour leadership, however no demands were formulated.

Len McCluskey told the meeting that he expected Labour leader Ed Miliband to pursue policies which met workers' aspirations, but sounded totally unconvinced that it was going to happen.

John McDonnell deplored the failure of Labour MPs to even support his amendment to the Tory anti-trade union laws which sought to remove the most pernicious element of the legislation.

Mark Serwotka in a fighting speech told the meeting that of the last four strikes in the Department of Works and Pensions, three of them had taken place against the policies of staff reduction and wage restraint implemented by New Labour.

Jeremy Corbyn made a point of welcoming members of the Liverpool 47 (we led the struggle of the socialist Liverpool council in 1983-87) to the meeting and expressed his support for that magnificent struggle. Also, John McDonnell jokingly remarked to the meeting that the right-wing's notion of allowing non-party members to influence policy would give 'Tony [Mulhearn] a chance to conduct an entry tactic back into the party!'

In the past Tony Benn would always refer to the magnificent struggle of the 47 whom he supported unstintingly in the 1980s, addressing many rallies and demonstrations in Liverpool. Any reference to the 47 by him on this occasion was notable by its absence.

All of the speakers' comments reinforced the reality that the Labour Party is now constitutionally, ideologically and organisationally incapable of reflecting the interests of the mass of working people.

Mark Serwotka underlined this when he remarked that 'if we had more MPs like John McDonnell, the interests of the working class would be better served'.

But, the iron grip of the right wing on the selection process for MPs and councillors is now so rigid that anybody professing to stand for socialism would automatically be excluded from consideration for public office.

Yet, in spite of this, not a single speaker called for the breaking of the link between the unions and Labour, nor was there even a strategy advanced for the now impossible task of winning the Labour Party back to where it was before it was hijacked by capitalist entrists Blair and Mandelson and their army of lickspittles.

I had my hand raised to contribute, but unfortunately during the debate which followed no speaker was allowed in to call for any socialists in the meeting to recognise that Labour had been transformed into an openly capitalist party and that the best course of action is to join the campaign for a new mass party of the working class.

Tony Mulhearn, Liverpool Socialist Party and Liverpool 47

Labour Party conference - a sham

I watched some of the Labour Party conference on TV this week. Never again.

In the 1980s, when I was a Militant supporter in the Labour Party, the party's annual conference was something to get excited about.

There was a real clash of ideas and programmes, with the chance of the leadership being overturned at any time.

Every year some Militant supporter - Ray Apps, Pat Wall, Tony Mulhearn - would make a barnstorming speech and a socialist resolution would be carried, to the embarrassment of the leadership.

But now? The conference resembles nothing more than a rather dull training day like I used to experience at work, with minimal participation and utterly predictable outcomes.

In the phone hacking 'debate', after two speeches, we were treated to a coffee table discussion between the Shadow Culture Secretary, a journalist and a lawyer. I thought that BBC2's Newsnight had started early!

Then came the 'debate' on justice and communities. There was a long speech from Tessa Jowell, then, mystifyingly, a video.

The BBC wouldn't show it because they said it was a party political broadcast and they played some music over it. So the only people who were watching the party broadcast were the delegates!

Coffee table chats, videos - anything to prevent the cut and thrust of debate. Talk about stage-managed.

Even witch-hunter Unison leader Dave Prentis complained that Unison's position on pensions wasn't fairly reflected in the public services composite. Yes, Dave, you can dish it out, but you can't take it!

Any shift or part-time worker who turned on during the day hoping to hear some answers would have been disgusted. A sham conference for a sham party.

Paul Gerrard, Salford Socialist Party

These articles were first posted on the Socialist Party website on 29 September 2011 and may vary slightly from the versions subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Labour Party:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

Labour:

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleTUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

Liverpool:

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

triangleLiverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

triangleNew ebook: Liverpool A City That Dared To Fight

John McDonnell:

triangleTories on the brink - kick them out!

Tony Benn:

triangleLambeth Socialist Party open meeting

Tony Mulhearn:

triangleFilm - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2