The Socialist

The Socialist 8 January 2020

Climate change. Poverty. War. Capitalism must go - fight for socialism

The Socialist issue 1068

Suleimani's assassination - Middle East thrown into turmoil

Trump attacks Iran - London protest: We need workers' action against war and austerity


Build union resistance to Tory attacks

Defend the right to strike

Defend the right to strike! - RMT and NSSN lobby parliament


2020: Class struggles and capitalist instability will intensify

Labour leadership election


Capitalism must go - fight for socialism

Trouble ahead for Johnson: Brexit is far from 'done'

Tory minimum wage hike not enough

Northern Rail franchise in question: nationalise the railways!

Children need intensive care? We don't care!

Shell pays 0 corporation tax, and plans huge hike in fossil output

Ignore the hype - austerity goes on: organise to resist

International wave of revolt continues


What next after the general election, for PCS and the left

Council concedes to striking winter gritters' demands

West Midlands RMT guards jobs saved

All we want for Christmas is a no-strings pay rise

Anti-academy strike action in Newham


Socialist Party members out on the streets

50,240 - a new fighting fund record

Avenue of trees saved!


Students 2 : 0 Tories

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  • Editorial of the Socialist issue 1068

Labour leadership: Commitment to socialist policies and democratic party needed

The Labour leadership candidates

The Labour leadership candidates   (Click to enlarge)

The nomination process for the Labour Party's leadership and deputy leadership contests has begun, with the ballot to take place from 21 February to 2 April.

After doing its best over years to denigrate Jeremy Corbyn as leader, the capitalist media is now striving to influence the voting process, giving credence to candidates who will steer the party back towards the right.

Candidates from the right, on their part, however, have from the outset been trying to avoid any direct association with the legacy of Tony Blair, following the surge of support that took Corbyn to the leadership, which was inspired by Corbyn's anti-austerity, anti-war standpoint. Any of them winning would nonetheless return Labour to a path of declining membership and pro-big business policies, alienating and pushing away working-class and young people.

If a left-wing candidate is to pick up the mantle laid down by Corbyn and build on it, it's essential they don't retreat from any of his pledges on nationalisation, workers' rights, housing, abolition of student fees and all the other urgently needed steps in the manifesto he spearheaded.

It was not those policies that lost the election, rather it was other factors as explained in the Socialist's post-election supplement (see 'Stand firm for socialist policies to stop Tory attacks' at socialistparty.org.uk). In particular, compromises made with the party's right wing over Brexit and the continuation of cuts by Labour councils. Many of Labour's parliamentary candidates refused to even promote Corbyn's manifesto, rejecting it themselves and not wanting Corbyn to be boosted by it.

However, Labour, as a result of the attraction of Corbyn's policies, still has over half a million members, and according to a YouGov poll received the votes of over half of under-30s who voted in the general election. If the party is to continue to be attractive to young people, and at the same time win back the votes of working-class people who temporarily voted Tory, pushing forward with socialist policies and party democratisation is vital.

Discussion and debate on the leadership candidates' policies and the way forward for the party cannot be left to the forums of the establishment media but needs to be organised within the labour and trade union movement, with the holding of meetings and rallies in every area, including events open to everyone.

The executive committees of the Labour-affiliated trade unions should invite the candidates seeking nomination for the party leadership positions to a meeting to question them on crucial issues.

Are they committed to Corbyn's nationalisation pledges, or do they reject them as some have? Would they call on Labour councils to defy Tory cuts to public services and would they help lead a mass campaign in support of such a stand? Do they support mandatory reselection of parliamentary candidates, enabling local parties to democratically deselect Blairites?

These are among the questions that need to be asked when deciding nominations and voting recommendations. Labour, which under Corbyn has been 'two parties in one', will still need a thoroughgoing transformation, politically and organisationally, to become a party that can truly represent the working class against capitalism.

It is not primarily a question of the next leader's individual attributes or location, but of whether any will commit to socialist policies and be accountable to the rank and file of the party.

Solidifying and taking forward what Corbyn began requires a refoundation of the party, drawing in trade unionists, anti-cuts campaigners and socialists from across the workers' movement, and mobilising a mass struggle against the attacks of the Tory government in preparation for replacing it.


In this issue


Iran

Suleimani's assassination - Middle East thrown into turmoil

Trump attacks Iran - London protest: We need workers' action against war and austerity


Defend the right to strike

Build union resistance to Tory attacks

Defend the right to strike

Defend the right to strike! - RMT and NSSN lobby parliament


What we think

2020: Class struggles and capitalist instability will intensify

Labour leadership election


News

Capitalism must go - fight for socialism

Trouble ahead for Johnson: Brexit is far from 'done'

Tory minimum wage hike not enough

Northern Rail franchise in question: nationalise the railways!

Children need intensive care? We don't care!

Shell pays 0 corporation tax, and plans huge hike in fossil output

Ignore the hype - austerity goes on: organise to resist

International wave of revolt continues


Workplace news

What next after the general election, for PCS and the left

Council concedes to striking winter gritters' demands

West Midlands RMT guards jobs saved

All we want for Christmas is a no-strings pay rise

Anti-academy strike action in Newham


Campaigns

Socialist Party members out on the streets

50,240 - a new fighting fund record

Avenue of trees saved!


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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