The Socialist 26 October 2016 |
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Readmit expelled socialists
Thousands found their membership suspended or terminated in the run-up to Corbyn's second election as Labour leader, photo by Michael Hurst (Click to enlarge)
More than 60 socialists, with over 800 years of Labour Party membership between them, have signed the letter below calling for their re-admittance to the Labour Party. Many of them were expelled in the past for supporting the Militant Tendency. Others have been excluded or expelled in recent months as part of the right-wing Labour Party machine's attempts to defeat Jeremy Corbyn.
Since Jeremy Corbyn was first elected as Labour leader a battle has raged within the Labour Party. In essence the struggle taking place in the Labour Party is about in which classes' interests it is going to act - the working class majority in society and the middle class with no hope for the future, or the representatives if the capitalist 1%?
Dave Nellist, one of the letter's signatories, and Jeremy Corbyn, at the Burston rally, 4.9.16, photo Teresa Mackay
For decades it has acted in the interests of the capitalist establishment, consistently supporting austerity, privatisation and war. In the 1980s and 1990s, when the pro-capitalist elements were struggling to establish an iron grip on the Labour Party, one of their first acts was to expel hundreds of socialists, particularly supporters of the Militant Tendency, now the Socialist Party.
Our 'crimes' were leading successful struggles in defence of working class people - notably the fight against cuts by Liverpool City Council and the 18 million strong movement against the poll tax which led to the resignation of Thatcher.
Today it is clear that the pro-capitalist elements in the Labour Party have not accepted Jeremy Corbyn's victory. On the contrary, they remain determined to use their positions - in the Parliamentary Labour Party, Labour councils and the Labour Party machine - to fight to return Labour to being a reliable tool of the establishment.
In an earlier period, the expulsion of the Militant editorial board began a widespread purge of socialists from Labour, photo Militant (Click to enlarge)
On the other side a determined struggle needs to be waged to consolidate Jeremy Corbyn's victory and to transform Labour into a democratic, socialist, anti-austerity party. An essential part of that struggle is campaigning to readmit all those socialists, individuals and organisations, who have been expelled or excluded from Labour because of their socialist views.
This application will be submitted to the Labour Party's November NEC meeting. If you have been expelled or excluded and would like to add your name to the letter please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 November, 2016.
We the undersigned call on Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) to accept our applications for membership of the Labour Party following the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.
We are socialists, trade unionists, working class community activists and young people who have been expelled or otherwise excluded from the Labour Party because of our socialist ideas.
We include amongst our signatories former Labour councillors and an MP; elected trade union national executive members and local union branch officers; from labour and trade union movement activists with years of experience, to a new generation of young campaigners. Some of us were expelled 30 years ago or more; others were excluded from membership during the recent leadership election.
Because many of us who found ourselves outside the Labour Party rightly continued the struggle for socialism through membership of other organisations, we know that our applications for re-admittance will be denounced by the establishment media as 'left-wing infiltration'. But we have no wish to hide our background.
We urge the NEC to boldly undercut the media's attack not only by admitting us into membership as individuals but by deciding favourably on requests for affiliation from any socialist organisation that so applies.
Jeremy Corbyn's election to the leadership marked the beginning of a new struggle against a capitalist establishment determined to see off all challenges to their interests and we want to play our part in seeing that struggle through to victory.
Peter Taaffe, Labour Party member 1960-1983; Editor of Militant (1964-96); Socialist Party general secretary (1997-). Keith Dickinson, LP member 1957-1983; Member of the Militant Editorial Board; coordinator of Socialist Books. Clare Doyle, LP member 1964-1983; Member of the Militant Editorial Board; organiser for Committee for a Workers' International (CWI). Lynn Walsh, LP member 1964-1983; Member of the Militant Editorial Board; Editor of Socialism Today (1997-). Tony Mulhearn, LP member 1963-1986. Liverpool District LP vice-president 1972-1980; President 1980 until party suspended in 1985; Liverpool Councillor 1984-87; Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) mayoral candidate 2012. Dave Nellist, LP member 1974-1992; Coventry South East MP (1983-92); Socialist Party councillor (1998-2012); TUSC chairperson (2010-). Clive Heemskerk, LP member 1976-1991; Deputy editor of Socialism Today (1996-); TUSC national election agent (2010-). Hannah Sell, LP member 1985-1991; LP NEC 1988-89; Socialist Party deputy general secretary (2007-). Dave Reid, LP member 1975-1991, Chair LP Wales Regional Youth Committee 1982-84, secretary Socialist Party Wales. Roger Bannister, LP member 1970-1986, at time of expulsion was secretary of Broadgreen CLP. Member of Unison NEC (1993-). Alec Thraves, LP member 1976-1992; vice president Swansea Trades council. Bob Labi, LP member 1966-1995, LPYS national committee member 1971-1976, Editor LPYS paper "Left" 1971-1977, today organiser for the CWI. Tony Saunois, LP member 1970-1985. LP NEC 1978-81. Dave Griffiths, LP member 1974-1993. Member of West Midlands LP regional executive. Kevin Bennett, Labour councillor 2008-2015, TUSC councillor 2015-2016. Suspended and excluded from Warrington's ruling Labour group for opposing austerity. Steve Nally, Lambeth LP member 1982 -1992. Secretary of the All Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation 1989-1992. Socialist Party and GMB member. Alistair Tice, LP member 1971-1990. Currently Socialist Party Yorkshire regional secretary. Peter Harris, LP member 1976-1984. Janet Gibson, LP member 1983-1992, jailed for non-payment of poll tax in 1991. Keith Gibson, LP member 1983-1992, leader of Lindsey Oil Refinery strikes in 2009. Sharon Milsom, LP member 1981-1985. Now activist in South Yorkshire Freedom Riders. Elaine Brunskill, LP member 1984-1995. Socialist Party Northern Region Secretary. Eric Segal, LP member 1976-1991; jailed for non payment of the poll tax. Now secretary South East Kent Trade Union Council. John Boadle, LP member 1978-1994. Jim Lakshman Hensman, LP member 1969-1993. Kevin Wilson, LP member 1982-1996. Ian Page, Labour councillor 1990 to 1995 expelled. Socialist Party councillor 1995 to 2010. Paul Couchman, expelled in 1989. Bill Mullins, LP member 1970- 1985, ex-senior shop steward TGWU British Leyland rover Solihull. Dave Auger, LP member 1982-1991, Unison NEC. Mike Forster, LP member 1972-1993; today Chair of Hands off HRI. Wally Kennedy, former councillor expelled 1994. Teresa Mackay, LP member 1961-1986. Secretary Ipswich & District TUC; Vice President Sertuc. James Ivens, LP member January-September 2016, News Editor, the Socialist (2015-). Paul Callanan, LP member December 2015-September 2016, Socialist Party South London organiser. Ben Robinson, LP member July-September 2016, Socialist Party National Committee. Clive Walder, LP member 1976-1992. Labour member of East Sussex County Council 1989-1992. Currently Chair of Communication Workers Union Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester Branch. Dave Gorton, LP member 1982-1992. Trade union activist and organiser 1981-2016. Currently communications officer, National Shop Stewards Network. Craig Bates, Unite Community Stafford Branch Equalities Officer. Josie Shelly, Unite Community Stafford Branch Treasurer. Gary Freeman, LP member 1972-1991. Unison Health Service Group Executive. Mick Griffiths, LP member 1982-1996. Hugo Pierre, LP member 1983-91. Currently on the National Executive Committee of Unison. Jane Nellist, LP Member 1980- 1993. Currently member of NUT National Executive Committee. Steve Glennon, LP member from 1970 to 1987; LPYS National Committee 1974 to 1979; Presently a member Stevenage TUC EC. Norman Hall, LP member 1976-1992; TUSC Parliamentary & Local Government Candidate. Pete Dickenson, LP member 1973-1991; author of 'Planning Green Growth'. John Dolan, LP member 1980-1995; currently Chair of Haringey Unison local government branch; Socialist Party member. Krystyna Koseda, expelled from Havering LP. Tony Aitman, Labour Party member 1964-1986; currently Unison shop steward, voluntary sector, Socialist Party member. Julia Leonard, Member of the LP for over 15 years and councillor from 1994 until expelled. Roger Keyse, LP member 1968-1995. Dave Mitchell, LP member 1979-1989. Gary Harbord, LP member 1988-1990. RMT steward and chair Hillingdon TUC. Pete McNally, LP member 1974-1992. Dave Murray, LP member 1979-1992. Eleanor Donne, LP member 1980-92; Branch treasurer Basildon LG branch Unison. Tom Barker, LP member August-October 2016. John Blackall, LP Member 1982-1992. Liverpool Labour councillor for Kensington 1987 - 1988. Jim Horton, LP member 1982-1987. Jane James, LP member 1972-1987. Judy Griffiths, LP member 1976-1993.