Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1010/27948
Blairites must go
Mandatory reselection now
Fight for a democratic, socialist Labour Party
Roger Bannister Liverpool and District Socialist Party
Ten years after the financial crisis, when the greed and recklessness of the bankers and financiers brought the economy to the brink of collapse, the Labour Party is holding its annual conference in Liverpool.
Over the past decade the bosses and their politicians have subjected us to a relentless policy of austerity, featuring a massive reduction in public services, accompanying job losses, more privatisation, low pay and cuts in welfare.
More than half the child population of Britain's poorest areas, including parts of Birmingham, London and Manchester, now live in poverty, according to the End Child Poverty coalition. Meanwhile, workers have had our ability to defend our living standards further restricted by yet more draconian anti-trade union legislation.
So the surges in support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity promises, with policies aimed at improving the lives of workers and young people, are no surprise. But nor are the attempts by the super-rich and their representatives to remove him. This is the backdrop to Labour conference.
The owners of big business and their Blairite representatives in Labour have conducted a major campaign against Corbyn.
They have attempted to replace him, orchestrated a spate of coordinated resignations from the shadow cabinet, held a vote of 'no confidence' by Labour MPs, made constant attacks on Corbyn's policies in the media... And lately, whipped up an outrageous smear campaign accusing Corbyn and his supporters of antisemitism.
The Blairites are hypocrites. They react hysterically to votes of no confidence from their own constituency parties. They rage at any suggestion they should be accountable to Labour's rank and file.
But to resolve Labour's civil war successfully, local parties must be enabled to oust the Blairite traitors through the basic democratic process of mandatory reselection. The leadership of Momentum, having opposed this vital demand from the beginning, seems to have belatedly come round to supporting it.
Corbynista MP Chris Williamson has said a majority of conference delegates would too. Jeremy Corbyn must boldly back mandatory reselection, and mobilise party members and the wider movement to fight to implement this and other democratising measures in Labour.
Labour must be restored as the party of workers, with a strong, democratic, collective voice for the trade unions, and socialists expelled or excluded from Labour permitted to join and organise.
Conference itself must be reinstated as the democratic ruling body of Labour. And it needs to endorse clear anti-austerity policies, linked to a socialist programme for replacing the rotten, corrupt system of capitalism with a system based on public ownership and planning, democratically controlled by the working class.
A democratic, socialist Labour Party, united with the trade unions, campaigning for a programme of this sort, could enthuse workers across the country, ensuring electoral victory for Labour - and a movement capable of standing up to the bosses' sabotage.
- The fight to transform Labour: correspondence between the Socialist Party and Labour Party
- Momentum leadership blocks discussion of Liverpool council's victorious anti-cuts struggle
In The Socialist 19 September 2018:
Labour Party conference
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns