Featured

Settlement with witch-hunters: Not in our name!

The Labour Party settlement of July 22 2020 is an insult to all Labour members. We are outraged that our dues have been used to pay ‘damages’ to people on the right of the party, some of whom have been shown in the ‘leaked Report’ to be actively involved in the vicious campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and the Left – a campaign which they continued by participating in the dreadful and one-sided BBC Panorama programme. This settlement gives us even less confidence that the result of the Forde Enquiry into the leaked Report will be anything other than a politically motivated whitewash. 

As experienced activists in the Labour Party, we knew that the Right in the party was plotting against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters from day one. We knew, because we were the victims of their wrongful suspensions, their expulsions and their public smears and lies, all based on the flimsiest of evidence.

This settlement and apology are especially absurd, as the legal advice apparently stated that the Labour Party had a very good chance to win the libel case – and given the evidence contained in the ‘leaked Report’, it is not hard to see why. This is therefore a clear misuse of party funds and this payment should be condemned by branches and CLPs all over the country. 

In a time of austerity, mass unemployment and a looming economic crash, to give away hundreds of thousands of pounds to right-wingers is beyond arrogance and insult. Further, this settlement opens the door to further cash-grabs. We understand that the BBC journalist John Ware and former general secretary Iain McNicol are in the process of suing the party and even Jeremy Corbyn himself.

Some of those who have now been paid off by Keir Starmer and thanked “for their services” have been actively behind the campaign to amplify the very few cases of real antisemitism in the Labour Party, in order to harm the left within Labour. This smear campaign became a useful proxy war, and it contributed to our defeats in 2017 and 2019. Tragically, it actually harms the fight against real antisemitism and other forms of racism.

We therefore demand:

  • The immediate publication of the full legal advice received over the BBC Panorama “whistleblower” libel case.
  • That the NEC launches an urgent review of how members’ money could be spent on such a questionable and clearly political settlement.
  • That the NEC repudiate the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism, along with its so called examples, which deliberately conflates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism;
  • That members of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs repudiate the Board of Deputies’ ‘Ten Pledges’;
  • Unite, Unison, GMB, Aslef, FBU, RMT, PCS, BFAWU and other trade unions stop funding MPs who refuse to oppose the anti-left witch-hunt.

-> Click here for an excellent model motion drafted by Labour Aainst the Witchhunt

Featured

The way forward for the LLA – two statements

Political differences have emerged on the LLA Organising Group when we started to discuss the way forward and the strategy for the LLA and the left internationally. We believe that there is no problem with having political differences – quite the opposite: They are a reflection of the LLA as an alliance of people and groups with different political backgrounds and experiences. We will therefore have two draft lead statements for discussion at our conference – a majority statement, which was supported by roughly 2/3 of the members of our OG, and a minority statement. We want to debate them in a comradely and transparent way, not just at our August 22/23 conference itself, but also in the run up to it and beyond. We are inviting all LLA signatories to submit amendments to either or both of the draft statements.

The two statements are available as a Word document here and a PDF document here.

See next page for version 1

Featured

Open letter: Why the LLA is conducting an open and democratic hustings and ballot of all left-wing candidates for Labour’s NEC

1) The context of this critical election is the capitalist class staging a savage attack on the working class in order to impose the costs of the COVID19 crisis on workers. The process of sacking millions of workers and driving down wages and conditions is already being rolled out and will gather pace as government support is withdrawn over the next few months. At the same time there is resistance both nationally and internationally and – we stand absolutely in support of the BLM movement and the wave of strike actions across the world against workers being forced into unsafe, disease ridden, workplaces. In this acute crisis we think it is of paramount importance that the politics of candidates and their willingness to fight against both the material attack of the capitalists, the political attack of the witch hunt and the right of political expression via open selection is brought to the foreground. Our priority is to support those who are socialists, who oppose the witch hunt and who stand for democracy and accountability in the LP and the wider Labour movement.

2) This is a long campaign: Standing for nominations is not the same as standing in the election! The elections start on October 19 (end November 12) and any NEC candidate only needs to receive five CLP nominations to be featured on the ballot paper, and the first nominations are unlikely to happen for a few weeks at least. You cannot split a vote before voting starts, but you can use the time now to build a campaign and see who is best placed to stand when nominations close, incurring not a single split vote, but potentially give a reason for thousands to stay or join Labour to vote in the contest.

Featured

Reinstate the Liverpool Wavertree 4!

Sign here: https://www.change.org/p/labour-party-reinstate-the-wavertree-4

Defend free speech in the Labour movement!
The Labour left will not be silenced on party democracy and Israel/Palestine!

We believe that the May 29 suspensions of four Constituency Labour Party officers from Liverpool Wavertree CLP (including the chair and secretary) under antisemitism charges are deeply unjust.

The four comrades – Nina Houghton, Kevin Bean, Helen Dickson and Hazuan Hashim – dared to raise political criticisms of their local MP Paula Barker, who had written an article in the Jewish Telegraph, without any prior consultation with the executive officers. She wrote, among other things: “Luciana [Berger] leaving the Labour Party was a shock to many and I find it deeply regrettable that she felt she could no longer stay.” This article was posted on Wavertree CLP’s Facebook page.

Featured

No whitewash! Counter-conference on the ‘leaked report’

The Labour Left Alliance supports this Zoom conference planned for mid-July, to coincide with the release of Keir Starmer’s ‘investigation’ into the leaked report. Click here to register.

Confirmed participants so far include Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker, Prof David Miller, Moshe Machover, Greg Hadfield and Tony Greenstein – and the conference will also hear from less prominent cases. Email info@labouragainstthewitchhunt.org if you want to give evidence or contribute in any other way.

Starmer’s official investigation is likely to be a whitewash, focusing on who leaked it rather than the substance of the right-wing smears and campaign of sabotage against Jeremy Corbyn.

But the conference will also look at the many mistakes made by the Corbyn leadership: The report shows that they decided to support the lie that the Labour Party is overrun by antisemites. They sought to appease the Israel advocacy groups and the self-appointed leadership of “the Jewish community” and behaved as though they believed this lie. In the process they displayed an inability to recognise real antisemitism, while eagerly trying to get rid of activists like Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein, Ken Livingstone, Marc Wadsworth and Chris Williamson, none of whom can be accused of even a trace of antisemitism.

Click here to register and to be kept updated.

Featured

Leaked report: We need a full investigation! Review all disciplinary cases!

Joint statement by Labour Against the Witchhunt and the Labour Left Alliance

We demand a full investigation into the witch-hunt and the election campaigns!
All disciplinary cases of the last five years must be reviewed!

As experienced activists in the Labour Party, we knew that the right in the party was plotting against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters from day one. We knew, because we were the victims of their wrongful suspensions, their expulsions and their public smears and lies, all based on the flimsiest of evidence.

The report ‘The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019’, produced in response to the investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, now gives us irrefutable proof of the plotting and outright sabotage committed against Corbyn and the hundreds of thousands who joined the party to fight for socialist and democratic change. 

Featured

Labour leadership elections: Stay and fight! Join the Labour Left Alliance!

The election of Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner as leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party is a serious setback for the left. Speculation is rife that Starmer will gladly accept an invitation by the government to take a position in a ‘war cabinet’ – an invitation that is designed to neutralise the opposition. Labour activists must fight such moves.

Because of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party has grown to more than 500,000 members, with many committed socialists. The composition of annual conference changed dramatically. Inspired by Corbyn’s principled politics, the left gained influence in numerous local areas – and is now part of the leadership in many CLPs. Continued affiliation of the trade unions makes Labour a true mass organisation of the working class – and the biggest democratic socialist party in Europe. Many are now talking about leaving the Labour Party. But the LLA will fight hard against that.

Featured

Covid-19: Sign our urgent action plan for the Labour Party!

Read our full petition – and sign it – here.

The response of the British and European governments to the Covid-19 outbreak demonstrates the failure of neo-liberalism and the market economy. The British government’s response in particular seems to be chiefly based on social Darwinism: the ‘survival of the fittest’. Boris Johnson is clearly putting the needs of capital first. The policy of acquiring ‘herd immunity’ (although now officially abandoned) and the failure to introduce wide-ranging testing has allowed the infection to spread uncontrollably. Having been starved of vital funds by successive governments for decades, the NHS is unable to cope.

Thousands have already lost their job or are being asked to take unpaid leave. Having been driven into “self-employment” by the gig economy, millions of workers are not even eligible for statuary sick pay (a measly £94.25/week) and forced to continue working even though they might suspect they are ill. Many will lose most, if not all, of their income.

This health crisis is turning into a huge social, economic and political catastrophe before our very eyes.

Featured

Corona: Get your local LP branch/CLP to take initiative!

Laura Pidcock is pushing this in Durham. We suggest you get in touch with your local chair or secretary to help organise something similar where you live. If your local executive is hostile to the idea, you could consider getting together with other lefties, either to pressure the exec or to organise independently. Local mutual aid groups are springing up everywhere, an overview is available here.

From Laura Pidcock:

Excellent community initiative from NW Durham Labour Party. Open to anyone who may need help during this worrying period. Details for help are below 👇🏻

Here is what they said on their page:

North West Durham Constituency Labour Party Coronavirus Community Assistance!

Featured

Why the time has come to build a democratic Labour Left Alliance

Ever since Jeremy Corbyn put his name forward to stand as leader of the Labour Party there has been a massive campaign to undermine and remove him by the Tories, elements of the establishment and the right in our own party, with backing from the overwhelming majority of the mainstream media. Of the numerous unfounded smears thrown at Corbyn – being too scruffy, not bowing deep enough, being a Czech spy etc – those around antisemitism have been one of the most consistent avenues of attack.

They have not had everything their own way – Moshé Machover was readmitted to the party after a major campaign and their attempts to move against Lisa Forbes, now the MP for Peterborough, before and after her election have not succeeded. Momentum nationally is no longer on the side of the left in these battles and this has become increasingly clear – as has its own lack of democracy.

There is an urgent need to take steps to unite the genuine, democratic Labour left. We are committed to making this process open, democratic and transparent. We want to involve as many principled local, regional and national Labour left organisations and union bodies as we can.

We are not saying anyone should resign from or disaffiliate from Momentum to participate. But one of our concerns is that if we don’t act now people who joined to support Corbyn will leave in disillusion. The need to move at pace must be balanced with the need to build in a democratic and sustainable way. Several national organisations got this endeavour started, and now there are several dozen local groups signed up to this initiative, and we are having positive discussions with many more.

We strongly encourage all signatories to join the Labour Party and we also welcome those who have been suspended or expelled as part of the witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn. We encourage all comrades not already members of local Labour Left groups to get involved in one or help set one up. We will gladly help you to find a speaker, advertise your meeting or assist in any other way we can.

Labour belongs to us – let’s unite and fight for our party!

Click here to read and sign up to the appeal!

Amendments to OG report

1.1. Dulwich LLA

The CLGA, with its many faults, has agreed a united left slate for the next NEC elections.  LLA’s decision to run it’s own slate is very regrettable as it will split the left vote. The calculation that it will not split the vote is wrong. We call on LLA not to stand separate candidates and to endorse the CLGA slate.

3. Amendments to LLA constitution

3.1. Disciplinary procedures

Moved by LLA Organising Group and Steering Committee. They are already in operation, but need to be discussed and agreed by conference – click here to read

3.2. Labour Party Marxists

Purpose of the amendment: To change LLA from a loose organisation of signatories/supporters, in which the highest authority is the Organising Group consisting of delegates from affiliates, into a membership organisation, in which the highest authority is the sovereign Conference, which elects the Steering Committee, and the Steering Committee elects its Officers.

Section 1) Aims – NO CHANGE to Section 1.

Section 2):

DELETE “2) Structures”, INSERT “2) Members and Affiliates

Para 2.1: DELETE “signatory”; INSERT “member”.

Para 2.2: DELETE “signatories”; INSERT “members” – TWICE.

Para 2.3 DELETE “Organising Group”; INSERT “Steering Committee”.

Para 2.4: DELETE “supporters are requested”; INSERT “members are required”.

DELETE “Organising Group”; INSERT “Steering Committee”.

Para 2.7: DELETE “signatories of our appeal”; INSERT “LLA affiliates and members”.

Section 3) Organising Group and Steering Committee

DELETE “Organising Group and”

Para 3.1: DELETE ALL; INSERT “The Steering Committee (SC) is elected by Conference.”

Para 3.2: DELETE “OG”; INSERT “SC”.

Para 3.3: DELETE ALL; INSERT: “The SC elects its own Officers. The SC can recall or replace Officers at any time”.

Para 3.4: DELETE ALL; INSERT: “The SC may co-opt additional members, with speaking but not voting rights”.

Para 3.5: DELETE ALL AFTER “work reports”.

Para 3.6: DELETE “signatories”; INSERT “members” – TWICE.

DELETE FINAL SENTENCE “Should the movers … … earliest opportunity.”

4) Conference and its composition

DELETE “and its composition”

Para 4.1: DELETE “A special conference will be held … … by the OG).”

INSERT “A Special Conference will be held if requested by either one third of the current affiliated groups/branches or 10% of individual LLA members. After each conference, the SC publishes membership figures.”

Para 4.2 – NO CHANGE.

Para 4.3: DELETE ALL (CLUMSY WORDING);

INSERT “Conference consists of either (a) individual LLA members, or (b) delegates from affiliated groups or branches in proportion to the number of paid-up members in each group or branch. The SC determines the ratio of delegates to members. National affiliates may send non-voting observers to conference.”

Para 4.4: DELETE “OG”; INSERT “SC”.

DELETE “signatories”; INSERT “members”.

Para 4.5: DELETE “OG”; INSERT “SC”.

Para 4.5: AFTER “amendments.” INSERT: “CAC decisions are subject to approval by Conference.”

Appendix – DELETE ALL.

CLICK HERE to read how the constitution would read if all amendments were agreed.

Amendments to Lead statement, version 1

1) Brighton Labour Left Alliance

Delete point vii) and replace with:

vii) The manifestos of 2017 and 2019 were radically progressive compared to the previous 20 years, with policies that were widely popular. Our, LLA, programme is to:

  1. Socialise the banking and finance sector
  2. Reverse all privatisation in Health, Social Care and Education so that these three services are publicly owned and managed and well funded
  3. Reverse privatisation/ Re nationalise, mail, rail, water, energy
  4. Establish a Wealth Tax, to substantially redistribute inco.me, wealth, and power in society
  5. Invest in renewables and achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the 2030s
  6. Scrap universal credit, raise the minimum wage, and ban zero hours contracts
  7. Improve employment and union rights and reduce the working week to 32hrs
  8. Stop state pension age rises and compensate WASPI women
  9. Build 100,000 council homes per year; control private rents; end homelessness
  10. Withdraw from imperialist alliances such as NATO’
  11. Stop arms sales to repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, Myanmar, USA
  12. Take tough legislative action against racism, sexism/ misogyny and homophobia

Background: Antarsya

At the national LLA (Labour Left Alliance) conference on 22-23 August 2020, I am proposing the Antarsya form of Organisation for a Coalition/ Federation/ Grouping/ type of United Front in England and Wales. Here are some details about Antarsya currently, some figures are approximations

ORGANISATIONAL FORM- MEMBERSHIP EITHER THROUGH AFFILIATED/ MEMBER PARTIES OR INDIVIDUAL, NON-AFFILIATED MEMBERSHIP

Within the Antarsya Coalition in Greecer, membership is either through one of the constituent organisations, parties, or, as an individual non-affiliated member.

In Antarsya, no one group / party overdominates, none has a majority of votes at the national conference.

The ability of one group or party to overdominate, or, to have a veto power over decision making was the major problem with the Socialist Alliance and TUSC in England and Wales, with Syriza in Greece, and with the United Left Alliance in Ireland.(Prior to the 2015 general election in Greece, the largest party in Syriza, Synapsismos, led by Alexis Tsipras, which had a majority inside Syriza, instructed its constituent parties to dissolve

To repeat, Antarsya in Greece, has individual non-affiliated membership, as well as membership via the six or so constituent parties and groups. As well as each of the coalition parties and groups (such as OKDE-Spartakos, NAR, SEK, ARIS, EKKE, maintaining their own party organisation, programme, leadership, traditions, meetings, there are also local Antarsya branches, national conference, identity.

CONSTITUENT GROUPS IN ANTARSYA


For information, the constituent groups in Antarsya as of August 2020 are as follows:

NAR (New Left Current) the largest group in Antarsya – it is a split off from the Greek Communist Party (KKE) from when, and because, KKE entered a coalition, 1989-1991 with the conservative party, ND (New Democracy)

SEK (the Greek SWP, the second largest group in Antarsya)

OKDE-Spartakos, the Greek section of the Forth International

ARIS (Left Regroupment) a mainly student and ex-student group, an outcome of the left-wing student movement of the 1980s

EKKE (Revolutionary Communist Movement), a Euro-Maoist group (that is not, actually, in the Marxist-Leninist tradition, it developed from the German Maoist Partym the DKP, in the early 1970s.

A small group of 20 or so comrades who split from ARAN when ARAN left Antarsya to join Syriza around 5 years ago

Also some Pabloites in a Discussion group

There are around 200 comrades who are individual members of Antarsya without being members of or affiliating to/ with one of the constituent organisations.

ANTARSYA NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND BRANCHES

At the national conference of Antarsya (usually held every 2 years) people vote individually, though each group usually `bloc votes’, with parties/ organisations usually `whipping’ their members.

This individual voting is also a feature of the local Antarsya branch meetings, There are 10-12 local branches, Athens has a number, Thessalonika has 4, Piraeus has 1, Volos has 1, there are other covering a wider geographical area (eg one branch for all the Ionian islands)

Some Antarsya branches meet weekly, others don’t. In electing delegates for national conference, care is taken to include independents in the delegation.

At national Conference, NAR has around 350 delegates around 40%+ of the delegates, SEK has around 35%, ARIS 25%, OKDE-Spartakos has 50 delegates, 10%, EKKE 3% … these figures are approximations and vary from conference to conference- it’s a big conference

There is a National Co-Ordinating Committee of Antarsya of approx. 21 members, in proportion to the strength of the various organisations: (these are approximations– this is not the definitive list)

2 OKDE-Spartakos

8 NAR

7 SEK

1 EKKE

ARIS

Others?

1 or 2 Independents

Dave Hill

1aug20

Amendments to lead statement Version 2

1. Proposed by Labour Party Marxists

In para vii), DELETE the last bullet point, beginning “full citizenship rights …”, and INSERT the following additional bullet points:

* Large numbers of workers have come to Britain to escape poverty, lack of opportunity, war or persecution. Capital moves around the world without restriction. As a matter of principle, we are for the right of people to live in whatever country they choose and therefore against measures preventing people entering or leaving countries. Simultaneously we seek to end poverty, lack of opportunity, war and persecution everywhere.

* It is in the interests of all workers that migrant communities are integrated. We demand the right to full citizenship after 6-months residence. We fight to end discrimination based on race, ethnicity or culture by state or private bodies.

* The capitalist state has an official ideology of anti-racism. Of course, racism still exists, as does national chauvinist consensus which champions British imperialism’s interests against foreign rivals and sets worker against worker. Our slogan is “workers of the world unite”.

* Women are oppressed because of the system of exploitation and the division of labour. Women’s oppression has existed since the dawn of class society. Ending exploitation will mark the beginning of women’s emancipation. Therefore, the struggle against class exploitation and women’s oppression is interconnected.

* Turn formal equality into genuine equality. Towards that end we demand free 24-hour creches and kindergartens, fully paid maternity leave for 12 months, free abortion and contraception on demand, maximum six-hour working day for nursing mothers, full support for women fleeing violence within the home.

* Environment: we are against the destructive, wasteful and polluting logic of capital. Our aim is not only to put a stop to the destruction of nature. For the sake of future generations, we must seek to restore and where possible enhance the riches of nature – forests, natural flood planes, marshes, fens and heath land. Extensive wilderness areas should be set aside along with the reintroduction of the full array of native plant and animal species.

* We demand free city and local transport. Nationalise the land. Tax polluters. Phase out beef production. Encourage vegetarian and vegan diets. Minimise carbon, methane and other such global warming gas outputs by transport, industry and agriculture. Bring work and domestic life closer together. Green the towns and cities with trees, roof gardens planted walls, allotments, wild parks and small farms.

4) Other motions to LLA conference

4.1. Against socialist participation in Starmer’s shadow cabinet

Submitted by Labour Party Marxists

LLA condemns the June 25 sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey from Labour’s shadow cabinet, but rejects calls for her reinstatement.

The LLA steering committee’s June 28 call for RLB’s reinstatement was a mistake. RLB calls herself a socialist – she is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs. We oppose the participation of socialist MPs in capitalist governments, and likewise oppose socialist MPs being members of shadow cabinets which do not aspire to challenge the rule of capitalism.

The place for socialist MPs is on the backbenches as the extreme opposition, directing their fire against Labour’s pro-capitalist front bench, acting as tribunes of the people, championing extra- parliamentary struggles and campaigning for the replacement of the rule of the capitalist class by the rule of the working class – socialism.

As Keir Hardie famously said in 1910, we need Labour MPs, “not to keep governments in office or to turn them out, but to organise the working class into a great, independent political power to fight for the coming of socialism”.

4.2. #NoGoingBack

Submitted by Notts and Erewash LLA

The Covid19 emergency and the BlackLivesMatter movements have both contributed to the consensus that it cannot be business as usual. 

LLA recognizes a need to unify the Labour Movement on the central demand that going forward that there is no return to a neoliberal consensus. In particular LLA will campaign under the slogan #NoGoingBack for – 

  • End to zero hours contracts 
  • Re-nationalisation of the NHS 
  • Better sick pay 
  • Protection of employment and trade union rights 
  • Genuine policing by consent and an end to institutionalised racism 
  • A foreign policy based on genuine internationalism 
  • A green re-generation of the economy 

4.3. Health and Social Care after the COVID-19 pandemic

Submitted by Cheltenham Labour Left Alliance

1.        This Conference notes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHS is coming through for the people of our country. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics and other frontline and backroom staff are working all hours to care for us. Nightingale Hospitals were built in a matter of days. It is amazing that the Tory Government, when faced with a crisis, could suddenly produce unprecedented funding and resources and cancel NHS debt. However, the NHS continues to be exploited by the private sector in the field of testing, supply and agency staff. It is clear how vital our NHS is to the people of this country and that we will do anything to defend it.

2.        In the last ten years of Tory or Tory/Liberal Democrat government, we have seen the NHS subject to austerity, which has led to restricted pay awards, intentional underfunding, part privatisation, fragmentation and demoralisation. When with almost continuous top-down re-organisations, to support, for example, the separation of commissioning from provision and privatisation, this has meant the NHS has been grossly overstretched, even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.        The social care sector was even less well prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, because of neglect and being almost totally privatised. The sector has been continually subjected, in the name of profit, to low pay, poor working conditions, together with elements of inadequate training, staffing levels, leadership and management skills. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social care staff in nursing and care homes, particularly those in adult social care, worked tirelessly for their residents, often in dangerous situations with little or no personal protection. Today they are being lorded as “heroes”, tomorrow they will be forgotten again, if we do not prevent it. 

4.        Another Tory policy is that is that from October 2020, migrants will have to pay £624 per year to use the NHS. The Prime Minister had to be put under extreme pressure to scrap the surcharge for health and social care workers. This exemption excludes many who are linked to healthcare, such as taxi and delivery drivers, contract staff in hospitals and others who have contributed to the welfare of this country during the COVID-19 pandemic.  At the same time, thousands of frontline healthcare workers who have come from overseas, there is the added worry, that when the COVID-19 pandemic is over, they could be asked to leave or deported. The Home Secretary says she is incredibly grateful, but warm words are not enough, not when our NHS and social care workers have no idea if they will be allowed to stay in the UK. They deserve a guarantee.

5.        All of this has got to end and we must secure the provision of whatever financial, bio-medical, technological, and human resources the NHS needs to ensure it is a public service fit for the twenty first century.

6.        This Conference demands the following, in order to return the NHS to those principles and values that were established when it was founded by the post-war Labour Government. It also requires a restructuring of long-term health and social care policy centered around social determinants that impact on health, such as improved social housing, access to good education, healthy food and a healthy environment with excellent sport and exercise facilities. 

(a)       The establishment of an independent public enquiry into the government’s lack of preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, it must include: (a) the appalling neglect of the social care sector; (b) inadequacies in the provision of PPE and testing;  (c) the state of preparedness of the NHS and the Social Care sector for a pandemic prior to COVID-19; (d) the government’s response to the recommendations from Exercise Cygnus (2016), presented to the government in July 2017; (e) the government’s response to the recommendations relating to the risk of a pandemic contained in the 2019 National Security Risk Assessment; and (f) the responses of the Department of Health and Social Care, SAGE, COBRA and the four separate national NHS and public health organisations to the COVID-19 pandemic, from the time the epidemic was first known.

(b)       The cancellation by the government of all remaining NHS debt, especially that accrued from private finance initiatives (PFI).

(c)       The future provision of adequate revenue and capital expenditure to ensure that the NHS is equipped to cope with any future public health crisis, as well as to be a  first-class healthcare provider, free from the constraints of austerity.

 (d)      A pay award for all NHS and social care workers that reflects their contribution to the welfare of the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic and a commitment to fair and timely  pay awards in the future.

(e)       Legal protection for the NHS in all post-Brexit trade deals, particularly if it could force the NHS to pay more for vital pharmaceuticals and force other burdens upon it.

(f)        Repeal of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (and subsequent supportive legislation), to restore the NHS as a publicly delivered and funded, but a more publicly accountable and transparent healthcare system. The introduction of a new NHS Bill in order to implement policies that will re-instate the NHS as the sole provider of its own healthcare, ending privatisation of any NHS services, including supply and the process of disintegration that it creates; and the return to a single integrated NHS, ending the commissioner/provider split.

(g)       The establishment of a National Care Service, bringing social care wholly into public ownership and fully integrated within the NHS, with its values and leadership skills.

(h)       The institution of the principle that everyone working in the UK shall have free and open access to the NHS, not just those who the government decide randomly are deserving. Healthcare is a fundamental right and access to it must be free and universal.

(i)        The giving to all those NHS and social care staff from overseas, the right to remain permanently once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

7.        Without fighting for policies such as these, the government will go ahead with its programme of privatisation, particularly in the field of Information technology, now that some of the NHS’s work will be undertaken by using modes of communication that do not require face to face contact. If we are not careful, the “heroes of the NHS” will soon be forgotten by the government and we will return to austerity and the undermining of the service, with profit and big business interests, not those of the patient, to the fore.

8.        We call upon LLA to help launch and lead the largest ever public campaign to support and defend the NHS, based on these demands.

4.4. Britain out of Nato, Nato out of Britain, Down with Trident!

Submitted by London regional LLA pre-conference event

no further text to motion

4.5. Federation/coalition/grouping/type of United Front

Submitted by Brighton Labour Left Alliance

THE POLITICAL CONTEXT

Today we face a renewed and intensified purge and witchhunt by Sir Keir Starmer, who has accepted all the demands (‘pledges’) of the Board of Deputies. The Labour Left Alliance consists of people who are inside and outside the Labour Party. We welcome and will work with all socialists who believe we should continue to fight for socialism and stand up to the agents of capital in the Labour Party. We will work with any left group that is willing to stand up to the capitalist system and oppose all forms of racism and racial oppression. 

The Black Lives Matter movement is gaining momentum across the world, young people are demanding action on climate change, and people everywhere are waking up to the realities of the capitalist system. At a time when racial and class inequalities have been starkly and brutally highlighted by the Covid pandemic, the need for a radical, antiracist socialist agenda has never been greater. In the absence of moral and political leadership from the Labour party, it is up to us, the grassroots activists on the left, to challenge the narrative and push for change. 

PROPOSAL: TO TAKE PART IN/ INITIATE A FEDERATION/ COALITION/ GROUPING/ TYPE OF UNITED FRONT

This is not at all a suggestion to set up a new internationalist Marxist Revolutionary party. At this stage it is to work with and organise with revolutionary Marxists both those outside and those inside the Labour Party, and with left Reformists/ left social democrats/ Corbynistas inside the Labour Party. This is not an attempt, at this stage, to `move on’ from Labour, with its mass appeal and its links to the trade unions. LLA needs to retain a strategic engagement with the LP – while considering tactics that include increasing our activities outside the LP and with forces outside the LP.

We consider that, where local LLA groups, in the light of their local circumstances, deem it advantageous, local LLA groups, and LLA nationally, should consider the following:

1. targeting and inviting local Socialist and Marxist comrades inside and outside the Labour Party to join LLA as members. That is, firstly, local comrades from the Left of the Labour Party and those who have left/ been suspended/ expelled under spurious anti-Semitism allegations, together with, secondly, comrades from other political groups / forces/ parties (such as, only for example, Socialist Alternative, Socialist Appeal, RS21, Socialist Resistance, Chris Williamson’s Festival of Resistance, Mutiny).

2.  LLA nationally discussing the possibility of joining with other organisations in some sort of United Front or Federation or Alliance or Grouping of the Left, partly to offer a pole of attraction, a home for those leaving the Labour Party, within which each party or group or organisation would retain its own identity, organisation leadership etc, as well as there being individual membership for those who are not part of any existing grouping.

ORGANISATIONAL FORM

3. Within such a federated/ coalition/ alliance organisation membership would need to be on an individual basis and steps taken to ensure that no one group or party could seek to or actually dominate or take over the federated/ coalition/ alliance organisation. This was the problem with the Socialist Alliance and TUSC in England and Wales, with Syriza in Greece, and with the United Left Alliance in Ireland. In Britain it might mean, at this particular stage, not yet inviting the SP or the SWP as organisations, while accepting and welcoming individual members from those parties. One model of organisation could well be that of Antarsya in Greece, which has individual non-affiliated membership of Antarsya, as well as membership via the six or so constituent parties and groups. As well as each of the coalition parties and groups (such as OKDE-Spartakos, SEK, ARIS, EKKE, maintaining their own party organisation, programme, leadership, traditions, meetings, there are also , local Antarsya branches, national conference, identity.

TRANSITIONAL PROGRAMME

4. In taking such local and national initiatives, LLA should draw up a short list of policy demands based on a Transitional programme rather than a Maximum (full socialism immediately!) or Minimum (reforms that do not threaten capitalism) programme.

CONCLUSION

To repeat the current political context: there are currently thousands, and likely, with the rightward reformist lurch of the Labour Party, to be hundreds of thousands of Socialists and Marxists, in the coming period, without a political home or pole of attraction other than myriad small groups. It is our intention that LLA, in conjunction with other groups and individuals, could provide a socialist/ Marxist pole of attraction, in addition to those smaller regroupments (such as SR and Mutiny for example) currently being organised.

Background Paper from Dave Hill

4.6. Online elements of CLP meetings

Submitted by North East LLA regional pre-conference event

CLP meetings should include a virtual element going forward. This would be a reasonable adjustment to allow ill and disabled members to attend meetings when they are unable to attend physically. With even Parliament being conducted both physically and virtually, this pandemic has revealed the possibilities of inclusion. All members deserve a voice in our Party and it is wrong to return to excluding some simply because they are physically unable to get to a meeting.

4.7. Electoral reform

Submitted by Bristol, Avon, & Somerset Left Alliance

Conference notes that

1) the UK is one of only three major developed countries to use a First Past the Post voting system for general elections. Most developed countries, including the world’s most equal and progressive societies, use a form of Proportional Representation in which all votes count equally and seats match votes.

2) First Past the Post has a strong right-wing bias wherever it is used, leading to parliaments that are on average much more right-wing than the voters. This corresponds exactly with the UK’s experience. Most votes went to parties to the left of the Conservatives in 19 of the last 20 general elections, yet the Tories have been in power for 63 per cent of this time.

3) Successive Conservative governments that could not have held office under a proportional system have attacked trade union rights and workers’ rights, public services and the welfare state. Instead of building a society “for the many”, this has created one of the most unequal societies in the developed world, with some of the most restrictive trade union laws.

4) Labour has promised a constitutional convention once in government, but this has not prevented us from pre-empting it by committing to other constitutional reforms such as an elected upper chamber and votes at sixteen. Labour has not yet even promised that the convention will consider electoral reform.

Conference believes

5) The world’s most equal and progressive societies all use forms of Proportional Representation which prevent rule by a right-wing minority and lock in the hard-won victories of their Labour movements.

6) First Past the Post means a small minority of voters decide the outcomes of elections, forcing political parties to focus their efforts on marginal constituencies to the neglect of the millions who live in safe seats. It is unacceptable that there are constituencies that have not changed hands in one hundred years; in which people have been born, voted their whole lives, and died, without ever influencing the result of a general election.

7) There are tried-and-tested forms of Proportional Representation which maintain a close constituency link between MPs and their voters, allow voters to vote for named candidates rather than just for parties, and do so while ensuring that Parliament reflects the people.

Conference therefore resolves:

8) To call for the Labour Party to commit to including the voting system for general elections in the remit of its planned constitutional convention.

9) To adopt a policy of opposing First Past the Post and instead supporting moves to explore, select and introduce a new voting system for Westminster elections.

10) To campaign for this policy within the wider trade union and labour movement.

11) To affiliate to the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform (£10 and then £5 per year).

4.8. Party of the European Left

Submitted by Workers International Network

Conference notes the rising tide of workers’ protest worldwide, and recognises the paramount need to establish ties of international solidarity with workers’ parties around the world. As a first step, Conference calls on the LLA organising committee to seek affiliation with observer status to the Party of the European Left and to participate in its future meetings.

4.9. Creation of a Veterans & Families Network within the Labour movement

Submitted by Merseyside LLA

  1. We recognise that members of the Armed Forces, its veterans and dependants, due to the uniqueness of their socio-economic standing, psychological conditioning and experience, combined with a lack of political or trade union representation, are a vulnerable and underrepresented section of society often with complex needs.
  2. We support the creation of a Labour Party Veterans & Families Network within the membership, with a dedicated Veterans & Families Officer (ex-forces or next-of-kin) within each CLP for them to represent the needs of their members and to report to the group on issues and actions both locally and nationally.
  3. We support full trade union rights and the freedom for members of the Armed Forces to organize as workers.
  4. We will campaign to Improve the welfare of the Armed Forces Community especially its veterans and their dependants through political activity within the Labour Party itself and the wider Trade Union Movement, to ensure that the Armed Forces Community is recognised within all authority directives (this was written in to the Armed Forces Covenant but many authorities are not delivering their commitment) like housing, adult social care, health, family etc and for the lead officers within each Authority Executive to meet with nominated Party representatives to look at actions and solutions.
  5. We will put pressure on Government and the Labour Party to ensure that our Armed Forces Communities, their recognised support networks, organisations both national and local are funded and supported to the correct level ensuring that they have sustainability and quality assurance written into their plans.
  6. We support the Commonwealth Forces and Families campaign in opposition to deportations and discrimination against ex-service personnel.

Reinstate Rebecca Long Bailey! Stop the witch-hunt!

The Labour Left Alliance is appalled at Keir Starmer’s sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey from the shadow cabinet. It is another step in the strategy of the right wing to reverse the gains made under Jeremy Corbyn. 

Never having demonstrated a capacity for political debate, Labour’s right wing uses disciplinary measures and bureaucratic manoeuvres to undermine the left – the leaked report provides ample evidence of this. Clearly, Rebecca Long-Bailey is the latest victim of the anti-left witch-hunt, which was started to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and in order to assure Britain’s allies that imperialism would remain ‘safe’ under Labour. The statement by Labour Against the Witchhunt exposes the absurdity of the charge that she was “spreading an antisemitic conspiracy theory”.