Britain’s Labour Crisis – Defend Jeremy Corbyn, Bring Labour MPs under Membership Control

jeremy and refugees

Published: 4th July 2016.
Author: John McDonnell, British Labour Party Shadow Chancellor.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

A move to unseat Jeremy Corbyn, the left wing leader of the British Labour Party, has just been launched following a vote of no confidence in Jeremy by a majority of Labour members of parliament (172 votes to 40). Although the move is supposed to be based on criticism of Jeremy’s performance in the EU Referendum campaign, it has now emerged that it is part of a careful plan by his political enemies inside the Labour Party that was developed ten months ago after he was elected by a big majority of Labour members to be their leader. The timing of the plan is to remove Jeremy before the Labour Party Conference this Autumn which is expected to agree some significant changes, and forestall the possibility of many right-wing Labour MPs being deselected by their local constituency parties. 

Below we print the speech given last week on the crisis by Labour’s Shadow Chancellor (Finance Minister) in support of Jeremy:

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Some Reasons for and Consequences of Britain’s Departure from the EU

EU referendumPublished: 30 June 2016.
Author: Pat Byrne.

The unexpected vote of the British public by 52-48% to leave the European Union has rocked ruling elites worldwide. Not only are they worried that Britain leaving the EU will tip the UK into recession but could slow down the rest of the global economy. In the longer term, they also fear it could mark the beginning of the dissolution of the European Union itself. Moreover, they worry that this vote against the EU signals a growing rejection of international capitalist institutions and spells the doom of pro-corporate trade pacts like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, better known as TTIP.

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UK Labour’s New Economics ? Unfortunately Not So New…

The New EconomicsPublished: 2 June 2016
Author: Michael Roberts

Over 1000 people packed into a London college to take part in a day of analysis of the state of the British economy. And hundreds had been turned away. This was a conference called by the new left-wing leadership of the opposition Labour party in Britain. The hardworking and dedicated activists within the Labour party that had backed Jeremy Corbyn, the new leftist leader, had turned out in droves to discuss with due intent what is wrong with capitalism in Britain and what to do about it. It was an unprecedented event: the leadership of the Labour party calling a meeting to discuss economics and economic policy and allowing party members to discuss.

Labour?s finance leader, John McDonnell opened the conference by saying the aim of the various sessions was to see how Labour could ?transform capitalism? into delivering a ?fairer, democratic sustainable prosperity shared by all?. We needed to ?rewrite the rules? of capitalism to make it work for all. He argued the British capital was failing to invest for growth and jobs. We needed to break with the ?free market? ideology of the neo-liberal agenda and ?reshape the narrative? with ?new economics?.

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THE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO … Intro & Chapter 1: Capitalist Economy

The Transition To SocialismPublished: 5 May 2016.
Author: Jonathan Clyne (TSN Policy Coordinator).
Intro by: TSN Editor.

One of the key tasks agreed at the founding meeting of The Socialist Network in Istanbul in August 2012 was the need to discuss and develop a Socialist Manifesto. It is hoped that 2016 will be the year when we are able to deliver on this commitment.

An important contribution towards such a Manifesto is the first draft of a book currently being written by Jonathan Clyne entitled ?The Transition to Socialism?. The early Chapters of the book have recently been the basis for a series of discussions on the TSN?s international Coordinating Committee. As a result of the discussions Jonathan has reorganised the book and updated its content.

Below is then updated Introduction and a new first chapter entitled Capitalist Economy. The  chapters that follow are being prepared for publication shortly on our website. For this discussion around the book we wish to encourage the widest participation and feedback from members of the Network and the socialist movement in general.

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After Jeremy Corbyn’s Victory, Which Way Forward for the British Labour Left?

LRC 2016Published: 26 February 2016.
Authors: Mick Brooks & LRC.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

Last weekend the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), a key left-wing group in the British Labour Party, held a Special Conference to discuss how best to respond to the huge change that has hit the Labour Party with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as its leader. More specifically, the Conference was called to decide on a new political and organisational strategy to continue the transformation of the Labour Party as well as how to relate to the emergence of the Labour left-wing pressure group Momentum. For the consideration of the Conference the leadership of the LRC issued a strategy statement the political part we reproduce below. But first we carry the speech by Mick Brooks who introduced the leadership statement to the Conference.

?Comrades,
In the view of the National Committee of the LRC, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party is a political earthquake.

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US Presidential Elections: Does the Rise of Bernie Sanders have a wider significance?

Collage1Published: 4 February 2016.
Author: Owen Jones.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

The results of the first contest for the Democratic nominee for US President, held in Iowa a few days ago, resulted in a virtual tie between the establishment figure of Hilary Clinton and the ?socialist? challenger, Bernie Sanders. This is an incredible result for Sanders who is calling for ?a political revolution? to take back wealth and power from ?the billionaire class?. Now the next question in the Democratic Party contest is whether Sanders can extend his growing support among white youth and workers to the black and hispanic population, as well as to older voters.

The success of Bernie?s Sanders campaign so far is clearly part of a wider international movement for radical change driven by the world economic crisis and the inexorable rise of inequality. The following article by Owen Jones compares the rise of support for a more radical alternative in the US to similar developments in Europe, and highlights the generational aspects they represent.

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Debate: On British Labour?s New Economic Policy

mcdcorbPublished: 25 November 2015
Debate Participants: Themos Demetriou, Michael Roberts and Eric Andersson

“Where Michael Roberts is Wrong” by Themos

In one of his latest posts Michael Roberts questions the validity of the economic philosophy of the new Labour Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, as well as his marxist credentials. He points out that in his keynote speech on economics at the Labour Annual Conference he accepts Marx?s analysis of the capitalist system but distances himself from his conclusions about what to do. He goes on to criticise McDonnell?s decision to appoint Keynesian rather than Marxist economists to his panel of economic advisers and forecasts that ?Corbyn and McDonnell?s National Investment Bank will not be enough to deliver sufficiently faster growth as long as the UK economy is still dominated in its strategic sectors by capitalist profit-making companies in the City of London?.

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Final Invitation to the Socialist Network Annual Meeting 23-25 October in Athens, Greece

Network ConferenceThe Socialist Network Annual Meeting is just nine days away – it runs from Friday 23rd of October to Sunday 25th inclusive – and will be covering some of the key issues for the international left (see Agenda below).

This year the meeting is being held in Athens, Greece, which has seen such drama this year in the struggle against austerity being imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Kicking off the meeting will be a speech from renowned socialist economist, Michael Roberts, who will analyse the causes of the capitalist crisis we are still passing through, and open up a discussion on the alternatives.

Building on this, Jonathan Clyne will be introducing his new version of the Socialist Manifesto which points to the kind of society we need to replace capitalism with.

On the second day of the conference we will be hearing from our Editor Pat Byrne on the national and international significance of the momentous election of left-winger Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the British Labour Party. We will also hear a report from the international Campaign for a Democratic Public Banking Service which The Socialist Network has played a big part in launching recently.

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How A Victory for Jeremy Can be Turned into the Transformation of the British Labour Party

Combo hi-resPublished: 2 September 2015
Author: Pat Byrne (TSN Editor)

The announcement of the outcome of the British Labour Party leader election is almost upon us. While we don?t want to ?count our chickens before they hatch?, we need to start seriously preparing for the historic likelihood that Jeremy Corbyn will become the next leader of the Labour Party.

The unprecedented scale and speed of the upsurge for Jeremy is evidence of the huge dam of discontent that has been building up for a long time. A movement that was artificially held back by a capitalist media that has done all it can to suppress the mass of anti-austerity and pro equality voices. And a Labour Party machine that has undemocratically sought to prevent the natural development of a strong left opposition. However, the more something is held back the more forceful the flow when it is released. In this case, the powerful combination of a social media bypassing the tradition press and television, and an open voting system for Labour leader free of the Party?s machine, has finally let the genie out of the bottle. In doing so it has allowed us to achieve something that the Labour Left has dreamed of for generations.

But in all the enthusiasm and excitement, we also have to recognise that the election of Jeremy as Labour leader is just the start of a much bigger series of tasks: transforming the Labour Party; convincing the larger public of our alternative to Austerity and inequality; winning a majority in the 2020 election; and changing Britain into a democratic socialist society.

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