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.

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

The Socialist Network – Bratislava Conference Report

Conference ReportThe Socialist Network last week concluded its 2014 Conference. The Conference was held from 3-5th of October in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia in Eastern Europe. Participating in the conference were comrades from Slovakia, Germany, Sweden, Cyprus, Pakistan, Turkey, Britain and Ireland. Thanks to all who organised the conference and contributed to its proceedings. Below is a brief summary of the Conference by our Web Editor. Video and audio recordings and photos will be made available shortly.

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Final Agenda for The Socialist Network Conference Bratislava 3-5th October 2014

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Final Agenda
:

Friday 11.00am ? The World Economy
Speaker:              Mick Brooks (online)

Friday 14.00 pm – The Developing World
Speakers:            Manzoor from Revolutionary Struggle in Pakistan (in person)
Noor Nieftagodien from Democratic Left Front South Africa (online)
Possibly Heiko Khoo from the UK speaking on China (online)

Saturday 10am – ?Socialists and the Mass Organisations?
with a special Focus on the European Left

Speakers:            Pat Byrne The Socialist Network Web Editor from Turkey (in person)
C. Panos from the Kokkino (Red) group in Greece (online)

Read moreFinal Agenda for The Socialist Network Conference Bratislava 3-5th October 2014

BRANDON: ?Most robust protagonists for capitalism do not understand the economic system they so vehemently advocate?

Mick Brooks is a lifelong socialist and activist in the labour movement and this commitment shows through in this book. He is no mere ranter, however, for this is a tightly-argued and coolly measured examination of the dynamics of capitalism and how a variety of conflicting forces create internal contradictions that lead to crises that ultimately it cannot avoid.

Brooks points out that even the most robust protagonists for capitalism do not understand the economic system they so vehemently advocate. These pundits were caught totally unawares by the onset of the Great Recession in 2007 for they had previously been arguing passionately that such events could never occur again. Other economists with disarming candour actually admit that they don?t know the first thing about economics and cannot explain what causes recessions under capitalism or the speculative bubble which was the obvious manifestation of deep-seated problems.

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Cockshott&Cottrell’s planning techniques a moot point

Towards a new socialism by W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell (Spokesman Books, 1993) is an intriguing book. The model of socialism the authors espouse assumes from the outset that the main means of production are owned in common. C & C then address the problem of how the socialist economy will be planned. They advocate using direct measurement of labour time. Workers will be paid according to the time they have put in and the amount of work required to carry out tasks will be used as the basis for the plan. Their model is mathematically sophisticated.

C & C advocate using input-output models. They deal with the objection raised by Alec Nove in The economics of feasible socialism that there were 12 million different commodities in the Soviet Union at the time he wrote his book (1983). Nove argued that if all these commodities are interconnected in an input-output model of the economy it would be quite impossible to plan the interconnections between them all. Nove, ?quoted the estimate of one O. Antonov that to draw up a complete and balanced plan for the Ukraine would take the labour of the whole world?s population over a 10 million year period.?

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