Join the Fightback this Friday at the Founding Meeting of the Socialist Labour Network (LAW/LIEN)
Help Us Build a Socialist Movement by Organising Grassroots CLPs
To attend the meeting please first join either:
(£10 waged/£5 unwaged)
At the end of November All Members Meetings of Labour-in-Exile-Network and Labour Against the Witchhuntt voted to merge into a single organisation. LIEN members voted by 4-1 and Labour Against the Witchhunt members voted, despite vociferous opposition from Labour Party Marxism/Communist Party of Great Britain members 47-27 to do likewise.
The founding meeting of the new organisation was to have been on December 17. Unfortunately too many people tried to get in! Our Zoom facility only catered for 100. We have ensured that this time around up to 500 people will be accommodated so, just to make sure you get in, please sign in early!
The Steering Committee has proposed that the name of the new organisation should be Socialist Labour Network (LAW/LIEN). There are however 7 other proposals and you can find them all here
It is or should be obvious that it is impossible to fight against the witchhunt inside the Labour Party. The reason is very simple. As Ken Loach put it ‘democracy is dead inside the Labour Party.’ If you put your head above the parapet it is chopped off by some anonymous bureaucrat. An insidious culture of informing has been cultivated that is modelled on the Stasi and Gestapo.
Anonymous nerds, incapable of constructing a single coherent sentence or having an original thought don’t have to face the task of explaining their reactionary politics. All they have to do is send an email to Labour’s Disputes Team fingering someone and the suspension letter will go out the next day.
You might not thing that Starmer and his clones have a sense of humour but you would be wrong. Virtually every candidate for suspension/expulsion accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ was also accused of ‘undermining Labour’s campaign against racism.’ You may indeed wonder what this fight consists of given the number of Jewish and Black/Muslim members expelled. However in the Orwellian world of Starmer and Evans fulsome support for Israeli Apartheid is compatible with fighting racism!
If anyone has any doubts about the fear and cowardice of what’s left of the Left in the Labour Party about fighting Starmer and the Witchhunt then all you need to do is to watch Sonali Bhattacharyya, co-Chair of Momentum. Sonali who appeared on Labour Grassroots on 2nd January. Sonali reacted with a mixture of arrogance and affront to peoples’ criticism.
Crispin got off to a bad start when he asked Sonali about Momentum’s strategy to fight what is happening in the Labour Party and to make it more attractive. So badly did she take the criticism that she has told Crispin Flint, the genial compare of the show, that she will have nothing to do with him or Labour Grassroots ever again.
When asked why Momentum has failed to campaign against the witchhunt or support expelled members, which Jackie Walker challenged her on, she simply refused to answer parroting the statement that Momentum has supported hundreds of members legally. Even if this is true, and it is open to doubt since no one will admit to having been helped, this is insufficient.
Legal help on an individual basis is not the same as campaigning to end the expulsions, the witchhunt and Starmer himself. Momentum have failed to make it clear that Starmer, Evans and his neo-Blairite strategy is the enemy. They have been cowed into silence. Nearly 2 years ago Sonali and Forward Momentum ousted Lansman’s cronies in the elections. Since then they have maintained a Trappist Silence. They have neither been seen, heard or said anything of note.
Labour Against the Witchhunt
I was the only 1 of 6 members of the LAW Steering Committee to support the merger. Subsequently 4 of them penned a statement Why we resigned. To his credit Steve Price, although part of the majority that opposed the merger refused to sign that statement. Steve is now standing for the new Committee. I hope that he is elected. Those who decided not merely to throw their toys out of the pram but to junk the pram altogether justified their decision by writing:
We cannot support the view that the struggle against the Labour witch-hunt is over, or that “LAW has outlived its usefulness”, as Tony Greenstein, the proposer of the motion to merge, put it.
The problem is I never said anything of the sort! What I did say was that LAW had outlived its usefulness, but they are not one and the same thing. The fight against Labour’s witchhunt will be carried out largely outside the Labour Party and in the unions. Organising within the Labour Party is not possible and that is why nearly 2/3 of LAW members supported my motion.
There has been a considerable debate in the pages of Weekly Worker despite their annoying habit of using headlines and subheadlines, not to describe my articles but to attack them! Innovative journalism. See at the bottom for details of the various articles and statements.
The meeting will be opened by Ian Hodson, the expelled President of the Bakers’ Union. In addition to adopting a new name we will be electing a new Steering Committee. The joint Steering Committee of LAW/LIEN is proposing that the Committee should be 10 strong. There will be 17 candidates for the positions.
To participate in the meeting, you have to be a paid-up member of either group. To join, you can sign up via this link:
We intend to build and network shadow socialist CLPs as part of our local campaigning work.
RECONVENED FIRST ALL MEMBERS’ MEETING OF LAW WITH LIEN
14th January 2022
|1||18:00||Meeting begins/final entry checks|
|2||18:05||Welcome from Chair of Meeting (Esther)|
|3||18:10||Speaker to be confirmed|
|4||18:20||Debate to inform formulation of Aims and PrioritiesAims and priorities of the consolidated organisation here (Norman to introduce)Member discussion (contributions no more than 3 minutes) Draft Priorities to inform debate and based on interim discussion with members and joint steering committeePriorty 1: Opposition to witch-hunt herePriority 2: Establishment of Shadow CLPs and networks herePriority 3: Education Programme (for future agreement)|
|5||19:20||Name of Consolidated Organisation: SC proposal:“Socialist Labour Network (LAW with LIEN)”Proposed by Roger SilvermanFurther proposed names to be included in poll- to be returned to SC by cop 12th Jan. Updated list hereProposers to have one minute to speak.Members to vote for their preferred name (1 vote)|
|6||19:30||Election of Steering Committee. Nomination statements here. Data protection role to be assigned by the new steering committee. Each nominee is allocated 1 minute to speak. Zoom poll.|
Proposed standing Orders
1.. Please click ‘Raise Hand’ if you want to speak (either in ‘Participants’ on the right hand side or ‘Reactions’ on the bottom of your screen). Alternatively write ‘I want to speak’ in the Chat.
3. For items 4, 5 and 6, we intend to use ZOOM polls. If you want to vote, we recommend that you have access to a device of your own. If this is not possible (and you are sharing a device), we will count manually raised hands.
Points of Order
1. Attendees are urged to raise points of order only when necessary and reasonable. Attendees can raise points of order regarding conduct or procedures by pressing the blue thumbs down button (under ‘More’ at the bottom of the ‘Participants’ panel). Alternatively, describe your point of order in the Chat window.
2. The Chair’s ruling on any point arising from the rules or standing orders is final unless challenged by not less than two members; such a challenge shall be put to the meeting and be carried with a simple majority of those voting at the meeting.
1. Emergency motions may be accepted at the discretion of the chair (decisions on admitting emergency motions can be overturned by a simple majority of conference).
2. We will accept new amendments to emergency motions only. Please write them down and present them in the ‘Chat’ window, with a clear indication of where it should go.
Discussion on the Merger in Weekly Worker