Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26563

Posted on 5 December 2017 at 16:02 GMT

HDV protest 3 July 2017

HDV protest 3 July 2017   (Click to enlarge)

Haringey Labour council: Blairites deselected

In recent days representatives of Labour's right wing have been fulminating about developments in Haringey Labour Party.
Former Labour Party deputy leader Roy Hattersley even compared the pro-Corbyn Momentum group to the Militant Tendency in the 1980s (now the Socialist Party).
Hattersley demanded similar action is taken against Momentum to the witch-hunt he and others conducted against Militant.
Unfortunately, the approach of the leadership of Momentum has been to declare that the right wing of the party has largely been won over to Corbyn's policies, despite all evidence to the contrary. This alone shows the difference between Momentum and the Militant.
Roy Hattersley admits that Militant was better organised. That organisation flowed from a clear understanding of the role played by the pro-capitalist wing of the Labour Party and the need for the Labour Party membership and trade union movement to deselect them in favour of candidates who stood for the interests of the working class.
Fortunately, Labour Party members in Haringey have not followed the advice of Momentum's leadership, as one of them reports below.

The Times and Evening Standard have carried articles covering recent developments in Haringey Labour Party, screaming about a "purge of moderate councillors" and a takeover by "the Hard Left".

By "moderate councillors" they mean councillors who have cut services, laid off hundreds of staff, and threatened to evict thousands of council tenants from their homes.

But what these papers object to is ordinary members getting organised, holding their representatives to account and using their democratic right to replace these individuals.

The Labour council in Haringey has been implementing a programme of brutal cuts and privatisation since 2014.

But the main focus over the last year has been the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), a 2 billion privatisation of social housing, which would lead to the demolition and 'regeneration' of housing estates.

This plan has been opposed by the vast majority of Labour Party members, by the local Labour Party general committee meetings, and by a Labour Party conference resolution.

'Social cleansing'

Jeremy Corbyn's conference speech attacked this kind of regeneration as "forced gentrification and social cleansing, as private developers move in and tenants and leaseholders are moved out".

But the right wing leadership of Haringey Labour Group said that they would press on with HDV regardless, and have threatened to discipline the minority of councillors who opposed it.

This has spurred the left in Haringey Labour Party to get organised.

Momentum's leader John Lansman has pronounced that there is now no opposition to Corbyn from the right.

But HDV opponents decided to ignore this advice and organised to democratically deselect Blairite, pro-austerity candidates. This was the approach put forward by Socialist Party members.

HDV protest 3 July 2017

HDV protest 3 July 2017   (Click to enlarge)

Labour Party rules require a 'trigger ballot' before a selection takes place. This gives the incumbent a massive advantage, as challengers do not have access to membership data until a trigger ballot occurs, and only have a few days to campaign between the trigger ballot and the selection meeting.

The right wing relies on an inactive membership. But in key wards, left activists have visited and phoned Labour Party members, convincing them to come to meetings and vote for anti-HDV candidates.

Some ward selection meetings have had more than 100 members voting. In the past many of these meetings would have had barely a dozen present.

Many right-wing councillors were not prepared to defend their record before rank-and-file Labour Party members and once 'triggered', withdrew from the contest, citing 'factionalism' and a 'poisonous, angry and cynical atmosphere' in Labour meetings. But selection meetings have been held in an amicable and fraternal manner.

At the time of writing, 40 anti-HDV council candidates have been selected and only seven pro-HDV candidates have managed to hold onto their seats.

Mixed 'left' slate

The press describe the left slate as "hard left". But several of them have voted for HDV in the past, and opposed Corbyn.

One was previously employed by Terrapin, a lobbyist for the HDV, while serving as the council Labour group's chief whip!

Together with a legal challenge, these reselections put the future of HDV in jeopardy. But the old councillors remain in office for another six months until the May 2018 elections and could use this time to sign contracts, which would potentially bind future councils for decades to come.

Jeremy Corbyn should announce that the old, discredited Haringey council leadership has no mandate to sign these deals, and that a future Labour government will retroactively annul them without compensation.

In May 2018, Haringey is likely to be the first Labour council in Britain with a Momentum/Corbynite majority. This will be a chance to test out the policies of Corbyn supporters in power.

HDV is the most extreme example of the austerity programme that was embraced by the right wing council leadership.

Social services were privatised, day care centres were shut and hundreds of council workers were laid off.

Right-wing councillors claim that there is no alternative to cuts due to the depth of Tory cuts to central government funding for local government.

But they also say that there was no alternative to HDV. Yet Haringey has over 36 million in housing revenue account reserves.

Weak Tory government

The last general election produced a vastly weakened Tory government, which has already been forced to make concessions on a number of issues.

This government could fall within months and be replaced by a Corbyn-led government committed to increasing local government funding.

So newly elected councillors should not only stop the HDV, but also stop cutting council services in Haringey and bring privatised services back in-house.

The Evening Standard warned that what happened in Haringey will be replicated in town halls across the UK and perhaps in Westminster (ie through reselection of Labour MPs).

The hysterical reaction from the right wing of the Labour Party and its supporters in the establishment media shows their fear that the Labour Party rank and file across the country will get organised and deselect right wing Labour councillors who have been carrying out Tory policies.

Unfortunately this is not the case on a national basis. In many areas the same old cutters are being reselected.

Corbyn could greatly speed up the democratisation process if he calls on all Labour councils to stop the cuts now and pledges that an incoming Labour government would underwrite any debt.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 5 December 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Haringey:

triangleIssue 1000 drive shows sales potential

triangleTottenham block evacuations a test for 'Corbynista council'

triangleHaringey councillors need to fight austerity now

triangleTUSC causing a stir

triangleHaringey TUSC fights Blairite cuts

Labour:

triangleTory crisis deepens - demand a general election now!

triangle'Vote Leave' fined: For a workers' Brexit

triangleUnite conference sees union go in a fighting, socialist direction

triangleTories in crisis - Act now to get them out!

Council:

triangleWomen's Lives Matter launched in Leeds to fight domestic violence service cuts

triangleSummer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

triangleService users and families protest learning disability service cuts

Labour Party:

triangleDesperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act

triangleLiverpool meeting remembers 47 councillors who fought and defeated Thatcher in 1980s

Councillors:

trianglePressure building on councillors to stop fire service cuts

Momentum:

triangleKeith Morrell, anti-cuts councillor, re-elected

Militant:

triangleThe bosses are 'dishonest' - not Militant and its supporters

Privatisation:

triangleBig victory for Wigan NHS strike against privatisation

Austerity:

triangleStop the FLA - No to racism

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleGrenfell disaster: one year on, still no prosecutions, still no adequate housing..

Local government:

triangleSocial care funding crisis: no to an age levy - make the super-rich pay

Housing:

triangleTories pledge three-year private tenancies: fight for rent caps and council homes

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

17/7/18

Swansea

Victory for Swansea postal workers against management victimisation

16/7/18

Far-right

Confronting the FLA pro-Trump demo - build a workers movement to defeat the far-right

13/7/18

Socialist Students

School students protest and walk out against Trump

11/7/18

National Shop Stewards Network

NSSN conference 2018: Mood for fighting action and coordination

11/7/18

Donald Trump

Hit the streets against Trump and capitalism

11/7/18

The Socialist

Issue 1000 drive shows sales potential

11/7/18

Fighting Fund

Tories fractured... election possibility... give us the resources!

11/7/18

NHS

Yes to NHS - No to PFI!

11/7/18

Leeds

NHS Leeds: Campaigners halt outsourcing... for now

11/7/18

Domestic violence

Women's Lives Matter launched in Leeds to fight domestic violence service cuts

11/7/18

Unite

Unite conference sees union go in a fighting, socialist direction

11/7/18

Tyneside

Tyneside shopfitting plant lays off 61 workers

11/7/18

Huddersfield

Summer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

11/7/18

Hackney

Hackney traffic wardens strike for better pay and protection at work

11/7/18

PCS

Campaign in full flow to squeeze out every last Yes vote in pay ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999