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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 October 2019

Opinion: Labour Party is structured to block left councillors

Some of Liverpool's Militant-led socialist Labour councillors, including Tony Mulheran (second from left in flat cap), photo Militant

Some of Liverpool's Militant-led socialist Labour councillors, including Tony Mulheran (second from left in flat cap), photo Militant   (Click to enlarge)

Peter Redfarn, Deptford Labour Party

Blairite councillors are doing everything they can to prevent councils standing up to the Tories and defending their communities like Tony Mulhearn and the 'Liverpool 47' councillors did from 1983 to 1987.

Democratic 'district Labour parties' were replaced by 'local government committees', then by 'local campaign forums'. Each change has made them less democratic and enhanced the power of right-wingers to block the left from becoming councillors.

According to the otherwise good Labour Party conference, we now have local government committees again. Under the latest rule change, a third of members must be existing councillors - in contrast to the district Labour parties, where overwhelmingly delegates were elected by local trade unions, Labour branches, and affiliated organisations.

My sister had to support the infamous 'private finance initiative' to become a Labour councillor. In my ward, a local activist won a by-election, but the local campaign forum prevented her from standing as a Labour candidate a few months later without any explanation.

The vast majority of Labour councillors are determined to stop Jeremy Corbyn. They put the profits of property developers before the needs of the people. Council housing is being demolished and tenants forced to pay greatly increased rents to stay in the area.

As well as restoring the money cut from local authorities, the following steps should be taken.

People expelled from the Labour Party for opposing cuts should have the right to return, and all Labour Party members should have the right to stand as candidates.

There should be annual local government conferences in each council area with participation by trade unions and local community groups as well as Labour Party members. End the mayor and cabinet system and make all council meetings open to the public.

Out with the Blairites! Housing for all on the basis of need! Reverse all cuts and privatisation!

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In The Socialist 30 October 2019:


What we think

Anti-austerity, socialist policies can be a winning formula

Mass protests rock the globe


News

Tories out now. Bin Boris. Corbyn can win with socialist policies!

39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container

Argos Christmas bonus cut


Wall Street Crash

The 1929 Wall Street Crash: When the capitalist system was on its knees


Workplace news

PCS union election: For a fighting democratic general secretary

PCS: Support Marion Lloyd - a history of workers' struggle and a programme for the future

McDonald's - Striking to end low pay

London - 'autumn of discontent'

RMT election: Fight the cuts, vote for Jared Wood

Uni workers' pay and pension strike ballot


Butterfields

How working-class tenants beat Gentrification


Black history

Black Liberation... Only possible through socialist struggle

Obituary - Bob Lee: 1954 - 2019


International socialist news and analysis

Chile in revolt


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Enfield North socialists lobby candidate stitch-up

Selling the Socialist

Donate to fund the fightback at Socialism 2019

Chile protests - London solidarity rally


Reader's opinion

Life in the gig economy

Film reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

TV: The Accident - Will capitalism be exposed in upsetting, true-to-life drama?

Opinion: Labour Party is structured to block left councillors

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