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"This is a party that was founded for working people, this is a party that I strive every day to make the party of working people" - Ed Miliband, 21 November 2014

"Left parties have lost office in Europe because of their inability to articulate an alternative to austerity and cuts. The right offers individualism, a huge and growing wealth gap and a mean and divided society. Socialism is the sharing of wealth, the contribution of ability for the common good, and unity in defending our achievements against attack. It's also our only hope" - Jeremy Corbyn, 6 January 2012

CLPD campaigns for:

  • a real policy-making Annual Conference

  • an effective and accountable NEC

  • the defence of the Trade Union link

  • more progressive Labour candidates for elected office who are women or BAME; and, generally, for an increase in candidates with a working-class background, to counteract the current unacceptable under-representation

  • a local electoral college for choosing leaders of council Labour Groups

  • an internal Party ombudsperson

  • a clear jobs and growth policy in sharp opposition to the Tories and austerity

  • CLPD supports the Charter for a Democratic Conference

    1. At least 50% of conference time should be reserved for contributions in policy debates by delegates

    2. The criteria for motions should be flexible and fair

    3. Conference should choose the right policies, not rubber stamp them

    4. Conference decisions and all papers should be available online to party members

    5. The structure of conference needs a review by the Conference Arrangements Committee



    Guide for new Labour Party members

    Taken, with thanks, from Momentum Sheffield. Click here to download pdf.



    Quotes of the month

    "The landowner reaps vast gains from land improvements by the municipality... he contributes nothing, even to the process from which his own enrichment is derived" - Winston Churchill, 1909.

    "Health spending will increase by only 0.75% a year to 2021. The slowdown - from the roughly 4% average annual rise since the NHS was founded in 1945 - began with the government's attempt to shrink the deficit in 2010" - Sunday Times, business section, 5 November 2017.

    "Wealth concentration is as high as in 1905" - Josef Stadler, head of Global Ultra-High Net Worth at UBS, Observer, 29 October 2017.

    If you allow a small minority to live in luxury and so arrange things that the maintenance of that luxury is directly dependent on the poverty of the majority, as we have done in the capitalist world, then undeniably the riches of the few are responsible for the poverty of the many" - George Lansbury, 1937, reprinted in the October 2017 issue of Chartist

    The argument that what is good for the super-rich is good for the rest of us has been demolised [by the IMF]. But don't expect the top 1% to give up without a fight" - business leader, Observer, 15 October 2017.

    "The magical quality of our faith in money and in economic growth is a deliberate mystification of the social exploitation that the capitalist - understandably - wants to cover up" - Rev Giles Fraser, Guardian, 6 October 2017.

    "In the late 1980s, South Africa dismantled all its nuclear weapons, the first nation to voluntarily give up its nuclear deterrent'' - letter in Guardian, 2 September 2017.

    ''Economists have failed to predict 148 of the past 150 recessions'' - Prakash Loungani of the IMF, Guardian, 2 September 2017.

    ''In 1945 Oswald Mosley and his men were released from prison. Undeterred and unrepentant they marched through the East End of London... They held public meetings-the message loud and clear was that Hitler had been right... In 1948 Mosley launched the Union Movement and contžnued to draw large crowds for another 18 years'' - Guardian 9 September 2017 and 16 September 2017.

    ''Corbyn asserted last week that his party's views were now the political mainstream.In terms of attitudes to business,that's unquestionably true'' - Iain Dey, Editor, Sunday Times Business Section, 24 September 2017.

    "There is a remarkable convergence of opinion across age groups for a return to public ownership - Water (83%), Electricity (77%), Gas (77%), Railways (76%)''. Opinion Poll conducted by The Legatum Institute and Populus, Observer, 1 October 2017.

    "Had we achieved the necessary TUC unity, the 1980s could have been very different. The Thatcher government's most effective ally was a union inside the TUC, the EETPU (general secretary Frank Chapple). That's what should be properly recorded in the TUC history, as we prepare for the TUC's 150th Anniversary" - Stevie Stevenson, former EETPU activist, who took on Chapple and his bag carrier, John Spellar (now an MP and the guru of the hard right Labour First). Morning Star, 11 August 2017.

    "In 2008, every man, woman and child in Britain handed over £19,721 each, to the bankers... You know what happened next... Debt racked up through the greed of financiers was dumped on the poor, on the young and on those with disabilities" - Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian, 15 August 2017.

    "Andy Haldane, Bank of England's Chief Economist, has stated that a period of 'divide and conquer' has left workers in the UK less able to bargain for higher wages" - business leader, Observer, 9 July 2017.

    "The NEC has endorsed the tactic of ensuring the Tory Party is clearly seen as a toxic brand. The first stage is to ridicule them. Theresa May was adamant that if the Tories were to lose 'just 6 seats', then Jeremy would be PM. They are down 14 seats and yet May (now) claims she is 'strong and stable'" - Peter Willsman, CLPD secretary, July 2017.

    "Social housing is a game in which the tenants aren't players but pawns; it is a kind of purgatory where you are neither citizen nor consumer, caught in a limbo of impotence.. the housing serves only the interests of those who profit from it" - Zoe Williams. Guardian, 22 July 2017.

    "Who do the Blairites represent any more? Nobody. There is no strand of thought they represent that appeals to the public. They are devoted of purpose, meaning, and voter base" - Rod Liddle, Sunday Times, 9 July 2017.

    The zombie Blairites who run Haringey's Labour council "plan to stuff family homes, school buildings, its biggest library and much more into a giant private fund worth £2bn... Together with a property developer, [the council] will tear down whole streets of publicly owned buildings and replace them with a shiny town centre and 6,400 homes. As someone who grew up nearby, I can see that it needs investment - but this is something else entirely: it is privatisation... [The new] houses will almost certainly not be for the likes of [current council tenants]... the council told me that the private entity had no targets for building social housing... The HDV Business Plans prioritise a single move for residents rather than Right of Return" - Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian, 3 July 2017.

    "[A progressive future] demands both an ideological and methodological shift from the orthodoxies of the past two decades. The PLP did not understand this.We should not assume those lessons have been learned now" - Gary Younge, Guardian, 17 June 2017.

    "Private schools will get tax rebates totalling £522 million over the next five years as a result of their status as charities". Guardian, 12 June 2017.

    "There can be no doubt that the world's biggest trading bloc(the EU) is essentially protectionist in nature... Some economists see it as a vestige of the age of mercantilism" - leading article in Investor's Chronicle, 9 June 2017.

    "In the UK the problem is shrieking rightwing hysteria". Thomas Frank, a visitor from USA. Frank anticipated the rise of Trump among rust-belt voters. Guardian, 8 June 2017.

    "The Tories have always proudly boasted that they build huge bonfires of 'red tape'.We now know what these look like". Pete Willsman, CLPD secretary, June 2017.

    "There is another world in our Movement, alas. A world of smears and plots. That is where you will find Tom Watson. When unity is required, Tom manufactures division... Tom is a product of the manipulative and authoritarian culture of the old trade union right-wing, for whom power was an end in itself, and all means were acceptable to attain it" - Len McCluskey, Huffington Post. CLPD congratulates Len on his victory over Tom Watson and John Spellar and their hard-right "Labour First" cronies. 21 April 2017.

    "A woman who always keeps her promises has called an election she promised not to, in order to obtain a mandate she says she already has, for a policy she said was a bad idea" - David Robjant, Guardian, 19 April 2017.

    "Asked on BBC News whether her country needed nuclear weapons, a North Korean woman said: 'If we do not have nuclear weapons, other countries' weapons will fall on our land'. his sounded paranoid... Britain has the same policy!" - David Butler, Guardian 17 April 2017.

    "The statement, 'Hitler supported Zionism', is not a fact. It is an interpretation... The real problem, in a way, is the tone of Livingstone when giving this interpretation. There's no sympathy. No compassion - no sense of the tragedy behind this... I am not a Zionist. I'm an atheist and I don't hold with religion being the basis for statehood... I do not support the appalling actions of the present Israeli Government" - David Baddiel, Guardian, 7 April 2017.

    "The Transfer Agreement... did happen. It is chilling to insist that a member of a democratic party (which believes in free speech) should resile from what is historical fact. As a Jewish member of the Labour Party, I feel I must support Livingstone and oppose the punishment imposed on him. If that means I will be expelled from the Party, so be it" - Dr Ian Saville, Guardian, 6 April 2017.

    "There is something seriously awry when Lord Mandelson, with total impunity, can publicly boast that every single day he deliberately does something to damage our Party's chosen Leader. And yet one comment by Ken Livingstone žs formally considered by the NCC over several days, with two QCs, 800 pages of documents, witnesses etc. etc. Then, after some 96 hours of deliberation, the NCC hands down its considered judgement, which is final. Despite all this, there is still fuss being made about Ken Livingstone. But about Lord Mandelson's harmful (to our Party) comments - sweet FA" - Pete Willsman, CLPD Secretary, 5 April 2017.

    "Between 1946 and 1973 UK real GDP, per person, rose by 2.7% per year. But it rose only 0.9% per year in the 150 years to 1939. It could be that what we're seeing now is a reversion to the long-term norm" - Investors Chronicle, March 2017.

    "George Osborne... now picking up £650,000 a year for four days work a month at the fund manager BlackRock, pushed through benefit cuts that will mean some families will be £7,000 a year worse off" - Larry Elliott, The (dire) Guardian, 9 March 2017.

    "In 1997 Labour had 58.2% in Copeland and 66.2% in Stoke Central. In 2015 it was 42.3% and 39.3% respectively... If Labour fails in Copeland or Stoke, we will read that it was 'Corbyn's fault'. If, as I suspect, Labour succeeds, we will read that it was down to 'local factors'" - David Rosenberg, The (dire) Guardian, 22 Feb 2017.

    "Why should the pond life that dragged itself from the (council) estates to the ballot box be allowed to ruin everything for the rest of us?" - A direct quote from 'a member of the intellectual establishment', calling for Parliament to reject the Referendum result, Sunday Times 12 February 2017.

    Older "quotes of the month"


    For further news visit http://www.grassrootslabour.net and www.leftfutures.org

    National Executive Committee (CLP Section) Election 2017

    Following the decision of this year's Labour Annual Conference there is now an election for three CLP representatives to Labourís National Executive Committee. CLPs can nominate up to three candidates and the deadline for CLP nominations is midnight Sunday 19 November 2017.

    The Centre Left Grassroots Alliance, representing democratic socialist groups across the centre and left of the Labour Party, is promoting the three candidates below. Click here for a leaflet promoting the three candidates.

    Yasmine Dar - who is a member of Gorton CLP and a Manchester councillor. (Membership Number: L1173052) - click here for her candidate statement

    Rachel Garnham - who is secretary of Mid Bedfordshire CLP and a member of the National Policy Forum. (Membership Number: A777413) - click here for her candidate statement

    Jon Lansman - who is a member of Bermondsey and Old Southwark CLP and a long standing campaigner for progressive policies and democracy within Labour. (Membership Number: A018501) - click here for his candidate statement

    Please urge your CLP to nominate the above three candidates. Ballot papers will be emailed to all Party members from Thursday 30th November 2017. Postal ballots will only be issued to Party members where the Party does not have an email address.

    CLPD AGM 3 March 2018

    Advance notice: CLPD AGM 2018 will be 3 March, from 11:30am, at Friends Meeting House, opposite Euston station, London.

    "Yellow pages" briefings from Labour Party Conference 2017

    Sunday

    Monday

    Tuesday

    Wednesday

    The Labour conference that the media failed to report

    Click here for the report by Alex Nunns in Red Pepper

    The BBC on Labour Party conference 2017

    "Different, distinctive, and defining" - leading BBC journalist, speaking to CLPD as Labour conference ended on 27 September.

    Approximate results from NCC elections at Labour conference 2017

    Rose BURLEY 64; Anna DYER 145; Kevin HEPWORTH 51; Emine IBRAHIM 145. A clear win for Anna and Emine, the left candidates.

    Tips for making a good speech

    From Pete Willsman, September 2017: click here to read.

    Momentum and CLPD guide to Labour Party conference 2017

    Read online here

    Grassroots Labour candidates win CAC election

    The ballot for the CLP places on the Conference Arrangements Committee closed on 8 September 2017 midday, and the candidates backed by the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance, Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes, scored a clear victory.

    Reviews of National Policy Forum documents

    From Left Futures: read online here

    8 June 2017: Labour's people-power defeats Tory fat-cats

    and now the celebrations!

    Our Party's members and all our part-time and full-time staff have achieved a result that will be positively highlighted in the history books. Jeremy's modus operandi has always been: 'We can achieve the impossible quite quickly, miracles may take a bit longer.'

    What better way to celebrate than to humiliate the so-called 'political commentators' on The Guardian and The Observer (not to mention all the other doom-mongers and naysayers). These writers pick up their fat pay packets under false pretences. These are also among the ignoramuses who discerned that two-party politics would never return. Almost every day one encounters commuters on the bus with more political nous than this lot.

    But first, a quote from a journalist who seemingly has some perception:

    'If Jeremy Corbyn does take Labour to 40%, he will have done more to increase Labour's vote share than anyone since Clement Atlee in 1945' - Fraser Nelson, political commentator for The Spectator.

    Now for the inferior stuff:

    • 'As gambles go [i.e. May's gamble] it is about the surest bet any politician could ever place... May's gamble was a gamble for those who like their wagers ultra-low risk.' J. Freedland, 'political commentator', The Guardian, 19th April.
    • 'Labour's real problem is that not enough people are paying attention any longer. It will take more than a manifesto to change that.' M. Kettle, 'political commentator', The Guardian, 12th May.
    • 'Labour's best hope of limiting the size of a Tory victory will turn on convincing moderate voters that there is absolutely no possibility of Prime Minister Corbyn. That ought not to be too difficult... The Conservatives will connive with Mr Corbyn to maintain a fiction that there is a serious possibility that they could lose and the Labour leader could win number 10.' A. Rawnsley, 'political commentator', The Observer, 23rd April.
    • 'Theresa May will form the next government. The only point of interest is how large her majority will be... May would never have risked an early election if Labour had competent leaders, who had not alienated millions of voters.' N. Cohen, 'political commentator', The Observer, 23 April.
    • 'On 14th May, in questioning the Labour Party manifesto, The Observer editorial critically asked 'why 10,000 extra police officers, when crime is falling?'' Letter in The Observer, 4th June.

    And now the epilogue.

    On the eve of polling, The Guardian (8th June) reported that, 'most Labour insiders believe they are unlikely to advance on Ed Miliband's 2015 tally of 232 seats. Many Labour candidates say Corbyn's leadership is still problematic among voters, and the most pessimistic believe May could still secure a much increased majority of 80-100 seats.' These 'comrades' have such hostility to JC and the Labour Left that their grasp of reality is totally distorted.

    • 'What could have been achieved if the Parliamentary Labour Party had got behind their Leader instead of squandering months on a needless second leadership contest.' Reverend Christopher Griffiths, The Guardian, 8th June.

    Finally, we have the Leader of the political party that The Guardian and The Observer are invariably echo chambers for: ''I cannot resist the temptation of taking on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party - the most ineffective opposition in interplanetary history.'' Tim Farron putting words into Theresa May's mouth when she decided to call a General Election. The Guardian, 22nd April.

    Of course, many journalists in the Guardian stable are excellent. And also, right at the end, The Guardian did come out for Labour - unlike 2010, which will never be forgotten or forgiven. Nevertheless, there is no excuse for the poor quality of the material from a significant minority of their 'political commentators'.

    Pete Willsman, CLPD secretary, 9 June.

    Click here to read the Labour manifesto for the 8 June 2017 general election.


    SUSPENSIONS, EXPULSIONS, LABOUR PARTY DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

    New wave of suspensions and expulsions

    "Eventually over 11,000 complaints were logged as well-resourced right wing hit squads scented a golden opportunity and began trawling through known Corbynistas' Facebook and Twitter accounts". Christine Shawcroft reports on the new wave of suspensions and expulsions, November 2016.

    CLPD opposes new expulsions of left-wingers from the Labour Party

    CPLD fears that a new wave of expulsions of Corbyn supporters from the Labour Party may indicate that right-wingers and irreconcilables are using bureaucratic means to try to undermine the overwhelming majority decision of the Party to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader. We call for a change of Labour Party rules to provide a fair process and for Labour to welcome as members all those who support the Labour Party. Click here to read the statement.

    CLPD opposes expulsions of left-wingers from the Labour Party

    CLPD has agreed a statement opposing the expulsions of Labour Party members on the basis of association with the Alliance for Workers Liberty, and calling for a change of Labour Party rules to provide a fair process and for Labour to welcome as members all those who support the Labour Party. Click here to read the statement.

    Summary of the Chakrabarti report, 1 July 2016

    Click here to read a summary by Mike Phipps.


    JEREMY CORBYN

    Labour can win. But first it must explain what Corbynism means

    Article by Jeremy Gilbert, professor of cultural and political theory at the University of East London, in The Guardian, 24 July 2017.

    Why Corbyn's moral clarity could propel him to no.10

    Click here to read the article by Danny Dorling, professor of geography at Oxford and author of many books including "Injustice: Why Social Inequality Still Persists", on Labour List.

    The Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon

    Speech by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey at the Oxford Union on Tuesday 9 February 2016


    SCOTLAND

    Labour needs a Corbynista leadership in Scotland

    By Barry Gray, CLPD Assistant Secretary. Click here to read

    A mountain to climb in Scotland

    Article from Labour Briefing by Jim McKechnie, one of CLPD's organisers in Scotland


    TRIDENT

    Setting the record straight on Trident

    Letter to the Guardian by Ann Black, 16 January 2016. See also this statement from members of Labour's National Policy Forum.


    CAPITALISM, SOCIALISM, AND POVERTY

    Gordon Brown on the Tory lies about poverty

    In a speech to the Child Poverty Action Group on 11 November 2015, former Labour leader Gordon Brown slammed eight Tory "fictions" about poverty and tax credits. Click here to read the speech.

    "Falling wages, savage cuts and sham employment expose the recovery as bogus"

    In the Guardian of 20 October 2014, economist Ha Joon Chang, writing under the headline Why did Britain's political class buy into the Tories' economic fairytale?, sums up the case against austerity and gives Labour a wake-up call.

    "Needed: a vigorous opposition to neoliberalism"

    In the Guardian of 3 November 2014, the paper's economics editor, Larry Elliott, bemoans the lack of "fundamental change since the global financial crisis" and concludes that a "collapse not just of communism but also of social democracy" has left an "ideological vacuum... being filled by nationalism, environmentalism and religion".


    LABOUR PARTY STRUCTURES

    The future of the trade union link

    By Pete Willsman: click here to read

    On illegitimate interference by party staff into our internal elections

    Statement by Pete Willsman on the conduct of elections at Labour conference 2013

    CLPD supports the Charter for a Democratic Conference

    Click here to read the Charter online.

    Click here to download the Charter as pdf.


    SELECTIONS, RESELECTIONS, AND THE TRIGGER MECHANISM

    New research shows "gender quotas thus do not pose a threat to 'merit' at any stage of the political process

    "Instead, fostering diversity has contributed to a host of positive democratic outcomes", say researchers Mary Nugent and Mona Lena Krook: http://www.democraticaudit.com/?p=19728

    How to select or reselect your MP

    New edition by Dave Osland. £4.00 from left-wing bookshops or from Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham (0115 8373097): post free to mail order customers, pay via PayPal to bookshop@fiveleaves.co.uk. Right-click here for more information.

    How Labour's trigger works

    A CLPD briefing on the re-selection of sitting MPs


    THREATS TO MAJORITY LABOUR GOVERNMENTS

    Richard Price, CLPD Exec.: "Yes to majority Labour governments, no to the so-called Progressive Alliance"

    31 August 2017. Click here to read.

    Sam Pallis on PR

    "The lure of PR conceals many myths - instead the left must learn to escape its comfort zone", writes Sam Pallis on Labour List (23 August 2016). (Editor's note: PR wonks always claim that their motivation is "more democracy for voters". Nothing is more democratic than every voter being able to vote "yes" or "no" on an issue after a national debate. And yet, many of the wonks are demanding that MPs (elected by, what they claim, is an electoral system that is not very democratic) must overturn the democratic decision of the whole population on the EU. Beneath the veneer covering many a "PR-democrat" lurks a total hypocrite).


    OTHER ISSUES

    Labour and the EU referendum

    See Keir Starmer on Labour List, 31 January 2017.

    Gary Younge: Brexit - a disaster decades in the making

    Click here to read the article.

    VIDEO CLIPS

    Ray Davison on rule changes at Labour Party conference 2014

    The Campaign, a BBC docudrama from 1983 about CLPD

    CLPD secretary Pete Willsman on the Daily Politics



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    Reports of NEC and NPF meetings can be found on our partner site http://www.grassrootslabour.net/



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