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Labour Transformed-deeply disturbing

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Noah Fence
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Jan 14 2020 22:13

From conversations(if you can call them that) with the people touting this around the Internet, it’s very clear that this is a shambolic, ill thought out affair with none of them able to answer any challenges to their proposal.
Surely, if they gained any traction, they won’t of course, but let’s say they did and they started making a noise, the PLP would stamp all over them, right?
The whole thing is cringy and hilarious in equal measure. It’s about as credible as all those edgy conservatives hoisting their black and yellow flags and calling themselves anarchists.

Mike Harman
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Jan 15 2020 08:47
Reddebrek wrote:
Spikymike wrote:
So a kind of 'anarchist entry-ism' to compete with the Trots?

Could be the other way around, while trot entryism is a well documented, over the years I've noticed a sort of counter tendency where people join the party, have their illusions shattered by its reality, but through its proximity to the "left" are exposed to other ideas and develop along them, but it takes awhile (sometimes never) for them to break off.

...

I'd say this thing will probably burn out long before it gets to be a problem for the labour party's internal organs, unless it taps into a lot of other frustrated party members.

This is probably closest to my reading of it as well.

Would add that I hope the formation burns out before the individual people in it do. Feels fundamentally different from Novara (or Labour Transformed) in that it's non-careerists following a very poorly thought out strategy to reform the Labour Party and lobby for single issue policies within it, vs. careerists following a (relatively) successful strategy to build their own careers.

Battlescarred
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Jan 15 2020 09:14

I'm not in the AF anymore but someone who was a Labour Party member would not have been allowed entry into the AF for sure. So either they kept extremely quiet about their LP membership or they just said they were in the AF without it being true. Whereabouts was this person?

Mike Harman
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Jan 15 2020 10:55

Who is claiming to have had dual membership of the AF and the Labour Party?

Battlescarred
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Jan 15 2020 11:50

See Reddebrek's post. Pay attention!

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jan 15 2020 12:20

It's not enough to criticise recuperation of radical statements, which anyway has been constantly happening for over 100 years.

Surely the main problem is that the nature of such statements make them open to recuperation. The original "As we see it" is vague and general and is typical of organisations wanting to win people over on the basis of some simplistic abstraction. Anybody who has anything worthwhile saying doesn't need to state "As we see it" or "Where we stand" or whatever general definition of themselves that reduce their activity to relatively obvious (at least for those who want the abolition of capitalism) lowest common denominators that just unite people round this lowest common denominator. "Whatever activity increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the egalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the working class and whatever furthers its political consciousness" should be implicit and inherent in any precise developments of such a perspective. Whilst such necessities can be made explicit, taking them out of the context of an account and/or analysis of a precise situation or contradiction makes them easily adopted by those who have no desire of making them have any practical meaning whatsoever, and no idea of how to. They just become nice turns of phrases aimed to recruit because in many ways these "As we see it"s were/are intended to recruit when they were created by people with more radical perspectives. More radical but not so radical as to reject the idea and desire to recruit, to want members. Kind of radical versions of advertising.

Anyone who genuinely want to contribute to increasing "the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the egalitarian tendencies and the self-activity" of themselves and the working class as a whole will not be looking for such platitudes to inspire them to do so.

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R Totale
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Mar 1 2020 17:12

I realise that paying any attention to any twitter drama is always a terrible idea, but I was quite entertained to learn that one of the main Black Rose Labour people also crosses picket lines. I didn't really think you could get much less coherent when "Labour Party anarchist" is your starting point, but that person might just have managed it.

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R Totale
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May 19 2020 14:09

Might as well ask this here as anywhere: I realise the correct answer is "pay no attention at all and thank your lucky stars that you're not a labour member so you don't have to deal with any of this stuff", but can anyone give a simple answer as to what the difference between Forward Momentum and Momentum Renewal is?

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May 19 2020 16:35

I mean I really can't be arsed but Renewal seems to have the Novara lot on board FWIW.

I've had a quick skim of both and it's all socialism, community organising, trade unions, democracy in the Labour Party whoop whoop we can do this stuff?

I got confused which was which when flipping between browser windows, so I doubt you are alone in posing this question.

Perhaps, and hear me out on this, they are basically the same but composed of different people who can't stand each other?

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May 19 2020 19:44

Labour Transformed are getting behind Forward Momentum according to their Facebook.

I remain baffled.

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R Totale
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May 19 2020 20:17

Just to make it even more confusing "forward" definitely sounds more like a "Let's go ahead carrying on doing the same stuff"-type name, and "renewal" sounds more like a "Let's change some stuff" name, but from what I can understand Lansman and the existing leadership are behind renewal, which feels quite conter-intuitive? Anyway, I suppose the likelihood of my street's whatsapp group splintering into rival pro-Forward and pro-Renewal factions is quite remote, so I think I probably don't need to worry about keeping track of which is which too much. And with that, I can get back to archiving the papers of the British section of the IWA, an organisation which has definitely never suffered from any bitter faction fights that are totally incomprehensible to outsiders.

Battlescarred
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May 21 2020 15:37

Ah, now a group called Momentum Internationalists is organising within Forward Momentum which is working witthin Momentum which is working within the Labour Party. Reminds me of the matryoshka Russian dolls.

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comradeEmma
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May 21 2020 20:08

What tendencies do these people actually come from? The slogan of "Democracy, Class Struggle & Internationalism" sounds very specific.

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R Totale
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May 21 2020 20:20

If you open up the Momentum Internationalists matryoshka, you'll find Workers' Liberty nestled inside (Shachmanite/third camp flavour trots, if you're not familiar). But as noted above, MI are just one faction within FM, if you're asking about the broader politics of FM, or indeed MR, as a whole then your guess is as good as mine.

wojtek
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Jun 4 2020 18:30
Quote:
£70m+ that Corbyn's membership surge raised over 4 years

https://mobile.twitter.com/Trickyjabs/status/1266721502499606529

Labour Is Losing Black Members Over Allegations Of Anti-Black Racism

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Jun 18 2020 04:29

Recently saw there's some push back against the AWL https://twitter.com/MomAgainstAWL/status/1272819253062905856?s=20 I initially read that as Mom's against the AWL before realising its another Momentum grouping.

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sherbu-kteer
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Jun 18 2020 12:58

Wait how's the AWL organising within Labour? I thought they banned external orgs participating like that after the whole Militant thing.

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Jun 18 2020 13:33

OK, so who can say which cult-like group Momentum Against the AWL, or indeed Mums Against the AWL, is a front for?

sherbu-kteer: Yep, I believe AWL members are officially banned, so they just have to be "secret members" (iirc AWL stuff always refers to their members as "supporters" to try and get around this), although as they have a fairly distinctive set of politics to argue for and campaigns to push I would imagine that it can't be that hard to identify them. There's at least two other Trot groups active in Labour with varying degrees of secrecy, including the IMT lot who were members of Militant, but when Militant were expelled seemingly just reacted with "no we're not :)".

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comradeEmma
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Jun 18 2020 14:34

There seems to have been some drama inside another Labour fraction, Labour Party Marxists, a front for CPGB(PCC) who publish Weekly Worker, over the question of Labour Left Alliance.

Quote:
sherbu-kteer: Yep, I believe AWL members are officially banned, so they just have to be "secret members" (iirc AWL stuff always refers to their members as "supporters" to try and get around this), although as they have a fairly distinctive set of politics to argue for and campaigns to push I would imagine that it can't be that hard to identify them. There's at least two other Trot groups active in Labour with varying degrees of secrecy, including the IMT lot who were members of Militant, but when Militant were expelled seemingly just reacted with "no we're not :)".

What are the actual statues of the party on this? Where do they draw the line between something like AWL and Momentum? The Social-Democratic party in my country has a similar thing where there are like public factions that criticize the party but that fall within the statues but the CWI-faction(it was actually guided in the youth-league by the Young Labour militant group) was purged. The Fourth International(reunified) section also like dissolved as a party and into a "think tank" to enter into both Social-Democratic Party and Left Party(as individuals).

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R Totale
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Jun 18 2020 18:02
comradeEmma wrote:
What are the actual statues of the party on this? Where do they draw the line between something like AWL and Momentum? The Social-Democratic party in my country has a similar thing where there are like public factions that criticize the party but that fall within the statues but the CWI-faction(it was actually guided in the youth-league by the Young Labour militant group) was purged. The Fourth International(reunified) section also like dissolved as a party and into a "think tank" to enter into both Social-Democratic Party and Left Party(as individuals).

As I understand it (disclaimer: I am not now nor have I ever been a member of the Labour Party, so not an expert), any other political party that stands candidates in elections is an obvious no, anyone else has to be banned on a case-by-case basis, so there were specific decisions to target Militant and Socialist Organiser/AWL, but I don't think they've ever got around to specifically banning, for instance, Plan C, and would need an official decision to do so.
Fwiw, I think the actual wording is:

Quote:
"Individual members shall be subjects/residents of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or citizens of Eire or otherpersons resident in The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for more than one year who:
A.are not less than14 years of age, and
B.subscribe to the conditions of membership in this clause, and
C.are not members of political parties or organisations ancillary or subsidiary thereto declared by Party conference or by the NEC in pursuance of Party conference decisions to be ineligible for affiliation to the Party.
4.Exclusions
A.A member of the Party who stands for election, subscribes to a nomination paper of or acts as the election agent to a person standing for election, in opposition to a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a Party member, subject to the provisions of Chapter 6.I.2below of the disciplinary rules.
B.A member of the Party who joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the Party, or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a Party member, subject to the provisions of Chapter 6.I.2below of the disciplinary rules."

I gave up before managing to find a copy of the list of forbidden organisations, though.
Also, had happily managed to miss whatever the latest CPGB drama is about, the claim that "if the CPGB continues its descent into darkness... then that would damage all of the left" seems a tad ridiculously overblown though.

wojtek
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Jun 18 2020 18:13

Why are the Novara self-identified 'Communists' permitted membership?

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R Totale
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Jun 18 2020 20:10

As above, I think the default is that anything not specifically banned is permitted, and tbf I reckon they would have a pretty strong case for arguing that they're a media platform not a membership organisation. I suppose the harsher way of putting it would be to say that if they were ever perceived as being a serious threat by any sizeable section of the Labour bureaucracy then they would be banned, but that hasn't happened, so they're not.

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comradeEmma
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Jun 19 2020 06:09

An IMTite made it to the party steering committee of the Swedish Left Party at which point they voted that IMT and its section was a competing party so that they could be purged. So there is absolutely something to that these type of parties only start cracking down when it in some way threatens the status quo of the party.

wojtek
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Jun 29 2020 23:03

There was a 1985 discussion on Black Sections in Labour by Sivanandan, Diane Abbot, Stuart Hall, Vishnu Sarma and Unmesh Desai.

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R Totale
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Jun 30 2020 08:53

Anyone got any thoughts/observations on where all that Corbyn energy goes now? I can't see there being much enthusiasm for anyone sticking with Starmer.

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rat
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Jun 30 2020 17:31

Good question R Totale. I don't really have answers myself, but I would love to hear any analysis from other posters.

On the issue of the Novara Media people being members of the Labour Party — I think that Ash Sarkar said recently that she's not actually a member of the Labour Party — I could have that wrong though.

I did watch a recent Novara video about the Long-bailey sacking, but I don't think there was much in it really.

Maybe people here have already seen this but there is the Don't Leave Organise "broad left network":

Quote:
Socialists in the Labour Party have suffered recent defeats, but we are not defeated. This is the time to unify and build around our shared socialist principles, the policies in our 2017 & 2019 manifestos, full democracy, due process and natural justice in the party.

We urgently need a way of bringing together the wide range of new and existing organisations in our movement – groups organising in communities and workplaces, unions, constituency-based left groups, Covid-19 mutual aid networks. Not yet another organisation with leadership aspirations.

Instead we need something new and different – a grassroots umbrella network, run democratically by its supporting bodies, to coordinate our actions and our demands, to support and act in solidarity with each other.

https://www.dontleaveorganise.org/

wojtek
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Jun 30 2020 23:11

AS ids as a communist, is a fellow traveller of, centres her politics and hangs her journalism on the LP/parliamentary proceedings, uses her non-membership as a 'well actually'.
JB is a member and communist with a high regard for constitutional democracy.
AB is a member, ids as a communist.

wojtek
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Jul 23 2020 22:55

There was a point in time early on where Corbyn would get laughed at and disrespected as leader in parliament and I remember this was in contrast to Bob Crow whom I've never seen reactionaries oppose in the same manner. They had to take him and the RMT (which iirc had/has a semi-syndicalist nature) seriously. One could imo say the same for Abbott, etc. v brief extra-parliamentary BLM.

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Jul 23 2020 22:40
R Totale wrote:
Anyone got any thoughts/observations on where all that Corbyn energy goes now? I can't see there being much enthusiasm for anyone sticking with Starmer.

I don’t claim any great insights myself but maybe:

1. Corbyn revivalists. Stay in the Labour Party to reignite the ashes of socialism.
2. Newly grown up “realist” types who will have inhaled the fumes of parliamentary politics and will do very well as the new young blades in the party.
3. Burnouts.
4. People who will leave and have terrible politics (trots etc)
5. People who will leave and have good politics.

Hard to get a handle on the proportions of each.

Novara appears to be a mixture of 1 and 2.