The late Anthony Wedgewood Benn once said that the Labour Party is not a socialist party but is a party with socialists in it. I guess I would subscribe to this comment.
Since our inception we have been a melting pot of different ideas hence being a broad church.
The only time socialism was mentioned in our ordinances was when a certain Tony Blair advocated a change of Clause 4 from what it had been since 1917 when Sydney Webb drafted the original " To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service" to what it is today.
I do think at times political parties need to look at themselves and to work out what is their purpose and indeed last year it was suggested by one of the then Labour leadership candidates that perhaps we needed to look again at our aims and values in light of changing times.
When that was suggested it spurred me into writing a new clause 4 which I promptly deposited with a certain person.
However it is not the most important thing on the agenda.
One of my big criticisms of the Party was that it lacked a grassroots organisation where there could be a cross fertilization of ideas on how we could rebuild a collapsing society.
No doubt whatever ideas I had put forward to the Party ended up in the shredder.
Under previous leaders we were very top down and we adopted a clunking first approach that the leader is all knowing.
Although I campaigned in 2015 in my limited way for Labour in support of the local candidate I was under no illusions having informed the party back in 2014 that we were not going to win, again my thoughts at that time were put in the shredder, and after the defeat in 2015 I wrote a long explanation on why we were defeated again - that was put into the shredder.
We have a leadership now whom I believe are willing to listen to the shop floor because they don't have the answers to everything but together we can come to that point where the answers are in front of us.
Finally we came into being to be the voice of working class opinion in the legislature and the great challenge for us today is to reconnect with the working class and to understand their needs, their wants, their hopes and their desires and if we can do that I believe we will form the next government.
However if we display an arrogance, which I believe we did under previous leaders then I am sorry to say we will be defeated in 2020 or whenever the next general election occurs, because a party that doesn't listen to the people doesn't deserve to be in government.
Thanks to our regular contributor Ferederick James
This event is taking place next weekend - National Demo: Refugees Welcome Here: Stand up to racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism & fascism!
It is listed as a UN Anti-racism Day demonstration scheduled to take place Sat 19 Mar 2016, London, with the hashtag promotion of #M19.
It is vital that people who are able to do so attend this demo although many of us will be there only in spirit.
One group of people who will be represented on the day is the Corbyn 50yrs+ supporters group which you can find on Twitter and Facebook. Advertising the event on their Facebook page the admin team writes:
ALERT: Our Corbyn 50 yrs plus banner is to get another outing on March 19th at the Anti-racism and fascism march 'Stand up to Racism: Refugees Welcome here'' in London. Please Assemble 12 noon at Portland Place W1A 1AA. Our lovely and very politically active member Gill Kennard is asking 'I will have to be in my wheelchair and Mike will have to push - are there any volunteers to hold our banner please'?? PLEASE let us know if you are willing to go and help carry the Banner
[The above two images are from previous demos]
The Corbyn 50yrs+ group was formed after Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in September 2015.
Mr Corbyn has endured attacks from the mainstream media, people in other political parties and people within Labour with claims that his style of politics does not appeal to older voters.
The Corbyn 50yrs+ group is just one organisation that disproves that claim.
Facebook membership continues to rise and the group are politically active, hence notice of the event and the banner holding appeal.
The Stand up to racism and fascism demo list of speakers includes; Vanessa Redgrave Actor, Diane Abbott MP, Claude Moraes MEP, Jean Lambert MEP.
You can download the demo leaflet here
And check out the Stand up to Racism website here
As a lifelong Labour supporter, even in the womb my allegiance was decided; Dad was a fisherman, one grandad a dock worker and the other a bargeman. My mother worked in the fish houses and so did my sisters.
They called the bosses 'gaffers' when they were respected and the establishment when they were detested.
In those days the gaffers had to work hard for respect, they had to earn it and it was the same in the Labour Party.
The MP’s and or delegates had to earn the respect of the members; they too came from working class roots and they knew what to stand for because they had experienced the hardship, the poverty but still had the drive to make life better for the jobless, the vulnerable and the working poor.
They went into politics for the right reasons, that’s what Labour was all about.
Along with the Unions they fought the battles and won.
The battles were never easy but the good things in life don’t come easily.
Thanks to these pioneering men and women, British workers got a five-day working week, paid holidays and sick leave and the country got a welfare system that was there to help those most in need. The NHS was the best there was offering care from the cradle to the grave and all thanks to these people.
Fast-forward to 2016 and it is a different political story.
These days Labour MP’s are mostly careerist; some have had privileged childhoods and many have never had to fight for anything. These people do not know or understand the day to day turmoil everyday people go through.
For whatever reason we cannot sack these people but we have to hope in some cases that their CLP’s will deselect them.
These people do not belong as representatives of the Labour Party. They have no idea what democracy is but are simply waiting in the wings to trip up and stab the man voted leader of the party, by ordinary members, in the back, because they do not want him to spoil their nice little earner.
But what Labour party members can do is vote the right people on to the NEC and the NCC.
When we get our vote we must make sure that we are voting for someone who respects the member’s choices and is not there to just feather their own nest.
An example of which, in my opinion, is Luke Akehurst.
I asked him on twitter out right “Who would you represent - the vast majority of members that voted JC as leader or your own agenda” his reply was:
“ @lukeakehurst @Karendarlau @NEWTEKWORLDNEWS @joannesinton1 I'm running on a platform of disagreeing with Jeremy, that's how democracy works. “
So his own agenda then?
I find this worrying, as here is a man who claims to be a Labour party supporter but is not willing to listen or even try to listen to what members are saying or want.
Please don’t vote for him.
We [the party] are already entrenched with people who still cling to the Blair ideology; they will not or cannot see that is what lost us the last two elections.
We need the party to come together in UNITY and SOLIDARITY. We need the PLP to listen. The NEC is a small step but it is something we can actually have a say in.
Supported by Eileen Kersey
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