Convention of the Left debate 2008

This bold venture comes as a result of people from different left and radical traditions - or none - getting together in greater Manchester to say that there IS an alternative to Labour's policies of war and privatisation

March 19, 2008
2 min read

We are from green, left, internationalist, communist, socialist, radical and anarchist backgrounds. We are involved in civil liberties, anti-deportation, trade union, climate change, peace and public service campaigns. What we have in common is that we believe the wealth exists in society to pay for our essential needs – but we do not believe that an unbridled free market is sustainable.

We cannot have socialism if the planet has been destroyed, but we (probably?) can’t save the planet unless we have socialism.

So when New Labour comes to Manchester for its so-called conference (an event generally believed to be without debate or decisions), we have decided that we want to host a ‘Convention of the Left’ – just a stone’s throw (or a balloon’s flight) away from the security-surrounded official event, we will be holding a full day conference, a day of action, and four days of themed debates and discussions (20-25 September 2008).

  • Our convention will be both a protest at Labour’s war and privatisation, racism and pollution, authoritarianism and inequality, and a practical demonstration that there is an alternative.
  • Our convention will be about an entirely different world – one that can be built by working people for working people.
  • Our convention will be united in our determination to combine our strengths and develop through open and participatory debates the rebuilding of the Left today.

    For more information www.conventionoftheleft.org.uk

    Convention of the left: statement of intent


  • ✹ Try our new pay-as-you-feel subscription — you choose how much to pay.

    Greece’s heavy load
    While the UK left is divided over how to respond to Brexit, the people of Greece continue to groan under the burden of EU-backed austerity. Jane Shallice reports

    On the narcissism of small differences
    In an interview with the TNI's Nick Buxton, social scientist and activist Susan George reflects on the French Presidential Elections.

    Why Corbyn’s ‘unpopularity’ is exaggerated: Polls show he’s more popular than most other parties’ leaders – and on the up
    Headlines about Jeremy Corbyn’s poor approval ratings in polls don’t tell the whole story, writes Alex Nunns

    The media wants to demoralise Corbyn’s supporters – don’t let them succeed
    Michael Calderbank looks at the results of yesterday's local elections

    In light of Dunkirk: What have we learned from the (lack of) response in Calais?
    Amy Corcoran and Sam Walton ask who helps refugees when it matters – and who stands on the sidelines

    Osborne’s first day at work – activists to pulp Evening Standards for renewable energy
    This isn’t just a stunt. A new worker’s cooperative is set to employ people on a real living wage in a recycling scheme that is heavily trolling George Osborne. Jenny Nelson writes

    Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 24 May
    On May 24th, we’ll be holding the third of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.

    Our activism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit…
    Reflecting on a year in the environmental and anti-racist movements, Plane Stupid activist, Ali Tamlit, calls for a renewed focus on the dangers of power and privilege and the means to overcome them.

    West Yorkshire calls for devolution of politics
    When communities feel that power is exercised by a remote elite, anger and alienation will grow. But genuine regional democracy offers a positive alternative, argue the Same Skies Collective

    How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workers
    For the first time in history, we have a mass migration of labour without an actual migration of workers. Mark Graham and Alex Wood explore the consequences

    The Digital Liberties cross-party campaign
    Access to the internet should be considered as vital as access to power and water writes Sophia Drakopoulou

    #AndABlackWomanAtThat – part III: a discussion of power and privilege
    In the final article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr gives a few pointers on how to be a good ally

    Event: Take Back Control Croydon
    Ken Loach, Dawn Foster & Soweto Kinch to speak in Croydon at the first event of a UK-wide series organised by The World Transformed and local activists

    Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 19 April
    On April 19th, we’ll be holding the second of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.

    Changing our attitude to Climate Change
    Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Technology spells out what we need to do to break through the inaction over climate change

    Introducing Trump’s Inner Circle
    Donald Trump’s key allies are as alarming as the man himself

    #AndABlackWomanAtThat – part II: a discussion of power and privilege
    In the second article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the silencing of black women and the flaws in safe spaces

    Joint statement on George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard
    'We have come together to denounce this brazen conflict of interest and to champion the growing need for independent, truthful and representative media'

    Confronting Brexit
    Paul O’Connell and Michael Calderbank consider the conditions that led to the Brexit vote, and how the left in Britain should respond

    On the right side of history: an interview with Mijente
    Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Reyna Wences, co-founder of Mijente, a radical Latinx and Chincanx organising network

    Disrupting the City of London Corporation elections
    The City of London Corporation is one of the most secretive and least understood institutions in the world, writes Luke Walter

    #AndABlackWomanAtThat: a discussion of power and privilege
    In the first article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the oppression of her early life and how we must fight it, even in our own movement

    Corbyn understands the needs of our communities
    Ian Hodson reflects on the Copeland by-election and explains why Corbyn has the full support of The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union

    Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 15 March
    On 15 March, we’ll be holding the first of Red Pepper’s Race Section open editorial meetings.

    Social Workers Without Borders
    Jenny Nelson speaks to Lauren Wroe about a group combining activism and social work with refugees

    Growing up married
    Laura Nicholson interviews Dr Eylem Atakav about her new film, Growing Up Married, which tells the stories of Turkey’s child brides

    The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
    On March 4 & 5 Bethnal Green will host a migrant-led festival fostering community and solidarity for people of all backgrounds, writes Sohail Jannesari

    Reclaiming Holloway Homes
    The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next

    Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
    Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace

    Pass the domestic violence bill
    Emma Snaith reports on the significance of the new anti-domestic violence bill