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.

    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

    Secrets and spies of Scotland Yard
    A new Espionage Act threatens whistleblowers and journalists, writes Sarah Kavanagh

    #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

    How progressive is the ‘progressive alliance’?
    We need an anti-austerity alliance, not a vaguely progressive alliance, argues Michael Calderbank

    The YPJ: Fighting Isis on the frontline
    Rahila Gupta talks to Kimmie Taylor about life on the frontline in Rojava

    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

    Report from the second Citizen’s Assembly of Podemos
    Sol Trumbo Vila says the mandate from the Podemos Assembly is to go forwards in unity and with humility

    Protect our public lands
    Last summer Indigenous people travelled thousands of miles around the USA to tell their stories and build a movement. Julie Maldonado reports

    From the frontlines
    Red Pepper’s new race editor, Ashish Ghadiali, introduces a new space for black and minority progressive voices

    How can we make the left sexy?
    Jenny Nelson reports on a session at The World Transformed

    In pictures: designing for change
    Sana Iqbal, the designer behind the identity of The World Transformed festival and the accompanying cover of Red Pepper, talks about the importance of good design

    Angry about the #MuslimBan? Here are 5 things to do
    As well as protesting against Trump we have a lot of work to get on with here in the UK. Here's a list started by Platform

    Who owns our land?
    Guy Shrubsole gives some tips for finding out

    Don’t delay – ditch coal
    Take action this month with the Coal Action Network. By Anne Harris

    Utopia: Work less play more
    A shorter working week would benefit everyone, writes Madeleine Ellis-Petersen

    Mum’s Colombian mine protest comes to London
    Anne Harris reports on one woman’s fight against a multinational coal giant