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With Labour’s general election candidates appointed by the executive committee rather than democratically selected by party members at constituency level, there was no guarantee that the new crop of MPs would automatically be supporters of the Corbyn leadership. Happily, though, some of those elected should help to strengthen the hand of the left within the parliamentary party. Here’s a quick lowdown on some of the best prospects:
Previously an MP from 2010-2015, the re-election of Chris Williamson in Derby North is richly deserved. An early and outspoken defender of Corbyn on social media (and contributor to Red Pepper!) Chris was not put off by the sneering and provocations of right-wingers like John Woodcock or Tom Harris. Unlike most MPs, as a former brickie, Chris has experience of life as a manual worker, and hasn’t forgotten his roots. An active supporter of animal rights and himself a vegan, Chris takes environmental issues very seriously, and is a passionate supporter of the trade union movement.
Emma Dent Coad
Few new MPs can have been thrown into the deep end to an extent greater than the new MP for Kensington, whose constituents include the victims and survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire. Perhaps because the powers-that-be never dreamed that Corbyn’s Labour could ever win a seat like Kensington, the NEC was prepared to select a candidate who wrote in praise of Jeremy at the time of last year’s leadership coup, ‘He chooses content over form, and nuance over bombast, doggedly bringing the debate back to issues and leaving the empty rhetoric to others. He is honest. He has values. He’s a socialist.’
Labour’s campaigning in Brighton and Hove tended to polarise along left-right lines, with Progress supporters helping out Blairite Peter Kyle in Hove, while most of the left concentrated on backing local councillor Lloyd in Kemptown (where Green candidate Davy Jones agreed to tactically step aside). Lloyd helped run events to promote John McDonnell’s candidature for Labour leader long before 2015 and has been involved in building the left in Brighton despite the dirty tricks campaign which saw the District Labour Party suspended. As a former constituency secretary, Lloyd will see the importance of democratising the party’s structures to give members a real influence.
Marsha de Cordova
Few ‘experts’ gave much of a chance to the Labour candidate in Battersea, who had to overturn a Tory majority of nearly 8,000. Marsha, the newly elected MP, is a black woman with a visual impairment who has served as a councillor in Lambeth, been active in her union, Unite, and was elected from the left slate to the London regional board. Support from the unions was a key part of her ‘people-powered’ election campaign, and Marsha is determined to fight against discrimination in the workplace.
The North East of England has provided some key vocal left-wing MPs, and former county councillor Laura Pidcock might add to the Geordie/Mackem contingent. Laura ran the education team in the Show Racism the Red Card campaign, and is well-regarded by customers of Ben Sellers’ People’s Bookshop in Durham.
The selection of young Unite officer Dan Carden to replace Steve Rotheram in the safe seat of Liverpool Walton caused a few right-wingers to flounce, but didn’t seem to bother most constituents who elected him with a majority of more than 32,000! A former staffer of genial leftie MP Grahame Morris, Carden is an ally of Len McCluskey and a ‘passionate scouser’.
When Labour’s founding father Keir Hardie first arrived to take his seat in Parliament, he continued to wear a cloth cap to signify that he was not deserting his class. Similarly, when Hugh Gaffney, the new MP for the Scottish seat of Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, arrived in Westminster he wore his Parcelforce posties’ uniform to show that he hadn’t forgotten his roots.
The departure of Alan Johnson from his Hull West and Hessle seat enabled the election of Emma Hardy, a former primary school teacher and NUT teachers’ union activist. With education cuts high on the political agenda, Emma will provide staunch back up for Angela Rayner, a newbie in 2015 who has performed excellently in her shadow education role.
The Spanish state is seizing ballot papers and raiding meetings, write Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte – but it is being met with united resistance
The crunch executive meeting ahead of Labour conference agreed some welcome changes, writes Michael Calderbank, but there is still much further to go
Dipesh Pandya speaks to documentary film-maker Sanjay Kak, who for 30 years has been working outside the mainstream to tell a story rooted in the struggles of those excluded by India’s militarism and its narrative of neoliberal growth
Jeremy Gilbert on how radical Labour politics can be inspired by the utopianism of the counterculture
Disasters have unequal impacts – it's the poor and marginalised who suffer most. David Harvey writes on Hurricane Harvey
Survivors of the fire are still relying on thousands of community volunteers, writes Dan Renwick - but the failed council is plotting a comeback
What if it's not us who are sick, asks Rod Tweedy, but a system at odds with who we are as social beings?
The people could reach a democratic and non-violent solution if they were freed from US meddling, argues Boaventura de Sousa Santos
A decade after the start of the crash, economic power is in our hands – we must take it, writes Ann Pettifor
Don’t let Uber take you for a ride
Uber is no friend of passengers or workers, writes Lewis Norton – the firm has put riders at risk and exploited its drivers
Acid Corbynism’s next steps: building a socialist dance culture
Matt Phull and Will Stronge share more thoughts about the postcapitalist potential of the Acid Corbynist project
Flooding the cradle of civilisation: A 12,000 year old town in Kurdistan battles for survival
It’s one of the oldest continually inhabited places on earth, but a new dam has put Hasankeyf under threat, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
New model activism: Putting Labour in office and the people in power
Hilary Wainwright examines how the ‘new politics’ needs to be about both winning electoral power and building transformative power
What is ‘free movement plus’?
A new report proposes an approach that can push back against the tide of anti-immigrant sentiment. Luke Cooper explains
The World Transformed: Red Pepper’s pick of the festival
Red Pepper is proud to be part of organising The World Transformed, in Brighton from 23-26 September. Here are our highlights from the programme
Working class theatre: Save Our Steel takes the stage
A new play inspired by Port Talbot’s ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign asks questions about the working class leaders of today. Adam Johannes talks to co-director Rhiannon White about the project, the people and the politics behind it
The dawn of commons politics
As supporters of the new 'commons politics' win office in a variety of European cities, Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel chart where this movement came from – and where it may be going
A very social economist
Hilary Wainwright says the ideas of Robin Murray, who died in June, offer a practical alternative to neoliberalism
Art the Arms Fair: making art not war
Amy Corcoran on organising artistic resistance to the weapons dealers’ London showcase
Beware the automated landlord
Tenants of the automated landlord are effectively paying two rents: one in money, the other in information for data harvesting, writes Desiree Fields
Black Journalism Fund – Open Editorial Meeting
3-5pm Saturday 23rd September at The World Transformed in Brighton
Immigration detention: How the government is breaking its own rules
Detention is being used to punish ex-prisoners all over again, writes Annahita Moradi
A better way to regenerate a community
Gilbert Jassey describes a pioneering project that is bringing migrants and local people together to repopulate a village in rural Spain
Fast food workers stand up for themselves and #McStrike – we’re loving it!
McDonald's workers are striking for the first time ever in Britain, reports Michael Calderbank
Two years of broken promises: how the UK has failed refugees
Stefan Schmid investigates the ways Syrian refugees have been treated since the media spotlight faded
West Papua’s silent genocide
The brutal occupation of West Papua is under-reported - but UK and US corporations are profiting from the violence, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
Activate, the new ‘Tory Momentum’, is 100% astroturf
The Conservatives’ effort at a grassroots youth movement is embarrassingly inept, writes Samantha Stevens
Peer-to-peer production and the partner state
Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis argue that we need to move to a commons-centric society – with a state fit for the digital age
Imagining a future free of oppression
Writer, artist and organiser Ama Josephine Budge says holding on to our imagination of tomorrow helps create a different understanding today
The ‘alt-right’ is an unstable coalition – with one thing holding it together
Mike Isaacson argues that efforts to define the alt-right are in danger of missing its central component: eugenics
Fighting for Peace: the battles that inspired generations of anti-war campaigners
Now the threat of nuclear war looms nearer again, we share the experience of eighty-year-old activist Ernest Rodker, whose work is displayed at The Imperial War Museum. With Jane Shallice and Jenny Nelson he discussed a recent history of the anti-war movement.
Put public purpose at the heart of government
Victoria Chick stresses the need to restore the public good to economic decision-making
Don’t let the world’s biggest arms fair turn 20
Eliza Egret talks to activists involved in almost two decades of protest against London’s DSEI arms show
The new municipalism is part of a proud radical history
Molly Conisbee reflects on the history of citizens taking collective control of local services
With the rise of Corbyn, is there still a place for the Green Party?
Former Green principal speaker Derek Wall says the party may struggle in the battle for votes, but can still be important in the battle of ideas
Fearless Cities: the new urban movements
A wave of new municipalist movements has been experimenting with how to take – and transform – power in cities large and small. Bertie Russell and Oscar Reyes report on the growing success of radical urban politics around the world
A musical fightback against school arts cuts
Elliot Clay on why his new musical turns the spotlight on the damage austerity has done to arts education, through the story of one school band's battle
Neoliberalism: the break-up tour
Sarah Woods and Andrew Simms ask why, given the trail of destruction it has left, we are still dancing to the neoliberal tune
Cat Smith MP: ‘Jeremy Corbyn has authenticity. You can’t fake that’
Cat Smith, shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs and one of the original parliamentary backers of Corbyn’s leadership, speaks to Ashish Ghadiali