Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.
For what remains of the Labour Party? The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has been expelled. The Fire Brigades Union has disaffiliated. The Communication Workers Union has threatened to withhold funds. The general workers” union the GMB is withholding funds except for a select group of MPs. Thousands of individuals have torn up New Labour membership cards. In the recent elections millions of traditionally Labour voters, including myself for the first time ever, chose to support other parties. They will not return to New Labour. But where are they to go for their voices to be heard?
A seismic shift is happening, which the existing “Labour left”, clinging to its longstanding niche, seems unable to register. The LRC’s July conference simply had nothing to say about the resignations, the expulsions, June’s election results, and the gains of Respect and other parties.
I had hoped the LRC launch might signal that long-awaited new start: an occasion to really build the kind of open, non-sectarian, labour- and union-based organisation hundreds of thousands are looking for, which would welcome all sympathetic groups from that vast spectrum of our society that self-organised so brilliantly to say “no” to the government and its Iraq war on 15 February 2003. Were these groups and individuals – were we – represented at the LRC meeting? No, it was for Labour (New Labour) Party members and affiliates only. “Associates” – ie, everyone not signed up to New Labour – will have no voting rights.
But the LRC doesn’t have to be the stillbirth it already looks like. A real Labour Representation Committee for a real Labour Party is exactly what we need. So please, comrades – courage! Our forebears went to prison and died for their belief in our future. We owe them and ourselves something more than a nervous, bureaucratic fudge.
Speakers from the platform at July’s conference expressed their fear of being expelled from New Labour if they stepped out of line and opened the gates to all. What is there to fear? Challenge Blair and his clique. At last we have the power to do so. We are many. They are few. The “Labour left” alone can’t do it, nor can the unions alone, nor Respect, nor the Greens. Unity starts here. Let’s all declare ourselves the Labour Party, and expel the hijackers now.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns