Friday, August 6, 2010

LRC statement on the Labour leadership

Was glad to hear of this development, it is important all sections of the left in the Labour Party, organised or not, back the only socialist candidate in the leadership election. The Labour Representation Committee issued the following stateent August 9th 2010...

The LRC has written to all candidates in the Labour leadership contest, asking them their views on three key issues:

The immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan;
Complete opposition to public sector cuts and further privatisation of public services so that ordinary people to do not pay for the economic crisis; and
The fight for trade union freedom so that we can protect ourselves at this difficult time – including supporting John McDonnell’s Private Members Bill to tackle employers taking trade unions to courts over minor irregularities in the balloting process.

We also asked them about the nomination process for Labour leadership elections. Responses have so far been received from Diane Abbott andDavid Miliband, which you can download.

Following further consideration, the LRC has decided to critically support Diane Abbott for Labour leader

LRC statement on Labour leadership

The Parliamentary Labour Party disenfranchised thousands of Labour Party members and trade unionists by not nominating John McDonnell – the most credible left candidate with the most grassroots support, and consistent champion of socialist policies in Parliament.

A complete democratic transformation of our party is needed to ensure power lies with the many and not the few, and reform of the nomination process for Leader must be an urgent part of this campaign. Nomination must be the right of all sections of the Party, not just MPs.

However, the voting record of Diane Abbott and some of her policy positions makes her the only candidate with a left track-record in the Labour leadership election. Indeed all the other candidates were New Labour cabinet ministers who never dissented when in office from the policies that alienated Labour supporters.

In response to correspondence from the LRC, Diane stated that she is “calling for withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan”, in “complete opposition to the Lib Con cuts” and “supporting John McDonnell’s trade union freedom bill”.

However we do have concerns that her statements throughout this campaign have not been consistent. For example she has publicly stated on several occasions that she supports a phased withdrawal from Afghanistan, and wants 50% of government budget ‘savings’ to be found by cuts to public services.

We urge members of the Party, affiliated unions and socialist societies to vote for Diane as their first preference, but to call on her to be more consistent in her opposition to cuts in public services and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. We also urge her to cooperate with all sections of the left to help achieve these aims.
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