Lead story

Labour left rallies to Corbyn

by Daphne Liddle

SOCIALISTS and communists of many shades and positions have welcomed the decision by veteran left-wing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn to stand for the leadership of the Labour Party so that the process of selection will have pro-working class dimension.

The number of left Labour MPs had dwindled over the last two decades and no doubt the right-wing Blairites and members of Progress, the ruling class Trojan horse faction within the party, are still hoping the left of the party will completely disappear.

All the rest of those standing so far: Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and Mary Creagh are right-wingers.

Burnham, currently the shadow health secretary, told an audience at accountancy giants Ernst and Young last week: “It worries me that, in some people’s eyes, Labour has become associated with giving people who don’t want to help themselves an easy ride.” He also spoke of his hope that Labour would again become “the party of work”.

Liz Kendall, the shadow care services minister, and another leadership contender, told the Guardian that she supported a welfare cap on the total amount of benefits received, arguing: “Voters in my constituency do not feel people who are not working should get more than those in work”. She also said that the public does not trust Labour on welfare, and she called for what the Guardian termed a “fundamental rethink”.

None have made any reference to the shocking impact of the Work Capability Assessment process that has seen so many genuinely very ill and disabled people sanctioned because they cannot keep up with the programmes that are supposed to make them “fit for work” — and the scores of suicides that are mounting up of claimants committing suicide when made destitute by having their benefits stopped, often for quite ridiculous reasons.

Read the full story here >>

Labour left rallies to Corbyn

AKEL: Strength comes from struggle: Hope comes from the Left

by New Worker correspondent

THAT WAS the watchword for Cypriot communists charting the way forward in the fight against austerity and for the peaceful reunification of the island. Fraternal observers from all over the world, including New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks, joined some 1,500 delegates from the island and from the overseas Cypriot community, in Nicosia for the 22nd Congress of the Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL) last week.

Seventy fraternal observers representing 55 parties and movements took part in the Congress and an AKEL-sponsored conference on the threats of fascism and reactionary forces in the era of imperialism and wars. Ruling communist parties were in the hall including delegations from People’s China, Cuba and Vietnam, as well as Sinn Féin, the Kurdistan National Congress and some parties of the European Left movement including Greece’s Syriza and Podemos from Spain.

AKEL was founded in 1941 but it has a much longer history as it is the direct heir of the old Communist Party of Cyprus (KKK) that was established in 1926 and later banned by the British colonial authorities. Following independence in 1960 AKEL struggled to defend the island from imperialist plots that culminated in the 1974 coup organised by the reactionary Greek military junta that gave Turkey the pretext to invade and occupy northern Cyprus.

Read the full story here >>

AKEL: Strength comes from struggle: Hope comes from the Left.


Corbyn enters the fray

JEREMY Corbyn has joined the race for the Labour Party leadership last week and his campaign has already galvanised the debate within the Parliamentary Party. Corbyn is up against four Labour hasbeens who have little to offer apart from the same old class collaborationist policies that lost them the last election.

Three of them have already won sufficient support amongst the Parliamentary Labour Party to guarantee their place on the ballot paper. Whether Corbyn can get past the first post is another matter.

Corbyn says the start to his campaign has been really encouraging. “Support has been pouring in from Labour Party members across the country who are desperate for a fully democratic election and policy debate,” he declared. “All we are asking for is a truly democratic choice in this election.”

Labour’s leader is ultimate elected by the one-member- one-vote system under the party’s new rules that were adopted last year to abolish the block vote of the affiliated unions. Though this also ended the old electoral college system, which gave Labour MPs a third of the total vote, it established that each candidate must be nominated by at least 15 per cent of the Parliamentary Labour Party. At the moment that means that every candidate must have the support of at least 35 MPs to go forward.

The Islington MP and veteran peace activist who is a pillar of the Labour Representation Committee, now has 14 nominations from MPs that include Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner and Michael Meacher.

Read the full story here >>

Corbyn enters the fray