Transform the Labour Party!
Socialists welcome and celebrate Labour’s strong electoral showing. But the fight against the right in the PLP and the Labour Party is not over, despite the current ‘truce’ declared by some of those who have stabbed Corbyn in the back only a few weeks ago.
We need a programme to transform the Labour Party into a real party of labour:
- Elected Labour representatives must be subject to OMOV mandatory selection. MPs must be brought under democratic control – from above, by the NEC; from below by the CLPs.
- We need a sovereign conference once again. The cumbersome, undemocratic and oppressive structures, especially those put in place under the Blair supremacy, must be rolled back. The Joint Policy Committee, the National Policy Forums, etc, must go.
- Scrap the compliance unit “and get back to the situation where people are automatically accepted for membership, unless there is a significant issue that comes up” (John McDonnell). The compliance unit operates in the murky shadows, it violates natural justice, it routinely leaks to the capitalist media.
- It is now impossible to transform Momentum into a democratic organisation that can educate, activate and empower the rank and file membership. So there is an urgent need for the left to organise with a view of establishing an alternative.
- Securing new trade union affiliates ought to be a top priority. The FBU has reaffiliated and we should fight for RMT, PCS and the NUT to follow suit.
- Every constituency, branch and Labour Party unit must be won and rebuilt. Our membership has grown to over 800,000. The left must convince the sea of new members, and returnees, to attend meetings … and break the stultifying grip of the right.
- Transform the Labour Party so that, in the words of Keir Hardie, it can “organise the working class into a great independent political power to fight for the coming of socialism”. To that end we need rule changes to once again permit left, communist and revolutionary parties to affiliate. As long as they do not stand against us in elections this can only strengthen us as a federal party. Today affiliate organisations include the Fabians, Christians on the left … and Labour Business. Allow the SWP, SPEW, CPGB, CPB, etc, to join our ranks.
- Being an MP ought to be an honour, not a career ladder. All our elected representatives should take only the average wage of a skilled worker of around £40,000 (plus legitimate expenses). They should hand the balance over to the party.
- Labour needs its own press, radio and TV.
- We should adopt a new clause four. Not a return to the old, 1918, version, but a commitment to working class rule and a society which aims for a stateless, classless, moneyless society which embodies the principle “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”.