On the eve of Conference, the Labour Party declared war with itself. The dirty move by Starmer to bring forward a proposal to change who elects the leader of the Labour Party showed himself to be a leadership who was fully focused on internal battles,
Our priority at Conference was to win on policy AND defend democracy.
And that’s what we did – won on policy and we did our very best to defend democracy.
Look at what we have achieved together at this years labour Conference – A Socialist Green New Deal – a motion the right wing blocked from coming to conference don’t forget which the left overturned at CAC – a motion which includes universal basic services, including a national care service and national nature service as well as public ownership of energy, public ownership of railways, free local bus networks, repealing all anti-trade union law –
a £15 minimum wage, the right to food, the Housing motion to end right to buy, end no fault evictions – councils to deliver 150,000 social rent homes each year, including 100,000 council homes, the Palestine motion which included that Israel is practising the crime of apartheid as defined by the UN, we opposed AUKUS – a week after Starmer supported it!
We then defeated the NEC’s rule changes bringing snap election and by election selections into the hands of CLPs and not be allowed to be imposed by the NEC.
This defeat of the leadership was a major victory for Party democracy, as it puts control back in the hands of Party members and improves the chances of there being socialist candidates if there is a snap election or by election called in the next two years.
We, the left, won all of this with a majority in the CLP section and the help of the left trade unions on the conference floor and then we defeated Starmers electoral college because thousands of members mobilised and made their voices heard with the trade unions.
We then defeated Starmers 25% threshold on the NEC only for Starmer to sneak in a 20% threshold – This was hardly the victory he anticipated and he has left the Party now more polarised than ever, while Labour’s and his poll ratings continue to decline rapidly.
We do not expect Starmer to willingly include these policies in the next Labour manifesto, even if they now are official Party policy. Our role has to be to use these policies to politically educate and organise and to get out into the country to build support for socialist ideas, and build pressure for their inclusion in any programme for government. This will require all our efforts, but after this year’s Labour Conference we are now building from a strong foundation.
We need to continue to build on our transformative agenda – an agenda that will take people off waiting lists and into council houses, an agenda that would have taxed the rich companies their fair share of taxes, an agenda that would have had those with more money give back more in proportion via a wealth tax
It is now clear that Keir Starmer’s and his promises of unity, electability and authority are poppycock. It is now clear his ten pledges were never intended to be put into action, they were to deceive the membership into voting for him – This conference has shown that The future success of our party requires a fundamental change of direction – and still today – a majority of members agree.
If Unison who hold 9.8% of the conference floor voted with us, as they were mandated to in some of the votes by their NEC, then we would have defeated all of starmers rule changes.
That is a strong cause for hope for the left.