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Middle East :: Syria
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3 December 2015
Nancy Taaffe appeared on the Daily Politics today on the need now to fight for a Labour Party against war and austerity. (See video above. The full show is here http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06rfhvy/daily-politics-03122015 and Nancy appears at 31 minutes in.)
Nancy Taaffe, Walthamstow Socialist Party member and former parliamentary candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, says:
"This crisis has revealed that Labour is essentially two parties in one. There is, on the one hand, the Corbyn-supporting Labour Party, the hundreds of thousands who were enthused by the clear anti-austerity and anti-war message of his leadership campaign. The 75% of members who oppose bombing Syria. The people who delivered Jeremy his historically large mandate in September.
"On the other, there are the majority of pro-austerity right-wing Labour councillors, MPs and shadow cabinet members and especially the 66 who voted with the Tories. Peaceful co-existence is impossible."
Tens of thousands demonstrated in London against the government's plan to escalate attacks on Syria, photo Paul Mattsson
"An almighty struggle is required in order to defeat the Labour right. This means mobilising the hundreds of thousands of working class and young people who back Corbyn, drawing on the strength of the organised workers' movement in the trade unions and bringing in existing anti-austerity campaigns and parties.
"In the Socialist Party's view it was a mistake for Jeremy Corbyn to state that he opposed the mandatory re-selection of MPs. In fact, it is absolutely crucial that Labour MPs or councillors who use their positions to vote for this war - not to mention the destruction of jobs and services through cuts - should be held democratically accountable via a reselection process.
"Without doubt personal abuse is wrong but framing all the members who have tried to influence their MPs as bullying is an attempt to move the debate away from these central questions. Extending and re-building the democratic structures of the party is also vital.
"MPs who refuse to carry out the wishes of the people they claim to represent and instead pass on, vote on and support Tory austerity and war can expect anger from constituents. We are calling for votes of no-confidence to be taken as well as lobbies of MP surgeries and constituency offices."
The Socialist Party is a campaigning, democratic organisation. Our members played a leading role on Liverpool Labour council in the 1980s when it defied Thatcher and refused to implement cuts, winning £60 million to spend on jobs and services in the city.
Socialist Party members were among the leaders of the struggle in the late 1980s and early 90s when 18 million people nationwide refused to pay the hated Poll Tax.
We fight against all attacks on the rights and living standards of working class people and stand for a socialist alternative.
For reports, and video clips about the Socialist Party: www.socialistparty.org.uk
Sarah Sachs-Eldridge | National Organiser | Socialist Party | PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD | T: 020 8988 8771 | M: 079 580 320 71 | E: [email protected]
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Article dated 3 December 2015
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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