A group of Labour Party members, trade unionists, student activists and others met in London on 20 January to discuss the launch of the Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory. We heard from speakers including John McDonnell MP and James McAsh of London Young Labour.
John talked about developing a left policy agenda for the Labour Party, but also the need for a politically solid network of socialist activists to create a “head of steam” around it. James talked about the popularity of the Green Party among young people, and argued for a conception of left politics built around the labour movement and working-class struggle, not consumer-type choice of different political “brands”.
We discussed the issues and challenges involved in using the general election to strengthen working-class organisation and argue for socialism. In addition to general socialist education, there was a consensus around agitating and taking action on two particular issues: inequality of wealth and migrants’ rights.
We discussed the draft statement launching the SCLV and, later in the meeting, campaigning demands, agreeing to add demands on the vital issue of childcare.
We talked about organising and promoting the campaign in various places, including Young Labour (most of those attending the meeting were young), in local Labour Parties and in the unions. We discussed the purpose of public street activity for SCLV. We agreed various practical proposals including production of materials, organising stunts and direct actions, and organising high profile political debates.
Our next London meeting is on Thursday 12 February – venue tbc soon.