Monday, 2 July 2012

Why I don't think the Labour Representation Committee should adopt Labour Briefing magazine

I don’t see the Labour Representation Committee as another left group trying to sell a paper.
I see it as the confederation that brings together the biggest possible coalition of left groups, socialist individuals and trade unionists – to fight against misery and for hope, both inside and outside the Labour Party.
With six national trade unions affiliated, 70 union branches, 35 other organisations, 23 Labour Party bodies, and 17 local LRC groups we are well on the way.
For this to succeed we must be tolerant – welcoming affiliates and members with whom we agree on most things – but not everything.
I think having a magazine that lays down the line of the LRC national committee would be a block on our ambition – and would work against us having the widest possible cross-section of affiliates.
It would be a better strategy to use the time and effort planned for the magazine to encourage supporting unions and bodies to give more coverage to the activities of the LRC – thus reaching new people, rather than the ones we are already meeting.
If most LRC activists disagree – fair enough.
But please start something fresh – don’t adopt the baggage that comes with Labour Briefing.
If the LRC is to become a mass movement it must appeal to a new generation of activists, mainly outside the Labour Party, and across Britain, in a spirit of co-operation and respect.
Labour Briefing is old fashioned, inward-looking, London-centric and has a reputation for hateful fallings-out among its leading supporters.
The LRC shouldn’t go near this accident that’s already happened.
So, as a regular purchaser of the magazine, I will be going to the Briefing annual meeting which is on Saturday, July 7, from noon, at the University of London union, Malet Street, central London, WC1E 7HY.
Briefing readers, contributors, sellers etc can attend and vote on whether the LRC should adopt the magazine.
I’ll be voting for any resolutions that keep the magazine as far away as possible from LRC.
I hope there will be a big turnout so the decision is taken with the wisdom of the crowd.
And once this diversion is over I hope we will unite and turn our fire on the real enemy who are trying to turn our youth into slaves, our sick into commodities, and our elderly into cheap labour.