Yesterday, the Labour Party held a conference that put some serious theoretical grounding for the ideas that drove the enthusiasm for the party’s manifesto of last year. It started with production of a report commissioned by John McDonnell into “Alternative Models of Ownership”, which uses studies from round the world (including here in Britain) into how genuinely innovative alternatives to both the private sector and the old model of centralised nationalisation can make our society better. The link is here.
The scope of the event was very broad, and included:
- Combining and democratising different forms of ownership, including municipalisation and co-operatism.
- Looking at how privatised services are, right now, being in-sourced throughout the world in an almost “silent revolution” in services that is happening on all continents and across the Global North/South divide.
- How modern technology affects work, removing some jobs but actually creating others, and how the role of organised labour is essential to directing automation and AI in a progressive and ethical way.
- How the knowledge and data-based economy has become severely monopolistic and how democratic structures, like radical municipal authories in Barcelona (or even our very own Transport for London) can resist this and form a data commons and digital sovereignty that works for people not a tiny number of massive multinational businesses.
- How participatory authorities, many of which have formed as a result of an unlikely alliance between grassroots campaigners and tech experts frustrated by the problems with neoliberalism, have been assembled and work in practice.
- Putting forward our positive vision of how technology and industry could be like. The legacy of Mike Cooley and the Lucas aerospace workers was a really important touchstone for this.
The conference opened with big names, culminating in a closing speech by Jeremy Corbyn, but the contributions and questions from the floor were also really good and Jeremy actually referenced this in his summing up. But the most exciting thing about it was something raised by veteran campaigner Hilary Wainwright, who said that for the first time, we have a socialist vision that is built not around putting all our faith into massive scale nationalisation run by the state, but by the participation of ordinary working people, and that the closest we’d ever really got to this before was not 1945 (which, in any case, we all know cannot go back to) but to the brief experiment in which Tony Benn tried to collaborate with the Lucas workers back in 1977. Our socialism will not be top-down: it will be decentralised democratic public ownership.
Join Barnet Trades Union Council this Saturday, February the 17th at 11am outside the Post Office 751 High Rd, London N12 8LF North Finchley for two absolutely great campaigns for this years’ event. Facebook event here.
One is a with our comrades from the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) – North Finchley post office is is under threat and we need the word out to the public to save it.
The second is a a historic struggle we’ve been supporting since day one: trade union rights for McDonald’s workers. McDonald’s European HQ is in Finchley and we can to take this fight straight to the business.
Organised by: Stop the War Coalition
Brian Eno, Musician & StWC President
Lowkey, Rapper & Activist
Andrew Murray, Unite the Union
Lindsey German, Stop the War Convenor
Maya Evans, Voices for Creative Non-Violence
Michael Muir, Young Labour
Elif Sarican, Kurdish Activist
N15 4QA London,
This year’s theme is celebrating EU LGBTIQ contributions in London, South East and East of England. Bringing you a diverse mix of DJs, performers, speakers and artists who will make this an incredible one-off event you shouldn’t miss!
Chaka Khan’t will open the night with happy sounds, followed by resident DJ Tafkanik, Pavliné and Anahita Shamsaei who will play the finest tech house and techno & will culminate in a rave style party the Five Miles club is famous for!
The event will be hosted by Mark T Cox and Lulu Love who will be also one of the performers alongside Alexander Dodge Huber aka Pierre Rot and Michal. The official speakers will be Dr Maria Exall (TUC LGBT Committee Chair and Member of the TUC General Council) and Maurizio Tyke Rodorigo(Director of the Italian Trade Union Centre, London).
Alongside this event, we will premiere Nick Finegan’s short film on queer identities “Paradise Special”.
We have organised a public meeting for the Save North Finchley Crown Post Office campaign, we have had a few weeks of good campaigning, and there is a lot of local support from residents and the local Labour Party. Hopefully you can attend. Details are below and poster attached:
Date: Monday 19th February 2018
Time: 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Venue: Greek Cypriot Centre, Britannia Road, North Finchley, N12 9RU
Please share this with all your contacts who would be in support of this campaign, encouraging them to attend.
With Chris Williamson MP; Christine Blower, National Education Union, NUT Section; Dr. Francisco Dominguez (co-author, Right–Wing Politics in the New Latin America: Reaction and Revolt.) plus guests from Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Hosted by VSC. Supported by the Nicaragua Solidarity Action Group. With thanks to Thompsons Solicitors.
Date and Time
Thu 15 March 2018
18:30 – 20:00 GMT
Unite The Union
128 Theobalds Road
- Refugees & migrants welcome
- Defend EU nationals rights & freedom of movement
- Don’t let the racists divide us
- No to racism, Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism
The Tories are trying to use EU nationals as bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations. Migrant workers, refugees and Muslims are constantly being scapegoated by politicians and the right wing press. We are repeatedly told that migrants and refugees are to blame for undermining wages and overstretching public services when in reality austerity is to blame.
Black and Asian people face constant discrimination in employment and the everyday reality of institutional racism. Working class communities must stand united together. But the Tories, much of the media, UKIP and the far right have all set out to divide us.
The trade unions are the bedrock of the anti-racist movement. We want to build on the great work that the trade unions are doing. Come to the conference and join in the debate about how we give confidence to anti-racists in every workplace.