At a time when the Tories are accelerating their assault on democracy, the Labour leadership should be fortifying its defense. However, it will not be able to defend democracy if it isn’t prepared to respect it within its own movement. Across the country, left-wing members are being barred from applying to be a candidate, denying local parties the chance to vote for popular, working-class, talented people in a fair and democratic selection process. As Keir Starmer himself promised in 2020, “Local Party members should select their candidates for every election.” Reneging on this pledge sends an alarming signal to those whose trust you now seek to garner.
It also displays a lack of respect for those to whom we owe our very place in Parliament. Labour members are the ones who give up their time to knock on doors in the pouring rain. Labour members are the ones who campaign for local change in their communities. Labour members are the ones who keep the party afloat. The Labour membership is the soul of the Labour Party — you cannot crush one without the other.
Only a democratic party can provide the space that is needed to empower those with the creative ideas and transformative solutions this country desperately needs. Today, the division between rich and poor and the threat of ecological collapse are greater than ever before. Our aim should be to unite disenfranchised communities around a more hopeful alternative.
TENS of thousands of teachers launched three days of strike action today in their continuing battle for fair pay and funding for schools.
National Education Union (NEU) members mobilised on picket lines and in regional protests and rallies in northern England while Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) and NASUWT members struck in Scotland.
They went ahead despite a government attempt to blackmail education union leaders by telling them talks could take place on pay – but only if the strike action was suspended.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, whose government has overseen education funding cuts which have seen schools fall into disrepair and unable to replace staff who leave, called the strike action “unforgivable.”
The NEU outright rejected the government’s attempt to bully teachers into suspending the strikes in return for pay talks.