South East Region

Three candidates for five places (we will soon reopen nominations)

John Fitzgerald

Nominated by Declan Mulvoy & Brighton & branch

I am retired and have lived in Brighton since moving from London in 2009. For most of my life I have lived in different parts of London, most of that time I spent as a Nalgo & Unison Trade union representative, representing members in different sections of various local councils. I held several positions including Staffside Secretary & Convenor. I was an active member of trade councils and participated in various local & national campaigns.

I became a member of Left Unity soon after it was founded and was elected as Treasurer in my local branch a position I still hold. I have been a very active local member participating in all our local meetings & events. Though the Branch has reduced in size due to Corbyn’s 2 elections as leader of the Labour Party we are still locally active and involved and networking with progressive groups including pro-migrant campaigns, Defend the NHS, Brighton Benefits Campaign and many other campaigning bodies that have links with trade unions and the people’s assembly and are defending and representing the most vulnerable people. I am active in ‘Sussex defend the NHS’ the local Peoples Assembly and am Secretary of the N.P.C. Branch of Brighton Pensioners Action Group & on Unison’s Local Pensioners Section Committee and a delegate to the Local Unison Branch.

If elected to the N.C. I will do all I can to defend the principles of democracy & accountability putting them at the heart of the party in order for it to grow & develop becoming a vibrant party that represents all groups in society.

Ed Huxley

Nominated by Pip Tindall, John Fitzgerald, Alex Droupin and Brighton & Hove branch

Dear members,
I wish to continue my role on National Council for a second year, and hope to have your support. I attended most of last year, and have been a member (in Brighton & Hove) since 2014. I am eager to continue on the NC, especially now so much more has happened that requires the full attention of the UK left, where I feel we occupy an increasingly crucial position.

I joined Left Unity with the expectation it would remain a permanent political presence, and am determined to preserve our existence throughout any tide-changing developments, positive or negative, and use them to fortify our position in the wider sphere. The need for Left Unity and parties like us will only become clearer as events escalate.

Brexit, Trump and other recent developments are distressing but are also offering the biggest opportunity we (and the left) have had yet, to get our principles across to a disillusioned, unrepresented population, and expand our membership in the process. As a national council member I am confident I can speak in the interests of my fellow members, and I will help ensure we continue to reflect the unity and democracy that has been missing from so many organisations on the left, who are failing to give a voice to those in need.

I will be grateful for your vote! Fraternally, Ed.

Pip Tindall

Nominated by Anna Bluston & Brighton & Hove branch

I am a lifelong socialist and a local activist, for the past eight years in Brighton Benefits Campaign and the anti-austerity movement, and more recently in the defence of migration. I have been an member of Left Unity since 2013, serving first as Secretary and currently Chair of the Brighton & Hove branch, which despite recent shrinkage continues to be very active. I also served for two years on the National Council.

I believe Left Unity has an important part to play, now more than ever since despite all our hopes Labour is still failing as a real opposition. I want to see us continue to represent an overtly internationalist, feminist, environmentalist and egalitarian form of socialism, and to build links with other progressive movements and parties, both in the UK and throughout the world. Left Unity attracts activists who put people and planet before ideology, and who know that politics is about far more than elections. Despite our small size we are visibly involved in actions and campaigns to defend rights, protect the vulnerable and protest against the abuse of power by the privileged.

I also believe that although our political system is broken and undemocratic, as Left Unity regrows we can and should stand as elected representatives. There is a huge need for committed councillors who will challenge cuts and serve those most in need. And rare MPs such as Caroline Lucas show that it is possible to be elected to parliament yet not be seduced by the gravy train nor become too scared to challenge prejudice and oppression.

Wales

Two candidates for two places

Peter Jones

Nominated by Wales branch

Comrades,

In Wales the Labour Party has demonstrated that it is not an effective opposition to the neo-liberalism that has ravaged the economy since 1979 and which came to a head in the financial crisis. A crisis brought about by the very people who and organisations which are demanding that it is paid for by the worst off in our society.

The drive for harsh economics to be applied to all of our social wage: education, health, pensions, social housing, care services – the list is almost endless – is impoverishing individuals and communities at an alarming rate.

And in the private sector we see headline news that the value of shares drop because companies are only making £100,000,000 a week instead of the forecast £150 million a week – it’s obscene.

At all levels, community, regional, national and international, we need to be striving to give a voice to the dispossesed, to fill the vacuum created by the liberals and social democrats, the Tories and New Labour. Because if we don’t fill that vacuum, others will – UKIP, brexiteers, Trumpists – and we can see that happening all over Europe.

It is our job to address issues that people are bothered about. It is our job to speak up and oppose the rhetoric of the right. It is our job to help organise the resistance to constant attacks by the rich and powerful and their lackeys in the media and the racist and fascist parties.

Having been an active trade unionist and politician all my adult life, I believe that I have the experience and skills to help build that alternative that we all so desperately need, and that is why I’m asking for your support in this election.

Pam Stevens

Nominated by Wales branch

Since its inception Left Unity has consistently punched above its weight in speaking out against the austerity agenda inflicted by the must-have-more neo-liberal elite on the rest of us. Left Unity continues to support and help organise the fight back against the inhumane agenda of profit before people which the Tories relentlessly pursue and because LU clearly puts people before profit, is firmly socialist, democratic and international in its reach I am convinced that being an active member is the right thing to be.

Having worked closely with Wales LU members as a local branch secretary and currently as Wales LU chairperson and seeing first hand the hard evidence of the massive cuts to services in Wales I wish to be considered for a Wales delegate place on the NC.

The rising tide of fascism, more galloping than creeping in my view, the hatred of ‘the other’ stoked by the right-wing media which divides the working class and the baleful sight of the 45th POTUS and his malevolent coterie makes LU’s active resistance more pressing than ever. Every member has a part to play and I am happy to put myself forward in that spirit of unity. Please support my nomination.

West Midlands

Two candidates for three places (we will soon reopen nominations)

Darren McCourt

Nominated by Andrew Burgin and Sharon McCourt

I am a member of Birmingham branch, a founding member and have been on the NC last year as the representative of the West Midlands. I wish to continue representing my region on the NC. Left Unity is the only party I have ever been a member of, not being involved in politics before. We need a party that will represent the ordinary people who need a party that offers an alternative to the right wing propaganda being offered by UKIP and Brexit.

I understand the danger of the times we are living in and believe whole heartedly that we have to continue to build Left Unity. I would like the chance to carry on doing this as part of the NC as I do believe that I contribute at national level alongside doing all I can here in Birmingham.

Pete McLaren

Nominated by Marian Wakelin, Liz Peck and Dave Landau

MY ROLE IN LU

  • I am an independent socialist who has been committed to Left Unity since its birth, founding the branch in Rugby.
  • I have been a member of the LU NC throughout, attending virtually every meeting.
  • I regularly report on line from NC meetings and, if elected, will continue to do so.

    FIGHTING FOR UNITY ON THE LEFT

  • My political work since expulsion from the Labour party in 1992 has been to try and build unity across the left as part of the process of building a new, mass, open, democratic socialist party. LU can play a vital role in that.
  • I moved the successful resolution at 2014 Conference committing LU to open discussions with other left parties to avoid electoral clashes and form pacts.
  • As an officer of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, I was subsequently in an ideal position to help broker the deal enabling LU branches to stand as LU-TUSC: the majority of LU General Election candidates stood on that joint ticket.

    LU and LABOUR

  • The re-election of Jeremy Corbyn is very significant, but it hasn’t changed the nature of the Labour Party which remains split, undemocratic and will, once again, be cutting local services.
  • It is vital that we demonstrate there is an alternative to austerity – Labour Councils will implement massive cuts without a fight, despite Jeremy’s victory. The working class needs a united voice.

    The jury is out on how Labour will develop. We need a new socialist party which opposes austerity, privatisation, war and all forms of discrimination and bigotry. Let’s help build that, with, or without, support from Labour.

Yorkshire and Humberside

Two candidates for four places (we will soon reopen nominations)

Nick Jones

Nominated by Kate Hudson

I am a founder member of Left Unity in Leeds and have helped maintain branch activity and ensure that we are involved in supporting local strikes, campaigns against cuts, racism, for the NHS, Stop Trump.

I am an active Trade Unionist and have been a school representative and local officer for the National Union of Teachers for over sixteen years. I am currently representative LGBT+ members at Regional level. I am a Trade Council delegate.

As a founding member of Keep Our NHS Public Leeds, local treasurer, and have been instrumental in organising numerous marches, street protests and involved in supporting local strikes across the region to defend the NHS.

I am keen that we continue to support Jeremy Corbyn and the work of those in Momentum and the Labour Party who are trying to democratise Labour and campaign against austerity.

Although the Labour party has attracted some new enthusiastic supporters it is still important that we have an independent party based upon socialist principles that opposes cuts in services, defend trades unions, oppose wars and campaigns vigorously for the welfare state: free health, education and housing for all. Sadly many Labour Councils are still implementing cuts. It is important that we work alongside those in Labour but also with those outside labour party too and challenge cuts.

I would like to share my experience with Left Unity nationally and help focus Left Unity focus on key campaigns post Brexit ensuring that we are rooted locally with a view to standing in future elections where necessary:

Defend Free Movement
Defend the NHS- no cuts, privatisation
Defend the Welfare State- against attacks on benefits, housing and social care
No war- oppose Trident
Free Education
Equality for all

Mark Renwick

Nominated by Andrew Burgin and Kate Hudson

North West Region

Four candidates for five places (we will soon reopen nominations)

Janet Gifford

Nominated by Wigan branch

Hello, Comrades,

I have been in Left Unity for three years. I served a term on the Disputes Committee, then served as a North West Regional Rep to the NC last year. (This included attending the EC twice, on rota for the women’s caucus).

Throughout the year, I’ve been deeply involved with our Left Unity branch activities – especially NHS campaigning, anti-austerity actions, anti-fascist work, regional devolution issues and, at the moment, regular on-site anti-fracking interventions.

I’d like a chance to serve a second year on the NC as a northwest regional rep. Wigan is the eccentric lovechild of both Lancashire and Greater Manchester, so we are obliged to endure fracking from one parent and Devo-Manc from the other. Yet these are the kind of experiences that are useful to feed into the NC.

Thanks! Janet

Martin Ralph

Nominated by Margaret McAdam, Aimi Molloy and John Pearson

Recently a Greek film crew, after they saw “I Daniel Blake”, came to Liverpool to interview anti-austerity activists. Interviewees included three from Old Swan Against Cuts End Austerity.

The TV crew thought that much harsher times are on their way. Not only due to Brexit, but also because the EU is demanding, as I write, that the Greek government makes deeper reforms on workers through pension and labour market law reforms!

In or out of the EU only a democratic workers, socialist and internationalist solution can deal with the anarchistic system of capitalism/imperialism that wants permanent austerity, more power for the rich and the destruction of public services. Only a struggle that seeks tounite union and community anti- austerity and grass roots struggles can overcome the destruction power of austerity.

This question is in sharp relief as not only government but councils throughout the country cut, privatize or deregulate health, transport, fire, education and council services. Under capitalism it never ends.

Left Unity made a mistake to stop challenging the Labour Party in elections, because it gave weight to the LP line there is nothing you can do against Tory austerity. OSAC got 12% in the local election and came 2nd out of 6 candidates in 2016.

The LP in Liverpool is determined to take back what they were forced to concede in 2014. They now plan to take 1.6 million in 2018 from the library service. They will devastate services – as throughout the country.

Discontent is raising as shown by anti-Trump anti-racist, anti-misogynist, pro-LGBT rallies because capitalism is increasing the huge gap between rich and poor.

We need more LU regional meetings to learn about our branches experience and plans of struggle.

I am a member of International Socialist League.

Ali Treacher

Nominated by Kate Hudson, Joseph Healy and Ian Parker

Left Unity has faced a difficult year with the election of Corbyn but our contribution to the movement has been an important one. We communicated the correct line on Brexit and with the election of Trump and the triggering of Article 50 looming our work is more crucial than ever. We need to continue to be principled and focused on standing in solidarity with migrants and coherently putting forward the arguments for free movement of people. We also need to be effective in highlighting when Labour and the union leaders fudge these issues.

I have been an active member of Left Unity since the founding conference. I was the Stockport branch’s chair for two years where we campaigned against mental health cuts, the closure of our local wellbeing centre and led a three month picket of the local job centre drawing attention to benefit sanctions. I was also a founding member of Stockport United Against Austerity have been active in their campaigns against council cuts.

I have recently been organising in Manchester and we have hosted meetings exploring the relationship between our mental health and capitalism and Trump’s election.

I am a branch secretary for Unite and have recently been elected to the NW Regional Committee. Our branch is currently campaigning for the closure of detention centres such as Yarl’s Wood and against recent changes in immigration law negatively affecting those seeking the right to remain. 

I am a mental health community worker and am involved with Manchester’s Radical Mental Health Forum.

I hope to be re-elected for the National Council and continue working hard for the party.

Ashley Walker

Nominated by Stockport branch

Hello to all my fellow members and the best of luck to all my fellow candidates.

I am putting my name forward to fill one of the North West’s region positions on the National Council.

I am dedicated to making our entire party a fairer, more democratic place and ensuring at all times everyone is treated equally, according to their own individual needs.

When I hopefully am elected I promise to do all I can to ensure that our party at all times champions the values of Socialism, Democracy and Justice and do all we possibly can to help all those in need whom we have the ability to help.

There are, regardless of one’s stance on any of the individual issues happening at the time, troubling and turbulent political times ahead; now more than ever is a reasoned, calm and principled voice needed in politics.

Left Unity can and hopefully will be that voice, and I will do all I can to ensure we are.

All the best Ashley Walker, Stockport branch. Hopefully your new National Council member

 

London Region

Eight candidates for ten places (we will soon reopen nominations)

Steve Eason

Nominated by West London branch

Comrades,
I am currently secretary of west London left Unity, an active branch which holds regular monthly meetings.

Good communication between branches is important to our democracy, that’s why I’m standing as a regional rep.

Comrades may have noticed I’m also a regular contributing photographer for rs21and Socialist Resistance. Occasional contributing to Counterfire, Socialist Worker, Jacobin and Red Pepper.

Solidarity, Steve Eason

Phil Hearse

Nominated by Andrew Burgin

Liberal democracy, of the type we have known since 1945, is going through an acute crisis in the advanced capitalist countries. In the USA we have the Trump phenomenon, in France Marine Le Pen, in Britain UKIP and Brexit – the same far right wing story is repeated in many countries.

Liberal democracy is imploding and is threatened by the far right because of the crisis of economic liberalism. Since the economic crash of 2007-8 the global capitalist class has been unable to come up with a new form of economic dominance. More neoliberalism, more austerity and no new ideas. For the moment the workers movement and the political left have been pushed back and the results are horrific.

We live in a time when the gains for women, for multiculturalism, for disabled people, for the environment and the working class as a whole are under dire threat internationally. Sections of the Left however are sticking their head in the sand.

Left Unity, as part of the European Left Party, can play a key role in analysing the right wing danger and building the movement fight it, and the discussions on the NC will be crucial for arming the organisation for that task.

I’ve been in the militant Left for more than 50 years. In the 1970s and ‘80s I was a leading member of the International Marxist Group and for a couple of years the editor of its weekly paper Socialist Challenge (later Socialist Action).

In the mid-noughties I edited the book Take the Power to Change the World; I was the co-author of Left Unity’s pamphlet on Turkey and Kurdistan and have contributed to LU’s broadsheets and website on a regular basis. I think I would be able to make a useful contribution to NC discussions.

Matthew Hurry

Nominated by South London branch

I continue to believe that the work Left Unity does is of the utmost importance, particularly in the current political climate, with the rise of the far right across parts of Europe and the rest of the world attempting to normalise and promote xenophobia and fascism.

In the UK, mainstream politics has come to be dominated more and more by the right wing. The working classes in particular have been manipulated and deceived by the parties of the right and the popular media. We urgently need a convincing show of the force from the left, both on a national and international level, and we are in the perfect position to help bring that about.

Left Unity has started to see a surge in new membership, which I believe will continue over the coming months, and we’ve managed to significantly increase our public exposure over the past year, thanks to the hard work and support of comrades. For these reasons, I’m standing for this post in addition to my nomination for Standing Orders Committee, as I believe that serving in either of these two roles would give me an opportunity to contribute to the greater good of the party and the important work we’ll achieve over the course of the next year.

I’ve been an active member of Left Unity for 3 years, serving on the national council for a year and as a representative for the South London branch for two years, regularly attending branch and regional meetings, and joining comrades on countless demonstrations and other public events to promote Left Unity and the organisations and causes we support.

I’m a member of UNITE ITC branch and actively involved with Southwark Defend Council Housing, Axe the Housing Act, Radical Housing Network, Unite Against Fascism, Syria Solidarity UK and the Republican Socialist Alliance.

Fred Leplat

Nominated by Andrew Burgin and Susan Pashkoff

I have been a member of Left Unity since its launch. I am active in the Barnet Alliance for Public Services, The People’s Assembly Against Austerity and Stop Trump.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party provides the best opportunity we have seen for decades for the election of a radical government in Britain and to defeat austerity. Left Unity needs to situate itself as an organisation that is part of the movement in defence of Corbyn. That is why I argued for Left Unity to affiliate to the Labour Party to be part of that movement while also maintaining our independence.

It was very important that Left Unity called for a vote in the referendum to “Remain” to oppose xenophobia. Brexit and Trump are part of the same shift to the right in politics. We have to now mobilise against racism and nationalism and for international solidarity. Left Unity’s backing of the women’s march and the Stop Trump campaign, and our link with the European Left Party, are important contributions in that fight. We need to build on that.

Susan Pashkoff

Nominated by Roland Rance, Richard Farnos, Andrew Burgin and South London branch

I am standing for the National Council (London Region) of Left Unity.

In my time in Left Unity, I have worked to help build the Waltham Forest Left Unity Branch in London, helped to develop the LU Women’s Caucus and have participated in LU Disabled Members Caucus. I have also worked in the Economics Policy Caucus and along with others, I am helping to pull the Social Security and Social Care Policy Caucus. I have been asked to participate on the editorial board of the new Transform Magazine which is linked to the European Left Party of which LU is a member.

I have participated in both the NC and EC of Left Unity as a representative from the Women’s Caucus. At the last election, I won a directly elected seat where I have contributed by helping build our presence at the London Women’s March by writing and also by presenting a discussion on Trump and Women. I have been active in the anti-Trump activity of Left Unity by writing, participating in demos and leafleting. My participation is broad and I strongly believe that comrades should participate in whatever way they are able to.

I also am a member of East London Unite Community and have helped in eviction resistance, opposition to benefit sanctions and in campaigns in the Union and am the temporary chair in that Branch. I additionally have been able to address issues that are pertinent to economic discussions (such as UBI) that are being debated in the general union movement.

I strongly support Left Unity and I think we still have quite a lot of do and that there is space for us in the current political climate. We are a part of the struggle against a strengthened right-wing in the US and Europe and can help beat the right back and win others to the struggle.

Roland Rance

Nominated by Matthew Hurry, Ruth Steigman and South London branch

In the Brexit/Trump world, there is a pressing need for a broad socialist, internationalist, feminist and environmentalist party like Left Unity. At the same time, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party has dramatically changed the context in which we are working in Britain.

Now is not the time for us to give up! Left Unity needs to remain part of the movement in defence of migrants and all the socially and economically oppressed in our society, against war and austerity, in solidarity with liberation struggles worldwide, and in defence of the environment of our planet, threatened with terminal devastation by the forces of unbridled capitalism.

We need to be fighting for all of these today, as well as helping to bring about the swiftest possible removal of the unelected May government and the election of an alternative, committed to many of the values we share. And then we need to be there fighting to hold such a government to its promises, and to defend it against the inevitable delegitimation and attacks which it will face.

I am standing for election to National Council to help further this project. I was a founder member of LU, I have been the organiser of Waltham Forest Branch and an active member of the London Regional Committee, as well as serving two terms on the Standing Orders Committee.

As well as Left Unity, I am a member of Socialist Resistance and the Fourth International. I have a long record of political in many political campaigns. In particular, for the past forty years I have been active – in Bradford, Jerusalem and London – in Palestine solidarity campaigning, and I am currently working with the Free Speech on Israel campaign.

Ruth Steigman

Nominated by Andrew Burgin

Unity on the Left is needed now more than ever. If we can’t work together to challenge the Trump/May alliance, we will all pay the price. Left Unity is well placed to build bridges with other groups on the Left, and we must make this our central purpose now. This is not the time for sectarianism – the forces we face are too dark, and the future of the planet could be at stake. Left Unity must use its experience of bringing people from a wide range of political standpoints together, and, with the support of Comrades in the European Left Party, take this message to everyone who wants to see a Socialist future.

Doug Thorpe

Nominated by Andrew Burgin

I am the Haringey/North London LU Branch organiser and have been involved in building LU since its beginning.

I am currently a nationally elected member of the outgoing National Council and a member of the Executive committee.

I have an interest in Housing and am actively involved in Housing campaigns (Defend Council Housing, Radical Housing Network, Kill the Housing Bill Campaign) at a branch, regional and national level.

I believe I can continue to make a useful contribution to Left Unity as a member of the National Council.


Left Unity is active in movements and campaigns across the left, working to create an alternative to the main political parties.

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ACTIVIST CALENDAR

Events and protests from around the movement, and local Left Unity meetings.

Saturday 25th November
Trump: Nuclear Apocalypse or New Cold War?

Leeds Swarthmore Centre at 2pm with Kate Hudson, General Secretary, CND. The threat of nuclear war is at its highest level since the Cold War. What can socialists do to stop it? facebook here

Saturday 25th November
Discussing Catalan self-determination

South London Left Unity discussion, also talking about the future of the left outside the Labour Party: 1- 4pm, Camberwell Library, Camberwell Green London SE5 7AL. All welcome.

Saturday 2 December
Latin America Conference 2017

TUC Congress House London at 9.15am: With countries across Latin America facing a resurgent right and the threat of intervention from Trump, this year’s Latin America Conference will be the most crucial yet. More info here

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