In the face of the movement of the Starmer Labour Party leadership to the right, and its continued exclusion of former Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, from the whip, it is increasingly necessary to give voice to a true eco-socialist alternative. Particularly so in the face of the attacks of an extremely right-wing authoritarian Tory government, which the Labour Party is doing little to oppose (so much so that it can welcome into membership a Tory MP who has voted for all those attacks).
We welcome any initiative to bring together like-minded radical socialists and progressive social movements.
As a significant contribution to building this left collaboration, Left Unity welcomes and will participate in the initiative by Thelma Walker (former Labour MP for Colne Valley) to create a Peoples Alliance of the Left (PAL)
Left Unity agrees the political basis of PAL (see ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ below) and has agreed to be a founding participant in PAL.
PAL is an alliance of a number of left parties and organisations. Any group who agrees the Memorandum of Understanding (see below) can apply to join PAL. Groups that have so far agreed it are Left Unity, Breakthrough Party, Northern Independence Party, and the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). Its purpose is to network and foster collaboration and joint working, discussion and policy development between left organisations; ultimately to support the election of a socialist government. Other groups have been involved in discussions but have not fully signed up yet, further details will be added later.
PAL does not have individual members nor is it an electoral party. People wishing to get involved will be directed to the member groups/parties to consider joining whichever of them, if any, suits them best.
Separately from PAL, but not as a function of PAL, those parties that stand in elections (Breakthrough, NIP, TUSC, Left Unity) will seek to cooperate over standing in elections – i.e. aim to avoid standing against each other & offer mutual support to each other’s candidates where possible. Candidates will stand as candidates of the constituent party (not PAL itself). This electoral cooperation does not imply electoral support from any organisations involved in the wider PAL coordination discussions who are not electoral parties.
• PAL stands for equality and justice. It is socialist, feminist, environmentalist, internationalist, anti-racist and against all forms of discrimination including (but not exclusively) discrimination against: women; black and ethnic minority people; the working class; political, religious, or philosophical belief; disabled people; and LGBTQI+ people. We oppose antisemitism and Islamophobia wherever they arise.
• PAL supports a massive social and political transformation to avert climate catastrophe, environmental degradation, mass extinction, global poverty, hunger, and hyper-exploitation
• PAL is internationalist. We stand for peace and equality between peoples. We oppose the exploitation of other countries for economic gain, and we oppose imperialist intervention, whether, military, political or economic. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle against oppression and dispossession.
• PAL opposes all laws which make people illegal because of who they are, where they or their parents were born, the colour of their skin or what language they speak. We oppose deportations and welcome and stand in solidarity with people fleeing war, oppression, and poverty.
• PAL supports trade unions, co-operatives and other community-based groups who are fighting for ordinary people up and down the country.
PAL aims to:
• Secure a socialist government.
• Secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.
• Oppose all austerity-driven cuts and closures to public sector, jobs, pay and conditions at the levels of national governments, regional, and local authorities. We reject the claim that ‘some cuts’ are necessary to our services or that the Covid crisis is a reason for austerity.
• Oppose the privatisation of, or the transfer of existing public services, land or property to private ownership, or to social enterprises or ‘arms-length’ management organisations which are the first steps to their privatisation.
• Reverse privatisation of the NHS, restoring it to a fully public service funded by General Taxation and under democratic control, free at the point of use to any according to clinical need from the cradle to the grave.
We would encourage anyone enthused by this initiative to join us and get involved. You can join us here.
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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No commitment to renationalise transport, utilities etc?
No commitment to animal rights?
The MoU is a minimum basis for alliance in PAL. It is not intended as a full manifesto. Each member organisation has policies that go further (but do not conflict with the MoU). See Left Unity’s manifesto at https://leftunity.org/manifesto/
In time PAL may develop further collective policy positions.
Restatement of Labour’s Clause 4( removed by Blair) seems to be a commitment to Nationalisation
Good one, this sounds promising. You’ll maybe not be surprised that I would be encouraged to see a move towards the aim of the StatusNow4All campaign – Indefinite Leave to Remain for all with precarious status (i.e. without Indefinite Leave to Remain) http://statusnow4all.org
Good luck. However I think it would make more sense for people to stand in elections under the banner of left unity rather than the names of the constituent parties who are little known beyond those who take an active interest in left wing politics, unfortunately a very small proportion of the population.
The left needs to nite and not fragment. I wholeheartedly agree with the aims as above and wish to be a member.
PAL is the necessary and very welcome bringing together of genuine left organisations and representatives as a large and hopefully bold movement.
I am currently a member of Left Unity, of the Resist Movement and of the Eco Socialist Alliance; I serve on the Committee of the Community Planning Alliance. and am co-founder of For Trees UK. I believe that the protection of our remaining natural world- viz, of our planet, its systems, resources and species must take precedence over any other consideration, according to the principle that we have no greater claim to our existence than any other species.
I strongly urge a movement that is prepared to challenge growth economies head on, and firmly believe that only those based on circularity, localism, exchange, parity and objective need, (instead of growth- and the destruction, waste and over consumption it engenders) will be sustainable and can guarantee fairness and justice at the same time as ensuring the comprehensive and enduring environmental protections that are critical to the survival of our planet and its species.
So pleased you are working towards Unity. Thank you.
Looks good, so far. Hopefully a positive step forward.
Always a Green Socialist, I was a Green Party activist (79-90) and joined Labour when Jeremy Corbyn was leader. Apart from agreeing with everything I’ve read so far, may I add two points: 1. it would be helpful to list where people are geographically; and 2. to invite ideas for an overall outward-facing title. A similar recent discussion in LIEN (Labour in Exile Network) and Labour Against the Witchhunt) resulted in ‘Socialist Labour Network’ – fine if we are looking inward, but what as to a wider public we might wish to attract?
Community Alliance is an umbrella term which reflects solidarity and allegiance in a way that is usable on any street anywhere (and has not yet been taken up anywhere as far as I know).
this is so cool
I’m a Socialist Party member and TUSC supporter (and former candidate. I welcome all of the above. I think it is a mistake to single out the Palestinian struggles from those of the many around the world, Rohinga, Uighur, etc etc
Singling out the Palestinian struggle happens because this country is responsible for their dispossesion. Justice begins at home.
Hope this is just the first step towards a party for al socialists.
Very encouraging and to be welcomed. Hopefully in the future it can, going forward, form the basis of a broad inclusive party. The similarities with the formation of the Labour Party are uncanny. LP founded as the Lab Rep Committee in 1900 but individuals could not join until 1918.
Agree re nationalisation should be in there. Also, surely a candidate should stand under one banner (Pal), otherwise too confusing. This seems like a new version of Momentum.
No mention whatsoever of the need for proportional representation. A strange omission from an electoral pact. Our archaic first-past-the-post voting system ensures an electoral duopoly…and parties to the left of Labour are structurally excluded. Won’t change until we get PR.
GET PR DONE!
I entirely agree with this comment by Alan. Fair Votes is absolutely crucial if we want to have any chance of electoral success. To achieve this, we may need to hold our noses when we vote in general elections – until all are represented, then voting for fairer representation is essential.
Hi. I’m a democratic socialist and this is a good first step. But it may be old fashioned for you to have a leader under the umbrella of Left Unity for the people to have focus on for the next General election. We need a great bona fide party to get behind
While I sympathise with the aims, this will only cause votes tone spread on the left even further than they already are, causing an even greater chance of Conservative governments. Much better to work on influencing the main parties.
Also not keen on singling out Palestine. The issues around Palestine and Gaza etc are extremely complex, and to come down on the side of one or the other is very shortsighted. It would be good to remember why this conflict exists, and why a Jewish homeland was provided by us. Regardless of whether it was the right decision.
But a move towards a more socialist society is a good one, and definitely one I support. Just not in this way.
PR is a policy of the Breakthrough Party. Join us!