Labour's new membership can win Trident argument
The Labour Party’s debate on the renewal of the Trident nuclear programme will be the defining issue of the early months of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
The decision taken by conference delegates not to have that debate at conference was seen by some on the left as a disappointment. However it worked in Corbyn’s favour.
Delegates chosen before Corbyn’s victory may not have passed a motion to scrap Trident. Then his campaign to change party policy would have fallen at the first hurdle.
With a bit of time he can persuade the Unite union in Scotland to support a change in policy with a clear guarantee of jobs diversification. To win the support of unions he may have to compromise by extending the lifespan of the current submarines, as has been done by the US.
Meanwhile tens of thousands of new members can influence their branches. The most important influence they can have is in candidate selection.
Some MPs are detached from the politics of the party membership.
Those who support Britain having a nuclear arsenal may have to convince their branches that they are the best candidate to represent them.
Some will refuse, some will be replaced, some will stay and promise to back the party line if Corbyn can win the policy argument in the party.
His clear statement that he would never press the nuclear button is a game changer.
Corbyn is telling the party that a vote for Trident is a waste of time and that if they don’t back him they will weaken his chances of becoming prime minister.
He believes that he can win an election on a unilateralist ticket, and the current membership probably agree with him.
If that argument can be won over the winter, we might just get the chance to find out in 2020.
Jim Monaghan, Scottish Labour Campaign for Socialism member
Hypocrisy and eggs
the outrage from the hypocrites at The Sun newspaper over the Tory delegate who got pelted by an egg in Manchester is galling.
It screeched, “Only the left, puffed up with their own ‘virtue’, try to shut down debate by vilifying and intimidating opponents.”
Yet it was encouraging the very same during the general election. Back then it moaned, “Why is nobody getting egged this election campaign—where’s the egg-citement?”
The only thing the protester did wrong in Manchester was not throwing the whole box.
That would have been egg-cellent.
Chris Young, Southampton
Give Jeremy a chance
Many column inches have dissected Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.
I fully understand why some people are nervous. Jeremy is different, he is principled and caring and committed to doing politics in a different way.
What’s important to remember is that the rank and file members of the Labour Party voted for him.
If he has the support of the people, then it’s our duty to give him the chance that they want him to have.
Wait and see, don’t judge on the basis of what you think he’s going to do, but wait for him to actually do it.
Jo Rust, Norfolk
MPs, dodgy deals and expenses - what's new?
Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Michelle Thomson has been involved in a series of property deals exposed as possible mortgage fraud.
But there’s no need for fraud in property deals to make money. Sixteen of the SNP’s new Westminster crop are boosting their wage from extra houses and flats.
The party made much of its MPs giving their £7,000 pay rise to charity but some can clearly do without it.
East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow MP Lisa Cameron pretty much doubled her wage from at least £60,000 earned from a house and five apartments.
Five SNP MPs are also continuing the questionable practice of MPs employing relatives.
Weren’t this lot supposed to be different?
Sam Mackenzie, Aberdeen
They said reparation, not repatriation
David Cameron must have misheard Jamaica’s prime minister Portia Simpson Miller when she called on him to enter talks on reparations for slavery.
The prime minister insisted on his recent visit to the island that reparations were “not the right approach”.
He is presumably less hostile to the reparations paid to his slave-owning ancestors—worth millions in today’s money. They were paid “compensation” for the loss of their slaves when slavery was abolished.
Instead he talked up a “significant infrastructure fund I am announcing which will make Britain the biggest bilateral donor in the Caribbean by quite a long way”.
It turns out the British government is to fund the building of a new jail by £25 million so it can deport more than 600 people in jail in Britain back to Jamaica.
Someone should tell the Tory toff she said “reparation”—not “repatriation”.
Adam Cochrane, Essex
Stop saving for a rainy day
Suffolk’s fire service is already very lean—the second cheapest of its kind in Britain. Long starved of investment from County Hall, it now faces a cut of £1 million.
It’s time for some of the council’s £165 million reserves, tucked away for a “rainy day”, to be called on. I say the rainy day is here and we must oppose any further cut to Suffolk’s fire service.
Luke Cresswell, South Suffolk Labour Party chair and local councillor
We can’t wait for elections
It’s A long time to wait for the next election to kick out the Tories. We need to fight back now.
Support the National Gallery workers. We need more strikes like theirs, whatever government is in power.
Wendy Knight, on Facebook
Singing for refugee kids
Our band, And Now We’re Even, are avid readers and we’re raising money for War Child with our new single.
It’s in memory of kids who washed up along shores because they didn’t have a piece of paper with a stamp on it.
Our singer is from Iraq but can’t return.
He has given us his stories through the arts—we think he’s living proof that refugees do contribute. Donate at justgiving.com/ANWE
Johnny B, by email
Doctors’ fight can cure NHS
The treatment of junior doctors is a disgrace typical of this uncaring government.
The whole of Britain needs to do this and show this disgusting government we mean business over the NHS—how dare they do back door deals to privatise it.
If it gets enough media coverage this is the kind of thing that will bring this government down.
Steve Hunt, all on Facebook
See Socialist Worker (Britain) on Facebook for videos of doctors’ protests