SOME 180 left wing Labour Party activists met in London recently for the annual general meeting of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC).
John McDonnell MP opened the conference with a speech attacking Tony Blair for trying to pretend the London bombings were unrelated to the government’s foreign policy.
He added that the Labour left had been under “immense pressure” to respond to the bombings, but had “resisted any rush to comment” on the grounds that it would be “unseemly and callous” to speak out earlier.
The conference then passed a series of policies against the Iraq war and Blair’s domestic agenda. But Ted Knight, the former leader of Lambeth council, asked the crucial question—“How can we challenge this New Labour leadership? They have the bit between their teeth and we have had every possible difficulty.”
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union, was one of several union leaders to address the conference.
He underlined the need for the left to campaign together. He drew applause for saying that he was happy to campaign for left wing Labour MPs—but was also happy to campaign for George Galloway in Bethnal Green & Bow, and for Scottish Socialist Party candidates.