IN PROMISING TO CONTINUE with further painful austerity – sticking to Tory
plans which mean slashing public spending, and maintaining wage freezes in
the public sector and caps on benefits – the Labour leadership has done the Party no
favours whatsoever. The Tories have already made clear their intention to hammer the working poor if re-elected. With UKIP’s right wing populism riding high, against a
backdrop of disenchantment with the Westminster political system, the outcome
of next May’s election is highly uncertain.
The LRC’s Annual Conference on Saturday 8 November at London’s Friends Meeting
House, comes at a critical time. But opportunities undoubtedly exist. The politicisation of Scottish society during the independence referendum shows that
the desire for real change is widespread across working class communities, even if
it can’t yet find expression at the electoral level. The energy and dynamism of social
movements like the inspirational DPAC, or the direct action of environmental
campaigners and anti-fracking protestors, shows what can be achieved under our
Meanwhile the union demands to smash the pay freeze will not go away, and the
attempts to organise those in low paid and casualised sectors, like cleaning or the fast
food industry, have shown new signs of union militancy on the march. The
campaign against the utterly antidemocratic US-EU trade deal, TTIP, a charter for corporate “rights”, likewise demonstrates a refusal to roll over before the interests of profit.
These campaigns and more will be represented at the Conference – as the LRC
asks how can we develop such forces into a movement capable of breaking the
pro-austerity consensus that exists in Westminster, forcing Labour to re-engage
with its historic mission to stand up for the interests of working people. Can we begin
to mobilise an effective fightback in our local communities and reinvigorate a
fighting trade union movement? What is the role of the LRC in building such a
movement, and how do we raise our game to meet the challenges ahead? Don’t miss
your chance to get involved and make this organisation fit to wage the fight of our
Speakers already confirmed include John McDonnell MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP,
Matt Wrack (General Secretary, FBU), Maria Exall (CWU), Ian Hodson (BFAWU)
and Councillor Dean Kirk (Councillors against the Cuts) .
LRC’s Annual Conference 2014 will take place on Saturday 8 November (10.00am,
registration from 9.15am) at the Friends Meeting House, Euston Rd, London.