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A Tate Gallery for the New Left: Portraits, Landscapes, and Abstracts in the Revolutionary Activism of the 1950s and 1960s


Revolutionary Workers Party national secretary Ross Dowson,
campaigning to become Mayor of Toronto, Canada, 1948.


Ernest Tate, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 60s: A Memoir – Volume 1, Canada 1955–1965 (London: Resistance Books, 2014)


Ernest Tate, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 60s: A Memoir – Volume 2, Britain 1965–1970 (London: Resistance Books, 2014)


By Bryan D. Palmer


Before ’68: The Left, activism and social movements in the long 1960s



August 18, 2016 —
Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalErnest Tate and Phil Hearse present Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 1960s at "Before ’68: The Left, activism & social movements in the long 1960s" conference. Hosted by UEA School of History in conjunction with the journal Socialist History, and the Institute of Working Class History (Chicago).


Ernest Tate's memoir is an important contribution to the history of the left in Britain and Canada during a unique period. It's a political life of Ernest Tate's life as a socialist during the fifteen year period from 1955 to 1970. In volume one, he tells us about his arrival from Toronto in 1955 as a working-class immigrant from Northern Ireland and about how he quickly became engaged in radical politics.


Excerpts of the book are available on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal here.


The British left after Brexit



July 10 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With British politics in crisis after the recent UK referendum vote to leave the European Union, a debate has opened on the British left regarding the situation it finds itself in. As part of Links' ongoing coverage of the Brexit debate we are republishing articles by Charlotte Bence, from Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century, Neil Faulkner, from Left Unity, and Joseph Choonara, from the Socialist Workers Party. Above, is also a video by Novara Media's Ash Sarkar exploring the way class and race are mobilised as ways to understand inequality and political disenfranchisement.


A very British coup: Jeremy Corbyn and the battle for Labour's future



British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's message to party members


July 8, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The British Labour Party has been rocked by an attempt by the majority of Labour MPs to depose Jeremy Corbyn, who won a party-wide leadership vote last year. Many have dubbed this a battle between the Parliamentary Labour Party and the membership. Links is republishing a number of articles looking at this crucial battle. They include articles by Shadow Chancellor and Corbyn backer John McDonnell, Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) general secretary Manuel Cortes, and Charley Allan writing in the Morning Star.


Britain: what was behind the 'Brexit' vote?



June 29 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the aftermath of the recent UK referendum vote to leave the European Union, the British left continues to debate the meaning and significance of the vote. As part of Links' ongoing coverage of the debate we are republishing articles by Charlie Hore, from Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century, and Andrew Flood, from Workers Solidarity Movement.


Scottish Socialist Party, Sinn Féin, Momentum and Left Unity on Brexit referendum result



June 26, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum which ended with a vote in favor of the UK leaving the European Union, Links has republished a variety of statements reflecting the views of key left forces in England, Scotland and Ireland.


Political fundamentals and the UK Brexit referendum



By Tony Norfield


June 26, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal originally posted on Economics of Imperialism blog on June 16 — What explains the desperation of British capitalism and Conservative Party in the lead up to the Brexit referendum on 23 June?

Austerity, racism and the EU referendum in Britain



Nigel Farage, leader of the far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP), has been among the key figures advocating a vote to exit the EU.


By Tony Mckenna


June 13, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The EU debate is perhaps one of the more difficult to make sense of. For you are bombarded with a vast amount of articles, from every colour on the political spectrum. How does one go about making an informed decision? It’s said you can tell a lot about a person by who their friends are. When translated into political thought the axiom has a simplistic but not unuseful purpose: take the time to look at the groups and social forces that are gathering around a particular position. These might give you some hint as to which political interests the position truly serves and hint at its real essence. However, in the case of the EU referendum – the vote that is to be held later this year in Britain on whether we should remain or leave the European Union – there is a remarkably odd admixture of people who have aligned themselves with both sides.

Should we stay or should we go? The English left debates the European Union referendum



June 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With the referendum on whether Britain should stay or leave the EU fast approaching, the debate over what position the left should take continues. Links is reposting a vidoe debate between Marina Prentoulis (Syriza UK) and Luke Cooper (Another Europe is Possible) (for in), and Hannah Sell (deputy general secretary, Socialist Party) and Michael Calderbank (Red Pepper) (for out), in a special episode of The Wedge, produced in collaboration with and published on Red Pepper.


Below we also have an article by Terry Conway from Socialist Resistance outlining the different positions on the left, and an editorial from Morning Star on what the EU represents.


Sadiq Khan becomes mayor of London, but Britain faces deep-seated problems



By Rupen Savoulian


May 20, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Antipodean Atheist with permission — Sadiq Khan’s election as London mayor is a rejection of the politics of fear and Islamophobia, but let us not endorse his policies.


The election of Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, made headline news in the English-speaking world. It is no surprise that Khan’s electoral victory made news here in Australia, given our longstanding economic, political and cultural ties to the United Kingdom. It is not intended to go into all the intricacies of British politics in this article, however, the victory of an openly Muslim candidate for a major political position in the UK has elicited various reactions, and these responses are illustrative of the kind of politics that passes for policy debate in the English-speaking countries.


Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood: ‘Listen To People, Hear Their Problems And Listen To Their Solutions’



Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood talks to John Haylett about the party’s manifesto which she sums up as three ambitions to build a Wales that is ‘well, well-read and wealthier’

How Bernie Sanders can harness the kind of momentum transforming British politics



A Momentum rally in Oxford, England in February.


By Kate Aronoff


April 23, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Waging Nonviolence — After his double-digits win in Wisconsin on April 5, Bernie Sanders’s insurgent campaign has a fair amount of momentum behind it. Still, many are asking what comes next, and how to carry the political revolution forward — whether he wins the Democratic nomination or not.


Lessons for Sanders might come from the movement that formed around another white-haired progressive challenger to the political establishment: British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Should the left support a "Brexit" in the upcoming British referendum?


In June, Britain will hold an referendum on whether to remain part of the European Union. Below Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing two opposing views on whether the left should support a British exit, or "Brexit".

A different Europe or bust


February 4, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper -- As David Cameron’s renegotiation nears its uneventful conclusion, the big picture of what kind of Europe we want to live in is in danger of being lost, writes Luke Cooper. What can we do to change it?


That Europe is in urgent need of reform is beyond question. At risk of being lost in the current British public debate, however, is the discussion as to the type of reforms that Europe needs. The focus on David Cameron’s ‘wish list’ of demands has established an accepted discourse that presumes that these demands reflect ‘British interests’. It also presumes that were Cameron to win European acceptance for all of his demands, then this would be ‘a good deal for Britain’.


'What we've achieved so far': an interview with Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn speaks on the march in support of refugees.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper — Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in conversation with Hilary Wainwright and Leo Panitch, talks about the meaning of ‘new politics’, Tony Benn’s legacy – and opening up Labour’s policymaking to the people

Leo: Your remarkable campaign for the leadership not only doubled the party membership but galvanised some 400,000 people overall to associate with the party. This is frankly unheard of anywhere in terms of party mobilisation on the left in recent decades. What do you think this reflects about the possibilities for a new politics, not only in Britain but more broadly – especially in Europe?

Jeremy: I think our campaign excited people who were very depressed by the election result and very depressed by the analysis that was being offered at the end of it, which was essentially that Labour wasn’t managerial enough and we had to be better managers in order to do better in the future. I only really got on the ballot paper because of a combination of people – from those who just absolutely wanted an alternative to be put, to those who thought that there ought to be a democratic debate in the party. This kicked off the social media campaign that encouraged others to get involved.

Left Unity on Jeremy Corbyn: The people’s victory shows everything is possible

Jeremy Corbyn addresses a crowd of 2500 on August 3, at Camdeen Town Hall in London. Photo via Twitter/@corbynforleader. More on Jeremy Corbyn and Left Unity.


Left Unity, September 12 -- Jeremy Corbyn is the new leader of the Labour Party. Who could have imagined writing such a sentence only a few weeks ago? His victory shatters the austerity consensus that has dominated British politics for the last five years.

This is a victory for the movement as a whole. It is a victory for all those opposing the welfare cuts, for all those campaigning against war and racism, for all those fighting to defend our NHS and a host of other issues.

Jeremy’s election will have the effect of a dam breaking in British political life. It will shift the centre of political gravity to the left.

There were two intersecting currents behind the dramatic growth of the Corbyn campaign. Firstly there was the long pent-up resentment against the Blairite wing of the party, which the new process for electing the leadership allowed to be unleashed.

Socialist Resistance: Jeremy Corbyn win would be a 'victory for the whole left'

A Corbyn rally in Bristol.

By Socialist Resistance (Britain)

July 31, 2015 -- Socialist Resistance, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Jeremy Corbyn campaign for the Labour Party leadership is a remarkable phenomenon. He stands a very good chance of winningunless the Labour Party establishment can turn around the tide over the next six weeks.

As things stand, the tide remains with him. The Labour leadership is like a rabbit in the headlights. Large numbers of people, young people in particular, are joining Corbyn's campaign and people are flocking to his rallies and campaign events. Many are signing up to Labour as registered supporters or as affiliated supporters through their trade unions. (According to Labour List in late June the figures were registered supporters: 9115, affiliated supporters: 3788 while the number of full members has also grown significantly since the general election.)

The support from inside major trade unions for Corbyn’s candidacy has been extraordinary.

Britain: Why Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership bid panics the right

Jeremy Corbyn joins Pride in London, alongside some of the activists backing his campaign. Photo: Steve Eason.

The surprising support for Jeremy Corbyn in the race for the leadership of the British Labour Party has electrified the left and is terrifiying the right. Below a number of articles from the British left explain why.

* * *

Left Unity Newsletter, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal on July 28, 2015-- The movement in support of Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader has set politics alight – and got the media in a panic. Corbyn’s candidacy is demonstrating the mass support that exists in society for the policies he stands for, and Left Unity has also supported since its foundation: an end to austerity and war, a different society based on peace and equality.

This unexpected movement is an expression of the same sentiment that is seeing a new left rise across Europe – with the difference in expression perhaps down to Britain’s archaic electoral system.

Left Unity wishes the campaign all the best. This is an opportunity for the Labour Party to become the party it was founded to be, defending and extending its great achievements of the welfare state – the party that millions want.

Britain: Huge march against austerity; defiant protest is only part of the answer

Peoples Assembly march, London, June 20, 2015. Photo by Steve Eason/RS21.

Socialist Resistance editorial

June 22, 2015 -- Socialist Resistance, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One home-made banner on the Saturday, June 20, London demonstration against austerity seemed to put into words the inarticulate howl of anguish of millions. In colourful letters it read “Fuck the fucking fuckers”.

It was a reminder of just how visceral hatred of the Tories [Conservative Party] is and just how all-encompassing their social counter-revolution aspires to be. The People’s Assembly is claiming 250,000 marched from the Bank of England to parliament.

There was a strong trade union presence, lots of families, groups of friends, environmentalists and activists from across the progressive spectrum. Mainly though it was a gathering of the young, the angry and defiant who were announcing that they understood what a Tory government means and are ready to stand up to it. Singer Charlotte Church is representative of this generation, with her passionate, reasoned expressions of contempt for the new government.

Scottish politics after May 7 Westminster general election

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.

Click for more on left politics in Scotland

By Murray Smith

June 4, 2015 – International Viewpoint, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The day after the May 7 Westminster [British] general election, George Kerevan, newly elected Scottish National Party MP for East Lothian, was walking through his constituency. He was approached by a group of young working-class women who recognised him, proudly declared that they had all voted SNP and wanted to take “selfies” with him. When Kerevan asked why, they replied “because this is history”.

They were of course right. The day before the SNP had taken 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland, leaving the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties with one each.

Scottish socialists: UK election a 'bitter-sweet' result

By Colin Fox

May 11, 2015 -- Scottish Socialist Party, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the end the polls got it wrong, badly wrong. And all the commentators who placed so much faith in them looked foolish. There was no hung parliament. No horse trading between Westminster parties, no weeks of instability before a coalition government was formed. The Tories thumped Labour and won a clear majority.

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