The resistance to the Tories offensive being led by the unions and the increasing orientation of Labour’s left wing members to this strike wave is encouraging a radicalisation within Labour.
The left suffered a set back in the NEC elections. Momentum divided the left and attacked one of its most popular candidates, instead of joining a campaign to unite the left against the right.
The Tory leadership candidates are agreed on all essentials of policy. They are both believers in a small state, which means they are intent on further cuts to public services, outsourcing and privatisation. They also agree on a commitment to outlaw strikes. There is only a furious debate on the tactical issue of when to implement tax cuts.
The largest scale political and organisational attack on the Labour Party’s left wing since the Second World War is currently unfolding within the party. But despite the defeats that have been suffered the Labour left remains the largest political force engaged in resistance to the Tories’ attacks.
Labour Leader Keir Starmer has recently staked out a distinct position from the Tory government on climate change, that falls well short of what is needed. Labour proposes that £30 billion is put into a “green recovery” – well below the £85 billion investment proposed by the TUC. There needs to be an unremitting campaign to pressure the government, but Starmer is reluctant to challenge it.
Labour’s Women’s conference held at the end of June demonstrated that despite the Leadership’s best efforts, from suspensions and demoralisation from Labour’s leadership, the left is very much alive and kicking. All six left CLP candidates for the new Women’s Committee were elected – an outstanding victory.