There are two reasons for leftists and socialists to stay in the Labour Party:
(1) The Labour Party is closely connected to the working class movement through (a) the trade unions and (b) its history. While this connection exists, it is necessary for leftists and socialists to organise inside the party. Leftists and socialists cannot abandon any part of the working class movement, even if that part presents many difficulties.
(2) Most of the Labour left does not recognise the urgency of resisting the purges. The slogan ‘stay and fight’ has never been followed; the left’s policy has instead been ‘stay and surrender’. Leftists and socialists who recognise the urgency of fighting Labour’s purges should work to make left organisations and senior left-wing figures fight much more strongly.
The following, in outline, is how Labour’s purges would be fought if the left was serious about fighting:
- Found a new organisation focused on fighting the Labour purge.
- Launch the organisation at a joint meeting hosted by all left groups – including banned groups – and the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs.
- Expelled and suspended members should work closely with current members.
- Fight for the following demands: freedom of speech for members; freedom to form factions; repeal of the IHRA definition of antisemitism, APPG definition of Islamophobia, and any other definitions in force; radical reform of party discipline; reversal of proscriptions, amnesty for auto-expelled members; restoration of the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.
- The entire left should commit never to support Starmer’s purges in any way.