“Our aim is to get socialists into power”

August 20, 2020

(Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor talks about Northern England Labour Left)

There have been seven prime ministers in my adult lifetime.  Some have imposed brutal austerity.  Some have sold off the industries built by our parents and grandparents, that we owned.  Some have started illegal wars.  None has built council homes on a mass scale.  None has taken the side of workers in struggle in industrial disputes.  All of them capitulated to the most rabid right wing press.  None of them did anything comparable to setting up the NHS.  

Some people get disillusioned when the Labour left doesn’t win internal elections.  Or when a leader tacks right to appease the billionaire newspaper owners.  I take a longer term view.  

For the past five years the establishment have thrown everything they have at us.  Yet despite the most vicious and duplicitous propaganda war we have blown apart the centrist orthodoxy.  It is now Labour policy to take rail, mail and the utilities back into public ownership.  To repeal the anti-union laws.  We have more Campaign Group MPs than at any time in history.  We have proudly socialist Labour Mayors and council leaders, implementing Green New Deals and Community Wealth Building.  

We can build on these gains.  The crisis before us compels us to.                             

Organisation is key.  “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”  

Now, socialist activists from over 30 CLPs in the North East and North Cumbria are coming together to form Northern England Labour Left.  The aim is honest and open: we intend to keep the Labour Party a socialist party.  

Many of us are members of Momentum, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, Don’t Leave Organise, and other socialist campaign groups.  We have strong alliances with all these organisations.  The purpose of NELL is to create a strong peer-to-peer network that focuses exclusively on Northern England and organises for democratic socialism here.  

Sign up.  But only if you intend to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.  

In the words of the Red Flag, we will not “cringe before the rich man’s frown”.  

The orthodoxy of trickle-down economics is inadequate to the crisis we face.  Climate change threatens the very survival of our civilisation.  

Our aim is to get socialists into power.  To abolish injustice and inequality and replace privilege with fairness.   To create a society where everyone can contribute and flourish, where the most vulnerable are cared for with dignity and respect.  To oppose persecution and discrimination and racism and prejudice of all kinds.  To promote internationalism and peace, and the democratic rights of all peoples.  To work for the election of an authentically democratic socialist Labour government.  

The banner bright, the symbol plain, Of human right and human gain.