A call to all Labour Party members, supporters and voters; to all trade union members; to all who stand for democracy and a better world for all.
Jeremy Corbyn is under attack from the Blairite right-wing minority in the Labour Party, backed by a hostile press and his Tory opponents. A coup is being attempted by members of the Parliamentary Labour Party, showing their utter disregard for the democratic decision of Labour Party members, who overwhelmingly elected him leader last September.
We must act now to stop this coup. We must let these MPs know that they will not get away with removing Jeremy Corbyn as leader. We call on you to write to your Labour MP to tell them that they must support Corbyn or stand down. Raise this issue in your Labour Party and trade union branch.
We have just come through a bruising Referendum campaign. Many, but not all, of us were staunch socialist supporters of a Remain vote. Jeremy Corbyn is under attack for the Brexit victory but he shouldn’t be blamed for it. Millions voted to leave the EU at least partly because they feel abandoned and ignored by all political parties, including the Labour Party, and are alienated from the political process. They see the EU as distant and undemocratic. Many are hostile to what they see as a political class, divorced from the realities of working-class problems. The toxic anti-immigration rhetoric which dominated the campaign has festered for decades, reinforced by the Tories, UKIP and, regrettably, Labour politicians as well.
We reject the calls for a second referendum or for parliament to block the democratic result of the referendum. Such moves will only reinforce the idea that the political elite is prepared to overrule the democratic wishes of the electorate.
Labour must immediately go on the offensive to win back voters across the country by vigorously campaigning for an immediate improvement in working-class living standards and democratic rights. This is the only way that Labour can begin the process of winning back large sections of its working class base.
Every Labour Party member should be drawn into campaigns to show the electorate that it is serious about addressing their problems. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell should lead from the front with a bold campaign going into every town and city, especially the most deprived areas. This should involve all Labour MPs and members, and take up the following issues:
- An end to austerity and cuts.
- Full funding for local and national services.
- Renationalise the NHS, remove the market, and make it publicly funded, publicly run, and accountable.
- All workers in Britain, including migrant workers, to be paid at least a minimum wage of £10 an hour, to be enforced by criminal sanctions against employers who pay less.
- An end to zero-hour contracts and precarious work, and any undercutting of union agreements.
- Affordable housing for all. Build council housing, implement rent control, to be enforced by criminal sanctions against rogue landlords.
- Ending Free Schools and Academies. Bring education into democratic control.
- A decent pension for all in retirement.
- Defend the rights of all migrants and refugees.
- Democratic public ownership of transport, energy, construction, pharmaceuticals and other industry.
- Democratic public ownership of the banks and finance industry. Make the bankers and the bosses pay for the crisis, not the rest of us.
Labour must set out its aim of a society in which the obscene gap between the super-rich and the rest of us is ended; where there is no poverty, austerity, exploitation or discrimination. That will require a fundamental change in the way this society is run. It means campaigning on a socialist programme.
This society is rich enough to provide for all. But a tiny minority owns almost all of the wealth and the means of producing it.
Labour must stand clearly for a society in which the resources and wealth are owned in common by all, so that we can plan the economy democratically to meet the needs of everyone – not to make a profit for a few.
Labour must inspire its voters with a vision of a society fit for our children and all future generations.
The battle must commence now.
If you agree with the above, please use the form below to add your support.
Yours in struggle,
Matt Wrack – General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union
Ronnie Draper – General Secretary, Bakers’ Food & Allied Workers Union
Ian Hodson – National President, Bakers’ Food & Allied Workers Union
Alan McLean – President, Fire Brigades Union
Ian Murray – Vice President, Fire Brigades Union
Mick Cash – General Secretary, RMT
Davey Hopper – General Secretary, Durham Miners Association
Omar Baggili – Dulwich and West Norwood CLP
Nick Wrack – Southwark Momentum
Ed Potts – Manchester Withington CLP
Tim Harris, Leyton and Wanstead CLP, NUJ
Will McMahon – Chipping Barnet CLP
Kate Adams – Canterbury CLP
Andrew Duncan – Exeter CLP
Marcel Golten – Harrow East CLP
Emily Jones – Manchester Gorton CLP
Soraya Lawrence – Camberwell & Peckham CLP
James O’Leary – Manchester Withington CLP
Andrew Scattergood – FBU Brigade Chair, West Midlands
Nick Toms – Streatham CLP