FRINGE: Opposing austerity: Mobilising members and winning voters

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Opposing austerity: Mobilising members and winning voters 5.30 – 7pm Monday 28th September Alexandra Room, Grand Hotel Brighton Speakers: Diane Abbott MP Richard Burgon MP Katy Clark Owen Jones Clive Lewis MP John McDonnell MP Cat Smith MP Mark Serwotka, PCS Union Chair: Steve Turner, Unite the Union and People’s Assembly Against Austerity    Fringe at Labour Party Conference Hosted by Unite the Union   JOIN THE FACEBOOK EVENT

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Cruddas poll shows opposition to austerity

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Jon Cruddas has today argued, as part of his independent inquiry into Labour’s election loss, that ‘the Tories didn’t win despite austerity, they won because of it. Voters did not reject Labour because they saw it as austerity lite. Voters rejected Labour because they perceived the Party as anti-austerity lite.’ The actual title of the LabourList article, and the political thrust of the accompanying Patrick Wintour piece in The Guardian, is ‘Labour lost because voters believed it was anti-austerity’. As with others trying to assert this political line, Cruddas is engaging in an impressive feat of political spinning to reach this conclusion based on the questions and the findings so far published. The question that ‘we must live within our means so cutting the deficit is the top priority’ is the kind of leading question that leads people to mistrust polling. But even taken at face value, broad agreement with such a statement does not lead to the conclusion Labour lost because people believed it was anti-austerity. Lord Ashcroft polling on the day of the general election produced results that people wanted an end to cuts, and did not believe any further should be made. It is the article – […]

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70 attend Labour Assembly in Sheffield

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The launch of Sheffield Labour Assembly Against Austerity saw nearly seventy members from across the city join a lively debate on ‘Opposing austerity and stagnation – priorities for Labour after the election.’ John Campbell from UNISON Sheffield Teaching Hospitals chaired the meeting. The other speakers were Louise Haigh MP, Paul Blomfield MP, Cllr Olivia Blake and the economist Mick Burke. All the speakers emphasised the importance of Labour developing a rigorous and clear alternative to the failed policy of austerity and its disastrous effects on the majority of the country. They shared the view that, after 2008, the Labour Party had failed to win the debate that the deficit was not caused by Labour overspending, but mainly by the Crash and the collapse in tax receipts. Speakers also emphasised the importance of increasing investment and ending corporate welfare. Contributors from the floor highlighted their frustration that Labour was disarmed in its attempt to expose the failure of the Tories’ economic policy, because it  had not provided a coherent alternative to austerity. A number of people also emphasised that the creation of an alternative to austerity was the responsibility of the whole labour movement. Further, the Party needs persuasive and clear […]

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Meeting: Opposing Osborne’s Budget

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Opposing Osborne’s Budget: Why cuts hurt and spending works Ahead of Osborne’s emergency austerity budget, Jeremy Corbyn and other Labour MPs come together to set out the approach Labour should take in opposing spending cuts. Speakers: Jeremy Corbyn MP Cat Smith MP Richard Burgon MP Diane Abbott MP Shelly Asquith, VP Welfare-elect, NUS and more to be confirmed Chair: Steve Turner, AGS, Unite the Union Time: 7 – 8.30pm Date: Tuesday 30th June Venue: Houses of Parliament, Westminster Facebook event Eventbrite registration

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Jeremy Corbyn’s alternative to austerity

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn’s entry into the Labour leadership race opens the debate about the party’s future, by offering serious opposition to the Tories austerity agenda and a positive vision for public services. Since Labour’s general election defeat, the Labour right has dominated analysis in the media, incomprehensibly arguing the party’s campaign was ‘too left’. The first weeks of the Labour leadership debate have since followed the same pattern, with candidates arguing Labour spent too much in office and failing to oppose the Tories planned cut in the benefit cap. Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement of his candidacy will see the Tories ideological austerity agenda challenged for what it is – a political rather than economic mission which demonises public spending and requires the poorest in society to pay for the banking crisis, while the wealthiest continue to benefit. Austerity has forced down wages in real terms in both the public and private sector for seven years – affecting the majority of the population. Jeremy has also reached out to those campaigning against austerity in Europe – particularly in Greece – where the anti-cuts movement took power earlier this year. His campaign offers an alternative to austerity and those struggling with its effects. For councillors […]

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No acceptance of austerity in Tory win

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

By Mike Hedges, Vice-Chair, Labour Assembly Against Austerity The General Election result was not an endorsement of austerity but was a stunning Tory tactical success. The Tories adopted a policy of defending key marginal seats against Labour and UKIP and attacking in Liberal Democrat seats. The strategy worked and lead to a Tory majority government for the first time since 1992. This was done on a swing of 0.8% to the Tories, with Cameron returned as Prime Minister with 36.9% of the vote, the lowest share in history. The coalition government meanwhile suffered an overall loss of 14.4%, but remarkably the Tories ensured that all of this loss was suffered by the Liberal Democrats. This represents the biggest ever loss by a governing party. But despite this rejection of austerity amid the biggest ever decline in living standards, the Labour Party still lost seats and lost the election. Labour was unable to make any inroads into their top target seats from the Tories and even managed to loss seats to the Tories. The Tory tactic of focusing all of their resources on defending their most vulnerable seats worked because Labour did not inspire the working class vote with a real […]

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