Two short lessons from Syriza’s youth movement

I’ve just come out of a meeting hosted by the leadership of Syriza’s youth movement. The Labour Party’s Greek sister party, after allying with the right to implement austerity, look set to be wiped out in tomorrow’s election and it is likely that Syriza will form the first serious left government in Europe. Syriza is not perfect but the progress is has made should give leftists everywhere pause for thought.

They made two points which struck me as relevant to Young Labour Continue reading

London Young Labour Conference 2014 Report

Note: this is, to my best knowledge, an accurate account of the conference. It is nonetheless a political account, based on my own political views. I’d be interested to hear the views of other attendees!

London Young Labour (LYL) Conference this weekend marked a serious step forward for socialist politics in Young Labour. The conference atmosphere was cheerful and good-spirited, despite plenty of disagreement, and the outgoing committee deserve credit for that. Strong left-wing policy came out of the motions debates and, although we do not yet know the ‘Block’ result, the new committee looks to be very promising. We also hosted a successful fringe meeting about the Labour Campaign for Free Education.

Sadly, the conference was marred by poor organisation of the motions process and an outrageous attempt to stifle London Young Labour democracy.

Here are my thoughts on the conference: two good things and two areas for improvement. Continue reading

In Defence of Telling the Truth

This article was originally published on Slaney Street on 28th October 2014. It was removed a few hours later. I hope that it is put back up eventually but for the meantime I have put it here as a matter of record.

The 46-strong NUS National Executive Council (NEC) all support action in solidarity with Kurdistan, yet have voted to do nothing about it. A motion with the line “no confidence in US intervention” has been condemned as pro-intervention. Daniel Cooper, who was not so long ago hounded by the right-wing press, is now accused of being their stooge. It is difficult to make sense of it all. Continue reading

The Yes campaign is a campaign for Scottish nationalism

You would be forgiven for considering this obvious, but it is in fact deeply controversial. For many of its supporters a Yes vote bears no relation to nationalism; it is a vote for democracy, fairness, and progress. This is not deceit either. They are not trying to sell nationalism falsely. They believe that their progressive ideals can be best realised through Independence. They are socialists, progressives and radicals, not nationalists. Nonetheless, they have joined a nationalist campaign, justified primarily by implicitly nationalist arguments

The Yes campaign is the largest nationalist mobilisation in modern Scottish history and it is bolstered by every Yes supporter. The inability to recognise this prevents the progressive Yeses from seeing the danger ahead. Continue reading