Monday, 17 October 2016

More Massive Cuts Planned for Bristol City Council

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees on BBC Points West

By Mike Luff, Bristol Unison member, personal capacity

Bristol is facing a massive attack on its jobs and services, with a rapidly capitulating newly elected Labour mayor and its Labour controlled council. The Mayor, when challenged on the television that he was elected on an anti austerity platform, surprised the interviewer saying by saying “NO”.

Proposed cuts include the halving of bus subsidies, charges for users of dementia service, fees for disabled parking bays, handing over parks from Council control, cuts in museum hours, reduction of lollipop controls, ending of companion bus passes for carers, library service closures and some removal of short term help for paying bills – the list goes on. This amounts to £27 million cuts for 2017/2018, and then there is a further £65m cuts by 2020. Even the Mayor describes his proposed cuts as “horrifically unpalatable”.

This is in addition to 1000 full time equivalent posts being cut, one sixth of the workforce over the next few months. This will inevitably lead to hundreds of compulsory redundancies. No service closures have been announced, so we are likely to see reductions in services. As a Regional Unison officer said ”the cuts in jobs are not sustainable at such thin levels”. Services will easily collapse.

On the day before these announcements, the Anti Cuts Alliance, BADACA, met with Mayor Rees. We gave a clear way forward to build a mass popular campaign of trade unions, communities and campaigns from across the city, which would strengthen the demand for the return of our money from this weak Tory Government. By using reserves, prudential borrowing, the cuts can be frozen legally for a period, during which such a campaign can be built. This could act as a beacon to other authorities to build a national campaign to defeat the Tory government cuts.

The excuse given for not trying to build such a campaign was that it would weaken negotiations with the government! The fact that such an approach has been used and failed over the previous years is conveniently forgotten. On the following day, Sajid Javid, the Local Government Secretary visited Bristol and was asked about the government funding, he said “What I say is local government are looking to use their money more efficiently and having to make savings”.

Jeremy Corbyn has visited Bristol supporting Rees on a number of occasions  during the election campaign stating “the message of opposition to austerity”. Jeremy has to face up to those who are undermining the general election campaign of an anti austerity government by carrying out the Tory cuts.

Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance public meeting
Report back of meeting between BADACA and Mayor Rees
7.30pm, Monday 17th October
Tony Benn House, 92 Victoria St, BS1 6AY
Come to the meeting and hear a full report back of the discussion between Marvin Rees representatives of BADACA. We will also be discussing how we can resist this latest round of swingeing cuts.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

BADACA meeting - Stop the 1000 job cuts at Bristol City Council!

From the Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance (BADACA):

BADACA public meeting
Report back of meeting between BADACA and Mayor Rees
7.30pm, Monday 17th October
Tony Benn House, 92 Victoria St, BS1 6AY

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees addresses a lobby opposing huge cuts to council jobs. 

Bristol Labour Mayor Marvin Rees has agreed to meet a delegation from Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance (BADACA) to discuss our concerns about the cuts programme that he has already embarked on, 1,000 extra redundancies this financial year, and cuts planned in the budget for future years. The delegation will be lead by two-time anti-austerity mayoral candidate, Tom Baldwin. (Tom stood for mayor in 2012 & 2016 for the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) )

BADACA has always opposed all cuts and will be calling on the mayor to refuse to implement the cuts and to join with the Local Government unions, the anti-austerity movement & Labour authorities in other cities in fighting back. Reserves & prudential borrowing should be used to stop the cuts for now while the movement builds. Jeremy Corbyn has just been re-elected as Labour leader, with an increased mandate & on a clear anti-austerity programme. Labour has the power to start to push back on Tory austerity measures as they have successfully under Corbyn with disability benefits & tax credits. Local authorities can't take any more - we need to end austerity NOW!!!

With the Tories in disarray after the unexpected Brexit vote and the sudden political demise of Cameron, Osborne, Iain Duncan-Smith & Michael Gove, we can push them back. Replacement chancellor, Philip Hammond has already abandoned Osborne's austerity targets... the alternative to fighting is the end of council services as we know them in Bristol!!

Come & join us at Tony Benn House at 7.30pm on Monday 17th October for a report-back on the meeting with the mayor and a discussion on where the campign needs to go from here. All welcome!!

The meeting will hear from a member of the Save Hanham Library campaign about the cuts to libraries in South Gloucestershire and a teacher about the attacks on education from the Tory government, including the proposals for new grammar schools. 

This meeting follows our successful meeting in September which was attended by about 15 people and agreed to continue to get BADACA meetings going again. At this meeting we are hoping to set a date for an AGM so new officers can be elected. More info in an email bulletin shortly. If you're not on our mailing list and would like to be, please message with your name & email address.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Consolidate the Corbyn Victory

Refound Labour as a democratic, socialist, anti-austerity party!

Come to the Bristol Socialist Party / Socialist Students public meeting on
Trotskyism, Corbyn and the Labour Party
Tuesday 4th October, 7.30pm, YHA, 14 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA

Editorial from The Socialist newspaper:

"The war continues." So declared one ex-shadow cabinet minister to the Sunday Times (25 September).

The attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn by 172 Labour MPs has ended in abject failure, with his mandate strengthened. In the aftermath of the leadership contest many Corbyn supporters will have hoped that it would now be possible to unify the Labour Party around a clear anti-austerity programme in a battle to defeat the Tories. Within hours however it was clear that, as we warned, there is no possibility of the right accepting the democratic will of Labour Party members. They are reeling under the impact of a crushing defeat, with no clear idea of how to launch the next stage of their 'get Corbyn' campaign, but the one thing they are united on is its necessity.

Around the country a smattering of Blairites have torn up their Labour Party cards, including the leader of Portsmouth council Labour group, and businessman and SDP founder Lord Mitchell. The majority have, however, made clear that at this stage they intend to stay and try to 'reclaim' their party for the capitalist class. There are rumours that a few will rejoin the shadow cabinet but most are indicating that they will only do so if the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) gets to choose its membership.

Disgracefully, Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison (which voted to support Corbyn in the leadership contest) has suggested that this is the way to heal the rifts in the Labour Party. But such a measure would not be about healing rifts but handing victory to Tom Watson's rumoured 'Project Anaconda' - to isolate and then crush Corbyn.

That they have failed to do so to date is only because of the hundreds of thousands of people who have rallied to the defence of Jeremy's leadership and anti-austerityplatform, resulting in Labour having the biggest membership of any party in Western Europe. However, Labour remains two parties in one: the old pro-capitalist, establishment party and the new anti-austerity party in formation.

Whose interests?

In essence the struggle taking place in the Labour Party is about in which classes' interests it is going to act - the working class majority in society and the middle class with no hope for the future, or the capitalist 1%? The pro-capitalist wing of Labour dominates the PLP and Labour councils. It still controls much of the Labour Party machine, successfully preventing around 150,000 voting in the leadership election and banning regular local Labour Party meetings from taking place during the leadership contest.

The expulsions and exclusions look set to continue. The list of words that Labour Party members are banned from using even includes 'Blairite'! The right are also fighting tooth and nail to establish a majority on Labour's National Executive Committee.

To respond to these savage attacks by attempting to pacify the right is a major mistake. This was the approach taken after Jeremy's first leadership victory and it ended in the coup. A second attempt could only end the same way. The leaked 'Project Anaconda' email put it bluntly saying: "Every concession JC makes will be used to tighten the grip." No more concessions should be made. Nor should the current, highly-undemocratic, Labour Party rules and structures be accepted. Labour should be rebuilt as an open and democratic anti-austerity party.

Right-wing MPs are in a frenzy because Jeremy only said that the "vast majority of MPs will have no problem whatsoever" in keeping their seats in the selection contests that could take place as a result of boundary changes. Nothing but a promise that the seat of every single MP was safe would satisfy them.

But every MP and councillor should face mandatory reselection. This democratic procedure was hard fought for by the left in the past, including Corbyn and McDonnell, only to be abolished as part of the Blairites consolidating their grip on the party. There is no doubt that this made it easier for Labour MPs to vote for tuition fees, privatisation and war, and in some cases to fiddle their expenses, without any fear of being removed and replaced by their local membership.

Kick out the Blairites

The reintroduction of mandatory reselection would be an important step forward, but is not sufficient alone. Jeremy has a huge mandate for the anti-austerity programme on which he was elected. He should now insist that all Labour MPs agree to support his leadership and vote for his programme in parliament. It can no longer be the case that Labour MPs can vote for benefit cuts or privatisation of hospitals without consequence. MPs who do so should be excluded from the PLP.

In the short term this would undoubtedly leave Labour with fewer MPs but a PLP which was united in opposingausterity and supporting workers in struggle would be far more effective than the current situation, where a big section of the PLP are doing their best to 'get Corbyn' even at the cost of losing a general election.

And far from being unpopular, such an anti-austerity Labour Party could quickly make electoral gains. Unfortunately, the attempts to compromise with the right have muffled Corbyn's anti-austerity programme over the last year. But many of his policies - a £10 an hour minimum wage, free education, mass council house building, renationalising the railways - are enormously popular and now need to be shouted from the rooftops. Unfortunately the Labour Party conferences shows the danger that, once again, the anti-austerity message is not heard because of a desire to compromise with the right.

The question of local councils is an important aspect of this. Millions of working class people do not yet recognise Labour as an anti-austerity force because they live in Labour-led local authorities, which are implementing savage austerity. Central government funding of local authorities has been cut by 40% since 2010 and Labour local authorities are dutifully wielding the axe, resulting in 670,000 job losses and destruction of vital local services.

Pressure is mounting. This year Unite and GMB conferences supported a call for councils to refuse to implement any further cuts. In a vain attempt to protect Labour councillors from the anger of workers whose jobs and services are being destroyed (like the 20% of Manchester firefighters facing the sack from a Labour-controlled fire authority) a rule change is being put to Labour Party conference barring Labour councillors from voting against Labour cuts budgets or from setting so-called 'illegal' no-cuts budgets.

The Labour leadership should urgently make clear their opposition to it. It is in part a red herring but Labour conference should be passing a motion demanding Labour councils refuse to implement cuts, not trying to prevent them from doing so. The 58 Labour-led councils that had elections this year alone have £4.5 billion in general reserves. If these were pooled every Labour council in the country would be able to implement legal no-cuts budgets. This could be used to launch a struggle against Tory austerity which could defeat the government.

In Liverpool, where the Labour Party conference is taking place, in the 1980s the council was able to successfully take on Thatcher and win an extra £60 million in funding for the council. In the course of doing so they were decreed to have broken Tory laws, but the results - building council houses, nurseries, leisure centres and more - stand in bricks and mortar. Labour Party conference delegates should be taken on a tour to visit them.

And far from being electorally unpopular, the swing to Labour in Liverpool in the 1987 general election, had it been repeated on a national scale, would have led to a landslide victory for Labour instead of the defeat it was led to by witch-hunter Neil Kinnock.

It is urgent that a battle is launched to transform Labour into an anti-austerity party in word and deed. Alongside this a campaign should begin to democratise the party. This should include readmitting all those socialists that have been expelled and excluded.

The role of the trade unions - workers' organisations with over six million members - should be restored, on a democratic basis so that union delegates genuinely represent the views of their members. John Hannet, the right-wing general secretary of the Usdaw shop workers union, is backing the Blairites to the hilt. But he is not representing the views of many of his low-paid members, who would fully support a leadership fighting for a £10 an hour minimum wage.

Federal structure

The national structures of the Labour Party would also need to be opened out and democratised. The Socialist Party argues for a return to the founding structures of the Labour Party which involved separate socialist political parties coalescing with the trade unions and social movements like women's suffrage campaigners and the co-operative movement. That federal approach applied to today would mean allowing political parties that were prepared to sign up to a clear anti-austerity programme, including the Socialist Party, to affiliate to Labour as the Co-op Party still does.

The movement in support of Corbyn opens up a very important opportunity for working class people in Britain. It creates the possibility of a workers' party - standing for the 99% instead of the 1%, and able to attract all those workers and youth wanting to fight back against capitalism. It is urgent that Jeremy Corbyn's victory is consolidated and the opportunity grasped.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Trotskyism, Corbyn and the Labour Party - public meeting

Tuesday 4th October, 7.30pm, 
YHA Bristol (Grain House), 14 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA

The Jeremy Corbyn leadership campaign is once again inspiring thousands of people to get active in politics and stand up for the future they want. It has driven the right wing of the Labour party to distraction as they try every dirty trick to oust him and take control of the party back. 

Trotskyism has been thrown around as a dirty word in an attempt to smear some of their opponents. The name of Militant, (now the Socialist Party) a Trotskyist group expelled from Labour for being too left wing has been brought up and many slanders spread.

In this meeting we will discuss how Corbyn and his supporters can consolidate a political voice for the 99%, not the 1%. We also look at the real history of the Militant Tendency and what the Russian revolutionary socialist Leon Trotsky actually stood for.

Organised by Bristol Socialist Party and Bristol University and UWE Socialist Students groups. All welcome.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Organise mass working class resistance to austerity

Come to the National Shop Stewards Network rally at the TUC Congress

Join fellow trade unionists and socialists including Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and BFAWU (Bakers Union) general secretary Ronnie Draper on the NSSN lobby of the TUC in Brighton on 11 September, 1pm in the Ashdown Suite, Holiday Inn, 137 King's Road (seafront), Brighton, BN1 2JF

Junior doctors and teachers march together in a joint BMA and NUT demonstration in April. Now Cameron is gone we need to get Hunt and the rest of the Tories out photo Paul Mattsson   

Rob Williams, Socialist Party industrial organiser
TUC congress is taking place at the end of what has seemed like a hot summer, industrially at least. In the run up to the event, the figures for days lost in industrial action in 2015 were published.

On the surface, they are alarming. The lowest number of workers on strike - 81,000 - in a single year since records began in 1893 and only 170,000 days lost through action - the second lowest in history. In the 1980s, on average more than three million days were lost.

No doubt the conclusion drawn by the pessimists and cynics within the trade union movement will be that this confirms that the organised working class is too weak to defeat the employers and their government.

In fact, the TUC press officer, Michael Pidgeon, has used the figures to argue that the Tories had no need to bring in the repressive Trade Union Act, the biggest attack on the unions since Thatcher's anti-union laws three decades ago.

They will also be used to justify the absolutely baleful role of the right-wing union leaders in the fight against Tory austerity over the last six years. No serious campaign of co-ordinated strike action has been called against the biggest jobs cull ever seen in the public sector. Last year, it was estimated that 400,000 workers had been sacked, with the possibility of another half a million going by 2020.


The biggest opportunity to confront the cuts was the 2011 struggle to defend public sector pensions which saw 2 million workers walk out on the 30 November strike that year. If that dispute had been continued and escalated, it had the potential to stop Cameron and Osborne's austerity offensive in its tracks. Instead, the conscious sell-out only emboldened the Tories to go further.

The result has been devastating in terms of jobs, services and pay as well as pensions, which have contributed to the 10% drop in wages with increased pension contributions. No wonder the income of workers in the UK is still at pre-crisis levels. It was this position that forced joint action over pay in 2014. Although that too only lasted one day.

But it would be a huge mistake to draw pessimistic conclusions from a superficial view of these statistics. In some respects, they are a reflection of the disappointment of workers at the seeming inability of the unions to lead an effective fight against the Tory cuts.

As we have pointed out, this is the responsibility of the right-wing union leaders. Two of the three leaders who were primarily responsible for the ending of the pensions dispute, then leader of the TUC Brendan Barber and GMB general secretary Paul Kenny, were knighted by Cameron. The other, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis, is under increasing pressure from members of his union because of his role.

Joint action

The ability of the Tories to drive through cuts in the public sector (which has a majority of union members and is where their density is greatest) without large-scale joint action over the last two years has undoubtedly had an effect on the figures.

But this masks the huge discontent and anger that exists. This has been reflected in individual union disputes in the public sector. For example, there have been national disputes by civil servants' union PCS and the Fire Brigades Union.

There have also been prominent local disputes, such as by Unite members in Bromley and Greenwich councils and Unison in Glasgow and Barnet. Socialist Party members have been prominent in some of these struggles.

There are many other disputes that don't even make the figures. Over the last few months there has been an uprising of teaching assistants in Derby and then Durham against pay cuts of up to 23% by Labour councils.

In Durham, 500 of these low paid workers filled a meeting and launched a public campaign but no actual official strike days have yet been sanctioned by theunions, Unison and the GMB.
Similarly, there have been three incredible disputes in London recently, at Deliveroo, UberEats and among contracted cleaners. It is likely that not one day of their action is officially recorded as neither of the small independent unions involved - the United Voices of the World (UVW) and the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) - have a recognition agreement with the employer.

Nevertheless both Deliveroo drivers and UVW cleaners have won victories against their brutal working conditions. Many of these workers are migrants and many have to hold down two or more jobs to have any chance of a living.


Their struggles should be celebrated and show that it is possible for unions to flourish in the era of zero-hour contracts and bogus self-employment. The trade union movement, especially 'new unionism' in the late nineteenth century, was built in similar exploitative conditions.
The strikes also showed a number of features that are becoming increasingly common. The use of social media has been important to advertise the disputes and build solidarity, including protests and financial support.

UberEats workers ride into town to face down their bosses photo Scott Jones, photo Scott Jones   (Click to enlarge)

The IWGB raised £8,000 in two days in their dispute with Deliveroo. PCS raised over £100,000 that helped pay National Gallery strikers during their dispute that lasted over 100 days last year. In fact, a number of disputes are seeing longer action.

Some of these disputes - such as those by BFAWU bakers' union members in 2-Sisters plants in Sheffield and Newport and PCS in the Welsh and Scottish Museums - were over employers attacking premium pay to compensate for the increase to the new National Living Wage.

The RMT has appeared to be on strike on all fronts - including Eurostar, Virgin East Coast, Southern Rail and ScotRail. Many of these have also involved protracted action. There have also been bitter disputes by Unite members on the buses in Leeds and Weymouth.

Construction workers went on strike at the Fawley oil refinery in Hampshire to ensure that migrant workers were paid the same as UK workers. Also, the first strike took place in the offshore oil industry for nearly 30 years. Both of these strikes got results.

Trade Union Act

The Tories may find that their Trade Union Act could actually up the ante, as the new law means that disputes could be timed out after six months, forcing a re-ballot. Workers could draw the conclusion that they might as well go all-out from the beginning.

Actually, far from dismissing the threat from the unions, the right-wing Tory press have a far more realistic appraisal of the potential threat of the unions.

They have particularly been fulminating about the rail strikes, demanding the immediate introduction of the new undemocratic higher voting thresholds or even outlawing strikes altogether!

In response to the new strike figures, Matthew Lynn of the Telegraph wrote, "Strike action may have fallen to the lowest levels in over a century - but the sooner it is eliminated completely the better." He was railing against the Southern Rail strike but also what he calls the 'public sector middle class'.

Of course, the most prominent of disputes among this group has been the inspirational junior doctors. They exploded onto the scene, not just on picket lines outside hospitals but campaigning in town and city centres.

Scandalously, the overwhelming support they have received from fellow trade unionists and the public hasn't matched by that of the TUC and most union leaders, especially in health.

However, the junior doctors have rejected the government's offer and are embarking on the next phase of action. It should be a key debate at TUC congress to turn support into active solidarity. 

At the very least there should be a national TUC demonstration in support of the BMA doctors' union and also widened to defend the NHS.

National demonstration

There is already a national demonstration called by the National Union of Students and lecturers' union UCU in November to defend education, just as national action has been taking place by teachers and lecturers.

The potential exists to bring all these struggles together. 90 years after the 1926 general strike, an increasing number of workers are groping towards the understanding that mass strike action can transform the political, as well as the industrial, situation.

The attempted Blairite coup against Jeremy Corbyn has deliberately deflected attention away from the historic crisis within the Tories after Brexit. The main architects of the brutal austerity offensive, Cameron and Osborne, are history.

May's government has no authority and she is only prime minister because of a defeat for an administration she was part of. In any other circumstance, there would be a clamour for a general election. Even if only semi-consciously, workers can feel that this is a weak government and this will only increase as more workers engage in action.

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is again holding a rally before the start of TUC congress.

Its two main themes will be for the unions to prepare the mass strike action necessary to take on what's left of the Tories and also to defend the left Labour leadership of Jeremy Corbyn against the Labour right. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell will be addressing the rally alongside leaders from some of the most militant unions.

The political and industrial are beginning to fuse. The second Corbyn wave, created by the whip of Blairite counter-revolution, has drawn more workers into the struggle against the Labour right.

Workers understand how much is at stake as the right wing try to turn the political clock back. This is not a period of passivity but one of increasing volatility. If given a lead it can develop into a mass movement of struggle to defeat the Tories and their Blairite agents.

Join fellow trade unionists and socialists including John McDonnell and Ronnie Draper on the NSSN lobby of the TUC in Brighton on 11 September, 1pm in the Ashdown Suite, Holiday Inn, 137 King's Road (seafront), Brighton, BN1 2JF

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

1000 Jobs To Be Cut At Bristol City Council

Marvin Rees (right) - Labour mayor doing the bidding of Tory chancellors past and present

TUSC calls on Marvin Rees to reverse decision and fight for necessary funding

Bristol Labour mayor Marvin Rees has announced the cutting of 1000 jobs from Bristol City Council, almost 1 in 6 of the workforce. This is part of a package of £43m cuts, additional cuts of some £60m planned by Rees over the next 4 years will further devastate jobs and services in Bristol.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) demands that Rees reverses these job cuts and campaigns for the funding stolen by the Tory government to be returned.

Anti-cuts campaigners and trade unions representing council staff have also raised their concerns. The Unite, Unison and GMB unions all have positions nationally of calling on councils not to make cuts and to use reserves and borrowing powers to protect services while demanding more funding from central government.

TUSC former mayoral candidate and Bristol Socialist Party member, Tom Baldwin said:

“It seems that Jeremy Corbyn’s call for opposition to austerity has not reached every level of the Labour Party. These cuts are being driven by the Tory government but here we have a Labour mayor putting forward an eye-watering package of redundancies.

“This will be seen as a betrayal by many of the people who voted for Marvin Rees hoping for a change from the cuts made by George Ferguson. Libraries and care were amongst the areas cut in the last 4 years. Services will be decimated by the latest round of cuts, let alone the extra £60m cuts Rees says he ‘must’ make.

“Austerity is a political choice by the Tory government. They’ve found money to cut taxes for the rich but are cutting council budgets to the bone. Our mayor needs to be exposing this hypocrisy and sticking up for his staff and the vital services they provide, not acting as the Tories’ hatchet man.

 “During this year’s elections TUSC were the only party to consistently warn of the impact of council cuts in the coming years. That’s because we were the only party with a plan to fight those cuts and stick up for jobs and services in this city.

“We call for a no-cuts budget that is based on what Bristol needs and the building of a mass campaign to push back the Tory government and reverse the swingeing cuts they’ve made. The council has significant reserves which should be used, along with prudential borrowing powers, to plug the funding gap while the campaign is built. By mobilising unions, anti-cuts campaigners and the communities that will be hit by the cuts and by linking up with other Labour councils that are willing to fight, the Tory cuts can be overcome.

“Marvin Rees must now adopt that approach if he doesn’t want to be known as the mayor that butchered Bristol’s services. The need to challenge austerity in deeds, not just words, is greater than ever.”

Thursday, 28 July 2016

No compromise with Labour right wing

photo: Paul Mattsson


The next few months will decide the fate of the Labour Party. Although he claims to be 'as radical as Jeremy', the leadership challenger Owen Smith is in reality the candidate of all those with a vested interest in keeping the Labour Party a safe, New Labour-style version of the Tories.

The stakes couldn't be higher. Labour was set up 116 years ago by trade unionists, socialists, women suffrage campaigners, the working class co-operative movement, and others, as 'our party'.

But over the course of 20 years under the leadership of Blair, Brown and Miliband it was completely transformed into another party of big business and the 1% capitalist elite.

Jeremy Corbyn's unexpected victory in last summer's leadership election created an opening to roll back the New Labour transformation. His anti-austerity message, and support for trade union rights, free education, council housing etc, changed the terms of political debate.

Even Tory prime ministers are now forced to speak of 'working class families struggling to get by' from the steps of Downing Street!

But because Jeremy Corbyn's victory offered the hope of change, a showdown with the capitalist establishment and their representatives within the Labour Party was inevitable.

And now, as the Socialist warned from the outset, the two-parties-in-one are in a desperate fight for control of the Labour Party brand.

The immediate task is to mobilise for Jeremy Corbyn's re-election. But also to organise to ensure that this time victory is consolidated by remaking Labour as a working class, socialist party that really can be the voice of the 99%.

Labour at the crossroads

The Labour Party right-wing were never going to accept Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. Standing behind them are the capitalist establishment, the 1% elite, who have benefitted enormously from the transformation of Labour into Tony Blair's New Labour and the domination of political debate by pro-market ideas which that allowed.

It was not for nothing that the former Tory deputy prime minister Geoffrey Howe said of Margaret Thatcher that "her real triumph was to have transformed not just one party but two", with New Labour's embrace of capitalism.

While for example, average household incomes have only just returned to the levels at the start of the 'great recession' in 2008, the richest 1,000 people in Britain have more than doubled their wealth to £547 billion in the same period. The New Labour era was good for the elite.

The Labour right have shown how ruthless they are prepared to be to defend the interests of their establishment backers. Only the protests of thousands of Labour members and trade unionists secured a narrow majority on the party's national executive committee (NEC) to stop Jeremy being effectively excluded from the ballot paper.

But this attempted coup having failed, the right went on to plan B and limited the franchise compared to last summer's election, after Jeremy and other supporters had literally 'left the room'.

Also, for the first time since world war two, all regular party meetings have been closed down, removing the chance for ordinary party members to hold anti-Corbyn MPs and councillors to account.

Angela Eagle's Wallasey constituency party has been suspended and the election of new, left-wing officers of the Brighton & Hove District Labour Party, the biggest local party unit, annulled.

Meetings necessary

Local parties should defy these edicts and continue meeting, or #Keep Corbyn meetings should be organised independently, including by trade union branches - and involving Corbyn supporters inside and outside the Labour Party.

After all, the dictatorial rule-or-ruin approach of the Labour apparatus in this battle gives a glimpse of the type of regime that will operate if Owen Smith were to win.

The idea that the social movement developing around Jeremy Corbyn could conduct an effective struggle within the confines of the Labour Party in the event that he is unseated from the leadership is utopian.

By the same token, it is clear that if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected this time his victory must be properly consolidated. This means taking on the main bases of establishment Labour, in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), the national party apparatus, and locally, the big majority of Labour's 7,000 councillors.

Challenging the latter will be vital to show in practice what an anti-austerity party really is, in contrast to the actions of the Labour right.

It does not mean a party voting for cuts! The fact is that Labour councils this year will be sacking three times the number of workers who are losing their jobs from the collapse of BHS, denounced by MPs as 'the unacceptable face of capitalism'.

If Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected he must organise for Labour councils to defy the Tories, including refusing to implement the new Housing and Planning Act, with local parties pressing councillors who refuse to fight to resign. The situation where council Labour groups and not the members decide council policy must be reversed.

Inclusive structure

The national structures of the Labour Party would also need to be opened out and democratised. To mobilise the maximum possible support, there should be a return to the founding structures of the Labour Party which involved separate socialist political parties coalescing with the trade unions and social movements like women's suffrage campaigners and the co-operative movement.

That federal approach applied to today would mean allowing political parties like the Socialist Party and others involved in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and anti-austerity Greens, to affiliate to Labour as the Co-op Party still does.

While mandatory re-selection would allow local parties to replace their MPs at the next general election, more decisive action would need to be taken before then to bring the parliamentary party into line.

MPs should have the Labour whip only if they agree to accept the renewed mandate for Corbyn and his anti-austerity, anti-war policies.

It is necessary to take on the forces in Labour defending the capitalist establishment, not seek 'unity' around their agenda.

Their attempted coup has shown that if there was a Corbyn-led Labour government they would play a similar role to those parliamentarians who joined Syriza as it overtook Pasok, the Greek equivalents of New Labour, but who were then to the fore in pushing for it to capitulate before the interests of capitalism.

A party of struggle with fewer MPs but a fighting socialist programme, would have a bigger impact in defence of the working class than a party with a couple of hundred MPs but which accepts the policies demanded by capitalism.

Winning new support it could regain the seats that may be temporarily held by anti-Corbyn MPs and go on to win a general election.

The right-wing have moved against Jeremy Corbyn and the most important question now is how the social movement that has begun to mobilise in his defence can be organised for the battles to come.