11 Days Remaining

Wednesday 21st
posted by Luke James in Britain

The Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory was relaunched last night after being confined to the political wilderness for 36 years.

Left MP John McDonnell spoke at the first public meeting of a group that was first founded to help fight the 1979 general election.

Scrapping Trident, free education and public ownership of rail and utilities number among a 12-point manifesto issued by the grassroots group.

Co-founder Sasha Ismail said the campaign aims to help to deliver an end to Tory rule — and without voters having to “hold their nose” as they vote Labour.

“If the Tories remain in power, it will be a disaster for workers,” he told the Star ahead of yesterday’s meeting.

“Even the single issue of

the right to strike shows that, and the only alternative is a Labour government.

“Equally, we don’t want to become foot soldiers for the Labour leadership.

“So there’s a need to organise the biggest possible number of people around winning a Labour government but also putting pressure on a Labour to deliver in government — and popularising socialism.”

The campaign hopes to reach out to left activists disenfranchised by decisions taken by Labour leaders.

Becky Crocker, a member of the non-affiliated RMT rail union, was chosen to chair last night’s meeting in a deliberate bid to build a “non-sectarian” campaign.

Activists who pounded the streets in an energetic but doomed bid to prevent Margaret Thatcher becoming PM are also among left Labour campaigners who have helped re-found the grassroots group.

“Some of us aren’t that old or have long political memories,” said supporter and Communication Workers Union rep Maria Exall.

“But, yes, it’s inspired by the 1979 campaign and the politics are quite similar in terms of our expectations of the Labour Party.”

The Campaign for Socialist Victory is set to take part in the Left Platform initiative which will be launched at a conference on February 7.

It is already supported by 22 left MPs including former minister Michael Meacher and established groups such as the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy.