Thu, 19 Apr 2018, 19:30
The Wanstead Tap, London, The Wanstead Tap, 352 Winchelsea Rd., London, E7 0AQ
Discussing the Labour Party, past and present. Hosted by Newham Bookshop
For over a hundred years, the British Labour Party has been a bastion for working class organisation and struggle. However, has it ever truly been on the side of the workers? Where do its interests really lie? And can we rely on it to provide a barrier against right-wing forces? By looking into its history, this book shines a light on the internal dynamics of the ‘party with socialists in it’.
From its origins in the late nineteenth century, the Labour Party was uncomfortably divided between a metropolitan liberal and a working class milieu, which characterises the party to this very day. This history guides us through the Bevanite movement and the celebrated government of Clement Attlee, to the emergence of a New Left that was highly sceptical of the Labour party during the Wilson era. It explores the move towards Blairism and the disheartening story of the decline of the Labour Left after their historic defeat in the 1980s.
With the emergence of socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party’s fate rests in the balance. Will they reconcile their internal divisions or split into obscurity?
Simon Hannah is a writer and political activist. He is the author of A Party with Socialists in It (Pluto 2018). His work has been featured in Open Democracy and New Left Project. He is currently researching at King’s College the municipal socialist movement of the 1980s. He is an active trade unionist and a member of the Labour Party.