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Report from Left Unity National Co-ordinating Group Meeting Saturday 7th September 2013 –Birmingham

There were 29 voting delegates in attendance plus the two chairs and a number of observers.

Chairs for the meeting (Terry Conway and Merry Cross) were volunteered and elected. Minutes of the previous meeting agreed.

There was one matter arising from the minutes; at the July meeting there had been discussion re: the possibility of live video streaming of meetings. Some members had had concerns about this in terms of protecting the privacy of people who did not want to be on film. A member of the NCG had been tasked with exploring the practicality surrounding this but wasn’t available to feedback to the meeting.

 Two other issues were mentioned and briefly discussed before we moved on to agenda items:

Women’s caucus

A women’s caucus has been established. There is a link to this on the national website.

Circulation of the agenda and resolutions

 

There was a call for the agenda for the national meetings to be circulated seven days in advance, along with all resolutions to be put to the meetings. Delegates in favour of this proposal debated the importance of being able to discuss agenda items and resolutions with their local groups first, to help enable these group members to be involved in the process. Delegates against felt that it would discriminate against groups who hold their meetings on a Thursday or Friday as their time for discussion would be very limited, that delegates should decide themselves which way to vote and that the political climate changes quickly and having to wait until the next meeting to submit a late resolution would slow down the process of forming the party. This resolution was passed by 17 to three, with nine abstentions.

Items two and three –timetable for founding conference and agenda for founding conference

 

The date for the next meeting of the NCG was agreed upon –this will be Saturday 19th October and will be in London.

Several delegates expressed concerns re: the proposed agenda for the November founding conference in that it seemed unrealistic that there would be enough time to get through it whilst allowing sufficient debate. There were suggestions around cutting down the number of platforms and resolutions and whether to allow amendments to platforms.

 It was agreed unanimously that standing orders for the November conference would be developed and brought to the October meeting and that this work would be done by the conference organising group, in consultation with LU members who have experience of being involved in this type of work. The October meeting will also elect a standing orders committee.

 

Also passed unanimously was a resolution that the timeframe for the November conference, the agenda for the conference and all material related to this be posted on the national website.

The deadline for signing up for the conference will be 23rd November and everyone wishing to attend must also be a sub paying member of LU by that date.

It was agreed that there will be no amendments taken for platforms. Partly due to time constraints and also because of the impracticalities of agreeing amendments to a platform that may have over 100 signatories.

The process for the election of leaders and positions within the party was also discussed. The delegate from Huddersfield had been involved in developing LU’s draft constitution; within this is a procedure for the election of leaders and officials. This draft constitution is available on the website. It was proposed that the November conference elect a steering committee and that actual elections take place at the spring conference.

There was also discussion re: the involvement of the media in the November conference. Concerns were raised regarding how the party would be portrayed in the press after a conference that was likely to have a high amount of disagreement and heated debate amongst members. This debate needs to happen as part of the process of LU defining what it is and what it stand for and members need to be free to feel they can have this debate without worrying about how the press will interpret this. A proposal not to have the press present at this conference was declined as it was already agreed that they would be involved by delegates at the last meeting.

It was then agreed to bring forward item five –the Safe Spaces Policy

 

This draft policy is available on the national website and is intended to help ensure that LU meetings and events are accessible and feel safe for all to attend. It was agreed to refer to local groups who may send feedback, proposed amendments etc on this policy and for the policy to be discussed again at the October meeting and the September conference and to then be voted on at the November conference.

Deferred item four –proposals for policy workshop conference (Manchester) including BSL costing

 

There was discussion re: how the timetable for the day will work, timings of workshops etc. It was agreed that attending a workshop debating the constitution will not be compulsory.

BSL translation- at least one LU member planning to attend the November conference requires BSL translation in order to participate. This has been costed at £800. It was agreed to pay for this from LU if necessary but that Felicity and Bianca from the NCG will approach various unions and ask them to contribute towards the cost of this. It was also agreed to start a LU inclusivity fund to help pay for future accessibility needs.

Item six –reconciliation report

 

Felicity from the NCG gave details regarding a matter she and other members of LU had been involved in which concerned a failure to reach resolution between two members who had had a significant disagreement. She requested the help of a small party of delegates to read the reports related to this incident and give recommendations for reaching a resolution. Three delegates agreed to do this work.

Items seven and eight –report on founding membership figures & financial report, including Manchester South queries

 

Unfortunately James from the NCG was not able to be at the meeting to give figures re: membership and finances. This will be an item on the October meeting agenda.

Manc S queries –this was a query about how people without bank accounts could become members. Kate Hudson described how there is a process for this to happen whereby a local group can collect cash from members and send to the national bank account on their behalf.

There was also discussion re: which bank to use for LU accounts, delegates felt that the Co-op and Unity banks were the most ethical. One delegate informed the group that these are actually part of the same bank, so either would be comparable.

Leaflets –it was proposed by Kate Hudson (and agreed) that party funds would be used to produce several thousand leaflets and send out to groups for free.

Item nine –Reading LU proposals

 

Reading LU group had submitted two proposals

·         That the basic principles of one member one vote be in place in writing before the founding conference

·         That we have links on the website to the web pages of every local group

The first proposal was not voted on as it was already agreed at the May NCG meeting. Kate agreed to reiterate this in the next newsletter.

The second proposal was also not voted on as not all local groups have websites and it was also felt inappropriate to vote to create a potentially large amount of work for people who are doing LU in their spare time. It was however agreed that any local group who have a website can send the details to the national website who will publish these details.

Item ten –Rugby LU proposals

 

The first proposal from this group related to the agreement in the June NCG meeting to involve left groups, unions etc in the policy making process through the policy commissions and the September conference. This group had agreed with this proposal and called upon the NCG make it happen. Their proposal was passed with an amendment that removed left parties from their proposal and replaced it with left groups (this had been the agreement at the June meeting).

It was noted that the central team do not have the facility to set up links with local groups but they are welcome to participate and many LU groups have made links with these groups and the wider left leaning community.

Their second proposal was that the LU newsletter be used to encourage all LU groups to download and print materials from each commission for distribution to those not on the internet who wish to be involved. This was passed by the meeting.

Item 11 –joint Tower Hamlets LU & Hackney LU Proposal

 

These groups had proposed that articles debating platform statements should not appear on the front page of the website, the rationale being that this creates an instant impression of disunity and argument for those interested in LU who visit the website to find out more. It was instead proposed that these be in a separate section of the website. This was agreed unanimously.

Item 13 –Southwark LU proposals

There were three proposals from this group

1.       That all branches be supported to set up Facebook groups and web pages by knowledgeable activists.

2.       NCG members to coordinate creation of a speakers list of all members who have experience and can speak on different topics to be circulated to branches so they can contact individuals to speak in their area.

3.       NCG members to coordinate the creation of an artists list of all members who have skills in art or culture which can be used at public events, music nights etc.

Proposal one was agreed, Micheline, a delegate from one of the London groups agreed to help with this.

Proposals two and three were also agreed with amendments relating to groups making sure that speakers/performers expensive are paid and agreed in advance. Micheline also agreed to compile these lists with information sent to her. Local groups are encouraged to send this information via the national website.

The meeting closed (on time) at 5pm.

General observations

This meeting had a much more positive feel than last meeting I attended in Doncaster, with none of the challenges to the chair or points of order being raised. There was still disagreement and debate around this disagreement but all of this was done in a civilised respectful manner and the group felt more cohesive, with the meeting flowing well despite obvious time pressures.

 

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Kate Hudson: The New left, Europe and Left Unity

Kate Hudson spoke at the second Leeds Left Unity public meeting last night. Again there were many new faces with around 28 people in attendance. The discussion section was started off with an appeal from the Leeds Pathology labs strike, where their representative spoke about their plight and delivered the shocking news that often on a night in Leeds General Infirmary, St James’ hospital and Bradford Royal Infirmary, there is often only one member of staff in pathology on a night due to cuts. This is obviously not only dangerous but stops highly dedicated NHS workers from delivering the excellent service they strive to provide. The meeting responded well and we hope their strike went well today. Many members of Left Unity said they were planning to head to the picket lines to support today (1.8.13).

The discussion began with a summary of the various Left parties that have formed in Europe in the recent years including Syriza, Die Linke, Front de Gauche etc., how and why they were formed and interestingly how each situation is different to the political situation in England. Front de Gauche for example came about as a co-operation of parties that have been developing and building since the fall of the wall and the triumphal heralding of the fall of communism. If nothing else, the success and persistence of organisations within Front de Gauche highlight how fallacious the fall of the left really was. However, England is a different situation. Labour, as being formed from the trade union movement, Kate Hudson suggests has maintained a hope that it can return to its left roots and turn back the tide of the savage attacks on conditions hard won after WWII. So, England finds itself seeing Labour heading further and further right, while not having maintained organisations significant enough to form into the new left formations developing across Europe, which is why Left Unity has been called. Kate Hudson, as a founding member of Left Unity and present at the 14th of November meeting knows as well as any the need for this to happen and happen fast.

The left in England has divided and divided with the last significant organisation probably being the CPGB, which when it fell apart took 10’s of thousands of members with it. Militant had almost these numbers during their peak but as with everyone else, suffered heavy losses during the 90s and in their split into the Socialist Party and Socialist Appeal. Each of the projects that have either maintained or come into existence since this time have new opportunities to develop however outside of the yolk of the Soviet Union. Some organisations have sought to become more pluralistic, some more dogmatic and some simply obscure. Especially during the decline of communism and Socialism in Britain and Europe in the 80’s and 90’s, new thinkers began to talk about the potential benefits of the era, where it would be necessary to consider that perhaps one theorist was not entirely right and that it was time to put aside the arguments about whether Trotsky was entirely accurate or Lenin, Gramsci or Mao, Proudhon or Marx. It was a time where new formations could and did develop in Europe which has resulted in the parties that are continuing to fight in Europe today.

This led on to perspectives about what Left Unity could represent today and what it should represent today. Left Unity was formed to be a broad left party, to the left of Labour that can seek to represent people in this time crisis and beyond and fight for things like the NHS, properly funded welfare, employment, union rights and equality. It is possible to learn lessons from where the new left parties in Europe have taken their policies, with some coalitions already facing problems through reverting to social democracy and as such, it is important that Left Unity forms clearly with left principles. Another point well made by Kate Hudson was that it is also possible, in creating a new left party, to attempt to live as if social change had already taken place. Left Unity can be a vessel for people to discuss and test theories relating to emancipation with the support of people from all over the left. This is perhaps one of the most essential points raised. With threats of far right devolution either being encouraged by the racist Tory party or ignored by their coalition partners the Lib Dems or silently encouraged by Labour, equality is not common place in any real way in the current political discourse. In Left Unity people will be able to live and develop treating each other with respect while fighting for public services and economic change that will make such a difference to so many.

The discussion was lively and initially focussed on whether or when Left Unity should start to stand in elections. If we are to do this, it is necessary to understand what principles we are to adopt before hitting the doorstep but everyone in Leeds seemed particularly eager to get going and start talking to people. As the discussion developed, the inevitable discussion about what Left Unity represents to each person brought about some interesting insights and agreements. Though as ever, disagreement points out how far there is to go even on a local level with Left Unity. If you are interested in any of the issues discussed above, then please get in touch via the contact page or home page or come along to our next organising meeting.

Leeds Left Unity


Kate Hudson to Speak at Leeds Left Unity Meeting – 31.7.13, 6pm, Rose Bowl, Leeds Metropolitan University

By Elliot Nathan

 

Following on from the success of a well attended public meeting with the well known children’s author Alan Gibbons as guest speaker, Leeds Left Unity has arranged for Kate Hudson to speak at a debate on ‘the left and Europe’.

 

Kate is an academic and political activist. She is currently the General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and sits on the National Council of Left Unity. Kate was Head of Social Policy Studies at London South Bank University until recently and is now a Visiting Research Fellow.  She has penned a number of books on the subject of the European left.

 

Although many social democratic parties in Europe have shifted to the right and adopted Thatcherite economic policies, some new parties and coalitions have appeared to fill the vacuum created on the left of the political spectrum. Examples of this include Syriza in Greece and Die Linke in Germany.  Why hasn’t this happened in Britain and what can we learn from the European experience?  The conditions are overly ripe in the UK for a successful political response to the rightwards stampede of Labour aren’t they?

 

Leeds Left Unity was established in March 2013 and meets regularly to, among other things, organise activities giving support to local anti cuts campaigns, including Keep Our NHS Public and opposition to the Bedroom Tax.  The group arose in response to Ken Loach’s appeal to discuss the formation of a new political party of the Left to bring together those who wish to defend the welfare state and present an economic alternative to austerity.  The background to this appeal is succinctly summarized by Ken:

 

“The welfare state is being dismantled by the coalition government, bringing great suffering to the most vulnerable in society and eroding the living conditions of millions of ordinary people. Worse still, the Labour Party is not presenting a strong opposition to austerity and instead appears to have wholeheartedly adopted neo-liberal policy, advocating its own brand of austerity and privatization”.

 

So, what are you waiting for?  Come along to the debate on 31 July and be part of the search for an alternative – another world is possible!


Leeds Left Unity Launch Meeting – 22nd May 2013

On the 22nd of May 2013 Alan Gibbons introduced the Leeds Left Unity launch meeting with great enthusiasm and personal passion that was truly inspirational. Leeds Left Unity formed as a result of the national call from Ken Loach for a new left party to oppose the national shift to the right and the betrayals of Labour, felt so deeply by the people least responsible for the financial crisis. Within two weeks over 8000 people nationally answered that call by signing the petition and as a result over 90 groups have been set up across the country in less than two months. It is obvious to anyone at this stage that Left Unity has the potential to answer questions unanswered by the main three parties and more importantly, has the opportunity to have ordinary people feel they have a voice again that is not rooted in racism, oppression, capitalism or subservience to big business.

Kath Owen gave a brief introduction to the meeting of around 100 people as chair that called on everyone involved to stay involved and highlighted the nature of Leeds Left Unity and Left Unity nationally by highlighting that it is a member led organisation seeking to encourage people to organise themselves and fight back against austerity. Then introduced Alan Gibbons, international children’s author but perhaps more importantly, long standing left wing campaigner with too many campaigns under his belt to list here. Alan is not on an organising ctte in Left Unity or a national initiative seeking to control the organisation. He is a member with a voice and it is important to recognise that while he is a truly fantastic speaker, he spoke as another member of Left Unity to the people in the room.

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The discussion ranged from why we need a fightback against the coalition and Labour at this time and how Left Unity can achieve that. He spoke at length from his personal experiences in fighting for left wing politics and how to challenge non-sensical economic terms that the big business parties use to confuse and intimidate people out of action. As the discussion went on, people were laughing, shouting and so wonderfully encouraged on to action but it became very clear that this was a meeting interested in doing something new. The room was made up of around 100 people from all walks of political and personal situations. It was perhaps slightly more male participants then female, which is something Left Unity is very interested in addressing the patriarchal attitudes so present in British politics but the ratio was far better than any meeting I have personally attended on the left in some time.

The discussion had to be ended with people still indicating to speak after around 90 minutes of contributions from campaigns, personal speakers and traditional revolutionary left organisations and even a speaker still in the Labour party. The first people to speak were from campaigns already active in Leeds, with Hands off Our Homes speaker Liz detailing how it is possible to beat the government on another entirely ideological and ill-conceived plot to make poor people pay as they have already U-turned on a number of issues and it will cost more to evict people than can possibly be gained from these bullying sanctions on spare rooms. Keep Our NHS Public speaker gave a richly informative description of the work taking place in KONP in Leeds and wider and how they are always looking for more people to lobby the privatisers of a dearly loved and hard won NHS, such as Virgin and Serco.

Other contributions highlighted the need for Left Unity to be inclusive and considerate when using outdated or politically damaged terminology, to make sure that all people from all walks of left wing political opinion can feel welcomed, encouraged and strengthened by the unity that Left Unity can offer. There was already an agreed meeting on the 5th of June (details to follow) for the Left Unity organsing meeting where we will determine what to do next with this rapidly and encouragingly growing movement. So, whoever you are, if you are left, please come along and let us know what you think should be done and help in a genuinely united movement interested in helping people because it is the right thing to do. I won’t spoil the excellent introduction by Alan Gibbons at this point by detailing it as video of his introduction is to follow. So, please, watch this space and get involved.


Summary of Left Unity Leeds Launch Meeting on the 22nd of May 2013

These are the notes taken during the meeting for record keeping sake. A full report of the meeting will be made available later on the blog.

       Notes from Alan Gibbons meeting

       Hands off our Homes – fantastic campaign, real resistance from below – needs to get to more places, esp. Lingfield. Handsoffourhomes@gmail.com

       Keep Our NHS Public – end of 65 years of NHS! American system coming! It is going to hit home. Go to your own GP, involve with patient participation and clinical commissioning.  KONP group, meeting and leafletting.

       Wakefield Left Unity – there is a fightback. Ballots for strike action. Clerical staff in UNISON already been out, more action to come.  Get union reps and strikers to talk to meetings.

       Spirit of ‘45 – we were in it together to set welfare state up.  What will make the difference now? People should reclaim the Labour Party and trade unions.

       Socialism? Or mass movement? Word demonized in press. Don’t need the word, we’ve got morality

       Left unity like a unicorn. Spent too much time discussing what we disagree on, rather than what we agree on – what we are fighting against and fighting for.

       Lessons from past – easier when struggles going forward. History of united activity in Leeds – continue unity in those struggles.

       UAF meet 7.30PM, 3rd Tuesday every month in Civic Hall – fight fascism and racism.

       UKIP is a warning. Ken Loach’s appeal – not just for elections, but in struggle. Got to name capitalism as enemy and to fight for alternative – socialism. What lies ahead? Needs discussion. Get involved – organising meeting June 5th in Broadcasting Place.

       Different traditions, be a big church – like the Morning Star. We agree on 90%

       Labour don’t represent an alternative, need a working class alternative. Lessons from Lingfield – lack working class socialist alternative on that estate. Need left organization rooted in every community and workplace.

       Labour in the communities – in the past. Now, we want activists in communities. Lesson from KONP at Labour conference. 65th anniversary of NHS – want to campaign against privatisation. Meet in Millennium Square. Campaign against Virgin. Put Labour Party on the spot. Push Labour to the left. For public housing, against war, discrimination, privatisation. Rebuild grassroots organisation.

       UKIP – Tea Party? Astroturfing. Claim to be movement of working class – don’t alienate people, show we’ve got working class roots.

       Unity in action – work in Lingfield, successful – revitalised UAF. Done by a handful – needed more people. Hands Off Our Homes – needs more activists. KONP – need more people. Stimulate unity in action. We’ve got to win.

       UKIP racism – influences Tories and Labour – need to confront  racist arguments about immigration, build unity.

       Can it happen? Going to be what people want it to be. Share information.

       One Member One Vote (OMOV)

       Left organizations not changed much since 70s – Left Unity needs to be different and broaden things out. Not arguing about nature of USSR.

       10,000 people in Green Party. Willing to work together in future.


The Search for New Answers: The Green Turn in British Politics.

Natalie Bennett Green Party leader was speaking at Leeds Taking Soundings meeting on the 23rd April 2013 at Broadcasting Place on:

 

Leeds-20130424-00546 (2)

 

Natalie Bennett is the new leader of the Green Party, elected in 2012. She has a scientific background in Australia and has since worked with the National Commission on Womens Affairs on its report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

 

 Natalie also worked as a consultant with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on child labour issues and World Health Organization (WHO) on womens health. She has also had a strong engagement with feminist politics in Britain, and she is a trustee of the Fawcett Society and the founding chair of Green Party Women.

 

Natalie stood for the Greens in the 2010 general election for the seat of Holborn and St Pancras, and was selected for the London Assembly list in May 2012 on the London-wide list for The Green Party

 

There were over 40 people at the meeting from different left political traditions.

 

Natalie Bennett’s talk was a refreshing description of the main points of the Green Party’s opposition to the government’s programme of privatisation and austerity.  It was made in language largely free from the cliches of the left.

 

She argued for defence of the NHS, the re-nationalisation of the railways, against zero-hour contracts, for the scrapping of trident, the removal of tuition fees, against benefit reforms and the bedroom tax: and that she would support a general strike against government policies.  Clearly standing to the left of Labour in a significant way.  One person at the meeting commented that the Greens talk about every issue other than environment!

 

The discussion was interesting: with the question of the Green’s position towards the idea of socialism being one of the key points of debate.  The experience of Green’s in government in Ireland, Germany and Holland was broached where they have ended up in supporting neo-liberal government policies.  Our own UK experience of the Greens in power in Brighton where the council have ended implementing severe cuts rather than to resign and fight them.  In Leeds we have seen Green councillors supporting a Tory/Lib-Dem administration.

 

Natalie Bennett’s response to these questions was to explain that because of the lack of any organisation to the left of an essentially neo-liberal Labour Party; that the UK Greens would avoid the pitalls of their other european green parties.  The question of the experience in Brighton was largely left unanswered

 

Natalie questioned the need for an organisation such as Left Unity: suggesting that the Green Party is an adequate left-wing political representation of the opposition to government policies.  Urging people to consider the Green Party prior to embarking on the Left Unity project.

 

What is apparent is that the Greens are a mix of politics.  Many of their best members identify themselves as left wing and as socialists. They are active opponents of cuts and operate within the mileu of the local trades unions and the left.  Natalie Bennett herself is an excellent spokesperson against austerity and the night after this meeting her appearance on BBC Question Time illustrated this. The Brighton Green MP Caroline Lucas has been one of the most consistent opponents of the war.

 

There are obvious key points of difference in the politics of ‘red or green’ but there is also a clear need for engagement.  We cannot ignore the experience of European Green Parties in government or indeed the Green Party adminstration in Brighton; but this should not be used as a means to score sectarian points.  Within the context of trying to acheive left unity we need to continue these discussions and maintain our work along side our Green Party colleagues in opposition to austerity wherever we can.


Left Unity Leeds Meeting Report (17.4.13)

Really good first full meeting of the Leeds Left Unity group. Twenty-three in attendance, would have had thirty plus but for apologies for absence and a little unfortunate misdirection which strikes me as a great start with a good turnout, I think possibly a damn sight better than many of us might have expected so that’s a win!

Fairly mixed bunch drawn from a number of disparate groups / traditions: trade unions, single issue campaigns like Hands Off Our Homes, Keep Our NHS Public, current and ex-members of the usual suspects as far as activist parties of the left are concerned, and those with no real or recent history of activism but perhaps feeling that desperate times call for desperate measures like myself, the emphasis being very much on the formation of a new, inclusive, broad coalition with no particular ties to, or priveleging of any one of them. Key concept I think was the recognition that we need to start over on the left to an extent and work once more from the ground up, reaching out and engaging at grass roots, local community level in a properly meaningful and constructive way with campaigning that has a real chance of changing people’s lives for the better.

Some lively discussion with input from I think pretty much everyone there to a greater or lesser degree, covered some important ground once the agenda had been decided on and further discussed. Some of the things we decided we wanted to support for example were sending the two members we elected between us down to the Left Unity Delegates Meeting in London in May, providing what help and funding we could, the Hands Off Our Homes bedroom tax protest in Leeds this Saturday, the May Day event in Leeds city centre and the UAF anti-EDL rally in North Leeds that same day, and the Band Together to Save the NHS event in June.

On the whole a most encouraging meeting for me personally as someone whose activist days were fleeting to begin with and long in my student past, and hoping to find a clear direction in which to focus my frustration, anger and absolute disgust with the state of politics in our so-called ‘democracy’. It felt good to be there and be a part of it, I’d strongly encourage those who didn’t attend but are maybe thinking about it to try and make the next one. Very much looking forward to the next planning meeting in preparation for the official 22nd May launch of Leeds Left Unity with guest speaker children’s author, teacher and libraries campaigner Alan Gibbons.

Neil Barber


UAF Protest Report

On Saturday 4th May the English Defence League will be protesting against the building of a mosque on the Lingfield Estate in Moortown, North Leeds. They will be meeting at 1pm in the Penny Fun pub in the Moor Allerton Centre on King Lane. UAF will be protesting from 12pm, opposite the Moor Allerton Centre, on the grass next to the flats. Leeds University students will be meeting at Parkinson Steps at 10.45am then heading to the protest. There will be UAF leafletting this Sunday (21st April), meeting 11am at the Park and Ride next to Allerton High. There is also a UAF meeting at the Civic Hall on Tuesday 23rd, 7.30pm while 9pm, and at Leeds 5pm while 6pm.
The EDL are using this issue to attempt to stoke up racial tensions within a working class community. In the first instance they are being dishonest in claiming a mosque is even being built – the site is being bought by UKIM, an Islamic organisation, but will be a Community Centre, open to the whole community. Secondly, they are misguiding people as to who the real enemy are – the problem is not the Muslim community, but the council not building community centres, youth centres etc. or cutting the ones that already exist, leaving the field open to community organisations to pick up the slack. To oppose the onslaught from the Tory Government and Labour Council, our communities need unity and working class solidarity, not racial division. Left Unity fights for the unity of all our class in the fight against Tory austerity.