Sheffield Left Unity: Open Letter
Sheffield Left Unity: An Open Letter To The Left
This is an invitation to all working class and socialist organisations to participate in the official launch of Sheffield Left Unity on Saturday 29 June. The event will take place at the Central United Reformed Church (S1 2JB) at 1pm.
As the welfare state is being dismantled by the coalition government, great suffering is being brought to the most vulnerable in society and eroding the living conditions of millions of ordinary people. Worse still, the Labour Party is not presenting an opposition to the austerity programme and instead appears to have wholeheartedly adopted neo-liberal policy, instead advocating its own brand of austerity and privatisation. We do not seek to replicate anti-cuts campaigns but working within them recognise the need to rebuild independent working class political representation.
Left Unity was born out of Ken Loach’s appeal for a new party of the left. In the short time since, the appeal has been met with large success: more than 8,000 supporters so far, and more than 100 local groups already established. Over the past 15 years, numerous unity initiatives have been attempted, yet all were unsuccessful. Rather than open old wounds, we believe it is necessary for the left to once again attempt to unite on a principled socialist basis. Sure enough, disagreements will exist and arise but that ought be no reason to not attempt to bring together what is a largely fractured left. As part of this process, we believe the urgent task should go further, to not simply unite existing organisations but also appeal to those disillusioned with Labour, those that want a fighting working class alternative to austerity, and those that have refrained from joining any of the existing socialist left.
There are many different left unity initiatives in Europe. While circumstances and political programmes differ, we believe there are certainly lessons to take from the continent.. A united left would be better placed to begin to offer solutions to the problems and challenges we currently face as a class, as well as beginning to offer a counterweight to the rise of UKIP.
Members of all left-wing organisations are welcome to join. We hope you will consider our proposal, participate in our launch event, and assist in building Left Unity in Sheffield.
Sheffield Left Unity