14 November 2012
An open letter to angry Rotherham Labour Party members
THE LABOUR PARTY meeting on Tuesday 13 November to choose their candidate for the Rotherham by-election was thrown into confusion when at least half of those present walked out in protest at the exclusion of any local candidate from the shortlist.
Rotherham supporters of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have issued the following open letter to Rotherham Labour members:
To Rotherham Labour Party members
We in TUSC, including many ex-Labour Party members, welcome your angry reaction to the New Labour apparatus imposing another external candidate and possible MP on the town.
After the experience of Denis MacShane, who was also imposed on the local party from outside, you are justified in expressing your opposition to national party leadership diktat by walking out of the selection process.
This experience only further confirms the complete lack of democracy now in New Labour, and the inability for ordinary local party members to hold any real say in decision making and accountability.
In the view of TUSC, this lack of democracy is part of the process undertaken by Blair, Brown and now Miliband to shift the Labour Party away from its working-class roots and to make the party acceptable to the rich, big business and the millionaires.
That is why TUSC is standing a candidate in the forthcoming by-election, Ralph Dyson, a local teacher and trade union representative who led the strike last year at Rawmarsh Community School against compulsory redundancies.
We believe it is vital to counter the inevitable disillusionment and alienation of Rotherham working class people with a left wing and socialist alternative. Ralph is standing against corruption, against cuts and against racism and fascism, and to be a workers’ MP on a worker’s wage.
We appeal to you to come a help us in our campaign, to support a local, working class, trade union fighter and socialist, the very things that the Labour Party was founded for and most of you will have joined because of.
For more information about Ralph’s and TUSC’s campaign, look at: ralphdyson.blogspot.com
Yours in solidarity,
Rotherham TUSC election agent