The Labour4Clause4 (L4C4) campaign is finding an echo throughout the labour movement.
This should come as no surprise to anyone. Every day we hear about another crisis of privatisation and outsourcing. It is clear that people are sick and tired of rip-off rail prices, eye-watering utility bills and bosses laughing all the way to the bank whilst taxpayers bail them out.
This is why we have had reports from Labour Party members and trade unionists across the country of motions successfully passed calling for the restoration of Clause 4 – Labour’s historic commitment to common ownership and socialist policies.
Joe from Sheffield Hallam CLP, for example, says that the L4C4 model motion passed unanimously at his local Labour Party branch meeting. It is therefore now due to be discussed at the constituency Labour Party’s general meeting.
John from Leeds Central CLP and Tim from Leyton and Wanstead CLP also wrote in to announce that similar motions passed at their ward meetings.
In Dagenham, east London, Labour Party members held a lively ward meeting around the question of the reinstatement of Clause 4 and the issue of nationalisation, with Steve Jones from the Labour4Clause4 campaign speaking.
Many at the meeting commented on the failure of privatisation and the need to make nationalisation a key part of Labour’s programme. At the end of the meeting, a number of members signed up to find out more about getting Clause 4 back into the constitution.
Elsewhere, Frank in South Thanet and Paul from Blyth Valley have both reported that the L4C4 motion has passed in their CLPs. Frank says that the vote in favour was almost unanimous in the South Thanet CLP. Paul, meanwhile, added that the motion to restore Clause 4 will now be considered for submittal to the Labour Party annual conference by his CLP.
The question of nationalisation and bringing back Clause 4 has also been discussed in the trade unions. One campaign supporter in Kent has reported that his Unison branch passed the model motion, meaning it has been submitted for discussion at the union’s upcoming national conference.
At the recent CWU conference, the union’s president, Jane Loftus, signed our campaign statement, supporting the call for re-nationalisation of Royal Mail and the telecoms industry. Meanwhile, campaign supporters Phil Waker and Rob Sewell spoke to a packed fringe meeting at the conference, discussing why we need public ownership and democratic control of these key sectors.
The USDAW union for retail workers has also debated the reintroduction of Clause 4. At the recent USDAW annual conference, a motion was on the agenda calling for the restoration of Clause 4. This was proposed by Labour4Clause4 campaign supporters, but was unfortunately defeated due to opposition from the unions leadership. This is a missed opportunity, as USDAW is one of the largest unions in the country, and is affiliated to the Labour Party.
The most impressive victory for the campaign, thus far, has been in Wales. At a recent AGM of the Welsh Labour Grassroots (Momentum in Wales), a campaign supporter from Swansea spoke passionately in favour of restoring Clause 4 whilst presenting the L4C4 model motion.
“Everywhere people are looking for a way out,” the comrade asserted. “Beneath the apparently calm surface, an immense amount of seething anger is building up, looking for an expression.”
This speech was met with a thunderous applause from the audience as the motion was moved. The meeting voted decisively to back the motion, which called to commit the Labour Party to the socialist transformation of society.
One Momentum member admitted to the comrades present how teary she got during the inspirational discussion on this issue. This clearly demonstrates that the demand for nationalisation and socialist policies is an idea whose time has come.
If you would like a speaker from Labour4Clause4 at your ward, CLP, or union branch, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org now.