Labour4Clause4 campaign heads for Labour conference 2019

The Labour4Clause4 campaign has been building up momentum over the last year, as support grows for the demand to bring back Clause 4 – Labour’s historic socialist pledge.

Now, with only a few weeks to go until the Labour Party annual conference in Brighton, we are having a final push in order to achieve our goal: to restore Labour’s commitment to common ownership.

Help us in this aim by spreading the word, discussing with delegates from your CLP, donating to the campaign, or attending one of these upcoming events:

  • Labour4Clause4 Roadshow in Manchester Gorton CLP – Tuesday 3rd September, 7pm, Trinity House Community Resource Centre, Manchester, M14 5AA. Details on Facebook
  • Stand Up for Clause 4 – Sunday 8th September, 7.30pm, Seven Dials Club, London, WC2H 9LA. Details on Facebook
  • Labour conference 2019 fringe: Restore Clause IV! – Monday 23rd September, 7pm, Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Brighton. Details on Facebook

Making a mark

The Labour4Clause4 campaign has found an echo across the labour movement since it was founded in February 2018, marking the centenary since the original Clause 4 was introduced into Labour’s constitution.

The campaign has gathered support from across the country, with thousands of Labour Party members and trade union activists signing our statement calling for the restoration of Clause 4.

This includes the backing of Labour MPs such as Dan Carden, Dennis Skinner, and Ronnie Campbell, as well as the support of leading trade unionists such as Ian Hodson (president of the bakers’ union), Mick Cash (general secretary of the RMT), and Jane Loftus (president of the CWU).

The support for the campaign and its aims has also been evident at trade union conferences over the past couple of years. Labour4Clause4 has hosted fringe events at the conferences of PCS, BFAWU, CWU, and Unite the Union, where there has been a vibrant debate about the need for public ownership.

Most notably, this year’s conference of the CWU (postal and telecoms workers’ union) voted unanimously in support of a motion that called for the union to fight to restore Clause 4. The motion was proposed by five different union branches, with all of the contributors in the discussion speaking passionately in favour of nationalisation.

In the Labour Party, motions in support of the original Clause 4 have been passed in CLPs all over Britain, from Blyth Valley in the north-east to South Thanet in Kent. Meanwhile, regional groups such as the Welsh Labour Grassroots and London Young Labour have also voted to restore Clause 4.

And – most importantly – five Constituency Labour Parties have submitted a rule change motion to this year’s Labour conference that seeks to remove the current Blairite clause and bring back the original socialist Clause 4.

This means that delegates in Brighton will have the chance to debate and vote on restoring Clause 4. We urge all comrades to seize this opportunity.

Where next?

No matter what the outcome at this year’s conference, all of this only marks the beginning of a new chapter.

With a general election on the cards and the possibility of a Corbyn Labour government within our grasp, there has never been a more important time to open up a debate across the labour movement about the kind of policies and programme that we need to transform society. The Labour4Clause4 campaign will play a leading role in this debate.

Regardless of what is decided at Labour conference in Brighton this year, we therefore intend to continue the Labour4Clause4 campaign. Even if Clause 4 is officially restored, the task then becomes one of turning words into deeds, and ensuring that an incoming Labour government fights for nationalisation, public ownership and workers’ control.

With this in mind, we will be continuing our Labour4Clause4 Roadshow in the months ahead, taking the debate around public ownership into CLPs, Momentum groups, and trade union branches.

Already our roadshow has proved to be a great success, with lively events in towns and cities across the country, including: Redcar, Sheffield, Liverpool, Lincoln, Oxford, Plymouth, Portsmouth, and Canterbury – and next up in Manchester on Tuesday 3rd September!

Our fringe meeting at last year’s Labour conference was a great success, and this year’s conference fringe event is shaping up to be even bigger and better, with speakers including:

  • John McDonnell MP, Labour shadow chancellor
  • Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary
  • Dave Ward, CWU general secretary
  • Ian Hodson, BFAWU president
  • Rob Sewell, Labour4Clause4 national coordinator
  • Fiona Lali, Students for Corbyn and Unseat Boris campaign in Uxbridge
  • Bianca Todd, Ronn Todd Foundation

Watch here to see Mark Serwotka explain why the labour movement should campaign to restore Clause 4 and fight for public ownership and nationalisation. And then join us in Brighton on Monday 23rd September to hear Mark and others talk about the relevance of Clause 4 and the fight for a socialist Labour government!

Restore Clause 4! Fight for socialism!

Britain is facing an unprecedented political, social, and economic crisis. All roads lead towards a general election, and with it the possibility of a Corbyn Labour government.

At the same time, scandal after scandal are proving that the market and privatisation are nothing but a disaster for the working class. There has never been a better time to fight for socialism.

Support the Labour4Clause4 campaign by:

  1. Organising a roadshow event in your CLP, Momentum group, or trade union branch, and inviting a speaker from the campaign, to discuss the questions of public ownership, nationalisation, and workers’ control.
  2. Donating to the campaign, or affiliating your trade union / CLP.
  3. Passing a resolution in support of Clause 4 in your local Labour party or trade union.
  4. Following us on Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Distributing our newsletter – either online or in person.