Breaking Exclusive

Exclusive: ‘new left’ Socialist Campaign Group MPs form new separate group

New group will charge MPs for participating and even plans to hire ‘coordinator’

A caucus of ‘eleven new left Labour MPs and an MSP’ from the Socialist Campaign Group (SCG) of left-wing Labour MPs have agreed to set up a separate group with its own funding, priorities – and at least one staff member.

An ‘MPs Strategic Coordination Proposal’ document, obtained by Skwawkbox, says that the group’s budget to March of this year will be almost £32,000, with a first year of operations costing £133,000. Among its planned funding streams are a levy of £1,000 per MP to be taken from their training budgets and contributions from

Economy high net work [sic] donors

that the group hopes to persuade to part with cash to achieve an ‘alliance between GND [green new deal] and new/progressive economics’.

The group also envisages itself as an entirely separate ‘legal structure’:

Money for this project should either:

● Be housed in a new legal structure, not a structure used previously
● Or in an MP’s office.

Our preference is likely for a new legal structure if Lloyd is able to administer but we’d like
opinions on this.

But the strategy document also makes clear that the new group, which sees itself as modelled on ‘The Squad’ of Democrat lawmakers in the US, sees itself trying to pressure Keir Starmer from off and on his front bench, in other words working alongside Starmer and trying to steer him, rather than resist or remove him, listing among its ‘tactical approaches’:

● Media interventions by backbenchers to push the Labour frontbench to take more
progressive positions
● An insider strategy within Labour frontbench teams for left-wing MPs who are also

The group also plans tactics such as parliamentary actions and stunts including:

● Using conventional Parliamentary tactics better i.e. strategic use of parliamentary
speeches and questions clipped for social media, coordination around Private Members’
Bills and amendments to Bills, media interventions around select committee
appearances etc
● Playing with Parliamentary conventions to capture media attention and generate debate
in Westminster i.e. calling Boris Johnson a liar, actions involving dresscodes, taking the
knee in the chamber etc

This new organising space for left MPs should in the first instance focus on innovating with new
parliamentary tactics and media interventions to push issues like the Green New Deal in the run
up to COP26 and off the back of it.

The document describes the group as a ‘space for organising’ but denies that it will be a ‘central identity’, despite the new and presumably centralised ‘legal structure’ for handling its funds – but its ‘Principles of organising together’ again emphasise that it intends to play a part in Keir Starmer’s front bench team:

● We are pushing the Labour leadership to do better on its economic approach and social
and environmental justice issues
● Individual MPs step forward to push particular issues together and not everyone will
work on everything
● We’re not setting up a central identity, just an organising space for collaboration and
planning action. No one can speak on behalf of the whole group on that basis…
● We are backbenchers and frontbenchers and believe in the power of insider and outsider
strategies in the Labour Party and will have MPs pushing both within the group

And the group sees its identity as ‘new left’, presumably to separate itself from the ‘old left’ of union activism and a focus on the working class:

Who are we?
● A group of 11 new left MPs and an MSP.
● In order to be part of the organising space for decision making in phase one you must
agree to the principles above and make a monetary contribution towards its organisation.

One member of the group, when approached by Skwawkbox for comment, denied that the new group represented a split from the SCG. However, they did not respond when asked to confirm explicitly to confirm that this meant there was no intention ever to leave the SCG and to clarify who would be considered qualified to join, there was no response.

Of those involved in the new group, only one appears to have publicly expressed support for Jeremy Corbyn – though that one was after the result of the Labour NEC’s vote on whether to reinstate Corbyn to the Labour benches was already known.

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      1. Paul Smith – the science and “The Science™️” (that supports the shamful, harmful and pathogenically dangerous “Covid Narrative”) are two very different things…

      2. What’s the name of this new group of 12?
        The Knights Who Say Kni?
        (Monty Pythons).
        The Neo-Liberal Labour Right are in complete control.
        They have cut off the arms of the Left Labour MPs.
        They have cut off their legs.
        And all they have is their heads but they say “We won’t nut you as a tiny minority we will try to persuade you – hmm.
        Perhaps they could be allowed into a New Left Wing Democratic Socialist Party after a rigorous interview but hey guys it’s £39k!
        Sorry comrades to be so harsh but with the climate crisis, the cost of living crisis, Right Wing Tory Authoritarianism and War mongering we don’t have the time for Left Wing Labour to turn things around or the Left’s CUSTER’S LAST STAND!
        We need a new Left Wing Democratic Socialist Army with courage and vision!

  1. What is the point and what is this going to achieve apart from yet more theatre?. We all kow what they should be doing is planning a new party.

    1. Precisely Andrew.

      No further words are needed. Especially when they get paid £80k a year with a generous expense account and a good pension. For doing precisely sod all if they so choose.

  2. The squad is a scam.

    Take AOC. I followed her campaign. To her credit, she footslogged like no other. Kudos for that.

    But since joining the halls of power, she changed. Like all, her voting actions show her true colours. Corrupt or corrupted? It doesn’t matter.

    Gabbard is another one. Talks a good game. But ask how she got her rank without the 15 years service? Combat medals without taking part…

    Tory Rory here in the UK is similar. Temporary commission in the military as an officer 🤔🤔🤔

    Let’s see what they deliver from their wish list

    1. Why would you follow AOC FGS? She is a member of the far right Democratic party, a party born out of slave owners and has never from it’s birth ever ever! been left wing in the slightest. ffs.

    2. NVLA…..Shes a stunner but they all like to play Hollywood in the USA.Now in dear old blighty its playing kings and queens and lords and ladys with Knights of the realm…..ITs all theatre and not worth the price of a ticket….so sad 😢

      1. Something I am in full agreement with you is, Labour fake left SOG AKA The Squad! my god the transformation into the UK version of the far right Yanky Democratic party of bullshit is complete. I’ve warned about this for decades, ever since Blair let his idea out during the 9

    3. Do you remember when she made her base dance, after voting for a bill furthering their exploration.

    4. Not forgetting the ubiquitous, “thank you for your service”, mantra. Really?!

  3. “We are pushing the Labour leadership to do better on its economic approach “. What does that actually mean? If anything.

      1. Is not Starmer doing both with HQ staff? Obviously not the ones paid a £600,000 bonus for screwing Corbyn.

  4. The structure and operation of the political system in the US is completely different from that in the UK.
    In the US, a relatively small group in the Senate/HoR can exert significant pressure, particularly when their party holds the presidency and has a tenuous hold on the two houses. The devolved structure for selection of candidates protects them from central control, and there can be no “withdrawal of the whip”.
    The UK is completely different so any such group in the UK would, just like the SCG, be largely a talking shop.
    The way to operate in the UK is for them to be active in extra-parliamentary campaigns and the trade union movement.

    1. here at ground level we call it playing silly buggers! We all know what they must do, a new party and fuck this neoliberal shitshow Labour party.

  5. FWIW, I like the new financially independent group is honest, specifically:

    * That it’s not ‘separatist’ against the authoritarian pro-neoliberal, (anti-socialist) ‘centrists’;

    * that it remains – like a thorn in its side – within the historical Labour party (until the aggressive RW gets its act together and ‘suspends’ every single group member and the tens of thousands of former party members who support, raise money for, sustain community links and campaign in support of the ‘new group’;

    * that it is investigating a new organisational structure (not least to protect itself from the authoritarian pro-crony-capitalism clique currently serving Sir Keir of the Establishment Starmer, but – sure as eggs – someone else in the very near future).

    This is either ’going down with a fight’ OR the beginning of a super, socially relevant and economically radical, a democratic socialist rebirth.

    It’s up to us – the people on the ground who’d rather not give-up on the despicable and often authoritarian (“show me your papers”) Labour party.

    Room for a small one?

    1. I’d like to be able to be a community-member of this ‘new group’, but not need to rejoin Labou to be so.

      Can that be possible – that’s an ‘issue’ to consider when instigating a new organisational and legal and financial structure??

  6. Jeremy Corbyn will be turning up for the fifty years commemoration since thirteen civilians were murdered by Crown forces on the streets of Derry.Fifty years and still no justice for the murders of innocent civilians.Jeremy Corbyn has always been in the right place at the right time to support the victims of British Occupation of partitioned Ireland.God bless him and all peacemakers.

    1. Peace and Justice Joseph. Thanks for reminding us why this new group needs our active support.

    2. To be fair the victims were remembered in Parliament at
      the beginning of PMQ.

      It will be interesting who turns up for the Commemoration.
      – anyone care to guess if Starmer is one of them ?
      Flying ..🐷..

      On the subject of Northern Ireland – I have just seen “Belfast”
      and it is a brilliant film – definitely to be recommended!

      1. Holby -I like your sense of humour. Yes, Starmer’s turning up to commemorate the 13 citizens murdered by the British Estalishment. He’s intendng to recite his TenPledges again – with his fingers crossed behind his back. Only kidding.

        People are getting wise to the Establishment liar. If he turned up, plenty of people would choose to commemorate elsewhere.

        He’s the proverbial waste of space as leader of Labour.

  7. Speaking as a grass-roots socialist and trade unionist :–
    This new initiative does not smell good to me.
    Time will tell.
    I can’t help but feel that first year operating costs of £133,000 could be better spent in the fight for socialism.
    Just saying …… !!

  8. Seems to be a gang of soft left MP’s going through very expensive PR exercise for themselves. Another complete waste of time and money.

    1. Can it not be more? I often buy WD40 – not as a lubricant, but to remove silicone sealant from around my shower/sink etc.

  9. Hmmmmm. So when the left have “nowhere else to go”, but are pulling support from the party in their droves, ask yourself, what would Mandelson do?

    Set up a controlled opposition.

    Call me Mrs Cynical, but…..

  10. I can tell you what Madelson should do.
    But – It’s not very polite.
    What a vile individual he is !

  11. Astonishing! Talk about fiddling while the party burns.. But that’s all the SCG ever seems to do, talk about anything but the matter that counts, the pointlessness of staying in the Starmer party. Before their eyes Corbyn is once again humiliated without even a discussion and NOTHING!

  12. Just reading a cracking book, ‘Why We Can’t Afford The Rich’ by Andrew Sayer.

  13. It looks to me like an attempt by a group of MPs to differentiate themselves from the SCG in the hope that they can retain their positions in the face of a possible removal of all left- wing members of the PLP. This would be one more step in Starmer’s plan to make Labour safe for the socially regressive – those Tories he thinks he needs to persuade to vote Labour in order to win a general election. It’s the electoral equivalent of a drunk looking in the light of a street lamp, for something lost in the dark across the road.

    1. Just read that report by unite on Ford report.First thoughts is how can anyone remain in a party of criminals that stole members money to pay staff to divert money and destroy Jeremy Corbyn and a socialist government in waiting..The hatred and bile can be understood especially when dealing with fascists now in charge and out of control.The part that Mcnicol played as G Secretary was the fulcrum for criminal behaviour and in any other party the Police would be called in..This I can’t understand.ITs all too late and they know it with just token resistance from a minority who stay and ?…keep feeding the parasites infesting the Labour party.?…why the games up..!Thanks Nemtona but it was not the sort of breakfast reading that can be stomoched especially as my money was used to destroy a decent man too too good for this fascist Labour party.Jeremy Corbyn and the hopes and dreams of millions of working class people.

    2. This seems like a document which was submitted to the Forde
      Enquiry as they were gathering their evidence?

      Much was submitted -including some put together by JVL of
      many loyal Party members targeted by the Right.

      There must have been terabytes of digital files landing in Fordes
      office – possibly that is why it has taken them so long to produce
      a fair report?

      Fingers crossed many – I would like to see the
      Police (Fraud Squad) involved. This would be a much more
      worth while job than fining a few members of the govt when
      the police must have known what was going on at the time.
      After all – there is already a report being prepared.

  14. Another re-arrangement of the 3rd class passengers deck chairs on the sinking ship I see.

  15. So, these MPs and MSP are going to fund this, in part, with £1000 payments from their “training budget”? So – and do feel free to correct me if I’m wrong – they’re basically paying for this group on expenses? Does that feel wrong to anybody else, or is it just me?

    1. Stark – I don’t know if it is wrong or not .. it could
      be an attempt to form a rival NEC.

      After all our money is being used to support
      Party Governance structure which has been
      mis- used by Starmer to suppress democracy.

      So there is surely nothing wrong in forming
      a new structure – and I wouldn’t blame anyone
      for hiding their real motives.

      1. I maybe didn’t choose the right word. Distasteful might have been better.

        MPs using their training budget (I’m not sure if that’s from party funds or part of their parliamentary expenses) to fund this seems cheeky. More than £80,000/pa and they’re skimming money from their training budgets (which surely is meant for training) to fund this?

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