Thursday 17 May 2007

Don't mourn, organise

I just wanted to follow on from my message yesterday.

I know that many of you will be disappointed that we didn't make it to the ballot paper. It's not just supporters of our campaign who are upset. Above all, Labour party members and trade unionists wanted the right to vote for the leader of our party.

However, I don't want people to lose hope. Our campaign has achieved a huge amount. We've mobilised thousands of people right across the country. Thousands of socialists have joined or rejoined the Labour party. We've linked together activists right across the labour movement. We've recruited a whole new generation of young socialists, and won back those who had long since given up hope. We're now in a stronger position to fight for socialist policies than we have been for years.

We've built a real movement out there. I don't want us to lose momentum after the events of the past few days. I know how angry many of you are, but I would ask you to stay in the party and fight.

Many of you will know that I am the Chair of the Labour Representation Committee, which brings together Labour party members and trade unionists right across the country. I would ask you all to join the LRC so that we can all unite and build on this campaign. Together, we will continue to fight for progressive policies: for public services, not private profit; for peace, not war; for direct investment in council housing; a real living minimum wage; support for free, universal education; and the restoration of trade union rights and civil liberties.

The LRC will have a conference in October to discuss where the left goes from here. I'll be in touch with details about this. If you haven't given us your contact details, please email us at

Above all, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you. You all put a huge amount of work into this campaign. I am proud to have been involved in this campaign with you. You represent the best activists and best traditions that our movement has.

Let's all recall the words of Joe Hill, the IWW organiser: "Don't mourn, organise."

PS: We'll be overhauling the LRC website shortly so that it becomes the focus for the Labour Left - including discussion forums, blogs from MPs, trade unionists and activists, campaigning resources, etc. We'll be in touch about it soon.