Join us to debate the issues that move the left! Our event encourages the airing of different viewpoints and perspectives, all in a comradely and constructive atmosphere.
Wednesdays’ sessions take place in Blackburne House, Blackburne Place Liverpool L8 7PE. You can watch online here: https://www.futureoftheleft.org.uk/future-of-the-left-live-broadcast/ – or just come along and pay on the door. You can also find the recordings from the last two days on that page.
- Getting ready for the next world war? Lessons for the left from the war in Ukraine. With Craig Murray, Roger Silverman, Richard Brenner, Simon Pirani and others;
- Up the republic! With Kevin Bean, Mike Macnair and Steve Freeman;
- Has the Left got it wrong on race? With Marc Wadsworth and Jackie Walker;
- Will Labour ever defend the NHS again? With Nicholas Csergo, Deborah Harrington, Professor David U. Himmelstein and others;
- Socialism and the climate catastrophe. With Elaine Graham-Leigh, Matthew T. Huber, Jane Hammett and Ed Gommon
- The Middle Eastern revolution and the struggle for Palestinian rights. With Asa Winstanley, Huda Ammori, David Miller and Ronnie Barkan;
- Socialists and the local state. With Councillor Anna Rothery, Alex Mays, Steve Walker and special guests;
- Zionism and the Holocaust. With Tony Greenstein
- You can’t say that! Racism, antisemitism, ID politics – are there limits to free speech? With Steve Walker, Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein and Chris Williamson;
- Assange, state secrecy and cover-ups. With Stella Assange, Craig Murray, Deepa Driver, Iain Munro and Ögmundur Jonasson;
- Who is to blame for the cost of living crisis – and can capitalism solve it? With Marxist economist Michael Roberts and Peter Kennedy;
- The war on woke and the war on the left. With Jackie Walker, Asa Winstanley, Craig Murray and guests;
- Reclaim Pride – 50 years of LGBT+ struggle. With Teddy Brown, Phil Maxwell and Joan Burnett;
- The Forde Report: Lessons of the Corbyn years. With Jackie Walker, Duncan Shipley Dalton and Tony Greenstein;
- The summer of discontent – which strategy now for the trade unions? With Ian Hodson, Howard Beckett, Dave Walsh, Tracey Hylton and guests;
- Lessons from Liverpool: fighting back in the 1980s – With Audrey White (Merseyside Pensioners Association), Tony Rimmer, Paul Astbury, Felicity Dowling, Harry Smith (Liverpool 47 Councillors) and Dave Walsh;
- Is the Labour Party dead? – A debate about our attitude to Labour under Starmer. With Felicity Dowling, Graham Bash, Audrey White, Kevin Bean, Roger Silverman;
- What future for the left? – Debating the way forward. With Lesley Mahmood, Dave Nellist, Steve Walker, Chris Williamson, Ian Hodson, Jackie Walker and special guests;
- Labour Party conference 2022 – an assessment – with Kevin Bean, Ian Hodson, Audrey White and guests
Plus music from Maz Clare, The Sway, Ian Prowse, Pete Wiley, poetry with Kevin Higgins, readings and political satire from our extensive team of performers and artistes!
Monday September 26
Getting ready for the next world war – Lessons for the left from the war in Ukraine. A debate.
Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine has quite rightly been condemned by most socialists and democrats. Putin is no friend of the working class – but neither are Zelensky or NATO. The expansionist policy of NATO has played a huge part in this conflict. Many fear that the war in Ukraine is just a preamble for bigger things to come: a confrontation between China and ‘the West’. Should socialists take sides in such a conflict? Or is there a third way?
Chair: Roger Silverman. Speakers: Craig Murray, Richard Brenner, Richard Sakwa, Simon Pirani and guests.
Up the republic!
Should socialists be bothered about the constitution? Electoral reform? The monarchy? Many left-wing organisations see these questions as ‘not our problem’ – but they are wrong. The way we are ruled now goes to the heart of what kind of future society we are fighting for.
Chair: Tina Werkmann. Speakers: Kevin Bean, Mike Macnair and Steve Freeman.
Has the left got it wrong on race?
Time for the Left to discuss issues of race and racism in a new, practical way. We’ll be asking a number of questions that affect organisation:
- Are black sections the best way for the left to organise? Or do they separate black members from their comrades?
- Do black-only candidate lists increase diversity? Or are they patronising and foster careerism?
- What if somebody says something racist? Should they be thrown out immediately or is discussion a better way to deal with prejudice?
Chair: Tina Werkmann. Speakers: Marc Wadsworth and Jackie Walker.
Will Labour ever defend the NHS again?
The New Labour faction of the Parliamentary Party has participated in the marketisation of our treasured NHS. No party is committed to protect it. What can UK socialists do to protect their greatest ever achievement. What are Labour’s plans for the health of the nation now it has shifted sharply to the right under Kier Starmer and the Shadow Cabinet?
Chair and speaker: Nicholas Csergo (Socialist Health Association). Speakers: Deborah Harrington (Public Matters), Professor David U. Himmelstein (CUNY School of Public Health) and others.
Socialism and the climate catastrophe.
How should socialists respond to the climate crisis? Can this catastrophe be solved under capitalism? How can we even talk about a future society when our planet is so close to being destroyed? Our speakers are examining the relationship between the fight against climate catastrophe and the need to overthrow capitalism.
Chair and speaker: Elaine Graham-Leigh. Speakers: Matthew T. Huber, Jane Hammett (Save Oglet Shore campaign) and Ed Gommon (Zero Carbon Liverpool).
The Middle Eastern revolution and the struggle for Palestinian rights.
The densely populated Gaza Strip is again under bombardment from an advanced military, backed by billions of dollars from the West. 51% of the population (839,000) are children. What can we do to stop the horror faced by civilians in the Middle East and protect children from Western backed wars?
Chair: Tom Bimpson (Liverpool Friends of Palestine). Speakers: Ronnie Barkan, Huda Ammori, Richard Barnard (Palestinian Action), David Miller (Spinwatch) and Asa Winstanley (Electronic Intifada).
Socialists and the local state.
Discussing municipal socialism with the Liverpool Independents and other alternatives to Labour.
Chair: Mandy Clare. Speakers: Anna Rothery (Liverpool Community Independents), Alex Mays (Breakthrough), Steve Walker (Skwawkbox) and guests.
Tuesday September 27
Zionism and the Holocaust. With Tony Greenstein
You can’t say that! Racism, antisemitism, ID politics – are there limits to free speech?
What is free speech: Should certain issues be ‘off-limits’ for the left? Is free speech an absolute right or are there limits for racists, homophobes etc? Is no-platforming a good way to deal with prejudice and mistaken ideas? Should we enforce ‘zero tolerance’ in working class organisations?
Chair: Steve Walker. Speakers: Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein and Chris Williamson.
Who is to blame for the ‘cost of living crisis’ – and can capitalism solve it?
The neo-liberal economic experiment has failed. UK Labour offer more of the same, neo-liberal light that tinkers around the edge of a failed system whilst prices spiral and living standards decline for working people. What can socialists do to repair the damage?
Chair: Kevin Bean. Speakers: Marxist economist Michael Roberts and Peter Kennedy (Socialist Theory Group).
The war on woke and the war on the left.
The establishment press, the government and the ruling class are engaged in a brutal war against anything, and anybody who dares to question the increasingly unstable and irrational status quo. The brutal new policing bills, the antisemitism smear, campaigns against free speech in the education sector are part of this ‘war on woke’, which is designed to prevent the working class from getting organised. How do we resist?
Chair: Tina Werkmann. Speakers: Jackie Walker, Asa Winstanley, Craig Murray and others.
Reclaim Pride – 50 years of LGBT+ struggle.
Chair: Kevin Bean. Speakers: With Teddy Brown, Phil Maxwell (Art of Resistance) and Joan Burnett (Homotopia).
Julian Assange, state secrecy and cover-ups.
As workers resist and organise independently of legacy media, States accelerate crushing authoritarian policies to stop us. The appalling treatment of one of the world’s greatest publishers, Julian Assange and the campaign from his family and team calling on Biden to drop the charges against him is no better parable for this important struggle for us all. What does The State have in store for us?
Chair: Dr Deepa Driver (legal observer in the Assange case, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers). Speakers: Stella Assange (human rights lawyer), Professor Iain Munro (expert on whistleblowers), Craig Murray and Ögmundur Jonasson (the Icelandic minister who refused to aide the FBI in framing Assange).
The Forde Report: Lessons of the Corbyn years.
While the Forde Report confirmed that the Corbyn leadership was undermined by unelected Labour Party staff, it also points to a number of mistakes made by ‘our side’. What can we learn from this period? Why are so many on the left still implementing the witch-hunt? We’ll be investigating the civil war that was raging in the Labour Party during the Corbyn years and will be asking, ‘ is now time to leave the party’?
Chair: Tina Werkmann: Speakers: Jackie Walker, Craig Murray, Duncan Shipley-Dalton (Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers) and Tony Greenstein.
The summer of discontent – which strategy now for the trade unions?
After the defeat of the Corbyn project, a mass exodus of Labour Party members, Starmer’s sharp shift to the right and Labour offering more of the same neoliberal sticking plasters on a failed economic experiment, trade union members are rising up against the relentless attack by successive governments on pay and conditions. The struggle is not over, has it only just begun?
Chair: Kevin Bean. Speakers: Ian Hodson (BFAWU), Howard Beckett (Unite), Dave Walsh (Liverpool Trade Unions Council), Tracey Hylton (PCS) and Mark O’Brien (UCU).
Wednesday September 28
Wednesdays’ sessions take place in Blackburne House, Blackburne Place Liverpool L8 7PE. You can watch online here: https://www.futureoftheleft.org.uk/future-of-the-left-live-broadcast/ – or just come along and pay on the door.
Lessons from Liverpool: fighting back in the 1980s
Chair: Tony Rimmer. Speakers: Paul Astbury, Felicity Dowling and Harry Smith (Liverpool 47 Councillors), Dave Walsh, and Audrey White.
Labour Party conference 2022 – an assessment – with Kevin Bean, Ian Hodson, Audrey White and guests
Is the Labour Party dead?
A debate about our attitude to Labour under Starmer: Should we encourage socialists and trade unions to leave the Labour Party? Or should we continue our fight to change and democratise the party? Can we do both?
Chair: Felicity Dowling.Speakers: Kevin Bean, Audrey White and Roger Silverman.
6pm (livestream only):
World premiere of LABOUR: THE BIG LIE
Jeremy Corbyn led a movement that caused shock waves in the global establishment. Who brought it down? Narrated by Alexei Sayle, this 75 minute long documentary feature film from Platform Films reveals an extraordinary story of intrigue and conspiracy the mainstream media has systematically ignored.
What future for the Left? Discussing the way forward.
Do class politics still matter? Should we abandon concepts of left and right? Is the time right to build a new left party? What programme should the left fight for? These are the kind of questions we want to discuss in this session.
Chair: Lesley Mahmood: Speakers: Dave Nellist, Steve Walker, Ian Hodson, Alex Mays and special guests.