Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17

AlfRodchenko

Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

The alternative is to treat people as adults who can be engaged in

conversation and potentially persuaded of a different point of view. And

the emergence of a social movement means that the task of persuasion

can be taken up, not by a remote elite, but by your friends, family,

neighbours and colleagues. In workplaces, round dinner tables, in

pubs and cafes, every lying tabloid front-page can now be met with a

counterargument from a familiar and trusted voice.

Labour members can win the right to be heard by taking up a multitude

of local causes in communities up and down the country. And often,

attitudes can shift through the experience of these collective struggles. In

the late 1960s, London dockers marched in support of Nigel Farage’s

hero, Enoch Powell. But by 1976, some of those same dockers were

supporting the famous Grunwick strike, where a largely female,

immigrant workforce, together with union allies from the ‘white working

class’, put up a formidable fight against their common opponents.

Empowering the best aspects of British society is always a more

constructive path than pandering and genuflecting to the worst.

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Labour as a mobilised mass movement can be a space where the

marginalised and the voiceless gain political agency, and build social

bonds with the rest of society. The single mothers organising childcare

so that more people can participate in Momentum meetings is just one

example of how this can work. A thousand local initiatives like this can

counteract social atomisation and division, and help foster the ethos

of kindness and mutual obligation that is the foundation of any serious

leftwing politics.

October 2016

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