Labour Party Conference Round-Up

At September's Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, Christians on the Left promoted our #patriotspaytax campaign.

A number of MPs endorsed the campaign, and both party leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell referred to it in their speeches. We also organised the annual Conference Service, and continued to use the Christians in Politics slogan #diagreewell. This led to various mentions in both the Christian and mainstream media.

The Independent: Nine Things to Take Away see point two on this list (by Jon Stone)

The Guardian: Unity or Terminal Decline there is a paragraph on the importance of patriotism (by Owen Jones)

Church Newspaper: Why We All Need to Learn to Disagree Well (by Stephen Beer, our political communications officer)

Christian Today: Labour Can Learn Lessons From Faith Groups' Unity (by Stephen Beer, our political communications officer)

Church Times: Collaborate as Faiths Can, Divided Labour Urged (by Tim Wyatt)

Additionally, Andy Flannagan, our director, was interviewed on BBC Radio Merseyside and Trans World Radio (a Christian station).

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CotL Political Mentoring Programme

At the end of November, our Future Candidates met together for the first time, to begin a journey on the Christians on the Left Political Mentoring Programme. Equipping and training a new group of members to be the best public speakers, activists, debaters, policy writers, community organisers... These are just some of the areas that our mentees will be exploring as they explore what it means to be a Christian on the Left. Here are a few words from some of them on their experiences so far...

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Shane Claiborne Talks to COTL

Our director, Andy Flannagan, talks to Shane Claiborne, the American activist and author, on the need for theology, policy and lifestyle to intersect. Shane discusses the importance of loving our neighbours as ourselves (see Matthew 22:39), what this means in a world beset by economic inequality, and shares with us about how he tries to live out this love by sharing and caring in his community. A fascinating conversation, and one which provides a Christian framework for a radical commitment to social justice.

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ShowUp North 2016

Christians on the Left participated in the recent ShowUp North event, hosted in Manchester by Christians in Politics.

Zac Bowyer, a sixth form student visiting from South Africa, was at the event and shared some of his thoughts:

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A Luta Continua: Memoir of a Sometimes Radical Christian

David Haslam, a Methodist minister, social justice campaigner and Christians on the Left member, has recently published his book, A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues), recounting his varied experiences and providing an insight into what it means to work and fight for God's kingdom.

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Shadow Chancellor praises Christians on the Left's pro tax campaign

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell today praised the campaign organised by Christians on the Left to support paying tax.

Mr McDonnell congratulated Christians on the Left and its chair, Jonathan Reynolds MP, for our campaign slogan  :

"It’s a great slogan. Patriots should pay their taxes. Labour are already setting the pace on tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion."

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Jeremy Corbyn says politics can learn from faith

Speaking at the Labour Party's conference church service today, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told worshippers that politics had much to learn from faith groups. "Bringing faith communities together is important," he argued, "and we need to draw political lessons from this.

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'Disagreeing well' conference motion referred to NEC

Christians on the Left has had its Labour Conference motion submitted to the party's National Executive Committee. The motion calls for Labour Party members to 'disagree well' when debating with each other, avoiding personal abuse and prejudice. It also affirms that the party will not tolerate abusive behaviour. The motion, written in consultation with members of other socialist societies affiliated to the Labour Party, calls on NEC to issue guidance to constituency parties on how to conduct meetings and to issue a pledge of good behaviour, which constituency parties and affiliates would be encouraged to sign.

The Labour Party's Constitutional Arrangements Committee ruled the motion was not contemporary, but referred it to the NEC because it dealt with party matters. The motion reads as follows:

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The Trident Debate

Members of Christian CND, Pax Christi, the NCPO (Network of Christian Peace Organisations) and some members of Christians on the Left will join the protest against the renewal of Trident in Parliament Square this evening, displaying church statements on nuclear weapons under the banner of No Faith in Trident.
They are participating in a prayerful vigil, from 6.00 p.m. until the decision and welcome others to join them.
BBC News on the Importance of the Trident Decision:
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Ways to get Involved - Upcoming Events

Ways to get involved, beyond the 2016 leadership election...

Events coming up across the whole UK, including Liverpool, Manchester and Wolverhampton.

 

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