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TOPIC: UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors sabotage fight against Labour’s social cleansing

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors sabotage fight against Labour’s social cleansing 22 Dec 2017 07:17 #5400

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By Robert Stevens and Margot Miller
22 December 2017

Supporters of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Haringey Council, London have paved the way for a massive housing privatisation programme.

The Labour council in north London is led by Claire Kober, a Blairite. But the Labour right were able to push their plans for the destruction of working class housing through at a meeting because 22 Corbyn-supporting Labour councillors—out of 49—failed to show for the crucial vote on what is known as the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV). Absent the 22 councillors, who are backed by the pro-Corbyn Momentum campaign group, a Liberal Democrat motion to oppose the plan failed at the crucial December 4 meeting. The Labour council duly backed the HDV and approved the demolition of the working-class Love Lane council estate by 27 votes to 8.

Momentum emerged after Corbyn won the 2015 Labour leadership on a “left” platform of opposition to austerity and war. Set up to oppose the subsequent efforts of the Blairite right to remove Corbyn as leader, Momentum won the support of tens of thousands of mainly young Labour members and supporters and succeeded in securing Corbyn’s victory in a leadership contest triggered by the Blairites in September 2016.

The Corbynite councillors in Haringey had the numbers to defeat the Blairites and their social-cleansing policies. But they chose to avoid delivering what would have been a significant defeat for the right wing, not just in Haringey but throughout London and nationally.

The vote was critical to carrying through the biggest privatisation in UK council history—involving a handover of £2 billion of public assets. Everything from libraries, school buildings, council homes, care homes, the civic centre—are to be run on a 50-50 basis by the council and Australian-based conglomerate Lendlease.

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