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If you think all the big political parties are the same - you're right! The bosses have got three parties - isn't it about time we had one of our own?
Declaration for a new workers' party
We, the undersigned, agree to campaign for the establishment of a new mass workers’ party in England and Wales.
A century ago trade unionists and socialist came together to fight for independent representation for the working class: the result was the Labour Party. In the past the Labour Party, however imperfectly, provided a voice for the working class. Today, however, New Labour is a party of the giant corporations, its policies a continuation of Margaret Thatcher’s attacks on the lives and living conditions of working-class people. Public services are being sold off; the occupation of Iraq has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of ‘coalition’ soldiers; democratic rights are being undermined in the name of fighting terrorism; and the Tory anti-trade union laws, the most repressive in the European Union, have been left almost completely intact.
At Labour Party conference after Labour Party conference the trade unions succeed in winning votes against New Labour policies. However, the Labour Party conference no longer has any power and its decisions are brushed aside by the party leadership. Gordon Brown has made it absolutely clear that this will not change under his leadership and that there will be no ‘shift to the left’.
We believe that the chance to reclaim the Labour Party has long past and there is no point in continuing to fuel false hopes. We pledge to do all in our power to bring a new workers’ party into being in England and Wales.
We believe it would be wrong, at this early stage, to attempt to predetermine the structure or every aspect of a new party. That can only be decided on the basis of democratic debate leading to agreement amongst the forces involved.
However, if it is to be successful, it is crucial that a new party, and any pre-party formations, be open, democratic and welcoming to all those who want to work together against the neo-liberal onslaught on the working class. This means that all groups and individuals, provided they are in agreement with the basic aims of the party, should have the right to democratically organise and argue for their point of view.
Reaching out to workers
This approach will help to ensure that the new formation is attractive to trade unionists, community and environmental campaigners, and anti-war activists. Most importantly it will assist in reaching out to workers and to young people who are not yet active in struggle. In this way we can unite the strongest possible forces to build a powerful working-class party that is capably of effectively opposing the anti-union laws, cuts, privatisation, environmental degradation and war.
We believe that such a party would represent a fundamental break with the big business parties which currently dominate politics, giving workers the opportunity to resist the neo-liberal agenda and fight for a socialist programme.
The CNWP believes that some of the demands which will be central to the formation of a new party include:
Keep health and education public. Stop and reverse cuts in, and the sell off of, our public services. For properly funded, democratically controlled public services for all.
For decent, affordable public housing for all who want it.
No to racism and discrimination - oppose the divisive BNP. No to the specific oppression that people suffer due to their ethnic background, nationality, gender, sexuality, age, disabilities or health.
For a living wage of at least £8 an hour, and a living pension - restore the link with earnings now.
No to trident nuclear weapons - spend the £76 billion on public services.
Ownership and planning of energy and transport, leading to massive investment and expansion of renewable energy and clean, public transport.
Immediate withdrawal of the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
For a democratic republic - a radical extension of democracy including all representatives elected by proportional representation, subject to recall, and paid the average wage.
No to the capitalist profit system. For a democratic socialist society, based on public ownership of the major corporations that dominate the economy, and run to meet the needs of all, and to protect our environment for future generations, instead of the profits of a few.
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