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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?
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Phone: 07881 520626
For immediate use 20 March 2006
The Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference, meeting in London on 19 March, was attended by some 450 people.
Former Labour MP and current Socialist Party councillor in Coventry Dave Nellist chaired the conference, which debated nine resolutions about the future shape of the campaign and elected officers and a steering committee to take the campaign's work forward.
An overwhelming theme of the conference was that after previous false starts in trying to establish a new party to represent working people - such as Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party - any new party would have to be democratic, open and inclusive. At this stage the delegates at the conference felt it should take a federal approach to bring in as many supportive organisations and groups as possible, with no one group or individual dominating.
Dave Nellist, elected as the chair of the new steering committee said after the conference: "Today has been a very good start to our aim of preparing the way for a new party based on trade unionists, anti-war campaigners, community and environmental activists and particularly young people.
"With PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka speaking at the conference, along with other supportive messages from leading trade union figures, then this shows we have a strong base in the unions. A key objective now will be to get the unions to break from Labour and support our campaign."
Over 300 of the delegates at the conference were active trade unionists, including many members of trade union national executive committees and leading representatives at all levels of the trade unions. The new Campaign has a structure that allows trade unions to affiliate it and over half of the new steering committee were elected by trade union commissions on the day..
Dave Nellist added: "I think the timing of our launch has been just right. The sleaze allegations surrounding Labour, along with talk of state funding of the political parties which will further break the unions' now tenuous links with Labour then I think we are well placed to see our campaign go from strength to strength.
"The Conference clearly concluded that Labour was no longer an option for working people. The CNWP needed to become the clear option for the working class, but it must first be rooted in communities and within the left, and that will be our task in the months ahead"
Although this was an initial conference of the CNWP it agreed a number of immediate tasks aimed at popularising the idea of a new mass workers' party amongst as wide a section of the working class as possible.
The new officers of the campaign elected at the conference are:
|Secretary||Roger Bannister (member of UNISON national executive - personal capacity)|
|Chair||Dave Nellist (Socialist Party councillor, Coventry)|
|Vice-Chair||Kevin Kelly (vice-president PCS national executive - personal capacity)|
|Press Officer||Pete McLaren|
|Trade union liaison officer||Glenn Kelly (UNISON national executive - personal capacity)|
|Assistant Secretary||Hannah Sell|
For further information contact:
Pete McLaren on 07881 520626
Dave Nellist on 07970 294237