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NEW LEFT PARTY NOW MORE IMMININENT
Left Trade Union leaders and active socialists agree need to move forward is more urgent
For immediate use 1 July 2008
At the 3rd annual conference of the Campaign for a New Workers’ Party on Sunday, hundreds of supporters attending were impressed with both a sprit of left unity not seen for some time, and a commitment from two Trade Union leaders to push forward the need for a new party to represent the working class. There was unanimous agreement that Labour was no longer a party of the working class, or socialist in any form, if it ever had been. A new left party – a workers’ party – needed to be built
At the Discussion Forum on the way forward for the left in the morning, Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, suggested we needed the left and trade union activists to unite around what we could agree on, and form an umbrella organisation working towards a new socialist party to represent the working class. PCS Vice President John McInally argued that trade unions should call a conference in the autumn to discuss working class political representation around key socialist issues. The Secretary of the Labour Representation Committee, Simeon Andrews, made it clear, that in his view, the Labour Party was finished as a socialist or working class organisation, and that therefore it was vital to build a new left unity. That was why the LRC would be attending the meeting called by the Socialist Alliance on Left Unity on July 5, and the Manchester Convention of the Left in September, he added. CNWP National Chair Dave Nellist argued we needed to build a new working class party for the millions, not the millionaires Labour coveted.
National Executive Members from Respect, the Socialist Party, the CNWP, Walsall Democratic Labour Party, and the Alliance for Green Socialism also addressed the Discussion Forum. They stressed the need for a new united, broad, democratic, socialist party. As CNWP spokesperson Pete McLaren states “ It has been a real step forward that so many of the disparate groups on the left see the urgency of moving towards a new party to give the working class a political voice now that Labour no longer can do that”.
Clear evidence that the campaign to build a new workers’ party was moving forward came with the resolutions that were passed after the Discussion Forum, but clearly influenced by it. Supporters agreed to:
Continue to build the campaign amongst trade unions, and intervene in trade union conferences
Argue within trade unions for them to break their link with Labour and build a political movement for the working class
Invite all supporters of the campaign to become members, with regional members meetings and local CNWP groups
Work to bring the various forces of the left together, as well as working within the working class – within trade unions, tenants, black and community groups, amongst women and youth.
Start moving towards a pre-party formation which will begin to discuss the structure and rules of our new party
Campaign against university top up fees
Campaign against the BNP, and create a socialist alternative to counteract them
CNWP Chair and leader of the Socialist Group on Coventry Council Dave Nellist felt the Conference had built on the work already achieved. “It took over 30 years for workers to set up the Labour Party. We have already made significant progress towards building the new workers’ party that is necessary to replace what Labour might once have aspired to be, and the CNWP Conference has clearly moved the process further forward. The Labour Party is finished, electorally and as a vehicle for working class political representation. We will fill the void that therefore exists, and it will now be sooner rather than later”, he concluded.
CNWP spokesperson Pete McLaren added, “Our Conference on Sunday demonstrated how much support there is for a new left party. The left has had a history of division, and we will learn from that. Conference clearly saw how essential it had now become to build a genuine mass alternative to New Labour, and I now believe we can do that. Bringing the rather disparate left together is part of that process, and for the CNWP to have organised a platform where left trade union leaders and most of the main players on the left have come together – successfully – suggests to me we have made significant progress in our determination to build a new socialist party”, he concluded
Pete McLaren CNWP Press Officer
For further information contact:
Pete McLaren on 07881 520626
Dave Nellist on 07970 294237