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REPORT FROM TUSC INDEPENDENT SOCIALIST NETWORK (ISN) MEETING 14/01/12 including the main decisions

GENERAL DISCUSSION ABOUT THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE NEW YEAR

Nick Wrack introduced the topic arguing there was a fundamental crisis within capitalism with the working class being made to pay. Labour Parties had capitulated; workers’ struggles had not defeated the austerity attacks. We need to explain that there are alternatives to cuts and link the resistance struggle to the argument for socialism.

A lengthy and informed discussion followed

IDEAS FOR BUILDING THE MAY 2012 COUNCIL ELECTIONS

Nick Wrack outlined the importance of the 2012 Council Elections, explaining that the TUSC Steering Committee wanted as wide a range of candidates as possible. He described developments in London where 8 candidates had already been selected for the List section of the London elections where, using the top up system of PR, 5% of the vote could gain a seat. These candidates included leading executive members of the RMT, POA, UCU, NUT and Unison. It was hoped to have between 11 and 15 candidates altogether, additionally including leading members of the FBU, PCS and CWU.

There was discussion about standing a mayoral candidate in order to get TUSC publicity into every London household, but it was explained that some were not in favour of standing against Livingstone, and, as the TUSC SC worked by consensus, there would be no TUSC candidate for mayor.

Pete McLaren then outlined some general ideas for building the 2012 Election Campaign. He began by suggesting that the sooner comrades got organised the better, but it was by no means too late – last year Rugby TUSC was only formed on March 2nd, yet by April seven candidates had been selected and nominated, and by May £2,000 had been raised and 20,000 leaflets delivered. He gave suggestions for different methods for independents in terms of organising where different political circumstances existed:

  • Where a TUSC Branch already exists – meet, select, organise campaign, raise the funds
  • Where there is no TUSC Branch
    • Contact/join/work with local Anti Cuts Group to select anti cuts candidates, TUSC or otherwise
    • Find out from TUSC if there any other TUSC supporters locally
    • Contact local left activists and organisations
    • Raise possibility of anti cuts candidates in local community, TU and TUC groups
  • Where an existing SP Branch is standing candidates – contact them to see if you can stand with/along side them
  • If you remain on your own after trying to make contacts – find out from TUSC and SP/SWP/SR if there are members and candidates in adjacent wards

He concluded by expressing concern that the TUSC Steering Committee had only formally met once since July, and there had been no consideration of Conference decisions to discuss opening up the Steering Committee

HOW THE ISN CAN BE BUILT OVER THE NEXT 6 MONTHS – It was agreed that

  • The ISN become a membership organisation on the basis of minimum monthly payments of £5 waged/£1 unwaged
  • An ISN membership card would be produced
  • The ISN web site should be improved, with regular new articles of around 300 words.
  • More ISN supporters be encouraged to get involved with the Bulletin
  • TUSC Branches would be encouraged to be set up
  • The ISN would meet again on Sat March 31st
  • The March Meeting would include a discussion about a more formal structure for the ISN with functional officers such as Treasurer, Secretary, Web Organiser
  • There would be a longer term aim for an ISN Bulletin

Pete McLaren 20/01/12

The SA AGM agreed one of our priorities was to help build TUSC and the Independent Socialist Network that has been formed within it. For more information go to . http://www.independentsocialistnetwork.org/ or contact indsocnet@yahoo.co.uk or phone Will McMahon: 020 8525 6616 or Nick Wrack: 07812 063 409 or Pete Mclaren: 07881 520626. Follow @TUSCIndependent on twitter.

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