The SA resolution was agreed, committing the CNWP to establishing the prototype of a new Left Party within the next 18 months, a Founding Conference for a new party, and the drawing up of an outline constitution which will include

  • The long tern aims of the Party
  • A federal structure recognizing the rights of both affiliating organisations and individuals,
  • A mechanism to ensure that no single affiliated organisation can impose its views on the Party as a whole
  • Clear democratic structures to ensure that any internal Party body is representative of the Party as a whole
  • Recognition that affiliated organisations remain free to campaign externally to the Party,
  • Recognition that members are entitled to form open political factions able to campaign both internally within and externally to the Party.

The resolution will now go to an extended Steering Committee meeting in September, and a CNWP Conference in the first 6 months of 2011.

A resolution from the SP was slightly amended and also agreed. This welcomed the decision of the TUSC Steering Committee to continue developing TUSC, and in particular welcomed TUSC's plans for a Conference this autumn to bring together all those trade unionist, socialist and anti-cuts campaigners who are intending to contest elections under the TUSC banner in 2011. The resolution also recognised that TUSC was at an early stage of development, and as it did not yet constitute a workers party, the importance of continuing to develop the work of the CNWP was stated. To this end, all CNWP Members and supporters will be informed of the developments within TUSC, urged to get involved in local anti-cuts campaigns, and consider standing anti cuts candidates. A pamphlet will be produced on the defence of public services and the case for a new workers' party. The CNWP will hold an Extended Steering Committee in September (Sunday September 12 was provisionally agreed), open to ALL CNWP Members – like a mini conference – and would consider resolutions from members and the possibility of co-option onto the Steering Committee. The full CNWP Conference would be postponed until the first half of 2011 so that it didn't affect the TUSC Conference in the autumn. The Officers are meeting again, probably on September 1st, to confirm arrangements for the Extended Steering Committee meeting

A two-pronged strategy has emerged – continue with the CNWP whilst developing TUSC. TUSC is an electoral banner with no Party structure. TUSC, and its autumn conference, could become part of the process of building a new Left party, but, it was agreed, the CNWP has an important and independent role to play.

There is now a commitment for the CNWP to do a number of things which would take us considerably further forward in the next 18 months. That does not mean, of course, that a new Left party will actually be launched within that timescale, but at least much of the groundwork will have been done – and events may move the process forward even more quickly, as might further developments within TUSC

Pete McLaren

National Secretary, Socialist Alliance