Report from the Left Unity Meeting, Sat July 5th

ORGANISATIONS PRESENT

The Socialist Party; Alliance for Green Socialism; Walsall Democratic Labour Party; Socialist Alliance; Labour Representation Committee; Green Left; Revolutionary Democratic Group; the United Socialist Party; Alliance for Workers Liberty; Respect; CPGB (observers); Left Alternative (observers)

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Pete McLaren, Nat Sec of the SA which had called the meeting, welcomed comrades to the meeting and thanked them for attending, outlining how this meeting was almost certainly historic in that never before had 12 different left groups/unity projects met together to discuss ways of working together more effectively. That was an achievement in itself. He added that it was essential that something tangible came out of the meeting to take us forward towards the long term goal of a new left party.

INITIAL DISCUSSION

After everyone had introduced themselves, Gerry Byrne (SA) took the chair, and began by asking that those who had submitted Papers speak briefly to them. There then followed a wide ranging discussion where each group present explained where they were at in terms of the need for left unity, what the barriers to unity might be, and how they thought we might be able to work together more effectively. There was general agreement about the need for working class political representation now that Labour was finished, and that a new left / green-left party therefore needed to be built.

PROPOSALS FOR ACTION

After a short break, the following proposals were put forward:

  • Intervene at the Manchester Convention of the Left
  • Produce a Joint Statement in support of the public sector strikes
  • All organisations (except LRC and GL) agree to avoid electoral clashes
  • Ask the LRC and the GL to consider whether there might be some way they could contribute to a clash avoidance agreement
  • An accounting function - each organisation to submit a brief statement about where it stood on working with others, and on the question of a united left party - and what problems or issues it could foresee. A draft would be produced from contributions which would be circulated.
  • We form a Left liaison Committee to have dialogue on the process as it unfolds

Groups commented on these proposals.

THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS WERE AGREED:

  1. Produce a Joint Statement in support of the public sector strikes - Gerry Byrne (SA) to initiate and circulate
  2. Each organisation to discuss internally, in the light of this meeting, its position on cooperation and unity with other groups, including what barriers there might be. Organisations were invited to send in written statements on this - to Pete McLaren, at pete.mclaren@virgin.net before the next meeting.
  3. That we discuss becoming a sort of liaison committee to have dialogue on the process as it unfolds - the next meeting on October 11th to consider this, and to see where we all stand as agreed in (2) above

It was agreed that this next meeting on Saturday October 11th, would be at 1pm at the Lucas Arms. The timing would enable discussion to take place after the Labour Party and TUC Conferences, and the Manchester Convention of the Left

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