REPORT OF THE CNWP OFFICERS MEETING JULY 13

 

1) Present: Dave Nellist, Hannah Sell, Pete McLaren, Fiona Pashazadeh

Apologies Glen Kelly; Jeremy Dewar; Kevin Kelly; Roger Bannister

 

2) Minutes of last CNWP Officers and Steering Committee meetings

It was agreed resolutions and amendments received in advance of meetings would be minuted.

It was reported that a number of local/regional CNWP launch meetings had taken place, with attendances of 30 60. It was agreed we should organise for Freshers Week, ISR to be asked to draft a leaflet for Officers to comment upon and approve. It was further reported that 2254 had now signed the Declaration, 45 of whom were TU NEC members, and 495 were SP members.

3) Trade Unions Conferences report

Hannah Sell reported that the CNWP had organised fringe meetings at 13 different Trade Union national conferences. Although meetings were not massive, those attending represented a broad level of interest, with much anger at decisions to retain links with the Labour Party. The RMT Conference had agreed to broaden the process it had started in January and to organise further national conferences, Regional and Branch meetings, inviting sympathetic trade unions, trades councils, progressive trade unionists, community and political activists. The RMT also agreed to develop a national shop stewards movement, take part in joint campaign activity in a united front against capitalism, and to support the development of a new socialist political organisation, extending the work already progressing in Scotland and Wales to the rest of Britain.

Dave Nellist reported that he was preparing a letter to go to the 45 Trade Union NEC members who supported the CNWP.

It was agreed we need to find out the closing dates for resolutions for next years TU conferences and try to get the issue of a new party onto each agenda. At the very least, we needed to persuade TUs to organise a debate about whether we need a new party.

4) Respect Trade Union Conference November 11

Hannah Sell had written to Respect asking for CNWP involvement in the conference. John Rees had replied explaining the nature of the conference and the trade union support for it, including from the RMT and PCS. He confirmed that a speaker from the CNWP would be taken in the discussion on political representation, and that CNWP participation would be welcomed at the conference, but he would not go any further, pointing out that the conference was much broader than just political representation. The letter made it clear the conference was to build support for Respect, and it was clear Respect were anxious to be close to the Labour left. It was suggested that we should intervene in the conference, and formally request a platform speaker. This was agreed, and Hannah would copy her request to Mark Serwotka to gain his support.

5) Campaigning on NHS issues

It was agreed that the CNWP should involve itself in anti health cuts campaigns, including the UNISON lobby of Parliament planned for the autumn. It would be a crunch year for NHS budgets, and workers were fighting back, one example being the 65% vote for industrial action by Unison in Wolverhampton. It was agreed we should produce a CNWP NHS leaflet, and Dave Nellist agreed to draft it, with a letter on one side.

6) Press

Pete McLaren referred to the three Press Releases issued since the Steering Committee on Education, the CNWPs 2,000th supporter, and the vote for disaffiliation within Unison. He was finding it difficult to persuade the establishment media to take up our points, and felt we would get more opportunities when we changed from being a campaign to some sort of party. Dave Nellist suggested we try to make contact with an influential political analysts in each newspaper. It was agreed that Pete McLaren, on behalf of the CNWP, would take out an annual subscription to the Morning Star On Line in September, at a cost of to the CNWP of 60. It was also agreed Pete would draft a Media Release on the Cash for Honours row

7) Finance

Fiona Pashazadeh reported a deficit of 1,849, much the same as in May. We had received 3,958, 2,015 being from ticket sales for the Launch Conference, 1,600 in collections and donations, and 300 from affiliations. We had spent 5,787, 3,200 on leaflets and posters and 2,000 on room hire. Although Fiona suggested we needed to raise money, she felt the debt was manageable and reflected a year of hard work. It was agreed to target getting rid of the deficit by the next CNWP Conference next year. Hannah Sell and Pete McLaren agreed to investigate organising a Fund Raising Social and Raffle. It was also agreed to produce a pamphlet about the CNWP for next years TU conferences which could be offered for sale, and to produce a bi-monthly email Newsletter and use it to commit declaration signatories to make further financial as well as political contributions. Fiona agreed to draft. Dave Nellist suggested we draw up a list of possible CNWP donors.

8) Next Steering Committee Meeting.

It was agreed the next Steering Committee would be held on Sunday 24 September at the Mechanics Institute in Manchester to coincide with the Labour Party Conference, with part of the meeting open to the public as a CNWP Public Meeting. The media would be invited. There would also be a meeting to promote the CNWP on Saturday September 23 immediately following the STWC Demo. An A5 leaflet would be produced to advertise both meetings. The Officers would discuss issues in the interim by email. It was agreed to use the Morning star to advertise key meetings like these if the costs were not too high.

9) AOB

It was agreed to see if left papers, like Red Pepper, would circulate a CNWP leaflet, and to organise a CNWP fringe meeting at the TUC conference in Brighton on September 11

 

Pete McLaren

CNWP Press Officer

SA National Secretary

16/07/06

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