REPORT OF THE CNWP OFFICERS MEETING APR 21

 

1) Apologies Glen Kelly

 

2) Regional launch meetings and structures

Roger Bannister introduced this, arguing that we must move on from the successful launch, with meetings in localities. These meetings would take place against the local election background of a low Labour vote and probably a high BNP vote. We must use this to argue even more strongly for the need for a new left party. Local branches of affiliated organisations should be asked to help organise local launches, and officers should be prepared to speak. Left TU leaders, including Mark Serwotka and Matt Wrack, had been asked to speak.

The officers agreed that

       we should group declaration signatories by area, inform local groups, ask local groups to invite them all to the local launch, and contact key individuals in each area to assist with the organisation;

       localities should determine a local campaigning focus eg health cuts;

       we try to gain the sponsorship of local trade union and community groups and ask for speakers from such groups;

       we ensure each local launch meeting elects an inclusive steering committee;

       we ask local groups to invite local campaigners and trade unionists to address their Launch Meeting

       we compile a Newsletter to publicise local launch dates, provide an update on developments, promote the Petition/Declaration and ask local groups to circulate, check the accuracy of signatory details, and appeal for funds.

Local Launches/Rallies had already been organised as follows:

Bristol (Apr 29); NE London (May 18); Leicester (May 18); Coventry (May 20); Birmingham (May 24); SE London (May 25); Huddersfield (May 25); Leeds (May 30 or June 1); Sheffield (June 1); SW London (June 12); Newcastle (June 15); Wales (June 15). Other Local Launches were likely to take place in June but plans were being finalised these included the North West; Nottingham and NW London.

3) Trade Unions - conference fringe meetings, building support

Hannah Sell announced the dates of Trade Union Conferences, and it was agreed we should organise Fringe Meetings at each one. UNISON (Health), CWU, USDAW and NATFHE conferences were before the end of May. Dave Nellist reported on the CNWP fringe meeting he had done at the NUT conference last week. Hannah suggested we write to all trade Union officer signatories to the Declaration asking them to call a CNWP meeting within their Union with a national CNWP speaker. Dave Nellist added that we already had the support of 50 TU NEC members, which represented 5/10% of the total. We could write individual letters to each trade union NEC member.

The following actions were agreed:

       Liaise with TU broad lefts to avoid clashes of fringe meetings

       Avoid clashes with Respect where possible

       Organise the declaration signatories by TU as well as by region

       Write to all signatories from TUs asking them to invite a CNWP speaker to a branch meeting

       Work out a model resolution on disaffiliation from Labour

       Target leaflets for different TUs

       The Press Officer (Pete McLaren) to subscribe to the Morning Star and respond to articles in addition to targeting articles towards specific TU conferences. Kevin Nally agreed to forward the daily Trade Union Newsbrief to further inform CNWP officers

       Use UAF events and May Day rallies to promote the CNWP

       Produce a general CNWP leaflet which can also be adapted locally

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Finance

Fiona Pashazadeh reported a deficit of 1926, mainly due to the costs of the Conference. Affiliations needed to be chased up, which should bring in 700. An appeal had gone out to signatories. It was suggested we ask Trade Unions, local groups and left trade union caucuses for donations, especially towards centrally produced leaflets. It was agreed that Fiona chase up affiliations; approach trade union branches with supporters; and that we produce a new general leaflet, with 50,000 copies costing 1,150, and an updated Declaration, with 20,000 copies costing 750

 

5) Press

Pete McLaren circulated the two CNWP press releases he had so far sent out, and asked for guidance on policy to be included in press releases, given the fact the CNWP was yet to decide its policies. He had been using the Socialist Green Unity Coalition (SGUC) agreed common policies as a basis for political statements, as a number of left groups, including the SP and the SA, were part of the SGUC. It was agreed that using the SGUC policies, together with the CNWP Declaration, would be a sound basis for press statements, whilst accepting Pete would also use his own initiative and circulate press releases wherever possible. The following were also suggested:

 

       Draw up a Press Release showing how the need for a new left party was further evidenced by Labours loss of votes in the local elections and the corresponding shift in the white working class vote to the racist BNP

       Include in our media contacts elists and internet radio. Our web site could be more active to facilitate that

       We could use Left Discussion boards and issue press releases to our members via email

       We should encourage local groups to engage with their local media by sending them standard letters

       The Press Officer could devise a 2 page pack giving guidelines for local groups to contact the media

 

6) Steering Committee proposed date and agenda

It was agreed that both the CNWP officers and Steering Committee would meet on Sunday May 21, the officers before the Steering Committee. The meetings would be in London or Birmingham

 

7) AOB

Jeremy Dewar (Workers Power) circulated some amendments to the general leaflet as agreed when discussing finance. It was also suggested that the leaflet should include something on sleaze and corruption. It was agreed that a sub committee be formed to agree a revised draft to present to the officers, consisting of Jeremy Dewar, Pete McLaren and Fiona Pashazadeh

 

Pete McLaren

CNWP Press Officer

National Secretary SA

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