REPORT OF THE SA NEC SAT MARCH 6 2010

1) INTRODUCTIONS AND CONFIRMATION OF THE AGENDA

The agenda was confirmed as published. Gerry Byrne was in the Chair

2) APOLOGIES – Dave Church; Jean Kysow; Liz Peck

3) MINUTES OF THE SA NEC HELD NOVEMBER 7th 2009 – agreed as correct

4) ANY MATTERS ARISING NOT ON THE AGENDA - none

5) CORRESPONDENCE – the following items were circulated:

a) Electoral Commission – New rules on permissibility and reporting of loans and donations; Campaign expenditure and weekly donation reporting during the General Election period

b) SA Letter to Core Group following RMT Conference and last NEC decision; Response from Core Group and request for further information regarding our ‘social weight’; The SA’s response to the Core Group; Letter to 2008 members asking for renewal and donations; Letter and publicity for SA Greetings Cards; Reports from LULC Meetings held December 19, January 6 and February 6 c) SWP – Our condolences letter re Chris Harman and Martin Smith’s reply d) AGS – Green Socialist autumn 2009; January Newsletter containing Mike Davies’ reasons for AGS withdrawal from TUSC; March Newsletter; Paperwork for AGS AGM March 27 e) DLP – Letter accompanying re-affiliation for 2010

f) Andrew Melville – Publicity for TUSC meeting in Leicester and request for us to forward the details, and explanation that lack of income meant he had not renewed his SA membership

Arising out of correspondence, Pete McLaren raised concerns about the AGS attitude to left unity given its withdrawal from TUSC following on from its withdrawal from the LULC last year

6) MEMBERSHIP REPORT

Pete McLaren reported that 7 members had now renewed nationally for 2010. He suggested establishing local SA branches was the key to building the SA

7) FINANCE REPORT

a) Finance Report for 2009 (end of year report)

Pete McLaren reported an end of year balance of just £41.35. He made an urgent appeal for a Treasurer to be elected to try and generate sufficient income

b) Finance Report for 2010

Pete McLaren reported a balance so far of £139.35. However, £90 would be needed for travel and the cost of the room for this meeting, and about £20 was owed for printing. He asked for 2010 affiliation money to be paid as soon as possible, and for the RDG to pay its 2009 affiliation. He appealed again for members to put their work into building local SA branches to help the finances and membership nationally.

A discussion developed about the role and significance of the SA. Gerry Byrne, in the Chair, felt we were just treading water and not campaigning and therefore not recruiting. Steve Freeman argued that the SA was performing a crucial role, being the only organization constantly pushing the need for socialist unity. The SA had also shown its importance by helping to organize the Republican Socialist Convention. It should now devise its strategy for intervention in the General Election. He suggested we should champion left unity and the need for democracy. He would circulate his ideas, including a petition. Toby Abse argued that we needed to be there when discussions about a new Party start in earnest after the General election. Steve Freeman added that he wanted to be a TUSC candidate in Peckham, Southwark to break down sectarian barriers. Gerry Byrne concluded by suggesting we produce a leaflet for use in the General Election on the expenses claimed by MPs, contrasting it with the need for MPs to only take workers’ wage, asking candidates where they stood on the issue.

8) COMMUNICATIONS REPORT, including Web Site

Gerry Byrne agreed to promote the SA on Facebook, and to set up an SA Facebook group.

9) REPORT FROM AFFILIATES, and election of delegate to next AGS Committee

Toby Abse explained that the AGS had left TUSC and were taking an “Ourselves alone” position. It was agreed to put off any discussion about re-affiliation to the AGS until after the General Election

10) REPORT FROM THE REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST CONVENTION

Steve Freeman reported that this would soon be circulated

11) REPORT FROM THE JANUARY CNWP OFFICERS MEETING

Pete McLaren circulated a written report, and spoke to it. He highlighted the report given from TUSC – the Steering Committee had now met 6 times. The position of the RMT had been explained, as were the reasons for the withdrawal of the CPB and the AGS, and the inclusion of other organizations including the SWP who were standing six candidates under TUSC. There were calls at the CNWP meeting for other supportive organizations to be included on the TUSC Steering Committee. The CNWP Officers agreed to support TUSC, request a CNWP representative on the TUSC Steering Committee, and to make an initial donation to TUSC of £500. On other matters, it had been agreed to hold an Extended Steering Committee meeting, an Officers meeting within two weeks of the General Election, and the CNWP Conference in June. In answer to a question from the Chair, Pete McLaren explained that he felt the SA did have an input into the CNWP, enabling us to find out what was going on around initiatives like No2EU and TUSC, and put our view on such developments – whilst working on the broader project of campaigning for a new workers’ party

12) Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Gerry Byrne and Pete McLaren reported from the LULC Meeting held earlier that day. 38 TUSC candidates had been endorsed, with Parties represented included the SP, SWP, ISG, Lanarkshire SA and Solidarity. Thirteen RMT Branches had now backed TUSC. The Steering Committee operated by consensus, which meant if one individual or organization opposed a candidate or policy, it would automatically fall – and this had been criticized by LULC organizations. In fact, only one candidate had been rejected – and that was for wanting to stand against an RMT sponsored Labour MP. The CPGB had put forward their desire to stand three TUSC candidates, but they had not stated which constituencies they wanted to contest, and they had not put forward named candidates. There was also the issue of their insistence that NO2EU candidates support a Workers’ Militia before being given their support. The SP’s Clive Heemskerk, who was liaising between TUSC and the LULC, had accepted that TUSC had limitations, but felt forming a coalition for a limited purpose had been a modest step forward. The LULC had agreed to meet again immediately after the General Election – on May 15th – to reflect on it and decide where we go from there.

During the brief discussion that followed, it was felt that the SP and SWP working together again could be beneficial for future developments

13) IMPLEMENTATION OF RESOLUTIONS ON THE WAY FORWARD AGREED AT THE AGM

Not taken

14) IMPLEMENTATION OF OTHER RESOLUTIONS AGREED AT THE AGM

Not taken

15) DATE OF NEXT NEC MEETING

This was confirmed as Saturday June 12th, 2pm, as previously agreed

16) AOB

It was agreed that Toby Abse represents the SA at Michael Foote’s funeral

Pete McLaren 12/04/10

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