REPORT FROM THE SA NEC SAT NOV 7 2009 Lucas Arms 4.00 pm

1) INTRODUCTIONS AND CONFIRMATION OF THE AGENDA

The Agenda was confirmed, but the item on the RMT Conference was brought forward

It was agreed to send condolences to the SWP on the sudden death of Chris Harman

2) APOLOGIES – Jean Kysow; Liz Peck; Dave Landau (for lateness)

3) ELECTION OF OFFICERS FOR 2009/10

Pete McLaren took the Chair. Steve Freeman proposed we have Joint Chairs, Internal and External. Gerry Byrne explained that she might have found it difficult to represent the policy on No2EU developments decided by the AGM, but she was happy to chair meetings and perform other internal tasks, including Communications and Nominating Officer. Pete McLaren welcomed the spreading of the workload and hoped the new role could be shared. He felt the need to remind Steve that, when speaking as Joint Chair of the SA, he must represent all SA policies – whereas as a SA and RDG member he was free to highlight the republicanism aspects of it separately. Steve Freeman agreed to make it clear when he was speaking personally, and when as SA Chair, and he agreed Joint chairs could rotate. It was agreed to have Joint Chairs

ai) Chairperson Internal – Gerry Byrne elected unopposed

aii) Chairperson External – Steve Freeman elected unopposed

b) Secretary – Pete McLaren elected unopposed

c) Treasurer – No Nominations. As a result, Pete McLaren agreed to continue covering the post until we found a new Treasurer. He reminded the meeting this was crucial if we were to stand Election Candidates

d) Membership – left open

e) Communications – Gerry Byrne agreed to co-ordinate

f) Any Other Officer – None

g) Confirmation and/or Election of Party Leader and Nominating Officer for Electoral Commission purposes-

Pete McLaren was confirmed as Party Leader, Gerry Byrne as Nominating Officer

5) MATTERS REFERRED TO THE NEC BY THE AGM

a) Raising printing costs

Pete McLaren explained that he was £136 out of pocket because the cost of toner had virtually doubled, and colour laser printing was proving rather expensive. The per copy charge needed to be raised to 0.09 p per copy for everything printed since May 21st’, the last Invoice, in order just to pay for current laser cartridges, not any of the deficit. In the meantime, he suggested we investigate the purchase of a cheap ink jet printer for our office use, and only use his own colour laser printer for leaflets and the like. Both suggestions were unanimously agreed.

14) MAIN DISCUSSION ITEM: REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S RMT CONFERENCE ON THE CRISIS IN WORKING CLASS POLITICAL REPRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS AS TO HOW WE CAN RELATE TO ITS CONCLUSIONS, OR ANY OTHER SUGGESTED WAYS FORWARD

Gerry Byrne began the discussion by suggesting that, given its limitations in terms of not allowing resolutions, the Conference had been quite positive and hopeful. People on the ground and clearly moved on and were discussing standing local candidates. Bob Crow had been positive, but needed the rest of us to send in proposals to move forward which the RMT could then act upon. In some ways, everyone was waiting for someone else to make the next move. She was concerned that the SP seemed to be behaving differently in different forums, as it had been reported that they had blocked progress at the recent Core Group meeting. Steve Freeman argued we need a national organization to co-ordinate the local campaigns. The RMT had set up the No2EU Coalition, and they needed the support of political groups to build for the General election. It was frustrating that the Conference had not discussed working class political representation in terms of Parliamentary democracy – we need a Party to expose the concentration of power in the hands of the executive and suggest Parliamentary reform. No 2EU was a step forward, but we need the next step – something like Chartism.

Dave Church felt that Bob Crow wanted there to be a Coalition, but there was not yet enough support.

We need a single organization with a single name, but not a Party, for the General election, he argued – a loose umbrella with a central point until after the election when we could start progress towards a more permanent structure/new Party. Steve Freeman mentioned that the Peoples Charter was being promoted, but it had no democratic demands. We should intervene with a republican charter and democratic demands including the need for accountability of MPs. Pete McLaren felt the Conference had been successful given its brief. The SP may not have been blocking progress – they may have decided that they needed something from the recent Core group meeting to put to the Conference, hence their decision not to push for the name or core policies at the Core Group meeting, but instead to gain agreement on the launching of the Coalition itself, which they did through the agreed wording of the statement put to Conference. This had now been effectively endorsed by the Conference through the supportive speeches and via the leaflet everyone was given with the statement and an update on progress. In answer to a query about the Convention of the Left only being represented at the Conference by one person, he was not surprised because the CoL did not want a new party any more than the Green Left or the Labour Representation Committee did. The Post No2EU Core Group was meeting again on November 25th, and he argued we should write to them on the lines suggested after the Conference by Nick Wrack, and he hoped all who supported the project would inform the Coalition at the address on the Conference leaflet – electioncoalition@btinternet.com. A brief discussion ensued about the names being suggested for the Coalition. Toby Abse suggested the new project might not be as democratically organized as it should be, but we needed to support it because of the massive spending cuts agenda being promoted by the main parties.

Dave Church moved that we write to the RMT and the Core Groups thanking them for the Conference, hoping for further progress, offering the Coalition use of our registered electoral title as a way of showing our commitment, and once again requesting representation at all levels of the discussion. This was unanimously agreed, as was the suggestion that we encourage others to write in to the RMT as well to help the RMT convince any doubters. It was also agreed that if the Post No2EU Core group accepted SA representation, Pete McLaren would be our delegate

4) MINUTES OF THE 2009 AGM – circulated for information

b) Developing a position on ‘No Platform’ – Dave landau agreed to circulate a Paper

c) Any other matters arising from the AGM

Dave Landau reported that there were still problems at Calais, with increasing use of charter flights for deportations to Afghanistan and the DRC

6) MINUTES OF THE SA NEC HELD JUNE 21st – agreed

7) ANY MATTERS ARISING NOT ON THE AGENDA – none

8) CORRESPONDENCE – the following were circulated:

a) Electoral Commission – Form RP6 on standing candidates; Party and Election Finance on line

b) SA – Correspondence regarding the loss of our original web site c) Postal strike – CWU, Rugby Red Green Alliance and SP leaflets of support d) AGS – General Election Manifesto 2010 (three versions including drafts and finalized); Green Socialist Late Summer 2009; Newsletter October 2009 e) SP – Socialism 2009

9) MEMBERSHIP REPORT

Pete McLaren reported that ten members from last year had not yet renewed, and the RDG had not paid their 2009 affiliation. Gerry Byrne offered to chase up the membership

10) FINANCE REPORT

Pete McLaren circulated the Finance Report that showed a balance of £137.95. However, once the £45 had been paid for this meeting, the £59 owed for printing, and travel for this meeting, there would be very little left. He offered to sell the SA Xmas Cards again.

11) COMMUNICATIONS REPORT, including Web Site

Gerry Byrne offered to work with Dave Trussler to try and make the web site more vibrant

13) REPORT FROM THE OCTOBER CNWP STEEERING COMMITTEE – circulated

18) DATE OF NEXT NEC MEETING – NEC Meetings were agreed for Saturdays March 6th & June 10th

Pete McLaren 29/11/09

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