RESOLUTIONS PASSED AT THE 2010 SA AGM NOVEMBER 21
RESOLUTION ON THE WAY FORWARD Moved by Pete McLaren
We recognise the steady progress made by the Socialist Alliance in the last year towards implementing the tasks it was set by the 2009 AGM in terms of promoting socialist unity and turning the CNWP into a more effective campaign.
The 2009 AGM noted that there had been developments post No2EU which could lead to further progress towards our goal of a new left party, including discussing the formation of a Left Electoral Coalition for the General Election with a "class based electoral title"
It was hoped there would be agreement on a number of key demands/policy points, and that other supportative organisations, like the SA, would be invited to join the discussions
We accepted we may need to be patient whilst organizations, especially the RMT, consult their members before declaring public support.
We also noted the encouraging calls for left unity being made by a number of leading trade unionists and socialist organizations.
We also agreed to campaign for the Coalition which emerges to be open, inclusive, and fully democratic and for it to develop more permanent structures, initially, at least, on a federal basis, which include individual membership as a step towards a new workers' party
At the same time, we agreed to continue our work to promote socialist unity both inside and outside post-No2EU developments
• In the LULC
• Within the CNWP, and for the implementation of our proposals on structure for the CNWP. We confirmed our view about the need for a timescale for forming a new workers' party, out of the campaign for one, and for this to be taken in context with, and conjunction with, developments elsewhere to build such a party, including the post-No2EU coalition
• In the Convention of the Left, if and when, that is possible
• And within any other unity projects and progressive movements/campaigns
We confirmed that our main goal was the merging of all such socialist/green socialist unity projects and initiatives into one Party of the Left based solidly within the working class – with the intention that such a party would have support from trade unions, tenants groups, women, youth, black groups, anti-war protesters and environmentalists
Developments since our last AGM have been as follows:
- Whilst there was a Left Coalition for the General Election with a “class based electoral title” and a limited socialist programme – the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) – it has not proved possible for smaller supporting organizations like the SA to become part of TUSC, and TUSC is not at present open, inclusive or democratic
- The LULC has met more regularly, six times in the last twelve months, and although participation has varied, the LULC became a particularly effective body during the General Election, becoming a type of 'shadow steering committee' for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) – a forum for discussion which could be fed back into the TUSC discussions.
- The CNWP has not been particularly active, especially whilst TUSC was being built, but an extended Steering Committee meeting in September unanimously supported the SA call for the CNWP to establish the prototype of a new Left Party before the end of 2011 at the latest. This process will include a specific session at the CNWP 2011 conference in March which will consider an outline draft constitution for consideration by a future founding conference.
- The CoL has only met once, and has put itself on the back burner
As a result of this uneven progress, and in recognition of our own resources, the SA needs to be realistic about its goals. It is vitally important that we continue to promote the need for left unity, and link this to the need for a new Left Party based solidly within the working class.
This is a clear message to promote. As the Socialist Alliance, we are one organization – maybe the only one because of our history and tradition – that could do that.
Specifically we will do this by
- Continuing to co-ordinate the Left Unity Liaison Committee (LULC) which we set up two and a half years ago. Fifteen left/green left organisations have attended LULC meetings including all the main players apart from the SWP – and we will continue working on that, whilst seeking to persuade all left organizations of the need to participate in it on a more regular basis
- Putting further work into the initiative launched this year to set up a national network for progressive, local/community and socialist parties – the People before Profit Network. The Socialist Alliance was the main organisational driving force behind this attempt to link together the various rather isolated local political parties with each other and national left organisations. We will ensure a follow up meeting is held in the near future, and we will aim to make that body effective.
- Continue our commitment to building the Campaign for a New Workers' Party into that Party. In the past, our proposals made to the CNWP, including the move for a membership based campaign, moves to a pro-party alliance or pre-party formation, and to begin work to determine the structure and rules for such a party, were accepted Having gained the unanimous support of a recent CNWP Extended Steering Committee for the CNWP to establish the prototype of a new Left Party before the end of 2011 at the latest, with a federal constitution including affiliation, individual membership and clear democratic structures, we agree to ensure the necessary discussions take place, and we will make it a priority that we will have an outline of a new Left Party by the end of 2011
- We will push for a date for a founding Conference of such a new Left Party. However, we recognise that a new party cannot be launched through the CNWP so long as there is only one substantial force in it – the Socialist Party – and the CNWP is seen as a creature of the Socialist Party. Comrades in the Socialist Party themselves recognise this problem leading them to a degree of caution about moving the CNWP to its next stage.
- We will continue to work on making TUSC a more open, democratic and representative body, arguing for the affiliation of all supportive organizations to it. We will encourage members to attend the TUSC Conference for possible anti cuts candidates, and support SA members who wish to stand as such candidates to whatever extent is practically feasible
- We will attempt to persuade the various national anti cuts bodies to work closely together with the longer term aim of merging into one organization – this would include the NSSN, Coalition of Resistance, Right to Work, Youth Fight for Jobs
The SA agrees that its main priority in the year ahead is to build on recent developments including those outlined above, and to actively seek greater positive cooperation within the left and green left; and to take as far forward as possible a campaign for One Party for the Left (i.e. the socialist movement) based solidly within the working class – with the intention that such a party would have support from trade unions, tenants groups, anti cuts groups, women, youth, black groups, anti-war protesters and environmentalists.
RESOLUTIONFROM GERRY BYRNE
This AGM believes:
- That the ConDem coalition's cuts are the most savage attack on our class in living memory;
- That there will necessarily be a fight-back, but we do not know the exact form it will take;
- That the left continues to be tiny, fragmented, disunited, and therefore in a very poor position for any battle with this government and its international class allies.
- That the ConDem's talk of the "Big Society" is primarily an attempt to make these cuts appear more palatable by wrapping them in a package claiming to empower communities and giving people greater control over their lives. In as much as this claim has any reality at all, it will be largely to increase the influence of the middle classes on services at the expense of the working class.
We further believe that the Socialist Alliance, while small, represents an important beacon of socialist unity.
We resolve therefore to continue our efforts to encourage unity, at every level, in the fight-back against this and any other anti-working class government's attacks.
We will continue to make the case for a unified, principled, socialist response, against sectarian and top-down moves by any group to claim to be the 'leadership' or sole voice of the movement.
We will support all bona fide campaigns that are in general agreement with our aims, and fight for them to co-ordinate and unite against a common enemy.
We will argue in these campaigns and across the left that it is important not to leave the questions of democracy and control to the ConDem's "Big Society" society, but on the contrary, to take the opportunity to go beyond a distorted statist vision of socialism to a vision based on the self-emancipation of the working class and develop concrete demands around increasing working class community control of the social, economic and physical environment.
Resolutions passed at the SA 2010 AGM