Party Notes 11th March 2013 [extracts]
SWP conference: the members decide
The SWP special conference on Sunday made clear decisions about recent debates and how we now need to move forward together.
- It was a very democratic conference. Over 1,000 comrades took part in the aggregates which elected the delegates to conference. This is the largest direct participation in such elections for years.
- And on the day itself there was a good debate.
- On Sunday the Central Committee main motion was backed by 77 percent of delegates (483 for, 133 against, 13 abstentions) and another motion amending the constitution was also passed overwhelmingly. Both motions are attached.
- These decisions are binding on us all and therefore everyone should read the motions and implement them. As section three of the CC’s motion says, “At the core of democratic centralism lies the understanding that we have full and honest debate among comrades in order to reach decisions followed by united action to implement and argue for those decisions.”
- The IDOOP faction that was set up before the conference has now dissolved.
- As the CC made clear at conference, if comrades in the former faction accept the decisions of the conference then they can continue to play a full and equal part in the organisation on the same basis as everyone else.
- However, continuing factionalism will be ruinous for the SWP and is not acceptable. We can’t continue with the attacks on the party and its members on blogs and Facebook and Twitter.
- The conference elected four people to the body mentioned in section seven of the CC motion. This will look at the Disputes Committee procedures and suggest changes where necessary.
- There are also important debates we need to have in our publications and meetings, as section ten of the motion says.
- The party has been through an intense period of internal debate. It is now crucial we turn outwards and ensure that the party is at the centre of the resistance.
- This needs to be the main theme of the conference report-backs this week. Ring the national office to talk about speakers.
- Moving forwards
- There are major challenges ahead as the government ratchets up the attacks on working people. But there is also resistance.
- In just over a week, on 20 March, some 250,000 civil service workers in the PCS will strike for a day. This is budget day, when Osborne will announce further attacks on working people.
- The PCS has called a demo in London at lunchtime, there is a further protest backed by UTR and we want protests across Britain.
- The bedroom tax has emerged as a focus for the feeling against austerity. You can see the number of households affected in your constituency at http://www.housing.org.uk/media/news/bedroom_tax_local_impact.aspx
- Socialist Worker has already highlighted how people are organising against the tax, against evictions and against the threat of the bailiffs. The next section of Party Notes has details of protests and meetings.
- Every branch and district needs to put itself at the centre of this campaign.
- There are also continuing protests over the assault on council services and the NHS – this Saturday for example there is a major demo in north London in defence of Whittington hospital.
- We need to build solidarity for the Sussex University occupation (see below) and every fightback on the campuses.
- And the result of the Eastleigh by-election, the rise of UKIP in the opinion polls and the way mainstream politicians are whipping up hatred of immigrants is a warning of how the ruling class will seek to divide us.
- We need to fight this through building UAF, including on the campuses, and by tacking the arguments over who is really to blame for the lack of jobs, housing and services.