Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/464/1793
Socialism 2006: a great success
SOCIALISM 2006 more than lived up to the expectations of those that attended. The best part of a thousand people took part in debates and discussions over the course of the weekend.
Well over 800 people packed out the Friends' Meeting House for the Rally for Socialism to hear the inspiring speeches of Tommy Sheridan, Len Hockey, Peter Taaffe and others. As Julie Thompson from Huddersfield put it, "It'll have made anyone who wasn't a member want to join!"
The debate between Jim Hensman of the Socialist Party and Seyyed Ferjani of the Muslim Association of Britain was packed out, as was the discussion on LGBT rights between Tony Saunois (CWI) and Peter Tatchell (Outrage).
Those attending the weekend clearly enjoyed seeing the ideas and analysis of the Socialist Party discussed and debated from the platform. All the discussions over the weekend played an important role in clarifying our ideas and sharing our experiences so that those involved can go back to their areas and put this into practice through campaign work and through our positions in the workers' movement.
The sessions were "really accessible, very easy-going and very relaxed. People were very welcoming. It was just enlightening. It was a very enjoyable weekend. I'll definitely be coming next year," said Allan Cawley, a bus worker from Mansfield.
Those that for one reason or another were unable to make the event will be kicking themselves. Workers from across England and Wales, and young people in particular, came and contributed to Socialism 2006 in droves.
As Tony Mulhearn, one of the Liverpool 47, put it: "What separated this event from many others organised in the Labour movement was not just an exposition of the nature of modern capitalism and the politically corrupt character of the Tories, Liberals and New Labour, but the clearly worked out socialist alternative. Central to this alternative was the ongoing support for the campaign for a new mass party of the working class. A historic quote from Karl Marx became the keynote of the weekend: 'Philosophers have merely analysed the world, our task is to change it.' That was an apt summing up of what was correctly billed as an unmissable event."
In The Socialist 28 November 2006:
New Socialist Party publication
The Socialist Interview
International socialist news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news