Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/474/2064
Campaign for a New Workers' Party
A GREAT STEP FORWARD IN LIVERPOOL
Two hundred and fifty people, of all ages, crowded into the Casa (Dockers') Club in Liverpool to hear the case for a new mass party of the working class.
Roger Bannister, national secretary of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party, opened the meeting by outlining the history of struggle of the speakers and spelling out the objectives of the campaign.
School student and Socialist Party member, Beckhi Wilde received an ovation after speaking about the plight of young people attempting to find decent paid work or accruing debt at university. "A new party must be built to meet the needs of young people", she argued, "we want everyone to support the Campaign to Defeat Fees day of action on 22 February."
Tony Mulhearn re-minded older workers and informed new ones of the achievements of the 47 surcharged councillors who were loyal to the decisions of the Liverpool District Labour Party (DLP) in the fight against Margaret Thatcher's Tory government in the 1980s.
"The DLP was an embryo of a mass party we seek to establish, representing all sections of the working class, totally democratic, whose decisions were binding on elected councillors. Such a national organisation is the clear objective of this campaign.
"Blair's legacy will be death and destruction in Iraq, the greatest gap in history between the fat cats' and workers' income, and a wrecked Labour Party."
Ricky Tomlinson, in an emotional and moving speech calling for a pardon for the Shrewsbury pickets, described the role of the state in victimising a group of building workers after the national official strike in 1972. He outlined the harrowing experiences of himself and Desi Warren; how they claimed political prisoner status and refused to bow to pressure to admit their guilt when they were innocent of all charges brought under an obscure 1876 conspiracy act, even though this would have meant early release from prison.
"It should be recalled," he thundered to loud applause, "Desi died as a result of his experience, and we were jailed under the Tories but spent longer in jail when Roy Jenkins [former Labour minister] was home secretary."
Tommy Sheridan, Solidarity MSP, gave a stirring account of the struggle in Scotland and the tragic split from the Scottish Socialist Party. He emphasised the urgent need for a mass party in England and Wales that could link up with the newly formed Solidarity in Scotland.
"This initiative is a clarion call to all sections of the working class and to all working-class parties to join this campaign to establish a party that workers can be proud of."
This great assembly, on the broad political question of a new workers' party, was the biggest meeting held in Liverpool for many years. It will prove to be a groundbreaking landmark in the campaign.
In The Socialist 15 February 2007:
Campaign for a New Workers Party
War and terrorism
Socialist Party feature
Bird flu outbreak
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news
Workplace news and analysis