Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/428/5020
Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference
MARK SERWOTKA, the general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has agreed to speak at the opening rally of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference. Coventry Socialist Party councillor, Dave Nellist will also be speaking as well as a councillor from WASG, the new left formation in Germany.
This conference is an opportunity to discuss, debate and plan the next steps to take forward the campaign. Activists and supporters from different areas will be able to meet and decide how they can work together to build support for the idea of a new mass workers' party.
Coming up to the local elections in May, many people are again going to be asking which party represents them and are again going to come to the conclusion that the three main parties only act in the interests of big business.
By putting forward the idea that a new workers' party can be built and by taking active steps towards this, workers and others who are disillusioned with mainstream politics will see that an alternative is possible.
As an initial national conference, this is an important event for the development of the campaign and all supporters should attend, if possible, and should invite others to do so too.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to CNWP, PO Box 858, London E11 1YG if you would like to attend. The attendance fee is £5 and cheques should be made payable to CNWP.
More details will appear at www.cnwp.org.uk when available.
CNWP conference, Sunday 19 March,
11.30am - 4.30pm. University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1.
Build a political alternative for the working class
"The reason I have signed up is simple. The fact is that I used to be a big New Labour supporter but have come to realise that they have turned into the 'old Conservatives' intent on privatising health, public transport and services, schools etc.
Enough is enough! We need to get a party with socialist values that feels only public ownership can be trusted to run our health service, schools, public transport & utilities."
"It is my 'gut' instinct that tells me of the need for a new party, based on socialism offering a new radical alternative to the present main parties. It is said that 'instinct' is an automatic impulse that nature uses as a response to danger, in order for its survival. My instinct tells me that the working class of this country is in danger from New Labour's policies and needs to take appropriate action.
My instinct tells me that:
New Labour's push towards more privatisation of our services will not, in the long run, be for the benefit of the working class.
The welfare state is being dismantled.
More jobs in this country are being lost and not replaced, leaving a legacy of unemployment and deprivation.
At the next general election, New Labour's policies will be indistinguishable from the other main parties - so the Blairite policies will be carried on.
The quicker we get a new party, representing the working class, the better it will be for everyone. That is why I support the Campaign for a New Workers' Party."
These are two comments submitted by recent signatories to the declaration for a new workers' party. The first is from a member of the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) and the second is from Tony Benn's 1979 election agent who resigned from the Labour Party after 30 years of membership.
Both were supporters of the Labour Party who are now looking elsewhere since the move to the right under Blair and both have stated their wholehearted support for the campaign.
These comments give an idea of the potential that exists for a new workers' party that would genuinely represent the working class and stand on a programme of anti-cuts, closures and privatisation.
Another member of the national executive of the Public and Commercial Services Union, Chris Morrison has signed up in support of the campaign in a personal capacity.
On a recent library strike, 16 out of the 26 workers present at a London workplace signed the declaration.
Socialist Party branches should aim to visit local workplaces in the next fortnight to publicise the declaration and the conference.
Supporters should pass the declaration around their workplace, trade union branch, college or community to build support and discuss the idea of a new party.
Write to the national and local media to advertise the national conference and local launch meetings as well as the campaign in general.
Local campaign meetings
23 February 7.30pm. 320 Brixton Road, London SW9.
Speakers include: Lewisham Socialist Party Councillor Ian Page.
23 February 7.30pm. William Morris Centre, Walthamstow.
25 February 2pm. Goldsmiths College, Lewisham Way, Room MB2106.
I March 7.30pm. Charterhouse-in-Southwark, 40 Tabard Street (near Borough tube.)
9 March, 7.30pm, Casa Bar, Hope Street.
14 March 7pm, Friends Meeting House, Mount Street.
In The Socialist 22 February 2006: