Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/441/5231
Step up the Campaign for a New Workers' Party
THE STEERING committee elected at the Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) conference in March discussed the campaign's next steps forward at its first meeting on 21 May. Representatives from trade unions and affiliated groups were also present including from PCS, TGWU, NUT and AMICUS unions.
CNWP chair and Coventry Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist outlined the political situation after the local elections. One of the main issues is the rise of the far right racist BNP who more than doubled their number of council seats.
The disillusionment around the elections and the fact that the BNP can masquerade as a party standing up for the working class, shows the urgent need for a genuine political alternative. The meeting agreed a statement on the BNP, which will be made available for supporters to read, distribute and use as the basis for leaflets.
Trade Union Liaison Officer Glenn Kelly spoke of the struggles against NHS cuts and closures and the anger as New Labour looks to sell off more and more of the health service. He highlighted the growing number of areas where workers face attacks on jobs and conditions, including the local government workers' battle in defence of their pensions.
CNWP fringe meetings are being held at all this year's major trade union conferences and there have already been reports of good responses from delegates. Many signed up in support of the declaration and wanted to get involved.
Given the potential shown by the RMT union's conference on the crisis in working-class representation in January and the level of support CNWP is gaining, the meeting agreed on the need for a follow-up conference. Officers will contact the RMT and other unions to propose that practical steps towards this are taken soon.
Hannah Sell, CNWP Assistant Secretary, said the 19 March conference agreed a target of 5,000 signatories to the declaration by the end of 2006 and it was agreed to step up the drive to achieve this. Targets for signatories by the end of the year were agreed for each trade union and each region.
Local launch meetings are taking place around the country. These provide a good opportunity to raise the campaign and bring together both existing and potential supporters to build momentum. All regions should look to hold such meetings as soon as possible.
Press Officer, Pete McLaren, distributed guidelines on media coverage that will be made available to supporters and local groups. National press releases should be followed up locally, adding relevant local information if possible. Letters are also a good way to get into the local media.
Fiona Pashazadeh, CNWP Treasurer, circulated proposals for raising funds for the campaign so the campaign's potential is not constrained by lack of money. The meeting agreed that local and affiliated groups and other supporting organisations should be charged for orders of any new publicity material produced, including the new general leaflet and posters that will soon be available.
CNWP will also be appealing for finance to existing signatories. A letter will be sent to those with public trade union positions inviting their branch to affiliate, if possible, or to send a branch or individual donation.
The full text of the resolutions will be distributed soon to local groups and be available on the website www.cnwp.org.uk
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In The Socialist 25 May 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Environment: Nuclear power
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis