Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/447/5322
Build the Campaign for a New Workers' Party
THE LAUNCH meeting of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) in Liverpool on 28 June attracted 49 people. National CNWP secretary Roger Bannister opened the meeting by saying that the loudest cheers at UNISON conference were for delegates demanding an end to the Labour link.
Youth speaker Alex Waterville explained: "It's time for a party representing all the working class, with all members including young people taking part and valued". New Labour has just attacked the youth, "the New Deal turned out to be a raw deal", while young people have been to the forefront of recent movements including against racism and racist attacks on Merseyside.
Alec McFadden, Merseyside TUC, stressed attacks on trade unions and the rise in racism and the far right, especially the BNP. Alec called for Respect to work together with others on the left, including the CNWP. "I support any project challenging New Labour's Thatcherism".
Tony Mulhearn is a member of the "47 Group" of councillors who were surcharged for their role in Liverpool council's momentous battle with the Thatcher government from 1983 to 1987. Tony said how encouraging the turnout of young people was at the meeting. Previous attempts at stepping-stones towards a new mass party had not measured up.
Developing viable representation for working-class people isn't about individuals or groups abandoning their identity, but about "reaching out to young people, rebuilding the ideas of socialism and solidarity, linking with campaign groups fighting cuts in the NHS... It's about uniting radical forces in a campaign of action."
Socialist Party members highlighted September's New Labour conference as a target for mobilising and building the campaign. Paul Astbury explained the role that a general city-wide working-class organisation could play in bringing together working-class people, as a point of contact for campaigns and action.
Becci Wild explained how to get young people involved. "No-one speaks to young people in language they can understand. We need to respect and encourage youth, to explain what we're talking about. Lots of young people don't understand about Labour and the history of politics, and we have to explain it".
The meeting agreed to another meeting later in July. From there, as Roger said, we can go "to a loose body pursuing concrete objectives". The meeting agreed that we'll aim to each bring another person to it, to get over 100 people turning out. Given the authority of some trade unionists attending the launch, and the enthusiasm of the youth, this is definitely possible.
- To contact the CNWP email email@example.com or write to CNWP, PO Box 858, London E11 1YG.
- Sign up to CNWP: www.cnwp.org.uk
In The Socialist 6 July 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news