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Posted on 13 March 2009 at 0:00 GMT

Press release

Marx was right!

Socialists meet to discuss way forward

We now face a "Great Recession," according to Dominique Strauss-Khan, managing director of the IMF. Figures released earlier this week, show that the number of billionaires on the planet has fallen by nearly 30%! Ordinary people across the globe won't shed a tear for the likes of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet finding the value of their share index has been slashed back. But the bosses and their political representatives internationally are determined to make working people pay for the crisis that they have created.

320,000 jobs could be destroyed in Britain over the next three months; Toyota is cutting workers pay by 10%. For working people the future seems bleak. But already some working people have begun to fight back. The Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) dispute; young workers occupying a factory in Dundee - this is the music of the future as working people get organised and state: "We won't pay for the bosses' crisis".

This weekend in central London, over 300 Socialist Party delegates will meet for our national congress to discuss what's happening in the world economy, what it means for ordinary people and how we can most effectively organise ourselves.

Members of trade union national executive committees, rank-and-file union activists and many young people new to struggle will be present. The fault-lines that Marx observed over 100 years ago, that capitalism is a system based on production for profit not need and that it is a blind, crisis ridden system, will be our starting point. Many commentators over the course of the last year have been forced to admit that Marx was right. At the Socialist Party's national congress we will take this one step further; as Marx himself put it "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world, the point is to change it!"

Keith Gibbson, Socialist Party member and LOR strike committee member said:

"Someone once said "A week is a long time in politics." Well it certainly was at the end of January when thousands of construction workers took unofficial and illegal strike action around the country resulting in an important victory at Lindsey Oil Refinery.

It's just been revealed that Polish workers on the Isle of Grain have been getting paid 30% less than the national agreement. This proves what our dispute is all about. It's not against foreign workers. It's about defending the national agreement against cheap non-union labour and stopping this race to the bottom."

This dispute was just the opening salvos of the struggles that working people will face over the course of the coming year; at the Socialist Party's national congress we will discuss how socialists can most effectively support and build these struggles.

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