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Posted on 21 July 2019 at 18:22 GMT

Socialist Party conference reaffirms the CWI's historic approach

On Sunday 21 July over 200 delegates at a special conference of the Socialist Party (England/Wales) voted overwhelmingly, 173 - 35 with 0 abstentions, to sponsor an international conference to reconstitute the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI - the international organisation of which the Socialist Party is part).

This followed a nine month long international debate. Key issues included the central role of the working class in the struggle for socialism, the need for consistent work in the trade unions, the danger of making concessions to identity politics, and the importance of fighting for a programme which links the immediate struggles of the working class to the need for the socialist transformation of society.

In the view of the Socialist Party, and the majority of CWI members internationally, it is vital to defend the CWI's historic approach to these issues in order for our international to be able to play a role in the struggle for socialism in the coming period.

Capitalism is in crisis and growing numbers of workers and young people internationally are starting to look for a socialist alternative.

To give in to the pressures created by the complications of the current situation, as a number of the CWI's previous co-thinkers have unfortunately done, is a fundamental error.

We defend the programme and approach of the Socialist Party which has historically, in an era of heightened working class struggle, enabled us to lead the struggles of Liverpool City Council and the battle against the poll tax, the latter bringing down Maggie Thatcher.

We were also central to numerous struggles against racism and the far right.

At the present time our method has allowed us to orientate effectively to those mobilised in support of Jeremy Corbyn, campaigning for the removal of the Blairites and the transformation of Labour into a workers' party.

We are pioneers of the fight against council cuts.

We play a vital role in the trade union movement, including our members playing a leading role in the rank-and-file National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN).

At the same time we have built a significant base on the university campuses.

Most importantly, we are building a party based on a clear socialist programme, currently over 2,000 members strong, which will be able to play a vital role in the mighty struggles of the working class which are ahead.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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