Campaign for a new workers’ party

THE FOLLOWING declaration for a new workers’ party was launched by
the Socialist Party at Socialism 2005, a weekend of discussion and
debate attended by hundreds of young people, trade union and community
Initial signatories include 21 trade union national executive
committee (NEC) members and four councillors.
The campaign for a new workers’ party will be collecting thousands
more signatures over the coming months in support of the declaration.
If you would like to add your name or take copies of the
declaration, contact [email protected].

A CENTURY ago trade unionists and socialists came together to fight
for independent political representation for the working class: the
result was the Labour Party.

In the past the Labour Party, however imperfectly, provided a voice
for the working class. Today, however, New Labour is a party of the
giant corporations, its policies a continuation of Margaret Thatcher’s
attacks on the lives and living conditions of working class people.

Public services are being sold off; the occupation of Iraq has led to
the deaths of thousands of Iraqis and over two thousand ‘coalition’
soldiers; democratic rights are being undermined in the name of fighting
terrorism; and the Tory anti-trade union laws, the most repressive in
the European Union, have been left almost completely intact.

At this year’s Labour Party conference 99% of the trade union votes
supported the reinstatement of trade unionists’ right to take solidarity
action. However, the Labour Party conference no longer has any power.
This, and the other anti-New Labour resolutions passed, were immediately
brushed aside by the party leadership. At the same time Gordon Brown
made it absolutely clear that his future leadership of the party would
not represent ‘a shift to the left’.

We believe that the chance to reclaim the Labour Party has long passed
and there is no point in continuing to fuel false hopes. The recent
success of the new Left party in Germany, winning 8.8% of the vote and
54 MPs, gives a glimpse of the potential for a new left force. We pledge
to do all in our power to bring a new workers’ party into being in
England and Wales.

We believe it would be wrong, at this early stage, to attempt to
predetermine the structure or every aspect of a new party. That can only
be decided on the basis of democratic debate leading to agreement
amongst the forces involved.

However, if it is to be successful, it is crucial that a new party,
and any pre-party formations, be open, democratic and welcoming to all
those who want to work together against the neo-liberal onslaught on the
working class. This means that all groups and individuals, provided they
are in agreement with the basic aims of the party, should have the right
to democratically organise and argue for their point of view.

This approach will help ensure the new formation is attractive to
trade unionists, community and environmental campaigners, and anti-war
activists. Most importantly it will assist in reaching out to workers
and to young people who are not yet active in struggle. In this way we
can unite the strongest possible forces to build a powerful working
class party that is capable of effectively opposing the anti-union laws,
cuts, privatisation, environmental degradation and war.

We believe that such a party would represent a fundamental break with
the big business parties which currently dominate politics, giving
workers the opportunity to resist the neo-liberal capitalist agenda and
fight for a socialist programme – including a living minimum wage, full
trade union rights and for fully funded, democratically controlled
public services.

[email protected]

We, the undersigned, agree to campaign for the establishment of a
new mass workers’ party in England and Wales.
We will campaign for the calling of a representative conference as a
step towards the founding of a new party.
We will also support all other genuine initiatives towards
independent working-class representation, including the conference
called by the RMT. (all signatories in a personal capacity)

Janice Godrich PCS President

Chris Baugh PCS Assistant General Secretary

Marian Lloyd PCS NEC

Rob Williams PCS NEC

Mark Baker PCS NEC

Jane Aitchison PCS DWP President

Sevi Yesidalli PCS NEC

John McInally PCS NEC

Danny Williamson PCS NEC

Kevin Greenaway PCS NEC

Roger Bannister UNISON NEC

Jean Thorpe UNISON NEC

Raph Parkinson UNISON NEC

Glenn Kelly UNISON NEC

Diane Shepherd UNISON NEC

Andrew Price NATFHE NEC

Bernard Roome CWU NEC

Gary Jones CWU NEC

Linda Taaffe NUT NEC

Robbie Segal USDAW NEC

Molly Cooper NUJ NEC

Jim Barbour FBU NEC

Dave Nellist Coventry Socialist Party councillor

Karen Mackay Coventry Socialist Party councillor

Ian Page Lewisham Socialist Party councillor

Chris Flood Lewisham Socialist Party councillor

To support this declaration contact: [email protected]