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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 July 2006

National committee report

Build the Socialist Party

The National Committee meeting on 6-7 July had a packed political and organisational agenda reflecting important developments and opportunities ahead. Every discussion helped to clarify the tasks facing our party and proposals were discussed thoroughly and voted on by NC members.

Nick Chaffey Southampton

The main political discussions were on the question of new workers' parties and the crisis in the Middle East. Following our successes in the May elections, this was also an opportunity to discuss developments on an international scale and look at events in Italy, Brazil, France and, in particular, Germany.

Ken Smith gave a report on the progress of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) with over 50 trade union NEC members now signed up, alongside hundreds of union activists. Growing anger at New Labour is opening up more opportunities to gain support for the declaration.

CNWP rallies at the trade union conferences, especially UNISON, and meetings in the regions in Liverpool and Wales have met with enthusiastic success. Mike Forster from Huddersfield gave a report on how the election of Jackie Grunsell has brought new opportunities to develop the CNWP.

Dave Nellist outlined some of the ideas to carry the campaign forward over the next few months. Branches should organise discussions around our approach to trade union work and the mistaken tactics employed by the SWP and other left groups.

Lois Austin introduced the session on the crisis in the NHS. Members reported that campaigns are springing up across the country in response to the current cuts, with the Socialist Party taking part and organising many of these events. Our demand for a national demo meets with almost universal agreement. At the UNISON conference NHS campaign fringe meeting, delegates supported the call and are now organising a national stewards' conference for 29 July in Birmingham.

All these discussions pointed towards the need to prioritise party building alongside our party activity and interventions. We set new recruitment targets and, following the progress areas have reported in recruiting health workers, the meeting was confident that we could reach them.

Developing our youth work through building ISR around the Low Pay campaign this summer and preparing for the Freshers' Fairs in October will help us to meet more young people interested in socialism. We are asking every branch to step up their plans and to ensure they have a youth organiser to focus attention on this work.

There will be a series of national events to link our work together, including our Summer Camp in Essex from 25-28 August, the National Trade Union School on Saturday 2 September, National Conference in March 2007 and, the highlight of the year, our Socialism 2006 weekend on 25-26 November.

Last year's event was a great success which we want to match this year. Tickets are available now, put the date in your diary, buy your ticket now and get selling. Make sure your branch has a Socialism 2006 organiser to drive on the ticket sales.

The national committee re-elected the Executive Committee with Hannah Sell as deputy general secretary.

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Finance appeal

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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 13 July 2006:

Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: Uniting to fight the cuts

Hewitt hides from health protesters

Save our hospital

TUC lobby

Youth and Education

Low Pay,No Way!

Parents win High Court victory

Socialist Party campaigns

Welfare Reform Bill scapegoats disabled people!

Fighting the far-right BNP

Wales launches Campaign for New Workers' Party

International socialist news and analysis

Israeli regime’s air invasion of Lebanon threatens regional war

Another stolen presidency in Mexico?

Netherlands: Coalition government falls apart

Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

RMT conference: Striking back against privatisation

"Join the union to change the union"

Socialist Party feature

How the farmworkers got organised

National Blood Service: Fighting job cuts

Socialist Party review

'Storming heaven': Battle for Spain - The Spanish Civil War

Socialist Party National committee report

Build the Socialist Party


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