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Socialism 2006

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From: The Socialist issue 448, 13 July 2006: NHS: Uniting to fight the cuts

Search site for keywords: Socialist - The Socialist - Socialist Party - Socialism - CNWP - Socialism 2006 - NHS

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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