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London Regional Committee Election Statement

Marxist Candidates:

Vice-president: Barbara Duke (Secretary, Islington North CSLP; former treasurer, West London branch; member, North London women’s section; NUJ chapel committee member)
Socialist News: Ian Dudley (President, Dulwich & West Norwood CSLP; contributor to Socialist News; member of MSF)
Publicity: Gary Henson (Secretary, Hampstead & Highgate CSLP; edited North London newsletter; contributor to Socialist News; working journalist; NUJ London Magazine Branch executive member)

Vote Marxist!

We are part of the collective that produces the Socialist Labour Party Marxist Bulletin, a political journal for Socialist Labour members, which argues for the programme printed overleaf. We believe that there is an inescapable connection between the immediate needs and demands of the working class for a better life, the necessity of getting rid of the capitalist system which is a barrier to fully satisfying these needs, and the establishment of a new state power, run by the working class. It is the task of socialists to build a party capable of making this connection.

We have all been involved in Socialist Labour in London since before the founding conference, setting up branches, campaigning in the general election and building SLP support for active work around issues such as the fight against the Job Seekers Allowance and support for the Liverpool dockers.

Within the party we have been active in arguing for democratic measures, including a disciplinary procedure with the right to written charges and right of appeal to conference. We oppose the expulsions or voidings of members which have occurred without recourse to such a procedure, and believe that the comrades involved should be treated as members until they have been given this right.

For the party to go forward it is absolutely necessary that we develop a more active, organised orientation toward mass campaign work, while simultaneously creating a more open and democratic internal political life. These two objectives are not counterposed. We are in agreement with several other candidates on the points below on the activities of the London Regional Committee and on democracy in the party as a whole.

These measures are absolutely necessary to establish a democratic organisational framework within which the SLP in London can begin to develop as the fighting Marxist party that British workers need so badly. On that basis we also advocate a vote for the following comrades who agree with these points: Jack Gilbert, Lee Rock and Chris Ford.

However, we also have disagreements with these comrades on political issues such as Ireland, Cuba or the Labour Party, which we believe can only be successfully addressed on the basis outlined in the Marxist programme. We need to create a party structure in which these questions can be fully debated, leading towards policies and practices that can lead the working class to take state power.

The London Regional Committee should organise:

  • co-ordinated involvement in campaigns, including determining priorities in consultation with local branches
  • Socialist Labour contingents on demonstrations with appropriate banners and literature
  • ensuring that we use our London-wide resources in the most effective way in local body and other elections, including the production of joint election literature
  • public meetings and other events to attract new members to Socialist Labour
  • regular forums for all London party members to discuss and debate policy and organisation
  • social events to allow for informal discussion among party members
  • communication between branches through regular meetings, correspondence and a regional bulletin distributed to all London SLP members.

Democracy in the party:

  • a national discussion bulletin open to all members.
  • a membership discussion on ‘policy’ decisions by the NEC, such as in relation to Europe, where the membership have not expressed their opinion.
  • a discussion on the constitution, on which there was no discussion at the March policy conference nor the founding conference, and on which nobody has voted.
  • a disciplinary procedure which incorporates the right to written charges, a hearing in which those charged are able to defend themselves, and a right of appeal to conference against any disciplinary action taken.
  • a membership discussion on our work in the unions, which will be crucial in the post-election situation. The GS’s document ‘Industrial Strategy’ should be circulated to members, and written contributions invited.