Marxist Bulletin Home Page

National Executive Committee Election Statement

Marxist Candidates

Vice President:

Alan Gibson

Secretary, Streatham CSLP; TGWU member


Barbara Duke

Secretary, Islington North CSLP; North London women's section member; contributor to Socialist News; NUJ workplace committee member

Trade Unions:

Gary Henson

Secretary, Hampstead & Highgate CSLP; edited North London
newsletter; contributor to Socialist News; NUJ London Magazine
branch executive member


Christoph Lenk

Secretary, Dulwich & West Norwood CSLP; BIFU shop steward &
South-East Area Council delegate


Geoff Palmer

President, Hackney North & Stoke Newington CSLP; RMT member;
SLP Rail Advisory Committee

The above candidates are part of the collective that produces the Socialist Labour Party Marxist Bulletin, a political journal for Socialist Labour Party members. We are standing for election to the NEC on the basis of the politics outlined in the Marxist Bulletin as codified in the programme printed overleaf and on our record as activists in the Socialist Labour Party since it was established.

We believe that candidates standing for the leadership of a political party should do so on the basis of their full political programmes. It is only by an open and honest evaluation of the different political perspectives that exist within our party that we will be able to build the SLP into an organisation able to play a role in leading the working class to socialism. We therefore urge all delegates to carefully assess the election material produced by the various candidates before casting your vote.

There are a number of self-avowed supporters of the politics of Joseph Stalin standing for election, such as Royston Bull, supporter of the bizarre journal Economic & Philosophical Science Review. Quite clearly these comrades are worthy of no support. Their ideas must be defeated and they must be politically sidelined if the SLP is to grow and be able to act in the interests of the working class.

The outgoing NEC has unfortunately acted in a way that has been detrimental to the building of the SLP. They have acted bureaucratically (or at least given silent support to those bureaucratic actions) throughout the existence of the SLP. Threatening and bullying those who have raised concerns about its undemocratic actions, the NEC has voided members and disbanded branches with no right of appeal on the tenuous basis of a constitution that the membership has never had the chance to discuss or vote on. The NEC came up with an election programme that was reformist and did not point a road forward to working class power by fudging every question where the continuing role of the capitalist state was posed. We oppose a vote for any of the outgoing NEC members who are not prepared to openly and unreservedly denounce the undemocratic measures which are taking place.

As many of you will be aware, there has been a campaign against the bureaucratic practices of the NEC. There are a number of comrades standing for election who, like us, have signed the ‘Statement to the NEC and SLP Members on the Question of Party Democracy’.

The comrades who have been involved with us in this campaign come from a wide variety of political perspectives and we have important disagreements on political issues such as the Labour Party, Ireland and Cuba. Despite this, we recognise that they have shown their commitment to establishing the democratic framework the SLP needs.

Talk of ‘more democracy’ is always easy for those out of power, and is not usually a basis for electoral support without more fundamental political agreement. However, in the present critical situation within the SLP this is a matter of life and death for the party. If we are to have a future as a potentially mass socialist party the practice of rule by bureaucratic fiat must be overwhelmingly and decisively rejected at this conference – and the NEC elections may be the only opportunity to do so.

For these reasons, despite profound political differences on many questions, we advocate a vote for the following comrades: Terry Burns, Chris Erswell, Jack Gilbert, Chris Jones, Matthew Jones, Terry Pearce, Lee Rock, Martin Wicks, Hannah Williams.

In cases where there are more supportable candidates than positions available, comrades voting will obviously have to make their choice on the basis of the election material distributed by comrades or personal knowledge of their political views and activities.

Some of these comrades are standing together on a joint ‘democracy slate’ and they have argued against our perspective of standing on full political programmes (see separate article). We think this approach is badly flawed. For the SLP to go forward it is necessary to not only fight for a more democratic framework, as we have done jointly with these comrades, but to use that political space to present our differing ideas on programme for discussion and debate. The lowest common denominator perspective of the democracy slate only fills out one side of what is necessary.

The challenge facing the SLP is to become an organisation capable of mobilising the working class in defence of its immediate interests while at the same time making a bridge from those current demands to the necessity of replacing the capitalist system and building a new state power run by the working class.

This Congress presents the SLP with the opportunity to break with the failed policies and practices of the current leadership of the SLP. Vote for a democratic organisational framework. Vote for a revolutionary alternative to the current reformist programme:

Vote Marxist!