convention of the left

next weekend sees the convention of the left, a counter-conference held in manchester at the same time as the labour party conference. the convention will be a site for the left, (and hopefully not just the left groups), to have some open discussions, an all-too-rare occurrence.

unfortunately, far too few of the sessions are about the workers’ movement, and the third day of the convention, “people and public services” on tuesday 23rd, which could have raised important questions about what we are for, appears to have a rather narrow anti-privatisation focus.

the full timetable is here. as well as the anti-war demonstration on saturday 20th, the following sessions look like they will be of particular interest:

sunday 21st september

fighting together for women’s equality
1.00pm, main hall, mechanics’ institute 
how do we work together across the women’s and trade union movement to challenge sexism and win equality? with maria exall (vice – chair of the lrc / left women’s network), katy clark mp, linda riordan mp, amrit wilson, margaret boyle, charter for women, abortion rights, and many more…

where now for the unions?
2.30pm, main hall, mechanics’ institute
with prof. gregor gall (labour movement academic), mark serwotka and sue bond * (pcs), matt wrack* (fbu), jane loftus* (cwu) and carolyn jones (institute of employment rights) (*personal capacity)

conclusions – unity in action – probable? possible? potential?
4.00pm, main hall, mechanics’ institute
with john mcdonnell mp and cllr. salma yaqoob


monday 22nd september

the economic crisis – how we got there and how to get out
12.30pm, meeting room, friends’ meeting house
leap forum with john christensen, raphie de santos and prem sikka

how we can build a movement to stop climate change?
6.00pm, main hall, friends’ meeting house
with tony kearns (cwu), robbie gillett (plane stupid) and jonathan neale (author of stop global warming, change the world?


wednesday 24th september

forum on iran – stopping the next war 
3.30pm, meeting room 1, friends’ meeting house
forum with campaign iran, action iran & hands off the people of iran