report from the commune’s second national aggregate

By Joe Thorne

A personal view – Last Saturday (9 May), members of the commune met for our second national ‘aggregate’.

As a relatively new organisation, we are organising on the basis of meetings attended by all members able to make it, held every three months.  As our organisation develops, we may develop more formal structure, but that is how it works at the moment.

There were twelve of us at the meeting from London, Coventry, Sheffield, Stevenage and Bristol – twice the number that attended the first meeting three months ago.  A further six were unable to make it, including members from Blackpool and Wrexham.

We had a broad political discussion on the crisis, and the working class resistance to it, before moving on to discuss how we organise.  We affirmed that the network we were building should provide for full freedom of discussion, and presentation of individual points of view, both within and outside the network – no one has to give any ‘party line’.

It’s clear that we need to get better organised in London, where we have several members, to ensure that the burden of work falls as evenly as possible, and we agreed to institute a monthly organising meeting and make our public forums monthly rather than every three weeks in order to keep the schedule manageable.  Outside London, commune activists are generally working to develop a space in which ideas or activity outside the traditional left can be developed – although not necessarily under the commune banner.

Another idea discussed was that of members from London going up to help those in another area with an event, if they would find it helpful.

We also talked about our publications, and reaffirmed the importance of producing the paper – as a way of spreading ideas, organising, and compelling us to present events in a rounded but accessible manner.  In respect of the latter, we agreed that we had some work to do in terms of making some of our material more accessible.  We need to sort out a proper system for subscribing to the paper; and it was suggested we could be better at including material on contemporary ‘news’ developments.

The commune continues as a project to develop a pluralist communist network, open to all who share our basis of agreement, and separated by a wide gulf from the culture and assumptions of the traditional left.