cricket for iranian workers: hopi vs. lrc

Fundraising cricket match: Hands off the People of Iran vs. Labour Representation Committee. From noon on Saturday August 1st at Low Halls sports ground, South Access Road, London E17, followed at 8pm by social at Dalston Social Centre, 2 Belgrade Road, N16.

The plans are slowly taking shape for what should be an excellent day with cricket, a barbecue, a bar, and some promising entertainment in the evening provided by our fans and supporters (click here to download leaflet). Continue reading “cricket for iranian workers: hopi vs. lrc”

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the people’s charter: a charter for change? – updated

In recent weeks and months a “People’s Charter” has been elaborated by a commission involving a number of leaders of the trade unions and the left, notably the leadership of the RMT railworkers’ union but also John McDonnell MP, leading officials in other broadly radical trade unions such as the FBU and NUT, and prominent members of Respect and the Communist Party of Britain. This “charter for change” has not yet been finalised, but it appears that its text will be decided upon and then launched at a rally, rather than openly and democratically discussed across wider layers of our movement. We disapprove of the manner in which this project has been carried out, and do not think much of the current raft of “programmes for government action” issued by left groups which say little about what action we ourselves must take and what movement we need to do it.

However, we publish this draft of the document (see below) in the hope that it will provoke discussion and allow dissenting voices in the labour movement like our own to be heard: as always, feel free to post comments and replies. A more thoroughgoing analysis and critique appears in the second issue of The Commune. Continue reading “the people’s charter: a charter for change? – updated”

bulletin for january 10th rmt conference on “the crisis in working-class political representation”

On January 10th the RMT is holding a conference on “the crisis in working class political representation”. Three years after staging a similar conference – and after three years in which no progress has been made – the union leadership is carrying out some of ‘the letter’ of its conference policy to set up workers’ representation committees, although the event on Saturday will have no motions, votes or powers to make decisions. Nevertheless it should provide a forum for discussing the question of where left electoral initiatives have gone wrong and what we can do next.

We will be distributing a bulletin arguing that saying  “shall the unions stay in the Labour Party or set up a new party [a Labour Party Mk II]?” is asking the wrong question. We do not want either, but a wholesale reorganisation of the trade unions and an end to the rigid separation between workplace activism and Parliamentary/electoral politics which characterises so much of the history of the British labour movement. Click here for a pdf of the bulletin.

rmtbulletincover

The event takes place from 11am to 3pm at Friends’ Meeting House near Euston Station. Speakers include Bob Crow, Mark Serwotka and John McDonnell – register at www.rmt.org.uk

the 1970s class struggle – where did it all go? forum, 8th december

The final meeting in our ‘uncaptive minds’ series on 1970s class struggle will be a forum on the lessons of the decade, what has changed in capitalism and where the workers’ movement has gone wrong. Drawing on the discussions at our previous six meetings, we will also look to tease out how we can apply this experience in our struggles today.

We have a panel of four speakers leading off the debate:

– John McDonnell MP

– Jeremy Corbyn MP

– Joe Marino, general secretary of the Bakers’, Foods and Allied Workers’ Union

– Steve Hedley, RMT London Underground regional secretary

There will be plenty of time for discussion and debate at the meeting, which kicks off at 6:30pm on Monday 8th December. The venue is in central London – email uncaptiveminds@gmail.com or phone 07595 245494 to find out more details.

lrc conference: has the traditional left a future?

Saturday 15th November saw the annual conference of the Labour Representation Committee, a body supported both by Labour-affiliated and non-affiliated unions including ASLEF, the Bakers’ Union (BFAWU), CWU, FBU, NUM and RMT.

A packed-out Conway Hall discussed and debated a set of resolutions and elected a new National Committee. Our motion on workers’ self-management won a large majority and our comrades Chris Ford and David Broder were elected to the NC on an openly communist platform favouring workers’ self-management, having been nominated by the BFAWU. Dozens of the trade unionists attending also took the opportunity to buy the first issue of our paper and our pamphlets.

Full report to follow: click here for a pdf of the leaflet we distributed ‘has the traditional left a future?’

mcdonnell to speak at uncaptive minds forum

john mcdonnell mp has confirmed that he will be speaking at the last of our uncaptive minds forums on class struggle in the 1970s.

the subject of the meeting, which will take place from 6:30pm on monday 8th december, is ‘where did it all go?’ john will be speaking alongside joe marino, general secretary of the bakers’ union, and steve hedley, lul regional secretary of the rmt.

for details of other meetings in the series see ‘events‘. email uncaptiveminds@googlemail.com for more information.