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.
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