Saturday, January 17, 2009

LRC Report

The National Committee of the Labour Representation Committee met today.

It elected an Executive Committee (the candidates I supported had the luck that is so often associated with that support and were defeated).

The major item for debate was - of course - the economic crisis.

We agreed to campaign around the need for a socialist response to the crisis - backing the "Peoples Charter" which is still being drafted in drawn out secret horse-trading on the left.

Whilst the Charter will be fairly vague and general, and its genesis is (perhaps unavoidably) in the worst tradition of (no longer) smoke filled rooms, it will be a positive and progressive development.

All socialists need to unite around certain core demands for which we need to win mass support in the labour movement and the working class. Central to these demands is probably the real and meaningful nationalisation of the major banks under democratic control.

I hope that the proponents of the Charter make real headway towards the ambitious goal of a million signatures, but I also hope that the demands that will be reflected in the Charter will also be taken up and adopted by trade unions and Constituency Labour Parties.

There were a number of other debates this afternoon, though none of such immediate and central importance. One critical campaign for the coming months will be to oppose the "Hooper Report" proposals for the privatisation of Royal Mail. These proposals pose an existential threat to the CWU and also probably to that Union's affiliation to the Labour Party.

Privatisation of the Royal Mail would be a massive defeat for the working class and a full scale assault on one of the bastions of trade union strength in the economy. It is a stupid and unpopular proposal which will win the Labour Government neither friends nor votes.

The LRC will be to the fore in resisting this attack - and I hope that UNISON branches will get behind our CWU comrades in defending one of our oldest public services.

A number of other proposals for campaigning activities were discussed. I hope to go on to report on their success in the coming months.

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