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Socialist Studies 25 years

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jondwhite
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Socialist Studies 25 years

Socialist Studies are holding a summer school lecture at Marchmont Street Community Centre on Sunday June 12 at 2:30pm this year which is 25 years since they formed. The lecture is titled 'Socialism: Politics and Principles.'

imposs1904
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I see the latest issue of Socialist Studies just went online in the past week:

Link: Issue 99

I wonder if issue 100 will be a bumper issue?

Tim Kilgallon
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Is it just me, but considering we have postings about various movements and how we should reach out to them, is it not time that two organisations who both hold to the D of P looked for some kind of common ground. It's not like both organisations are bursting at the seams


lindanesocialist
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Tim Kilgallon wrote:

Is it just me, but considering we have postings about various movements and how we should reach out to them, is it not time that two organisations who both hold to the D of P looked for some kind of common ground. It's not like both organisations are bursting at the seams

 

Ha ha  we could try reaching out to present members who wish to contribute rather than driving them away from the party.

 

gnome
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Why do some members insist on giving this three men and a dog outfit the oxygen of publicity?

The individuals who remain in 'Socialist' Studies were among those expelled from the SPGB in 1991. They ceased to be socialists when they renounced, on several occasions, the democratic will of a majority of party members. Socialism and democracy are inseparable.

This thumb-nosing at democracy continued with the formation of 'Socialist' Studies. As one ex-member of 'Socialist' Studies observed:

R.Cumming speaking in 2004 wrote:
We need democratic practice in this Party. The affiliation of the Ukraine group to the Party involved 9 members at a JBM voting in favour. What about the other 20-30 who didn't attend this Branch meeting? You cannot reply that they abstained, for there were only 9 members present, and there have been no voting forms sent out.

It is the same with this farce over the post of General Secretary. Cyril May died on the 15th of October 2003. There have been no elections to this post since then. It has been 4 months, and we still have an Acting General Secretary who was either elected undemocratically or was self-appointed.

I have not been asked to vote on anything since I joined the Party on 16th June 2002. This is almost two years. The 1905 Rule Book of the Party makes it clear that the post of General Secretary is elected every year. What has happened to this? You have decided we don't need a rulebook!

I contend we do need a rulebook, and I would be well within my rights to deny the very existence of this organisation on the basis that it has no rulebook.

I suggest, that elections of the various officers of the Party take place as soon as possible. This should be prioritised. Forget printing Socialist Studies. Forget your lecture list. Forget it all until you actually set up some kind of democratic apparatus.

For this purpose, it is necessary that a special conference of all members be convened. All members of the Party should be encouraged and even helped (financially) to attend if necessary. At this Conference, those present should decide the organisational form the Party is going to have.

So there you go, comrades, you have your requests. Democratic practice is one of the most important aspects of a socialist political organisation. I am trying to give you a chance to get rid of the ANARCHIST nonsense of `we rule by consensus', and to establish a proper socialist party based on democratically agreed principles, policy and rules.

Tim Kilgallon
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gnome wrote:

Why do some members insist on giving this three men and a dog outfit the oxygen of publicity?

The individuals who remain in 'Socialist' Studies were among those expelled from the SPGB in 1991. They ceased to be socialists when they renounced, on several occasions, the democratic will of a majority of party members. Socialism and democracy are inseparable.

This thumb-nosing at democracy continued with the formation of 'Socialist' Studies. As one ex-member of 'Socialist' Studies observed:

R.Cumming speaking in 2004 wrote:
We need democratic practice in this Party. The affiliation of the Ukraine group to the Party involved 9 members at a JBM voting in favour. What about the other 20-30 who didn't attend this Branch meeting? You cannot reply that they abstained, for there were only 9 members present, and there have been no voting forms sent out.

It is the same with this farce over the post of General Secretary. Cyril May died on the 15th of October 2003. There have been no elections to this post since then. It has been 4 months, and we still have an Acting General Secretary who was either elected undemocratically or was self-appointed.

I have not been asked to vote on anything since I joined the Party on 16th June 2002. This is almost two years. The 1905 Rule Book of the Party makes it clear that the post of General Secretary is elected every year. What has happened to this? You have decided we don't need a rulebook!

I contend we do need a rulebook, and I would be well within my rights to deny the very existence of this organisation on the basis that it has no rulebook.

I suggest, that elections of the various officers of the Party take place as soon as possible. This should be prioritised. Forget printing Socialist Studies. Forget your lecture list. Forget it all until you actually set up some kind of democratic apparatus.

For this purpose, it is necessary that a special conference of all members be convened. All members of the Party should be encouraged and even helped (financially) to attend if necessary. At this Conference, those present should decide the organisational form the Party is going to have.

So there you go, comrades, you have your requests. Democratic practice is one of the most important aspects of a socialist political organisation. I am trying to give you a chance to get rid of the ANARCHIST nonsense of `we rule by consensus', and to establish a proper socialist party based on democratically agreed principles, policy and rules.

Whilst accepting that previous practice and the undemocratic attitude of some members of Socialist Studies is an issue, and I can remember the way that some associated with that group behaved at conferences and within the party, there are others who before and after have left the party, behaved in an anti-socialist manner and then were welcomed back, those with a long enough vintage will know who I mean. In addition to this we currently have a situation where the Internet Committee of this Party have compiled a report (and the issues contained in the report are irrelevant as far as I am concerned) which they appear to be reluctant to let all party members have access to, who then are we to criticise them for lack of transparency?


jondwhite
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Feel free to speak with them, but they I don't believe they are interested in returning.

Tim Kilgallon
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jondwhite wrote:

Feel free to speak with them, but they I don't believe they are interested in returning.

Not being in London I wasn't sure what their attitude was/is. I did meet some of their number in the 80s and 90s before they left, Obviously Harry Young and Hardy are no longer alive, I would have thought the others I met at around that time must be clocking on a bit. Can't say that they were the most friendly or welcoming bunch and I am aware of the reasons for them going, however...............


jondwhite
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They can be contacted by e-mail or letter.

As it is 25 years might as well reopen discussion, but on the democratic conference decisions over use of the short form of the name, one of the arguments of those in the dissolved branches who departed was that Clause 8 of the Declaration of Principles stated 'The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action' and the short form name was in violation of this.

There is some evidence that clauses can operate in this way

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternity_clause

Tim Kilgallon
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I remember the debate very well, and some of the silly arguments that were brought up to support the actions of those members who became Socialist Studies. To be honest, as a member of a regional branch, I took the view at the time that the underlying issues were about matters other than the party name and that whilst acknowledging that there were real issues of party democracy at stake, there were also personality clashes and what you might call generational differences, which came into play. As these centred mainly around the London branches and members, it was difficult, being a provincial branch member to fully get a handle on some of the subtleties.


alanjjohnstone
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What i find galling is that Socialist Studies members are in possession of much that is of value to the archives of the Party and have no intention of placing it into our safe-keeping. 

Some of their articles are informative and present the socialist case well enough. Shame they don't get a wider circulation. 

But how would it affect the hostility clause to post some on our blog? And how would they react if it was done without attribution.

Whatever happened to Richard Cummings, BTW? Does anybody know?

Without recruiting new members, Socialist Studies will simply die off. Hmmmm...who has been saying that will be our own eventual fate, i wonder. angle

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World." - Eugene V. Debs

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