Independent Socialist Network, Lets get the party started – 23 March 2013, Vauxhall, London

March 2024 Forums Events and announcements Independent Socialist Network, Lets get the party started – 23 March 2013, Vauxhall, London

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  • #81774
    jondwhite
    Participant

    ISN National Meeting 23 March London…it’s time to get the party started – all independent socialists welcome

    Independent Socialist Network Meeting – Saturday 23 March 12pm to 5pm
     
     
    All Independent Socialists Welcome
    Venue: The Meeting Place, 2 Langley Lane, Vauxhall, London SW8 1GB (see below for details)
    Background to ISN National Meeting on 23 March in London – it’s time to get the party started…
    The issue of a new party to the left of Labour is now more firmly on the agenda than before the winter break.  There is a very live discussion taking place about what to do about the now gaping hole to the left of the Labour Party. The comments by the new RMT President Peter Pinkney that TUSC is too narrow and we need a Syriza-type project, and the attempts of the Left Unity website  http://leftunity.org/  to stimulate debate have now been added to by the launch of Ken Loach’s new film the Spirit of 45 which is being shown nationwide http://www.thespiritof45.com/ .  Many of you will have seen Ken’s recent appearance on Question Time where he called for a new party to the left of Labour and in Friday’s London Evening Standard (read by millions of people on their way home) there was a two page interview with Ken headlined ‘What UKIP has done for the Right, we need for the Left’.
    The new party discussion has been made even sharper both by Labour’s further move to the right after the Eastleigh by-election, essentially pandering to UKIP racism, and the failure of TUSC to make even a small dent on the poll despite the hard work of the good local candidate and RMT executive member Darren Procter. These issues need to be debated. ISN member Nick Wrack responded to the Eastleigh result with this now widely circulated article: http://www.independentsocialistnetwork.org/?p=1938
    One other initiative taken has been to call a ‘People’s Assembly Against Austerity’ – this is not a project aimed at a new party but certainly gives independent socialists who want a place in which to press the case with some of the most militant activists in the country. See: http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/2013/02/peoples-assembly-against-austerity-launched-in-the-guardian/.
     
    Socialism and Democracy
    At the same time as these developments the ongoing crisis in the SWP has (whatever your view is of it) produced a debate that the ISN has been involved in with Socialist Resistance and the Anti-Capitalist Initiative about what kind of socialist party we want – what kind of democratic structures should it have? A sub-theme of these discussions has been to ask the question how crucial the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party are to the launch of a new party.
     
    So the National ISN Meeting on Saturday 23 March will focus on three discussions:
    1)      How can the ISN best build the growing campaign for a new mass socialist party and what kind of democracy would we expect in a new mass party of the left?
    2)      How should the ISN engage with those going to watch the Spirit of 45 in our local areas?
    3)      How should we intervene into the People’s Assembly on June 22?
    As ever the ISN meeting is open to all independent socialists so do encourage others to come and join in the debate on March 23.
    Get there for 12 noon, it will undoubtedly be a day of lively debate and practical campaign planning.
    Yours comradely
     Will McMahon
    For the ISN
    As at previous meetings there will be an income related pooled fare to help spread the cost of travel
     
    Venue details:
    The Meeting Place is the ground floor of 2 Langley Lane, Vauxhall, SW8 1GB.It is no more than 5 minutes from Vauxhall mainline and underground stations and the Vauxhall bus station. Vauxhall is 15 minutes from Euston, Kings Cross, Paddington. 5 minutes from Waterloo and 20 minutes from Liverpool Street. You can find it on a map here
    #92365
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Reformatted jon.  Try changing the input format to full HTML another time 

    #92364
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Cheers, will do, was getting frustrated.

    #92366
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Since nobody knows where today's SWP Conference is taking place, this is the obvious place to distribute our "Open Letter to the SWP" instead. So, Sunday 23 March in Vauxhall (just down the road from Head Office).

    #92367
    Ken Red L
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    Since nobody knows where today's SWP Conference is taking place, this is the obvious place to distribute our "Open Letter to the SWP" instead. So, Sunday 23 March in Vauxhall (just down the road from Head Office).

     Just to clarify, the 23rd is a Saturday.

    #92368
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Two of us went to this meeting (today, Saturday) but it wasn't what we expected. All the same it was interesting and very revealing.It wasn't a public meeting at all but an internal meeting of the Independent Socialist Network. This, as we learned, is one of the four constituent parts of TUSC, the other 3 being the RMT, the SWP and the ex-Militant Tendency calling themselves SPEW. They seem to be individuals and groups who are not members of any of the other three.We should have realised that it wasn't a public meeting when, to get it, we had to text a number and say who we were, but once in we couldn't find an opportunity to leave so we stayed until after half-an-hour or so the chair asked those round the table to say not just who they were but who they represented. As soon as we said we were from the Socialist Party, the real one, the main speaker (Nick Wrack) interrupted to say we couldn't stay. We didn't have an objection as we had come under a misunderstanding and said so and left without creating a fuss.The explanation Wrack gave that "this is not a meeting for political parties" wasn't the real reason, at least not for him. For him (ex-Militant, ex-Socialist Alliance, ex-Respect) it would have been because we were "the SPGB". If we'd been some other party or group, I'm sure they would have been pleased to let us stay. As it was there was a representative of the "Anti-Capitalist Initiative" (a breakaway from Workers Power, it was actually, for the sake of trainspotters here, Simon Hardy himself, their main theoretician) and Lewisham People before Profits. But what was revealing was that Wrack  had just given a talk in which he called for a new, open, democratic Leftwing party that wouldn't be structured like the SWP or SPEW and here he was insisting on a secret meeting. We were even asked to hand back the documents that had been on the table before us.What we learned was that Wrack had come to the conclusion that TUSC was not going to be the new Leftwing party he wanted (because it was controlled by SPEW) and that what was needed was a new party which individual "independent socialists" could join. I'm not revealing any secret here as he's already stated this on his blog. One of the documents we'd have liked to have taken away was the Minutes of the last meeting of the TUSC Steering Committee. I can't remember what it said now but I think one of the decisions was to refuse an application to join TUSC from "Socialist Resistance", another Trotskyist group (the old IMG). Apparently Bob Crowe and the RMT don't want more Trotskyist groups to join. Can't say I blame him as they've all got their own agenda.It was worth going to but I wish, JohnD, you'd check whether the meetings you mention here really are public meetings. We didn't give any leaflets away but we did sell one Socialist Standard (to the guy from Lewisham). There was a delegation from a group in Rugby there who may have been surprised by the vehemence at which Wrack and other ex-Trotskyists there insisted that we couldn't stay (not that we really wanted to, though it would have been interesting to listen to the rest of the discussion). They've probably never heard of us, but we'll try and contact them to explain and counter what might have been said about us after we left, emphasising that we don't hold secret meetings.

    #92369
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Argh, sorry.It was listed publicly at http://www.independentsocialistnetwork.org/?p=1944I'm too used to all SPGB meetings being public. This is the socialist way and didn't think Independent Socialists would be that conspiratorial.I will try and make clear whether future meetings I post are secret.Sorry again!

    #92370
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Here's what happened after we left. Incidentally, Nick Wrack mentioned while we were still there that over 2500 people already had signed Ken Loach's appeal for a new United Left Party since it was launched on 16 March. Don't know if anything will come of this initiative but it will be worth keeping an eye on developments.

    #92371
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    ALB wrote:
    It was worth going to but I wish, JohnD, you'd check whether the meetings you mention here really are public meetings. We didn't give any leaflets away but we did sell one Socialist Standard (to the guy from Lewisham). There was a delegation from a group in Rugby there who may have been surprised by the vehemence at which Wrack and other ex-Trotskyists there insisted that we couldn't stay (not that we really wanted to, though it would have been interesting to listen to the rest of the discussion). They've probably never heard of us, but we'll try and contact them to explain and counter what might have been said about us after we left, emphasising that we don't hold secret meetings.

    A useful piece of 'entryism' which perhaps we should practice on a more regular basis.        At least there must have been some people at the meeting who now know of our existence who didn't before your brief incursion.

    #92372
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Socialist Project, the publication of Independent Socialist Network has just published November 2015 issue.http://www.socialistproject.org/category/issues/november-2015/including this articlehttp://www.socialistproject.org/issues/november-2015/so-what-is-this-marxist-party/

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