Is there, “Something wrong with the party’s case and/or it’s methods.”?

April 2024 Forums General discussion Is there, “Something wrong with the party’s case and/or it’s methods.”?

Viewing 10 posts - 76 through 85 (of 85 total)
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  • #90119
    J Surman
    Participant

    Hollyhead wrote:'As for "the message and language used in the past is not hitting the right note" I recall a suggestion made at one Summer School by Comrade Janet Surman. In effect she suggested a school / teach-in /(?correspondence course) on interaction with non-socialists.'I've just checked those notes, at which point I was talking about using effective communication. An excerpt goes like this – –'conversation is a 2-way process. It's useful to recognise the importance of active listening. So often people are only half listening, waiting for the first opportunity to leap in and put their own point of view before hearing you out.


    we don't want to get bogged down with vocabulary and terminology, disagreeing about details when we broadly agree about the nitty-gritty


    Just because you said something doesn't mean the other person understood you, likewise you may or may not get the gist of what someone else says to you.'Now, that didn't go down well in certain quarters, but I feel if a nerve is touched maybe it tells us something and it's a case of if the cap fits then wear it.   Gwynn Thomas was the one who came up with the suggestion that maybe this kind of topic could usefully be employed in a workshop situation at a future summer school or elsewhere.I'm certainly for being open minded and interested in pursuing approaches that further our expansion and wouldn't want to write anything off before giving it due consideration. Communication has to be a vital part of this. For me learning/education is a lifelong process – another great aspect of our vision of a world socialist society.

    #90120
    HollyHead
    Participant
    J Surman wrote:
    Now, that didn't go down well in certain quarters, but I feel if a nerve is touched maybe it tells us something and it's a case of if the cap fits then wear it.   Gwynn Thomas was the one who came up with the suggestion that maybe this kind of topic could usefully be employed in a workshop situation at a future summer school or elsewhere.

     Well yes he would have. I consider him to be well to the fore in the "progressive" wing of the party…<nosetapping emoticon>

    #90121
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    HollyHead wrote:
    Well yes he would have. I consider him to be well to the fore in the "progressive" wing of the party…

    Well maybe but modesty was not one of his stronger points…    

    #90122
    Brian
    Participant

    I agree that even with effective communication there are difficulties with the other person(s) so busy filtering they are only half listening.  And having worked with Gwynn for several years at Clapham he provide many a lesson on the effective use of the english language.  But I have to say he was not on his own regarding insights on communicating the party case to specific audiences.And like I suggested previously we are not short on providing trainers for workshops.  The problem is getting them to do it!  ADM and the Summer School provide a wonderful opportunity to hold workshops on any number of subjects concerning this particular thread.   So lest not lose sight of the fact that its not just effective communications which is a fault line. Indeed, even if we make a start on tackling effective communication we are still going to be stuck with the dynamics of changes in the social environment.  And if the party organisation and structure is deemed to be not fit for purpose in dealing with these changes in a flexible and adaptable manner, any effective communication we adopt will have little impact on party growth.The implication being: With any changes in skill sets there must be corresponding changes in the organisation and structure – which reflects the adaptation –  so the benefits are visible and transparent.I'll have a word with Dick Field and Mike Foster regarding workshops at ADM and Summer School.

    #90123
    Hud955
    Participant

    Hi allI'm sitting here in front of my laptop putting a few finishing touches to the workshop programme on the 20th. Is anyone here coming? We don't have a lot of time at this first event for discussion (I hope it will be the first of a series), so I want to use it to gather together as many ideas as I can – what members think we should be doing,  what resources we need to do it, what we are doing wrong at present, where should we be focusing our effort, what media should we be using, and so on.  I'm planning this as  a major brainstorming event. It will be a very active and structured session.  If you are coming, I can guarantee to keep you busy. You won't be sitting around much scratching your head.     When we are all done I'll post up the results on SPINTCOM.  We'll then need another session to push your ideas further.  But then, we'll need to stop talking and start doing.  At that point,  I'll be bringing everything together to produce a plan of action. At the session, I'll be asking fifteen questions that I think are relevant to the whole issue of how we are seen and how we get our message across to the working class.  I'm nearly settled on what those fifteen questions are but am still wide open to suggestions if someone can come up with something vital that I've missed.So any ideas for a really penetrating brainstorming question to hit the membership with? Let me have them? I'm all ears.I'm willing to stay late on the 20th if people want to continue beyond the advertised time.  And I'm also happy to organise  further sessions (face-to-face or on-line) as needed. I've had a talk with Brian and a couple of other people about possible ways to get this show on the road, and there are lots of good ideas coming in.  Keep them coming.CheersDick

    #90124
    Brian
    Participant

    Hi Dick,Have you thought of adding 'Identification with capitalism' to your list?  See here for what I'm on about:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSa9tyuIdkI&feature=youtu.be

    #90125
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Glad to see there is some positive discussion going on here at last.However as a potential rejoining member I am disgusted at the treatment of OGW, who's only "crime" was in defending me in my absence against an unnecessary aggressive outburst. If this is an example of how you treat potential members and what you consider "fair punishment", then I am not surprised there are only 332 members in the party.At the moment I am seriously considering not bothering with this THING and taking my potential activism somewhere else. I am sure I would not be the first nor the last.You won't be hearing from me for a while, not until 18th October at least, as I am going to withdraw my participation in this forum in solidarity with Vincent Maratty, and Steve Colborn.

    #90126
    Hud955
    Participant

    I think it's ironic that we often used to be contrasted with left wingers who, it was said, insisted on a rigid use of Marxist or sub-Marxist jargon.  The SPGB, on the other hand, had the reputation of putting the socialist case in an English that any working man or woman could understand. So what happened?  Did we fall in love with jargon, or as Adam suggests, did the language of political discussion in the pubs change and leave our 'plain English' style sounding pompous and obscure. I agree, we were right to keep things simple.  After all, wer'e not a democratic centralist organisation – a secret cabal that needs a private language to maintain solidarity and confuse our footsoldiers, but an open democratic organisation whose only reason for existing is to help fellow members of the working class understand more clearly their experience of capitalism.  I'm all for plain English when it's appropriate.    But I also fully agree with Ed when he argues that we have to be able to put the case in a number of different dialects (because I think that's what they are), both as individuals and as a party.  We need to remember, I think, our definition of the working class: wage *and* salary earners.  Many of today's working class have been through the mills of higher education and come out the other end with diplomas and academic degrees and they are not impressed by simple ideas or by plain expression.  In my home town I'm more likely to find myself talking socialism to an engineer or an accountant than I am an office administrator. (Funnily enough, I keep bumping into philosophy graduates – now there's a breed of jargoneers).  We need the skill to be able to switch back and forth as necessary.And I also think we need to maintain a strong theoretical understanding of the socialist case because ultimately that's what defines us and our activities.  It's our theoretical position that gives us our understanding of what socialism is and helps us clarify what we need to do to get there.  Our plain English rendering of the case should be a version of theory; we shouldn't be cobbling together theory out of simple ideas.  That's a hard call.  But I think we're up to it.So, I guess I sit somewhere in the middle of this debate.  As for driving people away with our hostility – I think that's right, we often do.  And why that is I can't fathom.  I think it is too easy to put it down to individuals. I see people winding each other up while discussing socialism so frequently.  Are we so much worse at this than other politically engaged organisations?  Is the internet contributing to it? It's so much easier to misunderstand or give offence on the net that in any other medium.   Or is it the nature of our case?  I have no idea. 

    #90127
    J Surman
    Participant

    Hi Dick,I'm really sorry I'm too far away to attend on the 20th but look forward to reading Spintcom after the event. maybe that will be the time that draws in more comments, ideas, suggestions—Here's to a successful brainstorming session for you all, J.

    #90128
    HollyHead
    Participant

    I don't know. Some people will use any excuse to avoid taking part in Party activity yeah.

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