Organisational structure of the Party

February 2024 Forums World Socialist Movement Organisational structure of the Party

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
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  • #129633
    HollyHead
    Participant

    jondwhite:Under current UK legislation it is illegal for a political party to accept donations from overseas Tricky yeah?

    #129634
    HollyHead
    Participant
    Tim Kilgallon wrote:
    We need to change the mindset and move away from seeing Clapham High Street as some kind of Socialist St Peter's.The move to a member based organisational structure and the move to consider a second premises in another part of the UK, is one of the most positive things to happen in the part for may years.

     A *second* set of premises?Where??Rented or purchased?Run / cleaned / maintained by whom? (We have difficulty doing this with the current HO.)Costs? (Council Tax / insurance / heating / lighting / water rates etc etc) [An estimate would be useful — just to keep our feet on the ground :-)]I'm sure you get the drift so I'll put the ice-water bucket away.

    #129635
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    No need for the ice bucket, 10 mins on the interweb produced the following options:html http://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-to-let/property-45607750.htmlhttp://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-to-let/property-69292367.htmlhttp://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-to-let/property-69526943.htmlI'm not quite sure about this one though?http://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-to-let/property-60741548.html There are literally hundreds of easy in easy out serviced office units all over the country. I personally think the North West/Manchester are would make most sense for a second premises.We could hold ADM or even conference there, attendences from areas outside of London might even increase!

    #129636
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    .. the 'not sure' one looks vaguely familiar.

    #129637
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    What is the purpose of having premises?To hold our records. To store our archives. To mail out the Standard. To host the occasional public meeting. To accommodate our two national conferences. To act as an election office and leafleting base every several years.Now, what is the cost to us?And what could be future costs be of the above functions without using HO?

    #129638
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    What is the purpose of having premises?To hold our records. To store our archives. To mail out the Standard. To host the occasional public meeting. To accommodate our two national conferences. To act as an election office and leafleting base every several years.Now, what is the cost to us?And what could be future costs be of the above functions without using HO?

    I think you miss out on much of what a regional office (and in my opinion head office) should/could be used for.A physical premises can become the focal point for activity. For example Manchester Branch currently hold meetings in the corner of a pub, not ideal for business or for inviting visitors along. An office in that area would offer the opportunity to hold those meetings in a far more productive setting. As well as this a physical setting can also act as focal point for activity across a whole region. I am often in Manchester, it would be easy for myself and other comrades in the North east to visit on a semi regular visit to access party material, pick up leaflets, etc. etc. I think it is important to stress the positive impact of regular face to face contact with other socialists on individual morale and activity.If a Northern Office was set up and the equipment and systems were made available I see no reason why a member from the North could not take up a party role such as General Secretary, much more easily than is now the case. Effectively by creating a physical space in the North the opportunities for organisational involvement, (membership of committees, party officer posts, etc.) would be widened to a much greater number of party member, at a time when we are having difficulty filling these posts. I think this would have a great impact on Party morale in these regions.I have suggested Manchester as a base, there are other options, but just to point out that on paper at least, such an office would be in reasonably easy travelling distance to five exisiting branches (Manchester, Lancaster, North East, West Midlands and Yorkshire)If we took it a stage further and decideid to hold ADM or Conference at our Northern premises, that might attract sympathisers and local members to attend. It might even attract a bit of interest from the local press.The downside, well it might all fall flat on its arse. We might have spent a year's rent and on costs to achieve nothing, we might have wasted some money. If you reckon costs as a maximum of £1k a month then that's £12k and some members time and effort. Set against the possible benefits to the movement, I don't think that's much of a gamble!

    #129639
    robbo203
    Participant
    Tim Kilgallon wrote:
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    What is the purpose of having premises?To hold our records. To store our archives. To mail out the Standard. To host the occasional public meeting. To accommodate our two national conferences. To act as an election office and leafleting base every several years.Now, what is the cost to us?And what could be future costs be of the above functions without using HO?

    I think you miss out on much of what a regional office (and in my opinion head office) should/could be used for.A physical premises can become the focal point for activity. For example Manchester Branch currently hold meetings in the corner of a pub, not ideal for business or for inviting visitors along. An office in that area would offer the opportunity to hold those meetings in a far more productive setting. As well as this a physical setting can also act as focal point for activity across a whole region. I am often in Manchester, it would be easy for myself and other comrades in the North east to visit on a semi regular visit to access party material, pick up leaflets, etc. etc. I think it is important to stress the positive impact of regular face to face contact with other socialists on individual morale and activity.If a Northern Office was set up and the equipment and systems were made available I see no reason why a member from the North could not take up a party role such as General Secretary, much more easily than is now the case. Effectively by creating a physical space in the North the opportunities for organisational involvement, (membership of committees, party officer posts, etc.) would be widened to a much greater number of party member, at a time when we are having difficulty filling these posts. I think this would have a great impact on Party morale in these regions.I have suggested Manchester as a base, there are other options, but just to point out that on paper at least, such an office would be in reasonably easy travelling distance to five exisiting branches (Manchester, Lancaster, North East, West Midlands and Yorkshire)If we took it a stage further and decideid to hold ADM or Conference at our Northern premises, that might attract sympathisers and local members to attend. It might even attract a bit of interest from the local press.The downside, well it might all fall flat on its arse. We might have spent a year's rent and on costs to achieve nothing, we might have wasted some money. If you reckon costs as a maximum of £1k a month then that's £12k and some members time and effort. Set against the possible benefits to the movement, I don't think that's much of a gamble!

     Tim, if you were going to take the plunge and acquire a second premiss albeit on a rental basis might it not be a good idea to first  undertake a detailed survey of branches to get some idea of what sort of commitment you could expect from members and sympathisers to getting the project off the ground and maintaining  it as something viable and ongoing?

    #129640
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    robbo203 wrote:
    Tim Kilgallon wrote:
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    What is the purpose of having premises?To hold our records. To store our archives. To mail out the Standard. To host the occasional public meeting. To accommodate our two national conferences. To act as an election office and leafleting base every several years.Now, what is the cost to us?And what could be future costs be of the above functions without using HO?

    I think you miss out on much of what a regional office (and in my opinion head office) should/could be used for.A physical premises can become the focal point for activity. For example Manchester Branch currently hold meetings in the corner of a pub, not ideal for business or for inviting visitors along. An office in that area would offer the opportunity to hold those meetings in a far more productive setting. As well as this a physical setting can also act as focal point for activity across a whole region. I am often in Manchester, it would be easy for myself and other comrades in the North east to visit on a semi regular visit to access party material, pick up leaflets, etc. etc. I think it is important to stress the positive impact of regular face to face contact with other socialists on individual morale and activity.If a Northern Office was set up and the equipment and systems were made available I see no reason why a member from the North could not take up a party role such as General Secretary, much more easily than is now the case. Effectively by creating a physical space in the North the opportunities for organisational involvement, (membership of committees, party officer posts, etc.) would be widened to a much greater number of party member, at a time when we are having difficulty filling these posts. I think this would have a great impact on Party morale in these regions.I have suggested Manchester as a base, there are other options, but just to point out that on paper at least, such an office would be in reasonably easy travelling distance to five exisiting branches (Manchester, Lancaster, North East, West Midlands and Yorkshire)If we took it a stage further and decideid to hold ADM or Conference at our Northern premises, that might attract sympathisers and local members to attend. It might even attract a bit of interest from the local press.The downside, well it might all fall flat on its arse. We might have spent a year's rent and on costs to achieve nothing, we might have wasted some money. If you reckon costs as a maximum of £1k a month then that's £12k and some members time and effort. Set against the possible benefits to the movement, I don't think that's much of a gamble!

     Tim, if you were going to take the plunge and acquire a second premiss albeit on a rental basis might it not be a good idea to first  undertake a detailed survey of branches to get some idea of what sort of commitment you could expect from members and sympathisers to getting the project off the ground and maintaining  it as something viable and ongoing?

    Hi Robbo, just to put your mind at ease, I haven't signed the lease paperwork yet!All I'm doing at this stage is suggesting that it might be a viable option and actually, in my opinion, simpler and more benficial than most members seem to think.I'm of the opinion that, following Lancaster Branch's Item for Discussion at ADM either a motion should be put to the next conference or a motion put to the EC to ask for a couple of volunteers to come up with a feasibility study on the idea (I'd be happy to vounteer).At this point in time all I'm pointing out is what I think are the positive possibilities of such a project. in order to encourage further discussion, perhaps I was mistaken, but I thought that was the purpose of a discussion forum.

    #129641
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    My preferred option would be simply a storage space for our archives/records, easily rented and for the Party to go online totally, including the cessation of the hard-copies of the Standard except on occasions where special issues are printed to distribute at specific political events. All other literature – pamphlets/books – print-on-demand. Halls rented for meetings and conferences.My second best option for the transformation of HO into cafe/reading room/bookshop. We have a member who is in business as a book-seller who could have professional input. I'm sure some members have catering experience but i'm not sure of this but ech conference we lay on food. I would also like HO to be a resource centre…renting out our office space/ and meeting rooms to grass-roots radical groups. It may mean either broadly vetting applicants. We ourselves at branch level in Edinburgh make use of a Quaker hall and an anarchist venue without conflict of interest.  i think you make a good case for regional offices to kick-start local activity. I knew Glasgow had branch premises at one time (and two branches). But neither Glasgow or Manchester or Midlands have contested elections in recent years. If local members cannot organise an election campaign, it casts a cloud over their capacity to do even more. So we have London, the Home Counties, ( Brighton already has Cowley Club and Folkestone the Lime Bar) and South Wales. At one time Cde. Johnson was keen on the HO being a Help Centre, not sure now if he is still keen this type of activity.I think we must also look at the need for paid staff full-time or part-time and all the legal ramifications of that.But another possible future is we become like the ILP, a publisher…but our book choice would be limitedhttp://www.independentlabour.org.uk/main/about/ .

    #129642
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    i think you make a good case for regional offices to kick-start local activity. I knew Glasgow had branch premises at one time (and two branches). But neither Glasgow or Manchester or Midlands have contested elections in recent years. If local members cannot organise an election campaign, it casts a cloud over their capacity to do even more.

    North East and Lancaster have contested elections in recent times, perhaps with a relatively local premises more branches would feel inclined to become more active. What's the worst that could happen, we waste a bit of cash and it doesn't work out, we give it back after a year.Despite the cyber revolution, I still think the party needs real places not just cyber spaces, places to meet fellow socialists, to discuss, to socialise and to refresh. I look forward to Annual Conference being held in the North West and all of the delegates from London and the South East being delighted to find they can supp proper beer at half the price. I was thinking we could call the new premises "Moses Barritz House"

    #129643
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    "It's the case, not the place"

    #129644
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    "It's the case, not the place"

    There is also the credibility of the messenger. A well organised, well resourced party, which is accessible in a number of different ways, can make more of its case than one which exisits only in cyber space!

    #129645
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    "It's the case, not the place"

    Yes and the oldest socialist journal should still be published in a hard copy to make both the case and face visible.

    #129646
    robbo203
    Participant
    Tim Kilgallon wrote:
    robbo203 wrote:
    Tim Kilgallon wrote:
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    What is the purpose of having premises?To hold our records. To store our archives. To mail out the Standard. To host the occasional public meeting. To accommodate our two national conferences. To act as an election office and leafleting base every several years.Now, what is the cost to us?And what could be future costs be of the above functions without using HO?

    I think you miss out on much of what a regional office (and in my opinion head office) should/could be used for.A physical premises can become the focal point for activity. For example Manchester Branch currently hold meetings in the corner of a pub, not ideal for business or for inviting visitors along. An office in that area would offer the opportunity to hold those meetings in a far more productive setting. As well as this a physical setting can also act as focal point for activity across a whole region. I am often in Manchester, it would be easy for myself and other comrades in the North east to visit on a semi regular visit to access party material, pick up leaflets, etc. etc. I think it is important to stress the positive impact of regular face to face contact with other socialists on individual morale and activity.If a Northern Office was set up and the equipment and systems were made available I see no reason why a member from the North could not take up a party role such as General Secretary, much more easily than is now the case. Effectively by creating a physical space in the North the opportunities for organisational involvement, (membership of committees, party officer posts, etc.) would be widened to a much greater number of party member, at a time when we are having difficulty filling these posts. I think this would have a great impact on Party morale in these regions.I have suggested Manchester as a base, there are other options, but just to point out that on paper at least, such an office would be in reasonably easy travelling distance to five exisiting branches (Manchester, Lancaster, North East, West Midlands and Yorkshire)If we took it a stage further and decideid to hold ADM or Conference at our Northern premises, that might attract sympathisers and local members to attend. It might even attract a bit of interest from the local press.The downside, well it might all fall flat on its arse. We might have spent a year's rent and on costs to achieve nothing, we might have wasted some money. If you reckon costs as a maximum of £1k a month then that's £12k and some members time and effort. Set against the possible benefits to the movement, I don't think that's much of a gamble!

     Tim, if you were going to take the plunge and acquire a second premiss albeit on a rental basis might it not be a good idea to first  undertake a detailed survey of branches to get some idea of what sort of commitment you could expect from members and sympathisers to getting the project off the ground and maintaining  it as something viable and ongoing?

    Hi Robbo, just to put your mind at ease, I haven't signed the lease paperwork yet!All I'm doing at this stage is suggesting that it might be a viable option and actually, in my opinion, simpler and more benficial than most members seem to think.I'm of the opinion that, following Lancaster Branch's Item for Discussion at ADM either a motion should be put to the next conference or a motion put to the EC to ask for a couple of volunteers to come up with a feasibility study on the idea (I'd be happy to vounteer).At this point in time all I'm pointing out is what I think are the positive possibilities of such a project. in order to encourage further discussion, perhaps I was mistaken, but I thought that was the purpose of a discussion forum.

     Hi Tim,  As an observer, so to speak, I would have thought what you suggest is in principle a good  idea.  A second premiss albeit rented and therefore possibly temporary , could become the hub of increased activity in that part of the UK.  I do think though it would probably require some kind of feasibility study beforehand to get some idea of the level of commitment among members and sympathisers to making the project work.   What would you think would be the dfferent functions of another party office compared with the head office in London?

    #129647
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    It seems to me  that that this party does not want to grow nationally and internationally. In order to expand the party must take risks, if it does not take risk it will continue being the small organization that it is at the present time. I do not see any comments about expanding the WSM to others countries. What one or two members have said is correct , this is the Socialist Party of London. 

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