Wilhelm Liebknecht titled his

#116473

jondwhite
Member

Wilhelm Liebknecht titled his pamphlet 'No Compromise, No Political Trading'. The only people arguing for 'No Compromise' alone back then (and arguably now) would be religious ascetics.When the Socialist Party was formed, this slogan was what they printed on their flag 'No Compromise, No Political Trading'. You can see this in the conference photo from 1905.The October 1904 Socialist Standard Editorial was headlined 'The Futility of Reform'. Does the particular choice of wording indicate anything? It wasn't 'Reform never temporarily benefits the Working Class'So when in 1910 WB of Upton Park wrote 'What would be the attitude of a member of the SPGB if elected to Parliament, and how would he maintain the principle of ‘No Compromise’?' the Standard replied with agreement from EC.This was restated in Forum Journal in the 1950s.The supporting statement to Conference 2016 was

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The original and famous (within Socialist Party Law) answer to W.B. of Upton Park, in 1910, was: “as we progress and new situations arise, our membership, ever guided by the revolutionary principle of NO COMPROMISE, by our general understanding of Socialism and the requirements of the greatest interest of the working class, its emancipation, will DEMOCRATICALLY direct the action of its representatives. Each new situation, will have to be faced and Socialist action be decided upon the merits of the case.” This answer stands as the party’s position on what would happen were one of our delegates to be elected to any political office. 8 This remains our answer today, and Party candidates at the General Election relied upon this formula when answer questions about what they would do on specific issues, from pot-holes in the road to broader matters such as TTIP or the NHS. It was noticed (in social media chatter) that our candidates largely had no answer on many issues. Do we have any better way of expressing our view? Or a better approach? The answer to WB of Upton Park has been variously interpreted. Some members, in the past, have taken the answer to mean that our delegates may be required sometimes to vote against specific measures (but never for). There are many options: we could cease standing candidates (and say we will only stand when we are confident of victory); we could adopt the Sinn Fein approach (our candidates would refuse to take their seats until we were confident that we could carry the revolution); we could draw up a policy platform of how we would vote on an issue of the day as if we had a delegate we could mandate. This question also needs to be addressed with the growing use of referendums, where our members may be called upon to vote “on the merits of the case”. In any case, it is worth revisiting the question, and recalling that this is a tactical, rather than a strategic matter.

So it seems pretty straightforward to me if asked

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What will the Socialist Party candidate do about [local provision]?

that the candidate can reply

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It is a a result of the profit system that [local provision] is funded the way it is

then the question will come

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Will the Socialist Party candidate cast a vote to save [local provision]?

the candidate ought to reply

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Not necessarily, we only want to receive votes on the basis of support for socialism where welfare won't be rationed by the profit system. Does the questioner want socialism?