The SWP faces a big task to turn outwards and for members to make a renewed effort to strengthen our party after a difficult year.
Across the globe profound and sustained crisis will lead to repeated explosions socially, economically, industrially and politically.
There will be opportunities for revolutionaries to intervene. But this intensifies the need for a party that is capable of working with other groups but maintaining a revolutionary edge.
We have a battle plan going into the spring and summer (see below).
We will push for action in the trade unions and against the bedroom tax and the cuts. But we will also fearlessly take on the lies of the racists. We are the party that says the problem is not the Bulgarians or the Romanians, the problem is the Etonians.
They’re trying to divide the resistance, we are going to unite the resistance. It’s only going to be possible to deliver this battle plan if we have stronger branches and a stronger party.
Branch meetings need to address big political questions.
Districts and branches need to think about our public meetings. We’ve had a series of successful meetings on racism, resistance and revolution around the Say It Loud book.
And some areas held sucessful public meetings after Nelson Mandela’s death to discuss his life and politics.
Regularly winning new people is essential for a revolutionary party, and we have recruited around 800 people this year. But we also need to retain members and develop them. Structured educationals are important.
And there needs to be detailed attention to the nuts and bolts of the organisation.
We need to link this to increasing the sales of Socialist Worker and think how every comrade can get one or two more sales.
It would be foolish to pretend this has not been a difficult and divisive year for the party. We have seen very sharp internal discussions–and regrettably some people have left the SWP.
The conference passed overwhelmingly a motion that set out the political context of the divisions and the debates they have sparked.
And delegates passed near-unanimously a revised set of procedures for our disputes committee which looks at matters of discipline and conduct. We hope this will give every member confidence in the processes.
Furthermore the central committee (CC) made a statement that many people have suffered real distress as a result of taking part in or giving evidence to the disputes committee, or due to slurs on the internet and we are sorry to all of them for that.
Specifically two women who brought very serious allegations suffered real distress.
We are sorry for the suffering caused to them by the structural flaws in our disputes procedures, the way in which the two cases became a subject of political conflict within the party and slurs on the internet.
Delegates showed through the votes at conference that they did not believe the party and its leadership are sexist or trampled on the politics of women’s liberation or covered up injustice.
The group of CC candidates proposed by the outgoing CC won 449 votes. An alternative group of candidates proposed by a faction received 69 votes. Now the party needs to unite and move forward.
There will be lots of debate, but there will be a united party around the perspectives voted on by conference.
The working class faces immense challenges and attacks. But we can help increase and shape the resistance, and build socialist politics at the heart of every fightback.
The dates of Marxism 2014 are 10—14 July in London
Over 300 at London-wide assembly
Keep building the movement—and the militancy
Now turn words into action