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How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

Proposed draft amendments to Left Unity platforms

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These amendments were drawn up by a working group drawn from IS Network’s ‘Left Unity discussion’ e-list. They are published here for further discussion within the Network and beyond.

They are intended to be submitted to and voted on at Left Unity’s founding conference in November, however we do not currently intend to submit them as a bloc. Instead it is hoped that they are useful to Left Unity activists as ‘model amendments’ when considering what to propose from their local groups.
   


Amendments to Left Party Platform

AMENDMENT ONE

Delete ‘They are anti-capitalist parties that’ and insert:

‘At their very best these new political formations have shown that anti-capitalist political parties are possible; parties that’ … and continue as written

AMENDMENT TWO

Add at end of ‘needs of ordinary people’

‘We recognise that the experience of building new left parties in Britain and Europe is uneven and complex. There is no magic formula to successfully create a principled and radical party of the left in the era of austerity. But we commit ourselves to building a party that is broad enough to give a voice to all those opposed to austerity, and radical enough to offer real answers to a world in crisis. We will not enter capitalist governments or pass on cuts to working people at a local or regional level. We will stand together against austerity.’

AMENDMENT THREE

Add at end of paragraph finishing ‘redistribute wealth to the working class.’ –

‘Most of all, a new party must aim for the socialist transformation of society. Against a backdrop of social and ecological crisis, now more than ever we need an alternative to the capitalist system. We believe that working people have the power to create a new society based on collective organisation, democratic coordination and the planning of economic activity in the interests of humanity.’ 

AMENDMENT FOUR

Add after ‘fight to restore workers’ rights’ –

‘…, and mobilise the power of the labour movement to do so,’

So that it reads –

‘Its immediate tasks will be to oppose austerity and the scapegoating which accompanies it, defend the welfare state and those worst affected by the onslaught, fight to restore workers’ rights and mobilise the power of the labour movement to do so, and advance alternative social and economic policies, redistributing wealth to the working class.’

AMENDMENT FIVE

Add new sentence before ‘A new left party will work with other left organisations and movements’ –
 
‘A new left party must be at the forefront of organising amongst the unorganised in workplaces, colleges and communities.’

Then reformulate following sentence so that it reads

‘It will also work with other left organisations and movements…’ and then continue as written

AMENDMENT SIX

Insert in section on elections – “We want all our representatives on councils or in parliament to be accountable to and recallable by those who voted for them, and to take only the average wage of the working class when in public office.”



Amendments to Socialist Platform

AMENDMENT ONE

Point 4. Add to end: "For this reason the party is committed to feminism."

AMENDMENT TWO

Point 1. Insert "ultimate" before "aim". Add to end: "- however, its immediate task is to resist austerity and defend the welfare state. For this a pluralist party is required, reaching out to and including people from other left traditions."

Point 3. Delete final sentence.

Point 5. Delete final sentence.

Point 6. Before "working class", add "whole". Replace "and all" with "alongside".

Point 7. Replace "end" with "challenge".

AMENDMENT THREE

Point 2. Delete second and final sentences. Replace with: "While recognising that capitalism cannot be made to work in the interests of the majority, we support all struggles - demonstrations, strikes, occupations - for reforms that benefit working people, such as better healthcare and housing. It is in these fights that people will see the nature of capitalism exposed."

Point 8. Replace "will participate in" with "will see its central task as participating in". Replace "But" with "While". Add to end: "it nevertheless resolves to make defence of the welfare state its priority in this period of austerity attacks."