John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

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

IS Network national members' meeting - 3rd Aug 2014

International Socialist Network - National Members' Meeting

Sunday 3rd August 2014, 10.30am-4pm
University of London Union (ULU), Malet St, London WC1E 7HY

"Needless to say, he never even poses, much less tries to answer, the crucial question: does a Marxist group have an historic right to exist?” - Raya Dunayevskaya

Emerging from a crisis into more than a year of existence, this national meeting is chance for IS Network members and supporters to ask the question what is the ISN for? and fundamentally reshape the organisation in light of debates and discussions.

Its also a space to assess our ideas, aspirations and activity from post-Leninism and organisational forms, to liberation politics and anti-fascism, neoliberalism and contemporary social movements, ecosocialism and international issues.

All members and supporters are welcome.


IS Network discussion bulletins available for download here

Facebook event here

To submit articles, motions and pieces for discussion please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IS Network bulletin: call for contributions

 

The next IS Network national members' meeting is scheduled for Sunday 3rd August in London (time/venue tba).

Emerging from a crisis into more than a year of existence, the meeting will be a chance for members to debate the question 'what is the ISN for?' and fundamentally reshape the future and direction of the organisation.

In the same spirit, members are encouraged to submit articles, motions, discussion pieces and other items for debate to the first of our bulletins in the run-up to the members' meeting.

These can range from projects the ISN is involved in such as revolutionary regroupment, Left Unity, anti-fascism, Syria solidarity and migrant rights, to discussion of topics such as imperialism, liberation, social movements, class composition and elections, through to local activity, democracy in the ISN or any other issues.

Please ensure all submissions are sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday 13th June

Revolutionary Unity - How? An invite to IS Network members



Revolutionary Unity - How?
Sat 26th April, Central London

 

A day of debate, discussion and decision with International Socialist Network, Anticapitalist Initiative, Socialist Resistance, Workers Power

The aim: to debate a single question – how can we build a unified revolutionary organisation in Britain?

We are sick of bourgeois politics, of its austerity consensus, its snobbery, its incessant chase to the centre, and hollowing out of democracy.

We want a mass working class party with revolutionary politics that can challenge this consensus and confront a crisis-ridden class society of inequality, climate catastrophe, racism, sexism and war.

Emerging from fragmentation and small groups to a new party will mean more than good will – it will mean debate. And we are not afraid of it.

There will be three sessions at this conference:

· Why is the British working class is retreat when millions hate Tory austerity? Are the trade unions fit to fight? How can we organise a generation that isn’t in the unions? On the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike, what strategy to reorganise the working class today?

· Broad left parties and socialist policies: does the one presuppose the other? What do we make of the rise of new parties in Europe and around the world? How do we ‘keep them broad’ while ‘keeping them anticapitalist’? And what does this mean for efforts to build an alternative to Labour in Britain?

· We are in a new period of sharp rivalry between the US, EU and Russia, which has exploded onto the international stage in the dangerous dispute over Ukraine. What does international solidarity mean in this new situation? Was the Maidan movement in Ukraine progressive or reactionary? What attitude to Russia and the Crimea? What is the level of the threat from fascism? How should revolutionaries apparaise the role of imperialism in this conflict – and what should we do?


If you want the usual British left conference, with well-known platform speakers that all agree, then don’t come to this conference. If you want a direct confrontation of differing views on the revolutionary left, and a genuine attempt to build real and lasting unity come along.



From its inception the IS Network has taken a clear position of working towards the greatest possible unity and co-operation on the left, and had played a central role in the current discussions. The meeting on the 26th offers us an important forum to assess the development of those discussions, and provides a unique opportunity for the members of several different tendencies on the British left to come together and debate and discuss in an open and fraternal way. While this meeting is only one element of the regroupment process, we believe it is critically important that as many members of the Network come to the meeting to share their thoughts and perspectives. The success of the meeting will be determined by the quality of discussion, which can only be assured by the greatest representation of opinion and thought within all the organisations. We therefore urge all members to attend this meeting.

Prior to the meeting an internal bulletin will be circulated amongst all members of the four organisations. We also encourage comrades to share any ideas, thoughts, misgivings or criticisms within the bulletin to better facilitate discussion on the day. The deadline for the bulletin is 10 April, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with submissions.

We are asking for everyone to think about who from their local area, or from activities they are involved, may be interested in attending this event. This isn’t a rally or public meeting, but there may be revolutionaries who are currently unaligned, who may be interested in the unity process, and they are welcome to come along and take part in the discussions.

Help and assistance can be provided for travel/childcare by contacting the Network steering committee – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

External Bulletin - call for contributions - deadline 11 January

As mentioned a few times, the IS Network will be running a regular series of bulletins, throughout the year as well as in the lead-up to conferences etc. Contributions will be collated and circulated to all members, as well as being published on our website. As per our pre-conference bulletins, the remit is very wide - short or long, theoretical or practical, if there's an issue you want to bring to members' attention, a position you want to argue for or against, an area you think we should be doing more in, or anything else that you think important or interesting, just write it up and send it in. The closing date for contributions to the first of these is this coming Saturday, 11 January - if you have been working on a piece, it's time to get it finished off. If you're not ready, don't worry - there'll be another one along soon!

Send your contributions to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Permanent bulletins - invitation for contributions

The IS Network Steering Committee (SC) has agreed that we should continue to produce regular bulletins, including outside of the run-up to our national meetings and conferences.

The two we produced before our first conference helped to shape the debate and provided a forum where members could both formulate and respond to ideas and positions on how we should go forward on a variety of political questions and policies. The positive feedback the SC received initiated this decision. It is proposed that the production of the bulletin could follow a fairly informal publishing schedule, being brought out when there are sufficient contributions.

The bulletin will be open to all members (and, in future, aligned groups). We will not be soliciting articles, but expect that this will be member/caucus led. We hope that the bulletin can become central to encouraging a culture of open debate and discussion, enabling our politics to develop as an organisation.

Inevitably, there will be some cross-over with the website, but there are crucial differences. The bulletin is specific to our membership, many of whom may want to write a short position piece and/or motions, rather than longer analytical articles. By packaging all the material in a single bulletin the range of arguments is more accessible and can be contextualised. It will be printable, and thus available in large print and dyslexia-friendly formats, and we hope to be able to send out copies for people with limited internet access.

We are now taking contributions for the next one. Please email your contributions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IS Network in Manchester

The new IS Network banner had a launch party in Manchester to coincide with Tory party conference.