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

15 July 2013: Steering Cttee Minutes

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Marxism Fringe Feedback

    Oppositional SWP were generally very friendly to Network members, and confident. Many SWP oppositionists seemed optimistic about winning the fight within the party. Opposition were very clear about wanting to maintain a political relationship with us. Fringe meeting was a success - 160+ people, very lively, excellent feedback from people who attended. Many SWP oppositionists attended, spoke well and were positive. On the other hand SWP loyalists remained hostile, and in some cases openly aggressive.

Paid Worker

  • China M - China M, Rosie W, Richard S and Penny S have written a document arguing in favour to go on the website. Paris T has written a document opposing. These will go up alongside the parameters document laying out the role of a paid worker. Proposes there will be 7 days' discussion then a vote at the next Steering Committee teleconference (process as outlined in the minutes of the previous teleconference).
  • Toni M - Registered opposition to the idea. There will be a reaction from members - look at the furore around the publication when members felt they had not been properly consulted.
  • Tim N - Against vote at the teleconference. Wait two weeks until the next full Steering Committee meeting. More open, more legitimate.
  • Penny S - Suggested that if the turnout is no better at a full meeting there is no point waiting until then.
  • China M - Suggests pre-emptive headcount to see if the full meeting looks to be bigger, if so wait until then to take the vote.

Action Points

  • Poll SC to see who is coming to next full meeting - Kris S.

Publication

  • China M - Issue 0 went down well at Marxism. Going ahead with a members' meeting and an election of an editorial board.
  • Tim N - Likely to be a document from Sheffield branch criticising this process among other things.
  • Kris S - Go ahead with a Googlegroup on the publication to kickstart the discussion.
  • Richard S - Issue of mandate vs technical proficiency - people who are on the editorial board need to be capable of doing the work.
  • Tim N - People elected will be able to co-opt people to help with technical issues if necessary. Having the skills to do the job will probably is a big part of members’ consideration when electing people to the role. Will set up Googlegroup this week.

Action Points

  • Set up Cactus Googlegroup - Tim N.
  • Write proposal for convening editorial board and members’ meeting - China M.

National Members Meeting

    Suggestion this is held in Sheffield in September.

Action Points

  • Discuss date for meeting via email.
  • Book venue - Rosie W.

Future Public Meetings

    Fringe meeting was an excellent model - political lead-off with music from AMM afterwards. Suggestion that we use this in the future. Suggestion we have a fringe event at the Left Unity conference in November.

Disputes

  • Toni M reported back. Working group set up. Meeting set for 27 July.