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

Minutes of Steering Commitee 09/11/14

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Present: Steven, Kris, Jake, Hazel, Kelly, Sam, Simon, James


Apologies: Jenny


  1. Reports and actions


  • Women's meeting 29 November 
    Venue will be at the Chadwell healthy living centre
    We will email out the details and information about the meeting to the ISN membership. We will also ask pubs to put it on the website.
    We have money for travel costs so members from the north can afford to travel to London.
    We need people who do not identify as women to offer to run the crèche. 


  • Birmingham
    There is a joint ISN/Plan C branch in Birmingham. Not been any successful meetings yet, but hopefully some of the problems will be resolved and the branch can begin to function. There will be a discussion soon on Left Unity. 


  • London branch meeting - 22nd November 
    Meeting on capitalism and mental health is now a joint ISN/rs21 meeting.
    Marchmont community centre is the new venue for the event.


  • Joint rs21/ISN Bristol socialist caucus meeting 
    Successful meeting and film showing, lots of new people.

  • UCL rent campaign
    30th October there was a student assembly meeting about the problems of accommodation for students. Campaign has been launched, is quite successful at bringing in radical students across Camden. ACTION – Jake to set up a forum for students and people involved in “youth work”.





  1. Working with rs21


Steven reported on a possible meeting with rs21 and more collaboration around some joint work. 
It would be good to discuss joint initiatives in advance so that planning for them is more focussed.


  1. Arrangements for NMM


ISN changed date of meeting to the 24/25th January. Still clarifying which venue we can use.
The three conveners will come up with a proposal for the NMM (agenda, etc) to discuss at the SC. 
Discussed ideas for the NMM and what it should focus on. 


NOTE: First deadline for bulletins is the first of December. Members should be clear what is a resolution for voting on and what is a “think piece”.If it is a motion then please can members ensure that the paragraphs are numbered. 


  1. Functioning of Working Groups/Forums


Left Unity, Climate Change, Anti-racism and anti-fascism and Trade Unions working groups should be able to report and discuss their activities and future plans at the NMM.
Social movements, revolutionary organisation and socialist-feminism forums are getting established. Need a report from Tim on the forums.


Discussed the issue in the publications working group when a member of the group didn't want a pamphlet published. SC discussed what the powers and responsibilities of the publications working group is. 


ACTION: SC will ask for the Publications Working Group for a “constitution” to decide what its powers and parameters are.


ACTION: Agreed for Kris and Steven to clarify for the working groups that they should/can write an article for the bulletin.


ACTION: Sam's article to go on the website




  1. Left Unity


There will be a meeting of ISN members before the LU conference. LU working group to organise.


  1. How the SC is working


Agreed to have another face to face meeting in early December.


  1. AOB


Discussion on getting the Exchange up and running again. Who would be involved and how would we pay for it? Possibly have a special issue of the Exchange as a relaunch on the subject of socialist-feminism or on “what does it mean to be working class today?” People interested in trying to relaunch the journal should discuss it and report back next week.




Calendar


15-16 November Left Unity national conference
29 November women's meeting
10-11 January rs21 national meeting
24-25 January possible ISN NMM.