NOTE THAT I HAVE EDITED THE CALL BELOW DUE TO GOOGLE SABOTAGING MY GMAIL ACCOUNT, PRESUMABLY TO TRY TO STOP US GETTING THE TEN MEMBERS REQUIRED TO BECOME AN OFFICIAL PLATFORM OF LEFT UNITY. I AM GETTING CONSIDERABLE SUPPORT ON FACEBOOK, PARTICULARLY SINCE I PUBLICISED A LOBBY OF TUC CONFERENCE NEXT WEEK, BUT STILL NEED A FEW MORE PEOPLE TO CONTACT ME IF THEY WANT TO JOIN, TO REACH THAT TARGET BEFORE THE CONFERENCE, AND PREFERABLY BEFORE THE MERSEYSIDE PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY ON THURSDAY EVENING. TO HELP MAKE UP YOUR MIND, YOU CAN GO TO THE PUBLIC DISCUSSION GROUP OF THE REVOLUTIONARY PLATFORM OF LEFT UNITY OR PHONE/TEXT ME ON 07725 735255.
[EDIT 31/10/13: THIS WAS A TEMPORARY PROBLEM WITH GMAIL. ALTHOUGH I STILL THINK IT WAS DELIBERATE, MY GMAIL ACCOUNT IS WORKING FINE NOW AND EMAILING ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org IS THE BEST WAY TO CONTACT ME, UNLESS YOU WANT TO RING MY MOBILE (CELLPHONE) NUMBER ABOVE (NOTE THAT IT IS +44 7725 735255 FROM OUTSIDE THE UK).
I have had an ongoing initiative to try to unite revolutionary socialists within broad socialist organisations since 2006, initially concentrating on the Scottish Socialist Party, but also with other organisations (including ones that are only vaguely socialist – Respect, Plaid Cymru and even Labour) via the Revolutionary Platform Network.
The initiative was mainly on cyberspace (there were two web-based forums, both of which became overrun by spam, and there is now a page on Facebook with over 170 likes at www.facebook.com/RevolutionaryPlatformNetwork) and I produced a newsletter (to which I invited contributions but until a co-written article in edition 5 they just contained my own views) to distribute in the real world. The time is ripe now for something more serious.
I have now come to the conclusion that Left Unity presents by far the best broad socialist organisation in Britain to unite revolutionary socialists in, and encourage others to sign socialist film director Ken Loach’s statement at http://leftunity.org (which over 9,000 have already done, more than the rest of the far left in Britain put together) and sign the Revolutionary Platform statement (by messaging me at Facebook or emailing me as specified below).
CALL FOR A REVOLUTIONARY PLATFORM OF LEFT UNITY
I am putting out a draft statement of a proposed new platform of Left Unity, called the Revolutionary Platform (RP). The idea is to unite as many genuine revolutionary socialists as possible within LU in a single platform, to try to overcome the problem which occurred with other broad socialist organisations (including the Scottish Socialist Party) of rival revolutionary organisations competing with each other within it rather than cooperating around shared goals.
I recognise that there have already been steps towards revolutionary regroupment, including discussions between the AntiCapitalist Initiative, International Socialist Network and Socialist Resistance (http://anticapitalists.org/2013/07/10/taking-steps-towards-revolutionary-unity/), but note that SR are lukewarm about LU. The Socialist Platform of LU is almost a revolutionary platform, but where it says (in point 1) “Its aim is to bring about the end of capitalism and its replacement by socialism”, it fails to specify whether that can or should be achieved by revolutionary or reformist means.
I’ve kept the statement deliberately short, avoiding stating the obvious – such as opposition to discrimination, sexual assault and harassment, attacks on welfare (such as the bedroom tax and council tax bills for the unemployed, dubbed “the new poll tax” by some) and organisations like the BNP and EDL. I’ve set up a Google Group to which I will add anyone who contacts me to sign the platform – this group can be used to flesh out other policies and decide on strategies for action within LU (particularly at the 28 September policy workshop conference and the 30 November founding conference in London) and on the internet and in the outside world.
If you want to sign this statement, please message me at my Facebook account or email me at email@example.com with the same name and email address you used to sign Ken Loach’s appeal to become a supporter of Left Unity (go to www.leftunity.org/appeal now if you haven’t previously to sign it). [Note that Google has sabotaged my gmail account so most messages don’t get through, even to my spam folder but that my Yahoo account is reliable due to not being based in the USA. Hotmail users have had problems in the past with political censorship by Micro$oft, and hotmail.co.uk accounts are based in the USA despite their addresses.] We need 10 members to become an official platform with the ability to put forward motions at the November conference.
The draft statement of the Revolutionary Platform is as follows:
1. By revolutionary, we mean sudden thorough change, preferably through peaceful means like a general strike. Gradual reformist (e.g. Keynesian) change won’t lead to socialism because gains that can be won during a boom are taken back in a slump or recession.
2. We know that we won’t be in a majority within Left Unity in the short or probably even medium term, but think it useful for revolutionary socialists to unite together in a single platform to discuss how to ensure that a socialist revolution happens.
3. Involvement in the Revolutionary Platform would not preclude involvement in other platforms – we recognise that there are many things we would agree with in the Socialist Platform (http://leftunity.org/socialist-platform-statement-of-aims-and-principles/) and Class Struggle Platform (http://leftunity.org/the-class-struggle-platform/).
4. The Left Party Platform (http://leftunity.org/left-party-platform-statement/) says little that is contentious, and is based on lowest common denominator politics, which has already been tried in the Socialist Alliance and Respect with unspectacular results – except in areas where well-known candidates, particularly Dave Nellist and George Galloway, have stood, and we believe they could have done equally well on a more revolutionary programme.
5. Adopting a radical programme, such as that proposed by the RP, SP or CSP, should not exclude less radical left-wing activists (particularly if they identify themselves as socialists) from involvement in LU. A broad socialist organisation like LU already does welcome debate and different points of view on its website and forum, and will (surely) continue to do so.
6. Socialism must be democratic – we reject the idea that the regimes in the USSR, Eastern Europe and China were socialist, but we believe in unity between revolutionaries who called such regimes “deformed workers’ states”, “state capitalist”, “bureaucratic collectivist” or simply “Stalinist”.
7. Socialism has to be international, particularly in this globalised world. We reject the idea that there is a national solution to the problems of capitalism.
8. A second credit crunch, which this time would mean that capitalist governments would be literally unable to bail out the banks even if they wanted to, could happen at any time, and we need to be more prepared than at the time of the first credit crunch and use such an opportunity to seize power via an international socialist revolution.