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Liverpool in 1945

Activists Say Build A New Workers' Party

REPRESENTATIVES OF two famous groups of Merseyside workers - the sacked Liverpool dockers and the 47 surcharged Liverpool councillors from 1983-1987 have started to organise a campaign to build a new mass party of the working class.

Roy Farrar, Liverpool

A meeting in Liverpool on 28 February, chaired by docker Jimmy Nolan and attended by about 50 trade union and political activists heard Dave Nellist, for the Socialist Party, explain why the Labour Party had ceased to represent working people in "any way, shape, or form" and had become "a party of the millionaires and not the millions".

The statement of intent (see right) was accepted unanimously by all present - from different political traditions and parties. '47' councillor Paul Astbury and others said that these differences could not be ignored; no one was expected to just abandon their programme or beliefs.

The dockers and the '47' saw that they were founding a federal framework for activists to campaign together but at the same time provide regular, democratic debate on programme and principles. Another meeting on 27 March will carry on the debate.


Statement agreed

After six years in power, New Labour has abandoned every vestige of socialism. This meeting declares its intention to initiate a campaign for the establishment of a genuine working class party based on the following principles.

  • The repeal of all anti-trades union laws.

  • Taking privatised public utilities back into public ownership.

  • A reversal of the privatisation policies in education and health.

  • Support for workers and nations in struggle internationally.

  • Opposition to fees for education at all levels.

  • The establishment of a minimum wage based on European minimum of 7.50/hour - young workers not excluded.

  • To embrace the now moribund Clause 4, Part 4 of the "Old" Labour Party.

  • Actively involve all sections of society, regardless of age, race, creed or gender.

We aim to campaign in the trades unions and all working class organisations, appealing especially to the youth and student movement.

We agree to continue the campaign by organising a series of debates over the next year, beginning with a conference of leading figures from the labour and trades union movement, youth, student and community organisations.

report from The Socialist 6 March 2004



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