Projecting alternatives

Submitted by Matthew on 5 November, 2014 - 11:01

The Alliance for Workers' Liberty, which publishes Solidarity, met for our annual conference on 25-26 October.

The main resolution on perspectives noted the possibility of a growing pay revolt in the next year. Real wages have been squeezed more and longer than ever before on record, and yet union organisation, for all its weaknesses, remains stable.

To contribute usefully if the pay revolt surges, and to hold the line if it doesn't, we must educate, train, and project ourselves as coherent, energetic advocates of class-struggle strategy and revolutionary socialist policy.

Hard-right forces like Ukip have gained political ground recently "because the official left has been utterly wretched, and because the radical left has too often been cowed. Too often radical left activists are submerged in detailed campaign or trade union work. Too often we opt for bland and limited messages for fear that more radical ideas will isolate us".

The main dispute on perspectives was about tactics in the May 2015 election period. The majority voted to encourage and help a socialist campaign to raise demands like "Tax the rich", "Reverse cuts", "Defend migrant rights", etc. within the broad labour movement effort to oust the Tories and get a Labour government.

The minority agreed on voting Labour in virtually all constituencies, but advocated a "Campaign for a Workers' Government" to "focus on a positive programme of measures which a workers' government would take up".

Observers from the Iranian Revolutionary Marxists' Tendency, the Worker-communist Parties of Iraq and Kurdistan, and the French revolutionary socialist group L'Etincelle addressed the conference, and it also received greetings from Solidarity (USA), Marksist Tutum (Turkey), Lalit (Mauritius), Bob Carnegie of Workers' Liberty Australia, and Olivier Delbeke of Le Militant (France).

We debated and passed resolutions on the Middle East and Ukraine, as well as discussing reports and plans for our industrial, student, and feminist activity.

The conference decided that in the event of a clear in/out referendum on Britain quitting the European Union, we should advocate an "in" vote under slogans like "reduce borders, don't raise them", "support free movement across Europe", and "workers' unity against neo-liberal Europe, for a socialist Europe".