CPB not split, but slate plans unclear

Submitted by martin on 20 October, 2009 - 6:25 Author: Gerry Bates

The internet rumours (reported in Solidarity 3/160) that the Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star) had split were untrue.

The rumour now is that the CPB has u-turned again, and is back in on the "son of No2EU" project for an election slate. The split was said to be over whether or not to take part in that slate.

The CPB executive did vote to withdraw from the discussions on a slate which have been going on since the June euro-elections among the groups which took part in the No2EU slate then - the CPB, the RMT rail union leadership, the Socialist Party, and the Alliance for Green Socialism.

The RMT has called an open conference on 7 November entitled "Crisis in Working-Class Political Representation". It had seemed likely that the possible new slate would be launched there. ("Launch" it would be, rather than discussion, since the conference is "non-binding and non-resolution-based", and only four hours are allowed for the whole event, with eight platform speakers).

However, at first sight the platform does not look like a launch rally. It includes two SP speakers; John Foster (of the CPB, and said to be one of the CPB leaders who won the first vote to withdraw from the "son of No2EU" talks); Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, and Labour Representation Committee vice-chair Susan Press; and Dave Ward of the CWU and Matt Wrack of the FBU.

Respect (Galloway) and SWP have been signalling that they would like to get in on a "son of No2EU"-type slate, but neither has a platform speaker.

Another conference has been called for 21 November by the "People's Charter", an initiative of the CPB. The People's Charter website suggests two activities to people who back the Charter: sign it, and get others to sign it; and vote for MPs who endorse it. Its architects think of it as a partly-electoral project.

However, three Lib-Dems and two SNP MPs, as well as a maverick independent, Bob Spink, formerly Tory, then UKIP, have backed the Charter. It doesn't look good as a criterion of whether candidates can be considered as working-class political representatives.

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