Resolution on Left Unity

Below is the text of an emergency resolution on the new left coalition launched last weekend submitted to the Respect national conference.

The Conference Arrangements Commitee ruled it out of order as not constituting an emergency. This was contested and a vote taken. The decision of the conference was to uphold the ruling of the CAC and the resolution was not disscussed.

Below also is the text of a letter distributed to conference delegates in support of the motion.

Emergency Resolution on Left Unity

Conference notes the formation of a new left-wing coalition to stand candidates at the general election, which was announced at the RMT union’s conference on the crisis of working-class representation on Saturday 7 November 2009.

Conference notes that at this stage the coalition involves the Socialist Party, the Alliance for Green Socialism and the Communist Party of Britain and has the backing, in a personal capacity, of RMT general secretary Bob Crow and Prison Officers Association general secretary Brian Caton, and has called on everyone who wants a socialist, working-class and trade union alternative presented at the general election to get involved in the coalition.

Conference welcomes the formation of the coalition. It ensures that there will be more left candidates in the general election and contributes to the much needed challenge from the left to the right-wing policies of privatisation, cuts and unemployment supported by New Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.

Conference instructs the incoming National Committee and National Officers to write to the coalition organisers to seek joint work to promote support for left-wing candidates at the general election.

Conference encourages Respect members and supporters to support coalition candidates at the general election and to work together with coalition supporters where possible to build united action around left-wing policies.

Letter addressed to conference delegates

Dear Comrades, Sisters and Brothers

Many of you may have heard about the new coalition that was announced last week by former MP Dave Nellist at the RMT conference on working class representation.

The coalition has the backing of Bob Crow, General Secretary of the RMT, Brian Caton of the Prison Officers Association, national officers of the PCS civil servants’ union, and members of the national executives of the CWU, Unison, FBU and USDAW trade unions (all in a personal capacity).

It also has the backing of the Socialist Party, Communist Party of Britain and the Alliance for Green Socialism.

The coalition intends to stand against current and former cabinet ministers who have pushed through anti-working class policies. It has appealed for all those who want a working class, socialist and trade union alternative to be put forward in the election to get involved.

Labour has followed the agenda of big business for twelve years. It has pushed through reforms which have weakened the working class in this country. The few progressive policies it has implemented have nearly all failed to meet their targets.

Confronted by the recession it has chosen to maintain its neo-liberal course. If it wins the election it plans massive public spending cuts.

If a Tory government is elected things may be even worse. But if the Tories win the blame will lie entirely with Brown and his party. They had the perfect opportunity to turn away from Blair’s rotten policies. They did not take it.

From 1997 to 2005 Labour lost 3 million votes. It is set to lose more. The fact is that millions of working class people can no longer bring themselves to vote for Labour. They need a socialist alternative to vote for. We need to offer it to them.

Successful left wing campaigns across the country can only strengthen us in facing the struggles that are bound to come after the election.

We want to see left wing MPs elected, but Respect will only be standing in a handful of seats out of 650.

We ask Respect members to support candidates of the new coalition wherever they stand and to become involved in their campaigns.

A real alternative is desperately needed. The left standing together will be stronger.

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