Socialist Platform Statement of Aims and Principles

August 1, 2013

Red-Square MalevichThe following Statement is presented by the Socialist Platform in Left Unity for discussion and debate in the branches in the period before the November conference. You can view the accompanying artical, ‘Resistance and Change’ here. We welcome comments. If you agree with the Statement or want to find out more about the Socialist Platform, please contact us at: luspcontact@gmail.com

 

Statement of Aims and Principles for the [Left Unity] Party

 

  1. The [Left Unity] Party is a socialist party. Its aim is to bring about the end of capitalism and its replacement by socialism.

 

  1. Under capitalism, production is carried out solely to make a profit for the few, regardless of the needs of society or damage to the environment.  Capitalism does not and cannot be made to work in the interests of the majority. Its state and institutions will have to be replaced by ones that act in the interests of the majority.

 

  1. Socialism means complete political, social and economic democracy. It requires a fundamental breach with capitalism. It means a society in which the wealth and the means of production are no longer in private hands but are owned in common. Everyone will have the right to participate in deciding how the wealth of society is used and how production is planned to meet the needs of all and to protect the natural world on which we depend. We reject the idea that the undemocratic regimes that existed in the former Soviet Union and other countries were socialist.

 

  1. The [Left Unity] Party opposes all oppression and discrimination, whether on the basis of gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion or sexual orientation and aims to create a society in which such oppression and discrimination no longer exist. 

 

  1. Socialism has to be international. The interests of the working class are the same everywhere. The [Left Unity] Party opposes all imperialist wars and military interventions. It rejects the idea that there is a national solution to the problems of capitalism. It stands for the maximum solidarity and cooperation between the working class in Britain and elsewhere. It will work with others across Europe to replace the European Union with a voluntary European federation of socialist societies.

 

  1. The [Left Unity] Party aims to win support from the working class and all those who want to bring about the socialist transformation of society, which can only be accomplished by the working class itself acting democratically as the majority in society.

 

  1. The [Left Unity] Party aims to win political power to end capitalism, not to manage it. It will not participate in governmental coalitions with capitalist parties at national or local level.

 

  1. So long as the working class is not able to win political power for itself the [Left Unity] Party will participate in working-class campaigns to defend all past gains and to improve living standards and democratic rights. But it recognises that any reforms will only be partial and temporary so long as capitalism continues.

 

  1. The [Left Unity] Party will use both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary means to build support for its ultimate goal - the socialist transformation of society.

 

  1. All elected representatives will be accountable to the party membership and will receive no payment above the average wage of a skilled worker (the exact level to be determined by the party conference) plus legitimate expenses.

 

Thomas Bancroft-Rimmer, George Barratt, Mary-Ann Baynes, Tina Becker, Peter Billington, Rob Bishop, Diana Blatton, Mark Boothroyd, Kathrine Brannan, David Broder, Terry Burns, Gerry Byrne, Duncan Carson, Chris Cassells, Dave Church, Jack Conrad, Justin Constantinou, Steve Cooke, Michael Copestake, Anne Marie Cryer-Whitehead, Ian Donovan, Robert Eagleton, John Fisher, Catia Freitas, Peter Grant, Chris Gray, Sean Gray, Matt Hale, Bernard Harper, Tom Harris, Joseph Healy, Dave Hill, Michael Holton, Carlus Hudson, Dave Isaacson, Sacha Ismail, Rodney Kaykreizman, Dave Landau, Soraya Lawrence, Jordy Lea, Tim Lessells, Ben Lewis, Mark Lewis, Moshe Machover, Ed Maltby, Peter Manson, James Marsh, Mike Martin, Yassamine Mather, Sarah Mayo, Sandy McBurney, Laurie McCauley, Sarah McDonald, Ally McGregor, Pete McLaren, Will McMahon, Mike McNair, Jeff Meadowcroft, Jonah Miller, Peter Morton, Bonnie Newman, Kevin O’Conner, Deirdre O’Neill, Emily Orford, Ann Parker, Dave Parks, Harry Paterson, Colin Piper, Edmund Potts, Joana Ramiro, George Riches, James Roberts, Nathan Rogers, Lee Rock, Cat Rylance, Sinead Rylance, Councillor Pete Smith John Smithee, Chris Strafford, Lizi Stewart, Curtis Threadgold, John Tummon, James Turley, Steve Wallis, Tessa Warrington, Mike Wayne, Simon Wells, Ann Williams, Neil Williams, Graham Wilson, Charlie Winstanly, Nick Wrack, James Youd, Maciej Zurowski

 

93 Responses to Socialist Platform Statement of Aims and Principles

  1. Helena Hamilton
    August 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I agree 100% I have also tried to sign up and participate but have not found much support in my area and the person representing our area (Ashford) I think has not contacted me. – I am in Sevenoaks please can I join officially and help where ever I can. 99% In Unity.

    Kind regards

    Helena

    • Peter Morton
      August 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Helena
      I think it’s true to say that you can’tjoin LU formally right now, but very soon the National Coordinating Group will be setting up a formal membership, which will entitle you to go attend the founding (party) conference in November, and vote as a founding member. |Others can correct me if I I’ve got this wrong. You can also become a subscriber on this website for a small monthly donation.

      As to being involved locally, I write from Medway, and coincedentally, we are holding our monthly Left Unity Medway meeting tonight, at the Nucleus Arts Centre cafe, 272 High St, Chatham, 7.30pm. If you can travel that far, I’m sure you would be welcome to attend.
      https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/559700300742768/

      • Peter Morton
        August 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm

        I’ve just noticed; you can now become a founding member of LU. See box at top right of this page.
        Apologies for confusion.

  2. Emanuele
    August 1, 2013 at 11:26 am

    The usual Trotskyist stuff. Listen, if you’re serious about building a broad Left alternative, you’ll keep these fantasists well in the background.

    • Lee Rock
      August 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Hopefully other comments/criticisms will be of a more fraternal type than yours Emanuele.

      Calling people ‘fantasists’ where you disagree is not the way to build a broad party of any type.

      Lee

      • Ben McCall
        August 1, 2013 at 11:22 pm

        Yes but what’s the point its all been said before. Emmanuelle has it and I’m also with Bobby T below.

    • Paul
      August 2, 2013 at 4:49 am

      Actually it was Trotsky who developed the ideas of the transitional programme and the broad united front. This, however, is ultra leftist posturing which would turn LU into another dead end.

  3. August 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

    There’s much I agree with in here, but also some things I disagree with. I therefore favour the broader base of the Left Party platform. While the LP platform is lighter on specifics, I think it’s not the place of platforms to provide these, they should come from the policy commissions.

    • Chris S
      August 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Would be interested in reading what you disagree with Salman but glad that you agree with most.

      • August 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm

        I’m doubtful about the pledge not to enter into coalition with capitalist parties. I’m assuming (correct me if I’m wrong) this platform would see the Greens as a capitalist party, while I think of them as allies.

        I’m also not convinced on the working wage for elected representatives. While I don’t want to see rampant salary increases for MPs while the rest of the country sees their wages squeezed, I do support paying MPs a decent salary. I think this is a necessary safeguard against them making money on the side through corporate interests.

        Overall, while I am a socialist and support many of the aims of this platform and will doubtless work with many of its signatories to push for socialist policies within Left Unity, I do not believe what we are fundamentally lacking in this country is a revolutionary socialist party. There are plenty of those out there, some are working within LU. I don’t think LU needs to replicate that. What we don’t have in this country is a broad left party to represent wide sections of working class communities disenfranchised by mainstream politics. I would prefer to see LU fill that vacuum and move from that starting point.

  4. Luke
    August 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    The term ‘capitalism’ should not be tossed around so crudely, the meaning is not so precise as to build policy statements around it in that way. The line of thinking here entirely misses the fundamental point that what we’ve had for the last 40 years is an intensification of a variety of capitalism that revolves around an unstable money supply issued in the form of debt. And many would want to object to the term capitalism, supplanting it with neo-feudalism, predatory capitalism or suchlike, in order to make the point that markets are artificially biased towards those who control the money supply.
    When you begin by stating the aim to do away with capitalism you are immediately labelled an idiot by those who interpret this as meaning you want extreme government control over markets, which many would argue is at the root of the problems we face now, i.e. that the government is artificially propping up the financial sector by socialising their losses.

  5. August 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Salman I agree with you and agree with much of the Socialist Platform but I consider the base of the Left Party platform to be not ‘broad’ enough.
    So I am looking for Collaborators to work on developing a People United Platform. The Draft Text of the People United Platform was published on the Facebook Page of Left Unity as a note on July 12th. I am now seeking others in LU who agree to add their names to it to enable it publication on this website when we get 10 signatories.

    People United Platform Statement.
    12 July 2013 at 11:27
    Name:
    The Name of Our Party is “PEOPLE UNITED “.

    Our party campaigns for Fairness, fights for Justice and demands Respect.

    Membership:
    Any individual whose normal place of residence is in the Country of England and who shares the aims and objectives of PEOPLE UNITED can become a member. Any group of 5 or more members in a geographical area can form a branch of PEOPLE UNITED. Our goal is the establishment of branches that mirror Parliamentary Constituencies.

    Aims and Objectives:

    Our Primary Aim is:

    To win popular mass support for the creation of a Green and Pleasant Socialist Republic in England.

    Our Primary Objectives are:

    I.

    To Encourage and respect the self organisation and empowerment of all sections of society in England who are exploited, oppressed, alienated and marginalised by the reality of life under capitalism

    II.

    To Work with those in the neighbouring countries of Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland who are struggling for social and environmental justice.

    III.

    To Work with those across Europe and Internationally who are struggling for social and environmental justice.

    IV.

    To Establish the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

    V.

    To Participate in Local and Parliamentary Elections in order to popularise the Aims and Objectives of PEOPLE UNITED.

    VI.

    To Ensure that members of PEOPLE UNITED who win elected office are accountable to their electorate via developing new forms of direct participatory democracy including the right of recall.

    VII.

    To Secure by reform of existing institutions of or via the creation of new structures a new society based upon PEOPLE’S POWER.

    Basic Principles

    1. Democracy

    The linguistic roots of the word Democracy comes from two Greek words – Demos, meaning peoples and Kratos meaning power. Therefore our Party not only advocates Peoples Power as a political objective for the whole of society but it functions as a living example of Peoples Power at every organisational level.

    2. Votes

    The way our Democracy works in practice is based upon the result or outcome of Votes.

    Every member of our party is encouraged and will be empowered to actively participate in internal discussions. Every member of our party is encouraged and will be empowered to contribute their thoughts, feelings and ideas as part of a genuine collective.

    3. Decisions

    At all levels of our Party Decisions shall be made on the basis that a Majority of Votes for any given proposal has been achieved. Once a Decision has been made our Party encourages and will empower all members of our party to take collective ownership of decisions made and to implement them in practice.

    4. Action

    Our Party seeks to encourage and empower all people in society to become active participants in collective action to make positive changes in our world. All members of our Party are encouraged and will be empowered to act as champions of the oppressed. Together we act and via our action we inspire other to join the struggle for Peoples Power.

    5. Disputes

    Our Party recognises the fractured, atomised and individualistic culture dominant in capitalist society ferments social conflict. Our Party encourages and will empower all members to resolve conflicts via open democratic discussion. Our Party encourages and will empower all members to respect each other and value cultural diversity. Our Party will establish a Dispute Resolution Committee elected by National Conference. The Dispute Resolution Committee will encourage and empower any member who has a grievance to come forward seeking to resolve any dispute via an open fair and transparent process.

    Mark Anthony France

    • James J. Nicol
      September 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      I am slightly disappointed that any political party, especially a socialist type, trying to start up in the United Kingdom seems to wish to limit itself to residents of England, a name which came from the anglos of the Anglo-Saxon tribes from Germany. Possibly a slight re-looking at your wording would do no harm, I am Scots born and living their but would not like to think that because if this I would be dis-enfranchised by U.K. based Socialist group.

  6. Jane Kelly
    August 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I too have little to disagree with this statement, although it has little or nothing to say about the environmental crisis. Of course revolutionary socialists want to overthrow the capitalist system and replace it with a socialist, democratic and internationalist society. But there are already several revolutionary organisations you could join which have similar or identical programmes – the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, etc. if you agree with this platform. The problem is that most of these groups are tiny, have no resonance with the rest of the working class and have failed to build themselves in the face of the current twin capitalist crises of the economy and the environment.

    The point about Left Unity is that it recognises we have to start from where we are not where we wish we were! The vast majority of the working class, while opposed to the austerity being imposed and looking for answers are not convinced of the need to overthrow the system even as they reject the rightward move of the Labour Party. ‘Patient talking’ with them will not convince them in the short term and programmes like this will probably make them run a mile.

    So we need to build a broad party, which can relate to all those fighting austerity, a class struggle party, in touch with ordinary peoples’ lives. As Marx said people make their own history but not in circumstances of their own choosing! Like much in politics it would be better if we didn’t have to start from here, but here is where we are!

    • Chris S
      August 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      Jane,

      We have noted that capitalism damages the environment. We kept the platform as short as possible as we know the commissions and branches will be formulating and deciding on policy in areas such as the environment.

      I think when people say that Labour has moved to the right it is always important to clarify that statement. Yes Labour has abandoned its traditional base but this is not just a political move but primarily result of changes within capitalism itself. Labour’s traditional base has been fractured, diminished and eroded because of the neo-liberal offensive of the last 30 years.

      The point about there are several revolutionary parties does not match reality. The Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party are small agitational groups not parties. So there is a desperate need for a real party of the working class that does not just fight the current assaults but links those battles to a different kind of society. So I agree that we must start where we are, the difference we have is that I believe socialists should have the confidence to make the links.

    • Stuart
      August 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Jane’s is more or less the point I wanted to make. If Left Unity accepts the Socialist Platform, the danger is that it will turn Left Unity into another (very small) socialist group with a well-defined set of beliefs. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but there are hundreds of those groups to choose from already (and, let’s be honest, nothing to be gained from uniting them). If we go down that road, we should be prepared for the probable result, which will be to stay small, to attract nothing but hostility from those we’re already working with in campaigns because people resent being told what they should think, and then we’ll all turn inwards and start attacking each other over differences in doctrine as there will be nothing better to do.

      By accepting instead the Left Party platform, or something like it, we’ll have instead a broad statement of left/socialist intent that people can rally around, and a party in embryo that we can all be involved in building – as an ongoing process, not something defined precisely at the beginning. As we build, all these arguments about what socialism means and what we want and so on and so on will still go on, of course, but with the important difference that the debates will actually mean something because we won’t be talking to ourselves, or evangelically bothering people who are quite happy with their own ideas thank you very much, but instead engaging in a discussion among people involved in a common project with the same basic interest in working for its success. Let’s not forget, as someone pointed out today on another thread, that there are a lot of people in Left Unity (maybe most?) who are NOT in fact already a member of a small left group, and will almost certainly head for the door if we are turned into one.

      The Left Party platform was criticised because it was something everyone who thinks of themselves as basically left or socialist can agree with. Well, exactly, that’s the whole point! It can therefore be a basis for uniting, not just the small left groups (a pointless exercise), but all those who already are or who could easily be won to a left outlook (an exercise that couldn’t be more urgent). If we could achieve that (a big ask), well, then we might be in a position to get somewhere. Maybe, who knows, even to socialism!

      • August 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm

        I think Stuart has hit the nail on the head here.

      • Kathrine Brannan
        August 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        Getting involved in a common project in everyones interest in order to build the party is a laudable idea. I think of the Bedroom tax or save lewisham Hospital… and the victories possible.

        But, Stuart, i dont understand this quote from your post:

        ‘As we build, all these arguments about what socialism means and what we want and so on and so on will still go on, of course, but with the important difference that the debates will actually mean something because we won’t be talking to ourselves, or evangelically bothering people who are quite happy with their own ideas thank you very much.’

        In what way will the debate about socialism go on, and mean something, if we are neither talking to ourselves nor to people involved in the project who have their own ideas thank you very much!? who will we be debating with?

        When we have rolled back one assault ( eg saving a hospital) will we not want to explain why we we will have to keep getting up early to defend ourselves against fresh assaults–more closures–and to discuss why for the capitalist class this is inherent in their prioritising profit and competition and that thereby we have to help all ourselves understand and combat more efficiently for a different society with different priorities? Or we remain in Groundhog Day as the work camps set in.

      • Paul
        August 2, 2013 at 4:55 am

        Jane Kelly & Stuart petty well sum up my thoughts on this.

      • Paul Johnson
        August 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm

        Stuart I agree

      • Eilif Verney-Elliott
        September 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        Stuart, your points are crucial, and need to be much examined.

    • Andy Richards
      August 2, 2013 at 9:54 am

      I am with Jane on this. Whilst anyone is free to choose their own name for their platform (within reason) it is a shame though somehow inevitable that one group has decided to claim monopoly on the term ‘socialism’, the better, presumably, to issue denunciations of others who do not see the true path. OK, so maybe that won’t be everyone’s intention, but it is a clear danger.

      My main question to the Socialist Platform is “How do you see this working out comrades?” What NEW forces do you see this pulling in if it is adopted? Who is it going to appeal to beyond people who’ve already joined SWP, SP, WP, SR, TUSC? What’s in it to appeal to the people putting themselves on the line in Balcombe, people fighting workfare, Uncut people, and indeed anyone whose current main political activity is just trying stop their local library closing? These are the people LU needs to be reaching out to, the people to whom revolutionaries can then start to relate. If it’s just a slightly larger version of a pub conversation about Marxist principles, count me out.

    • Mary Jackson
      October 16, 2013 at 12:59 am

      Hmm isn’t that what happened 100 years ago?, Still exists, called the Labour Party….but because it didn’t stand for the abolition of capitalism,It became a tool and apologst for capitalism

  7. Phil Wailcliffe
    August 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    This isn’t a “Socialist” Platform, it’s s Trotskyist platform.

    Why do you say the Soviet Union “wasn’t socialist”? This is a deliberately provocative statement because you make no mention of it in your accompanying article. So much for wanting to give clarity through the discussion and debate you say you want!

    The achievements of the Soviet Union were immense, in terms of education, literacy, culture, science, technology, etc. The victory of the Red Army in bringing the Second World War to an end inspired millions across the planet to overthrow colonialism, thereby reaffirming the 1917 Russian revolution.

    Their socialist economy was viable up until the 1980′s, despite the real and inevitable difficulties that building a totally new society from scratch. It did did not collapse. It was liquidated by the revisionist mind-rot of Gorbachevism, which itself was the logical outcome of Stalinism’s retreat from Lenin’s revolutionary perspective into pacifist peaceful roads to socialism.

    You make no mention of the need to build and argue for a revolutionary perspective in order to understand the world and guide the working class. Without a revolution, how do you propose to achieve “the socialist transformation of society”? More “stop the war – stop austerity” popular pressure? But that’s just what the Left Party Platform say, the only difference is that you want to slap a “socialist” label on it.

    How are going to defend your “socialist” state if, by some miracle, your transformation of society takes place without a revolution? The lesson of Chile is that only a proletarian dictatorship will defend the workers state from constant imperialist intrigue. But that would be “undemocratic”. So what would you do???

    Or do expect every country to have a revolution at the same time, since you clearly don’t accept Lenin’s understanding socialism can be built and defended in one country until the rest of the world is one over to socialism???

    And what about the real world? What about Egypt? What do you say to the working class there now that your “democracy” illusions have helped to set the scene for a fascist counter-revolutionary coup.

    I was concerned about the acceptance of “platforms” as it lets factionalism in by the back door. This seems to be the danger here.

    • August 1, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      I don’t think we’re going to get very far defending the Soviet Union. I would prefer to defend the NHS.

    • bob thorp
      August 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      I love this guy – you really couldn’t make it up. Revolutionary questions definitely have more force when three question marks are used.

    • Jimmy Roberts
      November 14, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Your article of 1st August 2013 on the subject of the Socialist Platform betrays a woeful ignorance of the history of the Soviet Union, of Lenin and of Leninism, and of Trotskyism.

      You state that the authors of the Socialist Platform do not accept “Lenin’s understanding socialism can be built and defended in one country until the rest of the world is won over to the socialism.”

      It is a very good job they do not accept your attribution of Lenin’s acceptance of the possibility of “building and defending Socialism in one country” BECAUSE LENIN NEVER FOR A MOMENT ARGUED FOR THAT POSITION AT ANY STAGE OF HIS POLITICAL LIFE.

      The ridiculous, patently unsocialist, and non-Marxist doctrine of “Socialism in One Country” was concocted AFTER LENIN’S UNTIMELY DEATH IN 1924 by mass murderer Stalin, and his cronies to provide an ideological smokescreen for their total abandonment of the internationalist outlook that imbued the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

      Lenin and Trotsky, the co-leaders of the October Revolution of 1917, saw it as the opening shot in a process of WORLD revolution and they gave concrete expression to that revolutionary perspective by founding the Third International in 1919.

      Neither Lenin nor Trotsky conceived that it was possible to build and defend “Socialism in One Country,” especially not in a backward, overwhelmingly peasant country like Russia was in 1917. The Bolsheviks counted on the Revolution spreading to the advanced countries of Europe and to the USA so that Socialist regimes in those countries might come to the aid of backward Russia, and help raise the economic, technological, and cultural level of the country in the process of building Socialism on a WORLDWIDE basis.

      The failure of the revolution to spread to the advanced capitalist countries – which was explained in no small measure by the criminal errors and political misleadership of Stalin and his henchmen – accelerated and strengthened the bureaucratic degeneration of the Soviet regime, a degeneration that Lenin himself foresaw and tried to prevent as shown by his suppressed Testament in which he called for Stalin to be removed from his post as General Secretary of the Bolshevik, i.e., Communist Party.

      Trotsky likewise foresaw, analysed, and sought to prevent the bureaucratic degeration of the Soviet Republic he helped to found and defended as the leader and organiser of the Red Army in the Civil War of 1918-21. He gave his life in fighting against the Stalinist betrayers and “gravediggers” of the Bolshevik Revolution.

      The Stalinist regimes which did indeed collapse like so many Houses of Cards all over the Soviet bloc from 1989 onwards did so because they were wholly undemocratic, unsocialist, and corrupt. The peoples of those countries were absolutely correct in wanting to get rid of their corrupt military/police dictatorships. The tragedy is that their understandable desire to throw off these totalitarian regimes did not find expression in a revolutionary Bolshevik Party, i.e., a party like the one Lenin and Trotsky led to power in 1917.

      Socialism CANNOT be built and defended in one country, not even in an advanced capitalist country. Socialism is a worldwide process and will not be complete until it has conquered worldwide. I think you need to study the writings of Lenin, Trotsky, Marx, and Engels more attentively because nowhere in THEIR works will you find any support or evidence for Stalin’s opportunistic and utterly non-Marxist hybrid “theory” of Socialism in One Country.

      It is precisely because Stalinism is the absolute negation of everything Lenin, Trotsky, and the other Bolshevik founders of the Soviet state stood for that Stalin went from a political campaign against Trotsky and the genuine representatives of Bolshevism to a campaign of physical annihilation beginning with the infamous Moscow Trials and Purges of the 1930s.

      The coming to power of Hitler in 1933 without a shot being fired to oppose him was in no small measure due to the Stalinists’ insane policy of opposing a United Front with the Social Democratic Party. Likewise, the Spanish Revolution of 1936-39 was drowned in blood thanks to the criminal counter-revolutionary role of the Stalinist GPU, and its agents on the ground in Spain.

      It can truly be said that the counter-revolutionary role of Stalinism was a decisive contributory political factor in the rise of Nazism and the outbreak of the Second World War.

      You rightly draw attention to the heroic role of the Red Army and the Soviet people in turning back the tide of Nazism after the invasion of the country in 1941. But you skate over the Stalin-Hitler pact of 1939-41, and Stalin’s massacre of the cream of the Red Army Officers in the run-up to the invasion, which undoubtedly contributed to the deep incursions into Soviet territory made by the Nazi armies in 1941.

      The Soviet people paid an incredibly high price – 20 million dead to say nothing of those wounded and maimed for life – for the preservation of the country from Nazism, but this was most certainly IN SPITE OF, rather than BECAUSE OF, the police state regime of Stalin.

      Long live internationalism! Long live Socialism! Death to Stalinism, a cancer within the system of the worldwide workers movement!

  8. Baton Rouge
    August 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Who could disagree with any of this except perhaps a detail here and there. It’s a where we stand type statement which is all well and good but it is not what we need. We need a programme/manifesto for the transition to socialism such that when someone asks you what you intend to do about unemployment, banks, wages, as well as fascists, Europe, public spending, welfare etc. you can answer them concretely and not just with a splurge of propaganda. Having not read it fully I doubt there is anything in it I would strongly oppose and it should have no problem getting past but so what. In a couple of weeks I’ll offer the Manifesto Group’s proposed resolution and programme for this site and others.

    • August 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      I don’t think this statement was aiming to produce a manifesto, nor should it. I don’t think that’s within the remit of these platforms. A manifesto will emerge in early 2014 from the policy commissions process, which I’d encourage you to get involved in if you haven’t already.

  9. jonno
    August 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Whether or not L/U is explicitly socialist, its revealing that even though the party is not yet formed, the old school socialists’ have organised themselves into a ‘platform’ and are attempting to win people over to ‘their ideas’. Nothing intrinsically wrong with arguing for ideas, etd, but many putative members will note how quickly they became organised and ready for the ‘fight’. Imo, this will always be an issue as less committed/new to left politics either just go with the flow or are just beginning to learn the ropes, its not a equal playing field.

    • Chris S
      August 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Actually Jonno we are behind the curve. Our comrades in the Left Party Platform were organised long before we were and I think both sides have “old school scoialists” involved.

      • August 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        Personally I was sceptical of having platforms that could send motions in the same way as local groups, but if you can’t beat them, join one.

  10. Curtis
    August 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    This is exactly the stance I want Left Unity to have. 100% support from me

    • Chris S
      August 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks. Please email luspcontact@gmail.com and we can add you to the list of supporters.

      • Curtis
        August 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        RE Chris
        Already have done :-)

  11. jonno
    August 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Actually I was going to add that, my point still stands, the organised left will by virtue of it being organised largely shape the debate, newcomers, those who work non-hierarchly, mavericks, will basically miss the party.

  12. jonno
    August 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    ‘Personally I was sceptical of having platforms that could send motions in the same way as local groups, but if you can’t beat them, join one.’

    Personally, I just don’t want to see the same old intercine warfare/politicking/one upmanship that has gone on for time immemorial in the far left groups. having said that I may join a more (left) libertarian one

    • August 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Agreed. If we can’t get over such squabbles, we’ll not get anywhere.

  13. August 1, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    A new section 6 on Defence has now been added to the People United Platform
    it reads “6. Defence

    Our Party recognises that the British State and Monarchy are violent institutions and their various agencies will seek to undermine the establishment of Peoples Power in any territory over which it claims sovereignty.

    Therefore our Party encourages and will empower members to defend themselves and the communities in which we live from any abuses of power by agents of the crown. We aim to create units of volunteers who will act to protect and defend our members and our communities from any threat that may be directed at us by the British State.”

    • jonno
      August 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      you mean ‘workers militia’ don’t you

      oh dear

  14. Tom Walker
    August 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    As a socialist who supports the Left Party Platform, not the Socialist Platform, I’ve written this to explain my thinking: http://internationalsocialistnetwork.org/index.php/ideas-and-arguments/organisation/left-unity/205-which-way-for-left-unity-the-case-for-the-left-party-platform

    • Lee Rock
      August 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      Hi Tom

      And what do you see as the key differences between your platform and RESPECT when it was first established?

      My concern is that I do not want to see us go the way of RESPECT.

      Fraternally

      Lee

    • August 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Very well said Tom, I’m very much in agreement with you as a fellow socialist who supports the Left Party Platform.

  15. timlessells
    August 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    you could argue that the left party platform is ‘too narrow’, after all, just by mentioning socialism and anti-capitalism in its text, aren’t you ‘excluding’ those on ‘the left’ who are not socialist and who are not anti-capitalist? what about the term ‘left’ as well, doesn’t that exclude people who don’t see themselves as on ‘the left’ but do have other progressive ideas? what about ‘party’, doesn’t that exclude syndicalists or those who only believe in direct action?

    where does this race to dilute our real politics end up? should we just be as vague as possible about everything for fear of not being really really ‘broad’?

    frats,

    tim

  16. jonno
    August 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I’m sorry but I want to be in a party that gets more than .002% in elections, people, good decent people, are crying out for an alternative to NL, etc, but they are not rushing to a 19C ideology which sadly has failed wherever it has been tried.

  17. August 1, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Surely Left Unity is understood by all those involved as an organisation that will fight for the interests of the working class.

    Surely that necessarily poses the question of how to relate to the capitalist system as a system. Can it be reformed to act in the interests of working people or does it need to be replaced with a new socio-economic system (i.e. socialism)?

    Perhaps some of you actually do believe that in the fantasy that it is possible to make capitalism work in the interests of working people so have a principled opposition to this document.

    But it seems from a number of these comments that the opposition has more to do with perceived short term electoral gain than it does with political principle.

    • oskarsdrum
      August 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Alan, it’s not so much us sharing the fantasy that any kind of social democratic ameliorations of capitalism can make for a really decent society. Although past achievements such as Council Housing, the NHS, or the near ending of poverty in Scandinavia show that much nevertheless can still be won within capitalism. More important though, is how far the vast majority of the working class is from imagining any systemic alternative. And, as materialists, it’s hardly surprising that simply giving people a long argument for why socialism is possible fails to convince (almost) every time.

      Instead, we need to be able to demonstrate in stages the force of anti-capitalist logics – by getting people involved in campaigning groups, by being an organisation that looks like it could be a nice experience to be part of, by winning small victories without relying on politicians or famous left-wingers. In short by organising. But thanks to the destructive effects of the neoliberal decades, anti-socialist ways of thinking have enormous purchase in the working class. I don’t think strident and dogmatically put statements such as the Socialist Platform’s will help do this at all.

      I do completely agree that electorialism is a huge danger, though, and that shouldnt’ at all be confused with the aim of relating to and organising amongst the working class as it currently is.

      • August 1, 2013 at 10:20 pm

        oskarsdrum , of course it is necessary to relate to our working class brothers and sisters with non-revolutionary consciousness by fighting alongside them in the immediate struggles they are involved in.

        But in my opinion it is a case of doing both.

        Being honest about what I believe is necessary while struggling alongside my brothers and sisters in those campaigns. I’ve never actually had any difficulty doing this despite having a programme that many signatories to the Socialist Platform would consider ultra-left (see my blog revolutionaryprogramme.wordpress.com).

        If the motivators of the Socialist Platform are for refusing to get involved in the immediate struggles of our class and will just limit themselves to speeches from their pulpits then your criticism would be valid. However I know some of those involved and for all I might have programmatic differences with them this criticism would not seem valid.

        My experience is that it is the opposite danger that is far the greater and this debate in Left Unity is about exactly that.

        Should the socialists dare to be honest with their fellow workers about what they believe is necessary or should they lie to them?

  18. bob thorp
    August 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I’m going to join it sounds like a reet laugh – I hope that there will be lots of blokes, sorry comrades, jabbing the air with their fingers, lots of pointless debates around minutiae, points of order and lots of righteous indignation. The splits will be great fun – thinking about it I need to get in early and get the FB Party of Left Unity page and domain name sorted – most the combinations have already gone. No pasaran and while were at la lucha continua no terminara facilmente.

  19. Des
    August 1, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Here’s our formulation. To not be a consciously anti-capitalist party would be a mistake as pragmatism would always be excused and the focus would drift absolutely to parliament rather than the streets. I think this draft is too preemptive and proscriptive and very ‘Trotskyist’. Ours has been fiddled with over a 12 year period in the context of various convergences and its a formulation that ‘works’ in the context of developing and our policies.

    Having said that I don’t think it’s a principle that any party must be formally socialist as the question of tactics and dynamic kicks in. However, when considering various new party projects elsewhere on the planet striving to re-invent social democracy leads to a dead end. That’s the prerogative of Green parties…and outfits like RESPECT.

    3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

    3.1 The aim of the Socialist Alliance is to replace the capitalist system with one in which the fundamental elements of the economy are socially owned and controlled and democratic systems of popular power established. Only these radical measures will enable us to deal with the economic, ecological and social crises of the 21st century.

    3.2 The Alliance seeks fundamental social and political change by developing policies, campaigns, and protests in co-operation with all workers, environmental, anti-racist, and other social movements, and to propose an alternative to the corporate control of society. A sustained mass campaign of total opposition to capitalism should aim to create the conditions to bring about a transformation to a socialist society that is based on co-operation, democracy and ecological sustainability.

    3.3 The Alliance participates in campaigns that accord with its platform and policies as adopted, involving trade unions and communities, to support the provision of all the resources and services that youth, workers, unemployed, women, pensioners, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, refugees, migrants and other oppressed groups have the right to access and receive. The Alliance supports a common action platform for the purpose of endorsing candidates to contest elections for local, state and federal government representatives and for the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    3.4 The Socialist Alliance stands candidates to give a voice to working-class struggle, and meet the need for working-class political representation.

    3.5 In parliament, Socialist Alliance representatives use their positions to support workers’ struggles and social movements, fight reactionary policies and promote the mass campaigns that can defeat the attacks on jobs and living standards.

  20. Baton Rouge
    August 2, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Having thought about it further I am certain that platforms such as this and the Left Party platform should be rejected however much what is in them is non-controversial. They are far to prescrpitive and that is how sects are built. Unless you agree with ever dot and comma of our `Where We Stand’ type document you cannot be in this `party’. It is an attitude to recruitment that is small-minded and controlling and purist. Mass parties are built on programmes not a list of platitudes. No, I am convinced that both the Left Party and Socialist Platform statement should be rejected out of hand by the November conference. Not because there is anything particularly objectionable in them but because they smack of sectarianism and a lack of ambition.

    If LU is serious about gaining electoral success, becoming a mass party and preparing working people for power and the transition to socialism then it must have a brief, popular (not populist) programme/manifesto that addresses the immediate concerns of the class to present to them. It could of course incorporate elements of Where We Stand type statements in its preamble or conclusion but the main demands must take centre stage.

  21. Nicolo
    August 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Give this a chance before kicking it to death.

  22. Astyr
    August 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I would get away from the ‘oh they weren’t really socialist’ thing when it comes to the eastern block and just say “we are not a Leninist party – we do not believe in a period of transitory state capitalism”. With explicitly making that clear, it just looks like evasion.

  23. Nicolo
    August 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    We urgently need to establish a significant platform for the Left. There are a multitude of voices the dominating hegemony would rather not hear and are working to exclude. They will fear solidity and encourage fracture.

  24. Andrew Crystall
    August 3, 2013 at 2:00 am

    I’m afraid I see this platform as more of the same – I couldn’t become involved, as a mutualist, with a party which adopted this platform. Moreover, given it’s more of the same there is no reason to believe it would be more successful than previous attempts.

  25. August 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    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 email me (steve.wallis2460@gmail.com) with your name and location (branch/city/town/village). 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.

  26. Derrick Hibbett
    August 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Speaking as someone who at various times has belonged to the International Marxist Group, Workers Power and the Socialist Workers Party, there is nothing in the Socialist Platform with which I would disagree.
    However, Left Unity hasn’t been set up just for people like me: its aim is to form a significant left alternative to the Labour Party. This means attracting people who are not revolutionary marxists, but want a party which will fight for a more egalitarian and democratic society.
    Our program should focus on points of agreement, not disagreement. Therefore it should be brief to attract as many of these people as possible. The debate about socialism and how we achieve it isn’t going to be something which can be concluded, put in a party platform and then presented to the grateful masses. Effective socialist politics come from class struggle. The socialist program is something informed by real life, involving (at least) hundreds of thousands of people, not a handful of left activists.

    • August 5, 2013 at 12:58 am

      Derrick,

      Given the membership of political groups you have mentioned I presume that you hold to a personal understanding that some kind of revolutionary transformation of society to overthrow capitalism is necessary.

      I am therefore confused as to why you would advocate LU having a “brief” program based on what all those involved can agree on – that is something that means both nothing and anything at the same time.

      How could such a program be a useful guide to any kind of consistent action by LU as everyone would be able to interpret in their own way?

      And to the extent there is any consensus arrived at it would necessarily be on a lowest common denominator which would avoid the too radical issues (particularly those around the issue of state power) – that is it would be a reformist program in practice.

      And if indeed you do consider yourself to be a revolutionary why would you therefore be advocating the setting up of a program which would in effect be lying to working people about how to achieve fundamental social change in their interests?

      All kinds of politics come from the class struggle – there is no automatic development of socialist politics. If there was we would all have been born into a well consolidated socialist society.

      The reality is that the development of revolutionary socialist politics is the result of both the experience of militant class struggle combined with the conscious and open political struggle of revolutionaries for their ideas and methods against the political alternatives of reformist socialism, social democracy and liberalism.

    • JohnF
      September 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Well said.

    • Eilif Verney-Elliott
      September 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      Derrick, I would suggest specificity of programs over brevity, however, I agree with you that the language in this proposal is incredibly isolationist.

    • Bob Walker
      October 22, 2013 at 10:08 am

      Derrick,I was a member of the C.P.G.B.until they tried to write a play on the British Road to Socialism.Idont believe you can do that…I believe your contribution to the debate is spot on.

  27. Justin
    August 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I signed the platform, where did my name go?

  28. Maciej Zurowski
    August 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Yeah Justin, strange. I *swear* I saw your name when this first went up – right here. Ask the webteam?

  29. Maciej Zurowski
    August 6, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Justin: someone might have added a name and deleted yours by mistake. Try content [at] leftunity.org

    • Justin
      August 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks Marciej, I’m sure it was a mistake,its been sorted out now. I sent another email to the e address at the top.

      I’ll just make one point about the introduction to the statement:

      ‘If you agree with the Statement or want to find out more about the Socialist Platform, please contact us’

      Surely ‘accept’ would be a better choice of words because it leaves room for improvement.

  30. jonathan elliott
    August 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Why not call the party what it is “The Socialist Party” the word left can be moved around from left to the middle and eventually mean the exact opposite to the founders true beleifs like with the labour party which is no longer a party of those who labour. With the word socialist stuck to it it will mean no one in future can fiddle and eventually destroy the party from inside how ever big their ego or perhaps their real agenda.

  31. bob thorp
    August 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    The Socialist Platform – this whole LUP is out of date lazy thinking around concepts resurrected from the 19thC. Rather wonderfully it attempts to be both vanguardist in the best traditions of Marx and Lenin and also social democratic in the best traditions of the Labour Party. Both are models of effecting change that have been surpassed and made irrelevant by technological, economic, social and political developments in the past half century. Revolutionary thinkers today are not building vanguard parties to usher in the dictatorship of the proletariate nor do they expect any transformation to be delivered by “representatives”. Both models are anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian.

    • Ray G
      August 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Quite

    • Eilif Verney-Elliott
      September 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Bob, I couldn’t agree more. You make a perfectly clear statement about why we must reject this platform. I am not at all convinced that anyone outside of a small cadre of (generally privileged) Trosty-Leninists will support this outdated, boring, droll and limited 19th Century romanticist language.

  32. August 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I’m strongly opposed repeating the failures of the past, insisting on a dogmatic approach which attracts the same set of old comrades @ 0.n % of the population. We have to acknowledge that fighting for reforms in the short term is entirely compatible with aiming for socialism in the longer term. Big jobs have to be completed in planned smaller stages, of course. You historians should understand this and the proven necessities for a transitional path.

    Which family man or woman would take part in a revolution unless they were starving and in very large numbers?

    We do need to offer an alternative electoral agenda for the people. This isn’t just copying the type of great work the SWP (far left Trotskyist) did in getting Respect (progressive ala Australian Greens) elected in Bradford West (the largest increase in share of the vote, 52.8%, since the introduction of universal suffrage). It’s the creation of an organisation dedicated to campaigning for and providing the machinery for cooperation between the parties for both campaigns and electioneering. The work involved in this starts and local level: our reps attend all of the meetings, create local news boards aggregating the various threads of activity, bringing them out of the shadows with better publicity, articulating the ideas from the various parties in a language non-activists / all can understand and support, researching community responses to campaigns, putting together campaigns to support local council elections, bi-elections etc. to get a progressive socialist agenda into power.

    That is NOT the same as saying we will put ANY policy forward just to get elected. Socialists, like all persuasions, come in extreme-thru-mild forms. I wish people would stop trying to say “socialism = far left” – it doesn’t.

    I respect the SWP for what they do. When combined with Respect an essentially socialist agenda was voted into parliament. When not combined …. I want an LU for election success of an essentially progressive socialist agenda that wins the support of a wide range of voters and progresses socialism. In needs to be stated using unambiguous words all voters can understand.

    I attend the communist party, cuba solidarity, swp, left unity and people’s assembly meetings in Cambridge and know several many people here who think that the creation of “friendly relations / operational cooperation’ between these different teams is a good idea.

    I see good people in all these groups: and I see a core set of beliefs. Why split them? The far left will always exist as will the far right. I count myself a hobbit! My preference would be to say we will endeavour to facilitate a unifying of the left and appeal to you all to recognise that to get a socialist agenda into government we have to aggregate and yes that means a transitional compromise agenda the majority of people can understand and support.

    We should have discussed earlier an agenda of policies for the 2014 / 15 elections that a broad tent could agree on. Something like this:

    Example 1 http://gerrycavander.com/2013/04/19/11/

    Example 2 http://gerrycavander.com/left-unity/economic-agendas-2-recent-election-manifesto/ (won an by-election)

    I believe we should put agreement on such a statement foremost and stop discussing the revolution (its being taken care of by groups already) or which utopia we agree on. Then sort out the machinery to bring it into power. Progressive.

    ATB, Gerry

  33. Smurf
    August 11, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Well I’m not in LU but in the SWP.

    From the above the importance is that which ever platform is voted in to represent the LU’s program that all others agree to it and move as a party and not split into factions.

    I welcome a broader left and whilst this would not be my political home I relish the idea of working with a serous broad left front. Unity is strength and let’s get on to stopping these Tories… all to Manchester 29th September!

  34. Justin
    August 13, 2013 at 11:43 am

    @Smurf

    It’s this type of unthinking that drives me to despair. Firstly, it’s rather premature to talk about whatever platform is voted in, the LU conference hasn’t happened yet. Secondly, don’t debate, don’t disagree, “let’s get on to stopping these Tories”, I’m sure they’re very afraid, “all to Manchester 29th September!” Obviously. “It’s a weak government” apparently and all the rest of it.

    Unity is strength, yes, but have you also heard of ‘unity in diversity’? Differences of opinion do not necessarily mean division, in Left Unity we can still unite despite various disagreements.

  35. jonlew23@yahoo.com
    August 17, 2013 at 7:38 am

    I know people have identified the signatories as Leninists of one sort or another, but it reads more like an SPGB document than a Trotsky one !

    • September 25, 2013 at 7:18 am

      “I know people have identified the signatories as Leninists of one sort or another, but it reads more like an SPGB document than a Trotsky one !”

      Indeed so and that has now been fully recognised by the SPGB. See our EC statement on these comments

  36. Jimmy Roberts
    August 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I wonder why all these doubting Thomases, sceptics, and cynics on the topic of the Socialist Platform are bothering to fill up your website with their worthless, poisonous drivel if that Platform is as fantastical as they suggest?

    To paraphrase Marx in his introduction to “Capital,” Socialists should march on and let the chatterers chatter.

    No-one with any semblance of political consciousness can deny the overwhelming, burning need for a left-wing Socialist Party in the midst of the worst worldwide capitalist crisis since the 1930s. The working class has no political voice here and elsewhere in the world as the traditional workers parties have all abandoned the firm footing of principled Socialist politics in favour of class collaboration and acceptance of capitalism as the way to organise economic life.

    Here in Britain, the Labour Party is wedded to the Americanisation of British Politics with Tories and Labour mirroring the Republicans and Democrats in the USA.

    A bold, courageous, Socialist appeal to millions of disenfranchised, disillusioned, and demoralised working class people will receive an enthusiastic response. The recent success of the semi-fascist UKIP is both a warning and a wake-up call to the Left in this country that millions of the oppressed are looking for a way out of the crisis of capitalism.

    Many of those misguidedly lending their support to a political cul-de-sac like UKIP could be won to the ranks of a radical new Socialist Party.

    Time for action not tittle-tattle.

    Jimmy Roberts.
    Merseyside Left Unity.

    • JohnF
      September 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Agreed.

    • Eilif Verney-Elliott
      September 11, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      Jimmy, with respect, I must reiterate: I am not at all convinced this [Socialist Platform which is] airy, droll, boring 19th romanticist language of the so-called ‘revolutionary working class’ can accomplish anything more than a masturbatory talk chamber for an increasingly isolated Leninist left. We need to mobilise with the times, Hegelian-Marxian analysis of accumulation, both economic and *social* might be a helpful reminder that the Socialist Platform is simply a ‘false consciousness,’ which is simply an outdated idea.

      • Jimmy Roberts
        September 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm

        Eilif, with respect, your knowledge of philosophy is as dodgy as your acquaintance with political and social reality.
        Hegel was a philosophical Idealist. Marx generously acknowledged his intellectual debt to him whilst radically differentiating his own philosophy – Dialectical Materialism – from Hegel’s.
        Capitalism is facing, and has faced in the last 5 years, its biggest crisis since the 1930s, and yet, astonishingly, you pronounce Socialism “an outdated idea.”
        It is capitalism, my friend, which is outdated, and rotten ripe for overthrow and supercession by the next historical stage in human civilisation – Socialism.

        Objective conditions for the historical jettisoning of bankrupt capitalism have matured, if not gone rotten, many years ago, but especially so now in the midst of the deepest and most intractable crisis of capitalism since the crash of 1929. We have mass unemployment everywhere in the leading capitalist countries; falling living standards; intensified exploitation for the working class in the Western world, and, especially, in the Third World; the criminal destruction of productive capacity by vandal capitalists more interested in profit than human needs; civil wars and imperialist wars in different parts of the globe; and a rachetting up of State repression and the curtailment of civil and political liberties in all advanced capitalist countries as the capitalist class attempts to crush all opposition to its outmoded rule.

        The missing piece in this ugly worldwide jig-saw puzzle is the subjective factor : courageous, bold, and irreconcilable Socialist Parties leading the enslaved and super exploited masses to power.

        The Left Unity project is a step in the right direction. This country’s working class and poor have no political representation or organised vehicle for changing their conditions, and thereby society itself. Labour is historically and politically bankrupt as the Party of the working class in Britain, and has been for over 20 years. It is beyond the “reform” or regeneration promised by those utopians still vainly clinging to their Labour Party cards.

        A new radical Socialist Party must be built to transform the political and social landscape in this crisis -ridden and increasingly repressive capitalist country. Such a Party, once established and winning increasing support from the masses, will, in turn, have a salutary and much needed radicalising effect on our Trade Unions, whose docile and tame “leaders” must likewise make way for hardened Socialists who will fight as implacably for the suffering millions, as the Tories (and their Labour shadows) fight for the millionaires.

        Get on board the Socialist locomotive, Eilif. Or be left in its wake on the sidelines.

        Jimmy Roberts.
        Merseyside Left Unity.

    • Eilif Verney-Elliott
      October 6, 2013 at 12:52 am

      Jimmy, your ‘get on board’ sounds like Lenin when he dismantled the Assembly.

      • Jimmy Roberts
        October 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm

        Thank you for the compliment, Eilif. I am very flattered you think I sound like Lenin, who together with Trotsky, led the greatest upheaval the world has yet seen – the October Revolution of 1917.

        Your revival of the very well-used, moth ridden, and utterly groundless charge about the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly by the Bolsheviks in 1918 tells me I am dealing with someone whose knowledge of the Russian Revolution comes from bourgeois historians and enemies of the Revolution.

        Elections for the Constituent Assembly preceded the seismic events of October 1917, and were rendered out of date and irrelevant by them. Happily, the Bolsheviks led by Lenin and Trotsky were not cowered, thrown off course, or disorientated by electoral statistics, especially those that failed to correspond with the actual social and political realities of Revolutionary Russia. They also had a Civil War to fight against the White Armies, and their imperialist allies in Britain, France, and the USA.

        Preventing counter-revolutionaries from taking parliamentary seats in a historically obsolete Constituent Assembly in the midst of Revolution and Civil War is something that the Bolsheviks are to be applauded for, not criticised. Those that do the criticising are usually inveterate enemies of any democratic gains and advances in their own countries, whilst handing out pious platitudes on so-called democracy to other countries, especially those that have governments that favour working people, and oppose imperialist meddling in their affairs.

        If you really want to learn about what actually happened in the October Revolution, and are not an out-and-out reactionary yourself, take the time and effort to read John Reed’s book “Ten Days That Shook the World,” and the seminal work of Trotsky, “The History of the Russian Revolution.” You will find enlightenment in both.

  37. Gary
    August 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Left Unity must become a socialist party that can forge together all socialists bring about an end to the sects, and the maturing of communist political organisation in this country, this platform must be supported against those who would forge some kind of re-heated semi-mythological old labourism and continue to promote the fantasy of a capitalism with a human face.

  38. Jo
    September 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Point number 4 – Could you add physicality to the list? People whose body shapes fall outside perceived societal norms are subject to discrimination on a daily basis, from the media, government and prejudice in the general population. It is often disguised as disgust for certain sections of the working class although it can transcend class issues.Currently there is no law protecting those who experience this type of abuse and it would be great to see that recognized in the list.

  39. Eilif Verney-Elliott
    September 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Socialist Platform’s statement is riddled with out-dated language that will make the Left Unity movement look like a monument and not a vehicle for social change. I am actually very disappointed at this neo-Trotsky-Leninist language: what does it mean exactly to ‘overthrow’ capitalism and to disavow any coalition work with say, the Greens? What will it mean when it comes to building a party that is a real alternative to the failures of Labour if we parrot the failed communist ideology of the 20th century? People aren’t listening to these tropes: the language in this proposal is tired, droll and will prevent me, and many others, from joining. One could join the Socialist Workers Party or the Socialist Equality Party if they are seeking such ‘purity;’ additionally, it is important to remember that this discourse, although it may sound good to some, is a result of Lenin and Trotskys’ all too long reaching political influence on the Left.

    Now, I am supportive of massive, international re-distribution of wealth, and especially things like common ownership of rail, or a re-nationalisating of many industries affected by the Thatcher era. I am also in favour of increasing the top-end tax and using that money to build, improve and create new renewable energy – green energy (solar, wind, etc) – transportation improvement (making the London tube and DLR completely disability accessible) – increasing the amount of job seekers allowance, calling for a full-employment social democratic system, a free university educational structure, etc. However, these are not even mentioned.

    We need specifics in our platform; everything cannot be reduced to ‘control by and for the working class;’ the working class under CONTEMPORARY capitalism is fluidic, undetermined and highly difficult to even define; the middle class is just as fuzzy. We all can ‘locate’ the wealthy through the symbols of property, income and other investments. I would suggest a Hollande style increase of taxes on people making over £500,000 to 75%; this is something concrete that people can rally behind. We need to show that we can push the system over the edge into a place whereby it delivers rapid improvement in the lives of people.

    I am not at all convinced this airy, droll, boring 19th romanticist language of the so-called ‘revolutionary working class’ can accomplish anything more than a masturbatory talk chamber for an increasingly isolated Leninist left. We need to mobilise with the times, Hegelian-Marxian analysis of accumulation, both economic and *social* might be a helpful reminder that the Socialist Platform is simply a ‘false consciousness,’ which is simply an outdated idea.

    • December 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      The only thing that is “fuzzy” Mr. Double-Barreled surname is your thinking.

      It appears the history of the last 25 years alone has escaped your attention, to say nothing of the broader sweep of historical development in the world.

      We live in an epoch of counter-reforms, enforced by the capitalist class everywhere as it seeks to make the working class pay for the global crisis of capitalism. So your wish list of reforms of a diseased and dying capitalist system is sheer fantasy in contemporary conditions.

      Here in Britain all of the very modest reforms achieved by the working class movement since 1945 are in jeopardy (the NHS and the Welfare State), or have already been taken away (free Further and Higher Education, public utilities, nationalised industries, Council housing etc.).

      In Greece and Spain the very physical survival of the masses on a capitalist basis has been placed in question.

      So save your childish abuse for your middle-class dinner parties where you will find a more receptive audience for it.

      You have the bare-faced cheek to advise Socialists involved in the Left Unity project to join the SWP or the Socialist Equality Party (of which I for one have never heard). I have a better suggestion. Why don’t YOU join the Liberal Democrats, They welcome people who can’t make up their minds about anything, and who have revolving necks so that they can turn whichever way the prevailing bourgeois political winds tell them to face.

      As for your infantile attacks on the Titans of Socialist Thought – Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky – this is akin to a mouse savaging the toe-nail of a lion.

      Stay away from lions, my friend. They can be dangerous to humans, particularly those with blindfolds on.

  40. September 24, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    From the Socialist Party of Great Britain’s Executive Committee.

    Message from the Assistant Secretary re Left Unity:
    Left Unity is a new political party. Three competing platforms have been drafted and circulated in advance of its founding conference, scheduled for 30 November 2013. Of particular interest to us is the so-called “Socialist Platform”. Participants of our Party’s web forum and spintcom have observed that this platform has many similarities to our own Object and Declaration of Principles, and there has been discussion about whether or not we should officially approach Left Unity to propose a meeting to discuss their statement and ours. Cde Buick has drafted a letter which the EC may wish to consider:
    “We have read your Statement of Aims and Principles for the proposed “Left Unity Party” and have noticed many similarities with our Object and Declaration of Principles and the positions we have developed and propagated over the years. We have in mind in particular the need for a principled, explicitly socialist party that concentrates on campaigning for socialism as “capitalism does not and cannot be made to work in the interests of the majority” and which holds that “the socialist transformation of society. . . can only be accomplished by the working class itself acting democratically as the majority in society” using “both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary means”. As there can be no point in two socialist parties in one country we should like to propose a meeting to discuss the principle of a single socialist party, based on sound socialist principles, as opposed to forming yet another leftwing reformist party. It was generally agreed to send a letter to the “Socialist Platform”. Cde Cox suggested if they turn us down, we can send an open letter.
    Motion 30 – Shannon and Cragg moved the Party sends a letter to Socialist Platform proposing a meeting to discuss the principle of a single socialist party. Carried (5-0-0)

  41. Dan K.
    October 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Dear Comrades,

    I am socialist living in Italy. I’m very interested in “Left Unity” and the appeal from the famous director Ken Loach (who, by the way, is extremely popular in Italy too) to rebuild a real socialist party in UK. I’ve recently come across the “Socialist Platform”, which, I think, is an excellent political document: clear, simple, well written and, above all, 100% Marxist and socialist! No empty and vague intellectualism or stuff like that. I’d be really very happy if it became the funding document of LU. For this reason I really wish you all the best. I have just two simple questions for the authors of the “Socialist Platform”: where can I find more documents on this platform and other preparatory articles? What is the political milieu from which this platform comes from?

    Yours in socialism

    Dan K.

  42. Bob Walker
    October 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Correct me if i,m wrong.but.is the conference in November just for planning a way forward.from where we are NOW…. It is not a constitution or manifesto.The way people aretalking

  43. jodders
    October 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Why not join up with TUSC in Britain? A movement that’s already begun and while admittedly
    gains have been small just now but if you guys join up that’s a bigger force to fight the
    capitalist snout dippers! The right wing making unimaginative Peoples Front of Judea
    comments is nauseating. Come on, unite the Left!

  44. Simon Partridge
    November 11, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    A friend of mine sent me your link. I have read this sort of stuff many times over and it all suffers from a basic category error: socialism and capitalism are isms of a different order. Socialism is basically a co=-operative political philosophy; capitalism [insofar as it is an ism and not just a pragmatic form] is an economic philosophy. It follows that one cannot simply replace the other. In any foreseeable society there are going to be some private companies, some state-owned enterpises, and hopefully a lot of co-operative enterprises, alongside some essential not-paid-for-at-point-of-use public services.

    Set out some attractive mix – possibly called the mixed economy and society – and I might take you seriously. Otherwise you’re simply baying for the moon.

    • Vincent Garton
      November 29, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Socialism and capitalism aren’t philosophies, they’re (radically incompatible) modes of organising society. Actual theories embracing capitalism appeared only several centuries after the unconscious emergence of modern capitalism as a social form. The real category mistake here is, I’d suggest, on your own part — the assumption that economics and politics are essentially distinct. Socialism is and has always been rooted in a critique of political economy which recognises that economic power is, at one and the same time, political power.

      The notion that not only all future societies, but all *imaginable* societies of any sort must mirror the ideas underpinning our own (state/private sectors, capitalist enterprise, etc) is easily refuted by history, and just suggests a lack of critical analysis. There is nothing inevitable about the present ways in which society is organised. All society is contingent.

  45. Burnsey
    December 2, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Let’s drop all this intellectual masturbation.
    Unite all the political parties for radical change into an online parliament
    This online parliament is elected by TRUE PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION.
    Create a PR model that can be carried forward to the REAL PARLIAMENT.
    If we did nothing further than this,the debate would be widened tectonically.
    This will create an umbrella group of parties,that can work as a mastermind group.Harnessing the intellectual synergy to create the new way.
    This mastermind group should encourage the mobilisation of the population through open discussion and debate…..all ideas should be considered and explored….dump the divisive rhetoric and labelling dogma.
    Make it decentralised and inclusive.
    The Peoples of the World are looking for truly radical ideas and solutions to the collapsing of the current capitalist system.
    The WORLD is in a DEPRESSION.A deflation
    The Growth model most governments are pursuing is yesterdays thinking,fuelled by ever increasing QE to save the very institutions that have been causing these situations periodically ever since the creation of the FEDERAL RESERVE BANK.Circa 1913.and prior…

    The New Way of Thinking.
    Jacques Fresco’s Venus Project in Florida….a fully thought through 10 year plan for the entire world.
    Max Gerson’s Cancer cure…..Big Pharma not interested in CURES.
    Dr Otto Warburg on Cancer.
    The adapted combustion engine that runs on only WATER..Hydrogen for fuel,oxygen as the waste product…..Still showing on You Tube.
    The inventor Dennis J Klein deceased 29/08/2013.
    If you do the research you will discover other inventors that have found this secret and been either silenced or died in mysterious circumstances.
    I wonder why?
    The time is now to come together and crash the current political models.
    They are a bubonic plague of almost total corruption.
    The time for evolution is past.
    The peoples of the world are crying out for a new world order.
    A NEW CLEAR WINTER

  46. December 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    One has to ask why this year’s new improved socialist party would fare any differently than all its previous manifestation. The success of the Russell Brand rant at Paxman was down to the presentation which sounded fresh, honest and from the heart. There was nothing in your presentation of Unity Principle that differed from the umpteen previous attempts to garner electoral success from Trot like coalitions. Apart from the usual suspects, who do you think will be attracted to propositions that could have been written 100 years ago when, for instance, Class was experienced in a self conscious way by millions? We have to express ourselves in a different way or we will get the same vacant responses.
    A few of us in sunny Telford have set up a Party called ‘People First Party’ which is anti Capitalist but, whilst explaining the contradictions and inhumanity exhibited by establishment parties, strives to win practical local struggles thus demonstrating left politics can work for people.

  47. A Sheperdson
    December 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    What I believe we have here is a desire to build a new Political Party Representative of the Working majority.
    We are trying to bring together like minded people most of whom have an ignorance of politics outside of the current drivel fed by the co-conspiratorial media. Yet starting to read replies I am immediately confronted with my Political knowledge trumps yours and I need to be led by fat pay packets, just not as gross as the Pigs at the trough currently running things.
    “Catch your selves on” How much do people need, a Craftsmans salary I would most gratefully take tomorrow yet I live comfortably now.
    I can pay my RENT all my bills, I can eat 3 times a day if I wish, I have warm clothes and summer clothes, a cooker, washing machine,television,Laptop & lots of crap I probably do not need.
    I run an old Land rover Discovery so I can repair it myself most of the time.
    My Wife and I do not take holidays because we can not afford it yet we in reality want for nothing.
    I agree those that would aspire to lead such a party should be payed well and a craftsmans wage and necessary expenses in carrying out such duties is well enough.
    Labelling such as Trotskyism is not going to draw many in to a new party, educating them to the true day to day benefits prospective brothers and sisters would receive from standing together in such a party. All conveyed to them by someone on the same level.
    Glancing up I read a reply talking of People first Party of Telford, We are heading into the realms of ” Life of Brian” and the Peoples Front of Judeah, “Splitters!”
    The truth is they are hanging Brian now! and Brian represents us the majority who do not seek fame and fortune or covert bigger and better in all things to be managers and push the Corporate agenda.
    We wish to just live without fear of the bully that is current governance, we seek a life of peace and equality to be able to stand together. I have had many confrontations with bullies and they have always without fault been beaten when the majority stood behind the ones willing to confront the bully, put away your disjointed arguments and stand to fight as Men,women, brothers, sisters young and old, friends and colleagues fighting for what it is to be human, for those that run things now are ” Inhuman”

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