Resolution: statement of principles
“The working class in Britain and internationally is facing an immense economic crisis. It is a crisis of the profits system – capitalism. The capitalist class and its political representatives are intent on making the working class pay for this crisis.
No party in Britain represents the interests of the working class.
We agree to proceed to a founding conference of a new party in 2014, preceded by a period of discussion and debate involving all those who want to join the process.
The fundamental principles underpinning this project are:
1. The new party will be socialist. It aims to replace capitalism with a new society, based on the democratic, common ownership of the wealth, natural resources and means of production, with production for need not profit.
2. It will fight tooth and nail to defend the gains we have won in the past and to extend these reforms.
3. It will be internationalist.
4. It will be democratic.
A fuller party programme will be elaborated through the discussion and debate and agreed at the founding conference.”
"Europe is plunging deeper and deeper into crisis. Its governments are continuing with their failed austerity policies which are destroying the social and economic gains working people have made over many decades. The economic crisis has increasingly become a social and political crisis as people face poverty, hunger and even death, as a result of the catastrophic and government-imposed failure of health systems and social services. A further manifestation of this crisis is the rapid development of fascism in Greece, in the shape of Golden Dawn.
However the people of Europe are fighting back. In Greece, France, Germany and elsewhere, new political formations have emerged, drawing together a range of left forces, posing political, social and economic alternatives, and challenging the capitulation of social democracy to neo-liberalism. Here in Britain we face the savage onslaught of the coalition government, destroying our hard-won gains, but Labour is failing to pose a viable economic alternative. It embraces neo-liberalism and does not represent the interests and needs of ordinary people. A successful response to the rightwards move of Labour has not yet taken place, yet we have equal need of a new political formation which rejects austerity and war, advocates a greater democratisation of our society and institutions and transforms our economy in the interests of the majority.
The strong support for Ken Loach’s appeal to discuss the need for a new left party shows that many share this view. Discussions are ongoing but there is a strong desire for a new party of the left which will present an alternative set of values of equality and justice: socialist, environmentalist and against all forms of discrimination. Its politics and policies would stand against capitalism, imperialism, war, racism and fascism. Its urgent tasks would be to oppose austerity, defend the welfare state, fight to restore workers’ rights and advance alternative social and economic policies, redistributing wealth to the working class.
Its political practice would be democratic, diverse and inclusive, committed to open dialogue and new ways of working; the mutual respect and tolerance of differences of analysis; the rejection of the corruption of conventional political structures and their frequent reproduction of the gender domination of capitalist society.
International solidarity is fundamental to the success of any resistance and the achievement of any political progress; such a new party will work with other left organisations and movements in Europe and internationally, to build coordination, strategic links and common actions.
From this meeting today, we call on the national coordinating group to organise a conference of Left Unity groups and members this autumn to discuss the founding of a new Left Party, to facilitate commissions to outline the principles and policies of such a Left Party, and to outline a timetable for a Founding Conference in 2014.”