The Workers Party called a day conference in March 2023 to discuss our attitude to imperialism, how we characterise it, how we describe it, and ultimately how we win British workers to our position.
The day conference was the result of both the development of our thinking with regards to launching the No 2 Nato movement, and also the result of trying to refocus on some organisational questions that had been raised at previous National Members Council meetings. The Agenda for the day was circulated in advance, the party asked for written contributions.
On the day, a majority of those present made spoken contributions, all of which were excellent and made an impression on those in attendance. We were not in a position to record the Conference or to make verbatim notes, and so this document is heavily reliant upon the written contributions we received. It is hoped that future meetings will be able to improve on this.
Agenda for 18 March
Imperialism; what it is and how we fight it
1. What is imperialism? Who are friends and who are enemies?
2. No2Nato: an anti-imperialist organisation
What should No2Nato do, what should it campaign on?
Who should No2Nato campaign with? Do we agree with ‘no platforming’?
The Question of Unity, with whom and for what?
The Party: Discussion topics
1. Democracy and rules:
What sort of democracy do we need? What level of transparency is required? How do we strike a balance between discipline and freedom, between democracy and centralism?
2. Electioneering and Trade Unionism:
Where do we lay the emphasis? Is there a balance to strike? What factors motivate our choices? Which comes first?
3. A campaigning party, within our means:
What are the campaigns we focus on? What are the strengths and weaknesses of our party? How do we prioritise our choices?
The meeting produced an excellent discussion on the question of imperialism and the contributions contained herewith reflect the views of those present. On the day of the event, comrade Neil pointed out that from what he saw of imperialism in action in Iraq it sought to win through the policy of “divide and conquer”, whilst Jurgen noted that imperialism preferred to act through proxies, as it was currently doing in Ukraine. Martyn added clarity on the question of the relationship between imperialism and racism whilst William focused our attention on the way we interact with the general public.
This discussion was enriched by the wide and varied experiences of those in attendance, and will be reproduced as the first in a planned series of 10 small pamphlets containing the views of party members in discussion on the key ideas found in our Ten Point Programme.
The questions around updating, refreshing and recirculating the present organisational arrangements of the party have led to an update contained at the end of this document and this information will also be added to the refreshed pages on the website.
Another day conference dealing with the second demand in our Ten Point Programme is scheduled for June 2023. Our conference has been both educative, and closely linked to the practical tasks we’re engaged in as Workers Party activists. It has shown the vitality of the party, our sincerity and our ongoing development as sincere socialists genuinely concerned with linking our ideas with the working class, not mere philosophers and spectators.
To read the report open this Pdf: