|CP Campaign Plan 2010|
A PARTY CAMPAIGN PLAN 2010 was adopted by the executive committee on 17 January.
The plan can be read in full here and for future reference is found in the CP category in the main menu here.
The September 2008 EC adopted a Party Campaign Plan in order to guide our work in the light of the decisions of the 50th congress.
After a proper selection process, Andy Goodall was appointed full-time National Organiser for one year in order to lead important aspects of this work as well as to undertake important organisational tasks. In order to extend his valuable contribution beyond that period, he was employed part-time from September 1, 2009, to December 31.
We have made substantial progress in a number of key areas of work set out in the September 2008 PCP. But some tasks remain partly or wholly unfulfilled. One reason for this was our substantial contribution to the No2EU European election campaign—an initiative not foreseen when the PCP was first adopted.
The extension of the current EC term to October 2010 gives us additional time to return to the tasks of the original plan, refining or adding to them in the light of developments.
This new edition of the plan is therefore based on the September 2008 document together with a more detailed plan for future work considered at the November 2009 EC. Its intention is to be clear and concise about the work that needs to be done, when and by which party organisations.
The Charter movement is up and moving forward, but it many areas it needs Party members and organisations to supply the drive to get things up and running. This means seeking to involve a wide range of left, labour movement and progressive organisations from the outset. Party centre will be issuing a briefing paper on how to initiate and develop local Charter groups.
Politically, the connections should be made whenever we can between capitalist crisis, the ruling class offensive, mass unemployment, cuts in public services and the demands of the Charter. Party branches should be using Charter materials to collect signatures, especially at town centre stalls, drawing other Charter supporters into that work where we can.
We now need Trades Councils, trade unions and other labour movement and progressive bodies to set up local campaigning committees wherever possible in the period before the General Election. Party branches and districts/ nations can play a key role in making this happen.
In addition to those already established or planned (Derby, Leicester, Oxford, Yeovil) we want to see People's Charter Committees set up as a priority—before the General Election if possible—in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bradford, Cardiff, Coventry, Devon, Edinburgh, Flintshire, Glasgow, Greater London East area, Hackney/ Tower Hamlets, Herts. & Beds., Leeds, South Midlands, Manchester, Newcastle, Norfolk/ Mid Anglia, North London, Pontypridd, Sheffield, Exeter, Taunton, Colchester, Croydon, Tooting, Swansea, West London, Wolverhampton.
After the election, we need to see progress in the 50 or so largest cities or towns not already covered. These should include Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Carlisle, Clydebank, Dundee, Gloucester, Liverpool, Merthyr Tydfil, Swindon. Committees should also be a possibility in Cornwall, Cumbria and Kent.
As well as pressing the People's Charter organisation to produce materials useful for this work, the Party will also issue a briefing paper on the Charter and how to go about organisational and campaigning tasks.
Party branches, districts and nations should hold a discussion on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues and rights to mark LGBT History Month in February, with a guest speaker if necessary. Where feasible, Party or Morning Star public meetings could also be held.
Centrally, the Party or its LGBT advisory will place appropriate materials on our website and issue a broadsheet or briefing paper on key questions in this area of political work.
In response to a proposal made by our party at the 2009 Convention of the Left in Brighton, Convention organisers are calling a national conference on February 27 in Manchester on 'Making It Public: Fighting Public Service Cuts, Promoting Public Ownership' (www.conventionoftheleft.org). Left and labour movement organisations will be urged to carry out united campaigning activities along this theme. Party organisations should help win support for the initiative, especially within the trade union movement, as well as participating on the day. Party centre will circulate materials and more information as it becomes available.
Party, Morning Star and public events should be organised where possible on or around March 8 to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. The Charter for Women and/or our Women & Class (new edition) pamphlet would form good focal points for such initiatives. Comrades in a position to propose wider labour and progressive movement events should consider doing so.
Centrally, the Party has invited a leading woman ANC and SACP comrade from South Africa over to address an IWD event in London, organised by the Coordinating Committee of Communist Parties in Britain on Saturday March 13. She will also be addressing one or two other Party and Morning Star meetings outside London in the preceding week. Further information will be displayed on the Party's central website.
May 6 is the date set for local elections in England. It is also the most likely date for the General Election (which must take place before June 4).
The EC and PC have already approved CPB Parliamentary contests in Glasgow North West, Newcastle East, Sheffield Brightside, Birmingham Perry Barr and/or Selly Oak and Alyn & Deeside. Other likely contests include Croydon North and at least one in south Wales. There may also be Unity for Peace and Socialism contests in the Midlands.
All Party branches, districts and nations should be actively engaged in deciding how they can be most effectively involved in the Parliamentary and local elections, whether through CPB, UFPS or coalition contests, supporting Labour and other left candidates and/or campaigning against the fascists. Party centre should be informed of preferred options as quickly as possible.
Mobilisations for our party Months of Action provide an ideal opportunity to step up campaigning in those areas being targeted for CPB or UFPS electoral work.
Every April 28 is an opportunity to highlight vital questions of health and safety at work and to remember those who have died at the hands of negligent employers. Again, party organisations should consider what internal, public and broad movement initiatives can be taken around this time. A letter or statement to the local press could gain attention for the issues as well as for the Party. Party centre or our Trade Union Coordinating Committee will issue a briefing paper to assist comrades in this work.
As well as our usual activities in and around the trade union movement, Communists should be working for the formation of local broad based campaign committees against cuts in local services, bringing together the local Trades Councils, trade unions, community and political organisations.
Party organisations should also be highlighting this issue and the fight for decent jobs, using new Party materials which expose the nature of the ruling class offensive, challenge capitalist crisis and propose the Left Wing Programme in response. Party, Morning Star and broad movement public meetings on these questions should be held wherever possible. Links should be made with the policies of the People's Charter.
May 1 falls on a Saturday in 2010, most likely on the eve of the General Election. This may open up some new opportunities. More May Day events of every kind need to be held in order to raise levels of political consciousness, combativeness, unity and confidence within the working class and the labour movement. They should be as broad as possible and based on the local Trades Council and trade union movement where appropriate.
As well public meetings, rallies and marches, these can also take the less ambitious—but nevertheless valuable—form of a lecture (named after a local labour movement personality or historical event), an exhibition, a film show or a social evening.
Again, Party centre or our Trade Union Coordinating Committee will issue a broadsheet, a poster /sticker and a briefing paper to assist comrades to launch some new initiatives this year.
The urgency of stepping up the campaign against Britain's disastrous occupation of Afghanistan requires no explanation. This is also the time to turn up the pressure on New Labour plans (supported by the Tories) to replace Trident with a new generation of British nuclear weapons.
Party organisations and members should be involved wherever possible in broad campaigns through the Stop the War Coalition, CND or local peace groups.
A new Party leaflet on Afghanistan, together with materials on Trident, could also be used in public activities.
Exposing the nature and ideas of the BNP fascists, showing that their policies do not address the real problems of working class people—whatever their nationality, race or religion, is a top priority for our Party in a growing number of localities. This is especially so in the pre-election period between January and May 2010.
The international Communist movement is also calling for 2010 to be marked as the 65th anniversary year of the defeat of fascism in Europe. This could provide the occasion for initiatives around Victory in Europe Day on Saturday May 8, by which date a new Party pamphlet will be published on the Second World War and the anti-Soviet, anti-Communist revision of history.
Party members and organisations are involved in a range of campaigning initiatives, including Searchlight/ Hope Not Hate and Unite Against Fascism. We are involved in both bodies and look to build principled unity in action wherever possible, not to deepen divisions in the anti-fascist movement. What should determine our involvement on the ground is whether a particular local campaign is active, broad-based and non-sectarian; or is narrow, divisive and being manipulated by a political group for its own ends.
While building a broad movement is most important, this need not rule out independent Party activities. New anti-fascist materials are therefore available from Party centre for distribution and display.
Our party's anti-racism, anti-fascism advisory is also involved in discussions with domiciled Communists and the Indian Workers Association to consider launching a unifying anti-fascist campaign in the run-up to the General Election.
In recent years, Party months of action have met with mixed success. With sufficient notice, materials and preparation, it has proved possible to bring a number of branches into campaigning activity on a particular issue in the timescale specified. But difficulties have also arisen from trying to impose a pre-set pattern on Party activities, especially when it can be knocked off course by unforeseen developments requiring a switch of focus.
Nevertheless, we have developed a greater capacity for street and town centre activity which needs to be sustained, expanded and, in some cases, guided as part of an all-party initiative.
Therefore it is proposed that we carry out five months of action over the year, highlighting issues which are essential in the period specified or which otherwise deserve a higher profile from the Party and within the left and labour movement (see Calendar for details).
Initiatives that could be taken in the month of action include: shopping centre stall, public ballot/ opinion poll, door-to-door or public leafleting, stickers and posters, letters to the press, Party or Morning Star public meeting, branch discussion (open to allies), wider movement initiatives etc.
In 2010, the Party will be celebrating its 90th year and the Morning Star (Daily Worker) its 80th. As the Daily Worker was launched at the beginning of January 1930, it would be appropriate for Party organisations and Morning Star groups to feature this anniversary during the first quarter of the year if possible, ensuring that labour movement and progressive organisations are involved at the earliest possible stage in any initiatives.
Events to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Party could then be concentrated in the period following the General Election, especially in June and at the end of July when the decisive foundation congress took place in 1920. The Communist University of Britain will be held on the same weekend in that year, and will be one of the high-points of our celebrations. Party initiatives could include public meetings, lectures, a discussion forum, a series of education classes, a social and/or fund-raising event etc. and every effort should be made to involve friends and allies. Party centre and Manifesto Press will produce a range of publications and other materials to use in this work.
During this period from the May EC until the end of July, we will also be conducting our £25,000 Anniversary Appeal. Every Party member will need to be approached personally, as well as many of our supporters, in order for us to meet this target, which is essential if our party is to grow in numbers and influence.
This year of celebration should also provide numerous opportunities to win new members to the Party, linked to specific initiatives currently being considered.
Many Party organisations are already involved in solidarity work for the peoples of Cuba, Colombia, Palestine and Venezuela. Our drives for Branch affiliations to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and for greater involvement in the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign have brought some success, although we still need more Party organisations to respond.
The international Communist movement will be marking November 29 as a world-wide day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, which suggests that November would be a suitable month of action for campaigning work. Activities to demand the release of the Miami Five should also be given priority in our international campaigning work.
We need the biggest possible turnout for the Communist University of Britain, which is likely to be held in central London this year in order to maximise turnout. But it should also be noted that the Midlands, Welsh and Scottish Communist Universities have all proved to be very successful in helping to promote debate and Party activity. All functioning districts and nations are encouraged to consider organising their own universities in the run up to or after the CUB. Central assistance can be provided in drawing up the programme and publicity materials, including through the Party's website.
This is intended to be a guide to Party organisations—not an instruction. Nor is it meant to replace campaigning on more local issues and ongoing campaigning work. Branches, districts and nations are urged to do what they can, if necessary identifying those months of action in which they can prioritise their participation.
January/ February: plan campaigning activities at Branch AGM.
January-May: People's Charter and anti-fascist campaigning
February month of action: public spending cuts and capitalist crisis
February 5-7: Trade Union & Political Cadre School
February: LGBT History Month
February 27: Public Ownership Day
March month of action: housing
March 6: Co-ordinating Committee of CPs in Britain IWD seminar
March 6: YCL 45th congress
March 8: International Women's Day
March 13: IWD rally & social
April month of action: unemployment and capitalist crisis
April-May: prioritise electoral work
May 1: international workers' day
May 8: Victory in Europe Day
May 16: Highgate Oration
June 19: Morning Star national conference
June-July: meetings to celebrate Party's 90th anniversary
July 16-18: Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival
July 31-August 1: Communist University of Britain
September month of action: Trident replacement
October month of action: domestic fuel prices
October 30-31: Party 51st congress
November month of action: Palestine solidarity (especially November 29)
December month of action: global warming and sustainable energy
Party centre will be producing a range of materials (leaflets, stickers, posters, brochures, briefing papers etc.) to assist Party organisations in their campaigning work. Some of these will be downloadable from the central website or Party centre, free of charge, for local reproduction. Party centre is also prepared to supply copies of leaflets, stickers and posters in bulk for mass use—but it is vital that these are paid for by the Party organisation that orders them, at cost price. Obviously, payment on order is preferred, but payment on or soon after delivery is acceptable. However, except in cases of real hardship where political activity will take precedence, payment will be essential in order to meet strict budgetary requirements.
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