Saturday February 23 2013
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IDOOP's conference proposals

Copies of the motions which IDOOP will attempt to put to the upcoming Special Conference have been made available.

Concessions? Not sure if serious....

Contents:

In Defence of Party Unity

Motion on the role of Comrade X

Motion on the Dispute Committee

Faction list

 


In Defence of Party Unity

Comrades on all sides of the debate over the crisis in the party share one common aim - to defend the best interests of the SWP. Disagreements over internal questions of this nature are not differences in perspective or a break from the ideas of Leninism. That they have been treated as such is a major cause of the crisis gripping the party. The culture of debate was a central part of the democracy commission. The SWP must be capable of accepting, discussing and overcoming matters of political difference if we are to operate as an effective revolutionary organisation. These questions are best resolved through debate and argument rather than disciplinary measures.

Special conference notes:

Many comrades feel they have been marginalised because they have expressed concerns over the CC's handling of the disputes case and its aftermath. In a number of districts, and the party office, trusted comrades have been removed from roles as a result of opinions expressed internally over this question.

In particular our student comrades have experienced a fractious relationship with the CC since conference. The central committee has rapidly changed perspectives agreed at conference. Our leading comrade in NUS was barred at short notice from re-standing for the executive. While the CC has the right to change perspectives and remove candidates, it is highly unusual for this to be done without proper discussion or a serious attempt to win comrades to the new perspective. The CC's actions appear to be driven by internal considerations relating to positions students have taken on the dispute. This has involved a number of false arguments about the problem of autonomism, feminism and the failure of students to take an"ideological turn" which has angered students proud of their record in fighting for our politics on campus.

It would be a disaster for the SWP if comrades were to continue to feel disenfranchised from party work as a result of positions taken over this question. We need to draw a line under the matter so the party as a whole can continue to discuss the broader questions raised by the crisis in a constructive way.

Special conference resolves:

  1. That, as stated in the CC motion to the special conference, there needs to be an on-going discussion through the appropriate party structures, events and publications. Whether comrades were supporters of the CC statement or the faction should have no bearing on their role in that discussion.
  2. That the report from the democracy commission provides the basis for the party to move forward and reassert a genuine culture of debate and discussion.
  3. That the CC takes a lead in organising to overcome rifts that have opened up between comrades in some districts/branches over this issue and take practical steps to ensure no one feels marginalised.
  4. That the CC take steps to show student comrades that they are considered an integral and valued part of our party. This should include facilitating a proper period of discussion about student perspectives.
  5. That there should be no attempt to reorganise national, district or branch responsibilities in response to comrades positions on the dispute and its aftermath if we are to maintain unity in our work locally and nationally.

Motion on role of comrade X

  1. We are for the unity of the party and believe it is vital that the special conference provides the opportunity for a swift, political resolution to the current crisis so that we can move forward with maximum clarity and minimum loss of members. We accept the decisions of conference and are not seeking to have them overturned.
  2. The outcome of conference was to confirm the disputes committee report. Conference did not clarify the role of Comrade X.
  3. This lack of clarity remains a divisive issue and a potential flashpoint. This is not a matter of guilt or innocence. The question of whether it is appropriate for X to continue to represent the party in its united front work is a matter of political judgement. Such judgements are frequently made regarding comrades' roles and have nothing to do with disciplinary action.

Special conference resolves:

1.That Comrade X stands down from any paid or representative roles in the party or united front work for the foreseeable future.


Motion on the Dispute Committee

Special Conference Notes

1. Dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct is often very difficult, but the party must strive to address both the political questions they raise, and also to learn from the experience to improve, where possible, the procedures for handling such complaints in the future. Taking these actions constitutes an appropriate political response to the concerns raised.

2. Concerns relating to the composition of the disputes committee and potential or perceived conflicts of interest the line of questioning pursued with the two women involved in the case what approach the DC should take when a serious criminal charge such as rape is involved and how the DC addresses political questions of conduct when complaints of a sexual nature are involved.

Special Conference Resolves:

1. To elect a commission to look into all aspects of disputes committee procedures regarding cases of sexual misconduct.

2. That this commission should consists of 6 members elected at conference and one CC nominee, and one DC nominee.

3. That such a commission should have the powers to co-opt up to three comrades with appropriate professional expertise.

4. That this commission will take written and verbal submissions from comrades interested in contributing to the process.

5. That this commission shall present its recommendations in the first IB of the next pre-conference period, to be voted on at the January 2014 annual conference.


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