Communist perspectives

AN AGGREGATE meeting of the CPGB began discussion of our perspectives for the coming year. The main perspective document produced by the national organiser of the Party included a resolution on the programme submitted by the Provisional Central Committee.

The discussion on the document itself was only begun in a very brief way since debate ranged around a number of organisational questions. Comrades from the ‘Provisional Polemic Committee’ faction had submitted amendments to the resolution on programme but wanted to rule out discussion on the perspectives as a whole since they had only received this document three days prior to the aggregate.

Other comrades expressed the same concern but wanted to begin discussion, since this could continue as long as was necessary and no vote need yet be taken.

The question of this new faction’s name was also the centre of much debate. Objection was raised to the word ‘committee’, as committees are electable and recallable, but factions are not.

The comrades in the faction, who are also in Open Polemic, said they had chosen the name deliberately and asserted that it was acceptable since it was provisional - like the Provisional Central Committee. Other comrades agreed that the use of the term ‘committee’ was not legitimate, but that we should not legislate on what factions could call themselves.

This debate, as with the perspectives document and key issues of federalism and discussion around the draft programme, will be carried over to the next aggregate.

Comrade John Bridge introduced discussion on a proposal for an International Polemical Journal. He, along with a comrade from the Organisation of Revolutionary Workers of Iran, would take this proposal to an international conference in Calcutta. The idea of an international journal is not a new one for our organisation. A previous attempt - the International Information Bulletin - failed since other organisations were not willing to engage in open debate and wanted to veto articles they did not agree with. We now want to go forward from this.

One comrade from the ‘Provisional Polemic Committee’ thought such a journal was a premature move and again expressed concern that the proposal was not submitted in written form.

Other comrades thought that developing debate and contact internationally was important to begin today and could be the first tentative step towards the international working class movement we need. The idea only began to emerge at the Party’s October school and the conference itself was due to begin on November 10. A written proposal was still being drafted by John Bridge and the comrade from Orwi. Comrades were concerned that those who were angry at the lack of forewarning were in danger of stifling leadership initiative which would risk important opportunities being missed.

It was agreed that Comrade Bridge should go ahead and take the proposal to the conference; he should report back in more detail to the next aggregate, where a definite course of action could be agreed.