Left Unity: Communist Platform formed

Mark Fischer on the formation of the Communist Platform

We are proposing this Communist Platform in Left Unity to ensure that there is a hearing for genuine working class politics in the debates on the founding principles of any new party, culminating at the LU conference on November 30.

Readers will see that our statement consists of the original text of the Socialist Platform plus the amendments the CPGB put forward at the SP’s September 14 national meeting. With the single exception of an amendment on Europe, all these won a majority - although the vote was indicative.

This new platform is an unfortunate necessity, in many ways. From the point of view of the CPGB, the original draft of the SP represented a step forward - it was pleasing in that here seemed to be a group of comrades actually putting forward the politics that they professed to believe in as the political basis for a new party.

The unfortunate fact is, however, that at the September 14 meeting, the SP’s original drafting group - and in particular its leading figure, Nick Wrack - collapsed politically. The comrades took two steps back. They won the support of the meeting to limit itself to indicative votes only on possible changes to the platform, using a spurious argument about protecting the democratic rights of the platform signatories who were not present. Notwithstanding this, comrades like Nick Wrack then proceeded to vote against amendments they apparently believe in, despite previously underlining his sympathy with our approach in several CPGB forums in the recent past.

Logically therefore, the original drafting committee does not believe in these politics and have presumably framed the original text in a way that would obscure the differences between Marxism and a left reading of clause four-type politics.

Under these circumstances, clarity is key. Given that it now seems certain that there will no opportunities to amend the SP before (or at) Left Unity’s November conference, putting forward this Communist Platform will at least allow principled Marxist politics to be argued.