Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Report of the Socialist Party Wales Conference

There is another report of this at

Last Sunday saw the annual conference of the Socialist Party Wales in Swansea. I went to this as part of a three string delegation from Bangor, travelling down on the Saturday to stop overnight in Cardiff before going to the conference the next day. The long journey times had meant that several other people could not come down from Bangor. The Conference, however, provided us a chance to meet with Socialist Party members, and other party supporters from across Wales and learn from each others experiences.
The first session of the conference featured a discussion on Latin America that was introduced by the Socialist Party General Secretary, Peter Taaffe. The introduction focussed on many issues that have been in the pages of The Socialist and Socialism Today over the last few months, particularly on Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil where the CWI has sections. There were quite a few interesting things raised during the discussion, but most interesting for me was the development of the trade union movement in Venezuela, the creation of the UNT and the roles of various lefts including the most well-known figure, Orlando Chirono, who had (mistakenly in my opinion) campaigned against the recent referendum.
The second discussion was on the world economy, and to some extent what the prospect of recession would mean for workers in Wales. Again, there have been several articles in the publications of the Socialist Party on this matter. In the discussion comment was made on the recent attacks on welfare claimants and the experiences of Tower colliery which recently closed. In this session a short statement of Wales was discussed and agreed upon, with some comment from several delegates as to the consequences of the reduced funding councils are receiving from the Assembly government, which is leading to in particular closures of schools across Wales, but also of libraries, museums and other service cuts.
Finally there was a discussion on building the Socialist Party in Wales and the election of a new regional committee. In particular, myself and other comrades from Bangor were congratulated on our work in establishing a branch here, the first of a likely four new branches the party in Wales is in the process of establishing this year. Other work, will include trying to provide some more Welsh language material as well as improvements to our regional website, where hopefully there will be some footage of this vary conference.

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