Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Socialist Party Wales Conference 2009

Apologies for not blogging much but I've had a very busy week, including going down to Swansea at the weekend for the annual Socialist Party Wales Conference with five other people from Bangor. The report below is taken from the SPW website (http://www.socialistpartywales.org.uk/) and a version will be appearing in the Socialist.

The capitalist crisis which deepened even further in the last few weeks formed the background to the Conference of fifty members of SPW in Swansea on February 1st. Naturally it was the subject of the first conference session, with Lynn Walsh, editor of Socialism Today, leading the discussion.

Report by Iain Dalton (Bangor Socialist Party)

Lynn pointed out that events were proceeding at a rapid pace at the moment, with the crisis becoming deeper around the world and capitalist leaders becoming despondent as their system spirals out of control. But whilst Socialists are by no means immune from the hardships that all workers will suffer during this recession, we are in a good position to try and give a lead to the inevitable struggles that will take place over the next period as we have correctly predicted the crisis in our materials. The beginnings of a fight back by the working class worldwide in the last week was discussed, particularly the wildcat strikes of construction workers across the country where our comrades had intervened to help to steer the anger towards the capitalist firms who use EU regulations to bring in foreign worker at lower pay rates and worse conditions and not against the workers themselves


Ross Saunders (Cardiff West Branch Secretary) to report on the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign and on the plans being made to develop that both nationally and in Wales. He pointed out that youth unemployment was already large and is set to grow much bigger

The Conference also heard from Yahya al-Faifa, exiled Saudi Trade unionist who is facing deportation by the Home Office. His inspiring struggle to organise Saudi workers which led to his exile and his efforts in supporting workers struggles in Wales, gave comrades determination to spread the campaign further throughout the labour movement.


The final session of the conference was introduced by Alec Thraves, SPW Secretary. Alec reported on the growth of our organisation with new branches in Bangor and Cardiff (in Cardiff the old branch has subdivided as it has grown into East and West) as well as an emerging branch in Newport. He noted the dramatic growth in the party (increasing 25% in the last six months) with already 10 new members joining so far this year and old members revitalised by the developing crisis. Alec also re-emphasised the tremendous role Welsh comrades play in financing the party, with comrades making large sacrifices with membership subscriptions, but also through smashing Fighting Fund targets every quarter. This was reinforced by an excellent collection of over £900 at the conference.

The last year has seen the Party in Wales breaking new ground with solid growth in South as well as beginning to put down roots in the North too. This was reflected in the conference attendance of many new and young comrades who left reinvigorated and with the feeling that these will be exciting times for Socialists after the previous difficult period.

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