made a very good start both in London and in recent by-elections. Its
membership is now higher than was ever achieved by the Socialist
To move forward
Respect needs to establish itself as a campaigning organisation with a
democratic internal life, attractive to former Labour party members,
non-aligned socialists and also create space for the future
participation of other socialist organisations, such as the Communist
Party of Britain, (CPB), the Socialist Party (CWI) and the Alliance for
One failing of
the Socialist Alliance was that many individual activists felt that the
decision process often had a predetermined outcome, given the numerical
superiority of the SWP. This meant that some members were alienated from
fully participating, and many activists were put off from joining. The
experience of the Scottish Socialist Party is not a model that can be
neatly transposed to English conditions. However, their experience of
allowing organised platforms has been broadly positive. This allows
individuals a voice and is a mechanism where domination by any one group
can be counterbalanced.
Platforms allow groups of like minded individual members of Respect the
opportunity to share ideas and develop alternative policies that can be
put forward to the whole party for consideration. This promotes debate,
and also allows members of other socialist organisations to join and
fully participate in Respect without having to relinquish their existing
to have rights. In particular, the right to organise and distribute
material in appropriate Respect meetings. They also need the right to
submit motions to conference (although a minimum membership requirement
to exercise that right is sensible). If they have a right to submit
motions, then they also need the right of representation at conference,
otherwise a political minority may have no delegates elected from the
branches to move their motion.
Platforms also have responsibilities. There is a responsibility to
respect the right of others to dissent and to organise. There is also a
responsibility not to publicly campaign against the interests of
In order to
allow Respect to reach its full potential as a broad socialist
organisation, the following amendment is suggested to the proposed
To move this
amendment we need 20 or more signatories from respect members. If you
want to add your name please contact us at:
Replace with a new section
6.1 Members have the
right to organise in Platforms or Tendencies. Respect, as a
pluralist party, recognises that a range of political points of view
is a healthy source of debate and new ideas.
Platforms/Tendencies should be open - their constitution and aims
and objectives should be brought to the attention of the National
Committee and should be available to all other party members.
have a right to be heard, to organise meetings, to produce
literature, to distribute materials at Respect meetings and, in
general, to try to influence and/or change party policy.
of at least 20 members will have the right to present resolutions to
conferences - consistent with the agenda of the conference.
of at least 20 members will have the right of representation at
annual and other conferences.
are not expected, however, to organise public campaigns against the
overall aims or policy of Respect.