London May Day March and other British events

Martin Spellman mspellman at
Mon Apr 8 06:14:27 MDT 2002

[Details of the London May Day March; 3 seminars and this year's Socialist
Conference with a couple of comments - MS]

Wednesday 1st May
Assemble Clerkenwell Green 12 noon, move off 1pm to Trafalgar Square

[For the first time since the 19th century the London Mayor has relaxed the
Session Order, which forbids demonstrations within a mile of Parliament when
it is sitting. The statue of Charles I is at the top of Whitehall, one mile
from Parliament, the significance being that that was the nearest he would
ever get to it again - MS]

Tony Benn
Ruth Winters, Vice President Fire Brigades Union
Mark Sewotka, GS elect PCS
Barry Camfield, Asst GS, TGWU
Peter Bunting, Asst GS, Northern Ireland, Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Diane Abbott MP
John McDonnell MP

Joint Chairs:
Anita Halpin NUJ and SERTUC
Bob Tennant, Secretary Greater London Association of Trades Councils

Socialist Campaign Group

Three seminars on key policy areas

These seminars will put MPs, policy analysts and senior trade unionists
together with Labour and trade union activists to reach a consensus on
practical areas of political and policy development. They will feed into the
2002 Socialist Conference. All will be chaired by John McDonnell MP. All
start at 7pm in Committee Room 10, House of Commons. No admission charge.

[To me seminars are a 'place of learning' so the expectation is that
activists will be gathered to be told the accepted wisdom. The speakers (too
many anyway) will take up most of the time and questions will be a vehicle
for more amplifications by the esteemed ones - MS]

Tuesday 16 April
Local Democracy and Housing
With Peter Booth (TGWU), Lynne Jones MP, Peter Latham (LCDOLG), Austin
Mitchell MP

Tuesday 14 May
Panel to be confirmed -- includes Barry Camfield (TGWU) and Bob Crow (RMT)

Tuesday 18 June
Peace and International Policy
With Tony Benn, Andy Gilchrist (FBU), Bruce Kent (CND), Alice Mahon MP, Dan
Plesch (RUSI)

After New Labour: the Socialist Conference
Saturday 20 July 2002
10am - 4pm, TUC Congress House, Great Russell St. WC1

Featuring the original statement of the Labour Representation Committee.
Further details to be announced. Attendance by prior registration, payment
details to be announced

Further details: campaigngroup at +44 20 7622 5734
or bob.tennant at +44 20 8558 6612

[People regard my comments as cynical and grumpy but I have been to these
before and it seems that the audience is just getting older and fewer. There
seems to be little acknowledgement, analysis or responsibility for  previous
attempts, such as in the early 80s when Kinnock displaced Benn; the current
situation, where Blair got rid of the fabled 'Clause 4' in 1995; let alone
the current prospects, which seem to rely on the return of swinging
pendulums, now far to the right, or the expectation of lights at the end of
tunnels. If the British were to get to socialism by holding conferences and
drinking beer we would have had a revolution several hundred times over -

Martin Spellman
<mspellman at>

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