Midlands Discussion Forum meeting

23 posts / 0 new
Last post
berrot
Offline
Joined: 6-03-08
Apr 24 2010 08:44
Midlands Discussion Forum meeting

Midlands Discussion Forum public meeting

You are invited to participate in the follow-up to last year’s joint meeting* of the MDF on the subject:

“The General Election: whoever wins, workers lose”

It will be held on 1 May, 2010, starting 1.30pm until 5.00pm, at:

Friends of the Earth Warehouse, 54A Allison Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B1.
(Please note the slightly later start than originally stated.)

It will comprise a short presentation by the MDF, with plenty of time for discussion of the issues raised. If you have not already indicated you intend to participate, it would help us with the organisation of the event if you could do so asap.

The subject of the meeting is timed to coincide with the present general election, partly in order to facilitate a campaign advertising its theme. To help with this, you may wish to use the leaflet we have prepared. Please feel free to adopt/adapt it howsoever you please – provided you send us a copy (to this libcom thread)!

Groups invited are:

Anarchist Federation
Communist Bulletin Discussion Group
Communist Workers Organisation
International Communist Current
Internationalist Perspective
IWW
Lotta comunista
Solidarity Federation
The Commune

For the MDF
Berrot

*Minutes may be found here:
http://libcom.org/forums/united-kingdom/midlands-discussion-forum-minutes-birmingham-meeting-25-april-2009-2705200

DON’T VOTE! ANALYSE!
Hairshirted politicians proclaim we need to cut the budget deficit – they only differ on the timing. There is a conspiracy to avoid telling us how much and where the cuts in spending and tax increases will occur.
Put it in perspective. Thatcher had a reputation for cutting expenditure,
but Darling plans to cut spending twice as hard as she did. And for 5 times longer.
So we are in for tough times all right.
Whoever is voted in to power, we will be expected to pay for the crisis we had no part in creating. Capitalist democracy is like choosing which hangman will fit the noose around our necks.
DON’T VOTE FOR SHAMOCRACY!
As soon as the vote was granted to us all, real decision-making was moved behind the scenes. Parliament is a sham, MPs are mere lobby-fodder, and we are the spectators at a circus.
Taking part in the elections only supports the myths of capitalism.
A systemic crisis needs a change of system.
DON’T JUST DON’T VOTE! ORGANISE!
The only option if you oppose the cuts to come, is to get organised. Don’t rely on MPs. They have already made up their minds.
We are not alone. Budget crises have hit countries such as Iceland, Greece, and the Baltics much earlier and harder than in Britain. Workers there have responded with massive protests and strikes, ejecting governments from power, occupying schools, universities, broadcasting studios and government offices, showing a refusal to accept the so-called “remedies” on offer.
Look at the example set by wildcat strikers at the Lindsey oil refineries, with workers across the country coming out in solidarity. Think of the Visteon workers who occupied their wind turbine factory trying to protect their jobs. And even BA cabin crews, innocent newcomers to industrial strife.
The problem is capitalism. The solution is in all our hands.
DON’T VOTE! SEEK THE ALTERNATIVE!
Capitalism has resumed its downward trajectory. Even if we all bow down and sink into helotry, capitalism cannot offer any solutions to its crisis other than temporary palliatives. The green shoots of recovery are as firmly rooted as the expiry dates on the trillions of bailouts, interest rate cuts and quantitative easing. Iceland and Greece are early portents of our future: bankrupt businesses have been “saved” by governments which as a result are themselves now plunging into bankruptcy.
Even if our MPs were incorruptible, even if all bankers and businessmen had no greed, the crisis would still have come. When profit-rates plunge, as plunge they have, economic crisis faces us with the choice:
Socialism or barbarism.

START FIGHTING BACK HERE
Join us to discuss what capitalist elections really are about and how the fight against
capitalism means not joining in the democratic charade. And what real socialist democracy means.

Come to our public meeting on this topic:
The General Election: Whoever wins – Workers lose!

Midlands Discussion Forum
1.30pm, 1st May 2010
Birmingham Friends of the Earth Warehouse
54-57 Allison Street, Digbeth,
Birmingham, B5 5TH

berrot
Offline
Joined: 6-03-08
Apr 25 2010 08:49

Just a reminder

posi
Offline
Joined: 24-09-05
Apr 25 2010 11:19

"helotry" wink

Spikymike
Offline
Joined: 6-01-07
Apr 25 2010 15:49

Apart from the use of the word 'helotry' it's quite a good short leaflet.

I presume the groups were invited some time back as this is really much too short notice for most of us who rely on Libcom for such ad's.

Your efforts have been at least partly responcible for inspiring our efforts here in Manchester with the Class Struggle Forum so I hope you keep going.

Best of luck anyway.

berrot
Offline
Joined: 6-03-08
Apr 25 2010 20:48

Spikeymike -
Yes, we did send out preliminary notices - including postings on libcom for 3 successive days - a while back. Sorry you missed them but hope to see you again on Saturday! And pleased to hear the CS Forum is maintaining its momentum.

Oh, and helotry: a Spartan form of slavery reputedly more abject than the wage variety. I always thought the word was in more frequent use than is apparently the case! But no worries, I don't mean it literally.

berrot
Offline
Joined: 6-03-08
Apr 26 2010 16:20

.. and another reminder.

Alf's picture
Alf
Offline
Joined: 6-07-05
Apr 27 2010 15:51

Very interesting to hear from Spikeymike that the Midlands Discussion Forum has been one of the inspirations behind the formation of the Manchester Class Struggle Forum, whose formation seems to be to be a very positive development .

Perhaps one of the items that could be discussed on Saturday would be the possibility of transforming the Midlands Discussion Forum into a Midlands Class Struggle Forum - the difference being, as I understand it, is that the latter would be a place for organising intervention as well as discussion.

Also, Berrot are you proposing the leaflet you drafted as something to be adopted at the meeting, and then distributed in the days prior to the election? If so, the best way to present it and use it would be as a statement by the (hypothetical) Midlands Class Struggle Forum, which obviously could have a much wider distribution than in the MIdlands, and others could of course associate themselves with it.

Sorry I can't be there in person - slowly recovering from a slipped disc. But ICC comrades will certainly be there.

berrot
Offline
Joined: 6-03-08
Apr 27 2010 16:46

Alf -
On the leaflet. Perhaps I should have clarified - I thought others might like to adapt it for their own purposes as part of a campaign during the election period. I am hoping the MDF will be able to distribute copies themselves immediately prior to the meeting on Saturday (and even earlier if possible at other venues locally), but a more widespread campaign would obviously be far better. This is especially the case if it became part of a more unified campaigning outlook by those who attend on Saturday - more on this come the day.

Hope your disc improves!

movyk
Offline
Joined: 27-04-10
Apr 27 2010 16:58

Hi, I'll try to come (unless my cold turns into shingles). Thanks for putting this on!

Monika (IWW)

berrot
Offline
Joined: 6-03-08
Apr 28 2010 19:24

Monika -
Thanks, and we shall look forward to seeing you! This means we will have reps from ICC, ICT, IP, CBDG and IWW - at least.

berrot
Offline
Joined: 6-03-08
Apr 29 2010 22:12

...Saturday is almost here...

Spassmaschine
Offline
Joined: 29-01-07
Apr 29 2010 22:25
berrot wrote:
CBDG/quote]
What is this? Former Communist Bulletin Group?
berrot
Offline
Joined: 6-03-08
Apr 30 2010 23:06

Spasmaschine -
It's the Communist Bulletin Discussion Group - the old CBG has reformed as a discussion circle. Any particular reason for the question?

Spassmaschine
Offline
Joined: 29-01-07
May 1 2010 01:25

Not really, beyond trainspotting, just didn't recognise the acronym.

gypsy
Offline
Joined: 20-09-09
May 1 2010 07:24
Alf wrote:
Very interesting to hear from Spikeymike that the Midlands Discussion Forum has been one of the inspirations behind the formation of the Manchester Class Struggle Forum, whose formation seems to be to be a very positive development .

Perhaps one of the items that could be discussed on Saturday would be the possibility of transforming the Midlands Discussion Forum into a Midlands Class Struggle Forum - the difference being, as I understand it, is that the latter would be a place for organising intervention as well as discussion.

Also, Berrot are you proposing the leaflet you drafted as something to be adopted at the meeting, and then distributed in the days prior to the election? If so, the best way to present it and use it would be as a statement by the (hypothetical) Midlands Class Struggle Forum, which obviously could have a much wider distribution than in the MIdlands, and others could of course associate themselves with it.

Sorry I can't be there in person - slowly recovering from a slipped disc. But ICC comrades will certainly be there.

Are you doing hamstring stretches, to take some of the weight off your spine?

Alf's picture
Alf
Offline
Joined: 6-07-05
May 1 2010 08:44

yes, I have a stern but kindly physiotherapist who has given me a programme of exercises, plus I am taking various forms of white men's medicine. I am hoping for some acupuncture to activate my chi channels as well, but can't get that on the NHS apparently.

gypsy
Offline
Joined: 20-09-09
May 1 2010 20:21

Im pretty sure you can get acupuncture on the NHS. I think it is usually given after all other avenues have been pursued. Like hydrotherapy, gym etc.

shug's picture
shug
Offline
Joined: 12-11-06
May 1 2010 22:10

Yup. Once they've tried homeopathy, magnetic therapy, wholistic Indian candle waxing, and them crystals.

Anarchia's picture
Anarchia
Offline
Joined: 18-03-06
May 2 2010 04:17

My flatmate is an acupuncturist. He's a fucking arsehole. Therefore, acupuncture is for arseholes.

edit - also, hope your recovery goes smoothly Alf smile

Alf's picture
Alf
Offline
Joined: 6-07-05
May 2 2010 09:09

thanks Asher. There are small signs of improvement, but it's a long haul. Regarding acupuncture, I've seen a few doctors already about my misfortune, including a consultant, and though one of them are 'holistic' types, all of them seem to accept that acupuncture can be effective, particularly for pain relief.

shug's picture
shug
Offline
Joined: 12-11-06
May 2 2010 10:53

Well there you go then You can always trust a doctor. After all, according to the BMJ, 42% of British GP's are prepared to refer patients for homeopathic treatments.
So lets just ignore this sort of cynicism:
http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=419
or
http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/acu.html
or
http://www.ncahf.org/pp/acu.html
or
The presentation of research evidence by the likes of Edzard Ernst & Simon Singh, or Rose Shapiro etc

Or, buggrit, you can just go on believing in magical thinking, just like a hell of a lot of doctors.

miles's picture
miles
Offline
Joined: 21-09-08
May 2 2010 12:05

Getting back to the actual topic in hand - how about some feedback on the actual meeting Berrot?

berrot
Offline
Joined: 6-03-08
May 2 2010 22:18

Miles -
The aim is to do as last year and post up the presentations and minutes, once they're done. It went fine and may have opened up a possibility or two. Be patient!