Decisions of new ULA national branch council


1)      The ULA to produce a leaflet about the water tax proposing positive alternatives to water meters and charges

2)      ULA members should caucus before CAHWT Steering Committee meetings

3)      Five policy groups have been established with chairs as follows:

Economy, Brian O’Boyle; Mortgages, Michael O’Brien/Melissa Halpin; Environment, Brendan Young; Health, Peadar O’Grady; Equality, Rita Harrold.

Two of these groups to report back to the next ULA national council in September

4)      ULA Steering Committee to launch a campaign seeking Stand Orders from 200 individuals.

5)      That the ULA will have a visible contingent at the Dublin Pride 2012 parade on Saturday 30th March and produces a statement/leaflet for the occasion.

6)      The National Council calls upon the National Steering Committee to register the United Left Alliance as a politicial party and that this registration process should begin immediately. The Council recognises that the 2014 Local and European Elections will be an opportunity for the United Left Alliance to increase its profile and representation. Members of the United Left Alliance once endorsed by their local branch or branches and by the National Steering Committee would then be able to run in those elections, should they so desire, under the name of the United left Alliance.

7)      The National Council recognises the important role young people have in building a radical left movement and supports the setting up of a Youth Section of the United Left Alliance. Every effort should be made to establish this Youth Section in every constituency and all Third Level Institutions with a view to holding a National Youth Conference before the end of 2012.

8)      Regarding the establishment of ULA branches in third-level institutions

It is proposed that the Steering Committee mandates the establishment of a working-group on building the ULA amongst students and in third-level institutions.

Such a working group would ideally be comprised of the lead organisers/convenors for both Socialist Youth and the Socialist Worker Student Societies and nonaligned members from existing third-level branches.

The working-group should be mandated to prepare a discussion document to be presented at a forthcoming ULA Branch Council on June 16th.

Although the terms of reference of the working group should be broad, the following topics should be included in its deliberations and final document:

  • Relationship/cooperation with SY/SWSS/Sus/USI/FEE etc.
  • Solidarity with education sector workers’/education campaigns
  • Role of ULA third-level/student branches within ULA nationally
  • National platform/forum for third-level/student branches
  • Third-level/student specific campaigns
  • Recruitment
  • Funding and Material
  • Plans for 2012/13

The working group should contain no less than 5 members and should be convened by September 21st at the latest.

9)      The Council urges the SC to begin work on producing a ULA newsletter which would allow members and branches to inform each other of their activities; promote debate and give the alliance a physical presence at meetings/demos. Editorial board consisting of 4 people – 1 PBPA,1 SP, 1 WUAG and 1 non-aligned should be set up by end of June to examine format and design, how it would be funded, its distribution etc.

10)   ULA should look outwards instead of inwards, get involved in campaign and recruit new members.

11)   Having abandoned their “better fairer” approach to tackling austerity, the ICTU leadership with their failure to declare their outright opposition to the Fiscal Treaty recently, should be compelled to resign

12)   The minutes of Steering Committee meetings to be circulated from now on.

13)   Events to be added to weekly ULA newsletter should be emailed to unitedleftalliance@gmail.com by 5pm on Friday


6 Responses to “Decisions of new ULA national branch council”

  1. 1 Mark P
    June 20, 2012 at 19:40

    It’s worth noting, that technically speaking these are proposals by the branch council to the steering committee, rather than decisions of the branch council. It is possible that some of these things will prove controversial.

    • June 20, 2012 at 22:22

      That is correct, these decisions don’t have any direct affect on ULA policy or actions – they do however carry a significant moral authority and the national steering committee would pay a political price if it was to simply ignore these proposals.

      • 3 Mark P
        June 21, 2012 at 00:25

        I’m not suggesting for a moment that the National Committee will just ignore any of those proposals. I’m sure they will be discussed. I’m equally sure that some of them will be adopted. I’d be less sure that all of them will be however.

        Things like a contingent on the Pride demonstration are completely uncontroversial. Then you have things which might not be controversial but which might clash with each other – such as proposal seven and eight.

        Then you have proposals which might actually be controversial, like the one for caucusing before National Steering Committee meetings of the CAHWT. If “caucus” just means having a chat so that everyone knows where everyone stands, there won’t be a problem with it. If, on the other hand, it means presenting some kind of ULA monolith to the other forces involved, well, let’s just say that’s not likely to happen. Thus far disagreements in the CAHWT have been orthogonal to the ULA.

        As an aside, you may find the SWP’s magazine of some interest. Not unfortunately for the quality of most of its articles, but for Kieran Allen’s generally dull and tendentious article which seems to finish with a statement of intent to build People Before Profit as some kind of alternative to the ULA.

      • June 21, 2012 at 07:58

        Unclear to me why you think 7 & 8 might clash with each other, 8 just seems to be a filling out with more detail the general thrust of 7.

        I do agree that the caucusing before CAHWT steering committee meetings could be problematic depending on how it is filled out. Interestingly so far I have received no invite to any such caucus before the meeting on Saturday which I am attending as a Cork delegate.

        I haven’t read the Kieran Allen article yet, or indeed John Molyneux’s “The politics of the Socialist Party”…

        I will be posting reviews of both here when I’ve had a chance to read them.

      • 5 Mark P
        June 21, 2012 at 18:43

        The Molyneux piece seems to be largely based on a (misleading) British SWP article about the British Militant in the 1980s, with some less than honest whining about Ireland more recently grafted on to it. I was a bit disappointed by it. I thought it would be sharper and that it would contain more about Ireland.

  2. 6 Dónal
    July 6, 2012 at 12:34

    On proposals 7 & 8: I can imagine there being difficulty getting SY and SWSS to work together. I’ve had more exposure to SWSS and I could see their rather irritating ‘recruit, recruit, recruit’ approach and how SWP conduct themselves generally getting in the way of things. While I’m not privy to the internal life of the ULA, and I haven’t read that Allen article yet, in my area (Dún Laoghaire) PBPA is definitely pushed more than the ULA. In fact, I’ve yet to see or hear anything about there even being an active ULA branch, which is pretty bad considering there’s a ULA TD here.

    Look forward to reading your thoughts on the SWP pieces Alan.

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