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POLICY ROOTS

The current Socialist Labour Party is the re-constitution of a party founded in 1903 by a group of Scottish socialists including George Yates, Tom Bell and Irish Republican James Connolly who split from the "reformist" Social Democratic Federation. The founders of the original SLP believed that only a dedicated socialist political party could represent the interests of workers in alliance with a radical trades unionism rooted in the traditions of the organised industrial working class.

Following the foundation of the Labour Representation Committee in 1900 and its successor, the Labour Party, in 1910, the status of the SLP was undermined and in 1923 it ceased to operate.

Socialist Labour warned against the federal Labour Party which it regarded as a party of liberal social democracy which would move to the right and embrace capitalism.

REVIVAL

Following the ditching of the Labour Party's constitution and in particular its "commitment" to common ownership followed by its open embrace in 1995 of the free market, the Socialist Labour Party was re-established on 4th May 1996 with Arthur Scargill, the Miner's President, as its leader.

People from the Communist Party, the Labour Party and many in the trades union movement, disillusioned by developments inside 'New' Labour, welcomed the revival of the SLP. Individuals and groups who believe in federalism, wanting to combine membership of the SLP with other parties or in "alliance" with other groups, rejected Socialist Labour.

The comrades who joined in the consultation prior to the founding congress supported the ideal of one unified, constitutionally based party. Quite correctly, they saw Socialist Labour as the only idea capable of winning support for socialism amongst the Labour and Trades Union Movement and eventually amongst the people as a whole. 

click HERE for Arthur Scargill's 1995 article calling for the establishment of a Socialist Labour Party