Friday, 17 April 2009

Capitalism Isn't Working - Building the New Common Sense

Building the New Common Sense – Social Ownership for the 21st Century is the pamphlet published by LEAP last September. Thanks to many LEAP supporters we have sold enough copies to break even. Unlike the capitalist banks, we break even, haven't relied on dodgy loans or Government bailouts and are reinvesting the (very) small surplus in our forthcoming conference.

In the preface to Building the New Common Sense, I wrote:

"This pamphlet is the start of a debate and of a campaign to put the question of ownership back on the industrial and political agenda. As the UK faces recession and as job losses and business failures continue to rise, this question could not be more timely."

In the concluding contribution to the pamphlet, John McDonnell MP, LEAP Chair, wrote:

"Now is the time . . . to reinvigorate a debate about a new role for social ownership in the 21st century. This pamphlet is designed to stimulate a debate among trade unionists and all those who want a stake in their community. From this debate, we need to take forward a campaign for a worker controlled economy, accountable to our communities, into our union branches and conferences, into our workplaces, and through the TUC, and eventually even Parliament."

Since then workers have occupied workplaces at Waterford Crystal and currently at Visteon. We are hoping to have a worker from the Visteon occupation at the LEAP conference 'Capitalism Isn't Working' which takes place next Saturday, 25th April. The conference will also include a workshop entitled 'Resisting the Recession: the industrial agenda' led by Professor Gregor Gall and Jerry Jones (both contributors to Building the New Common Sense).

If you are interested in continuing the debate and building a campaign for workers' control and in solidarity with those workers taking action, I hope you will attend and participate in the conference.

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