Good grief, Socialism 2009 is almost upon us! For readers unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the Socialist Party's calendar, Socialism is our annual weekend educational school/rally. It affords an opportunity for comrades to get stuck into a number of tightly focused sessions on a variety of topics (examples here and here) and get up to some general tomfoolery too.
Looking at how things have gone for the SP this year, Socialism 09 promises to be the biggest event yet. We have not one but three union general secretaries speaking at Saturday night's Rally for Socialism - the POA's (and SP member) Brian Caton, Matt Wrack of the fire brigade's union, and the RMT's Bob Crow. In addition the Irish Socialist Party's MEP, Joe Higgins and SP general secretary, Peter Taaffe will speak. And yes, without a doubt, it will be wrapped up in the traditional way.
Unfortunately this will be the first Socialism I've missed since my first in 2005. It's a shame because there's more than a few sessions I fancy. On the Saturday afternoon I probably would have headed to 'Britain after the general election', which will be discussing what we can expect from an incoming Tory government. Sunday morning would be a toss up between the forum on capitalism in crisis and the session on Sri Lanka. And for the final one in the afternoon it has to be the discussion on working class political representation with ourselves, the Greens, the RMT, Respect, the LRC and the SWP. I am an inveterate sectarian so what do you expect? Chances are our friends the International Bolshevik Tendency will be running a fringe meeting (see this, for example). If I was a betting man I'd wager they'll be denouncing us for accepting Brian Caton as a member. Shame the only folk who'll turn up will be their erstwhile comrades from the Spartacist League.
Just because I won't be going doesn't mean this blog will be a Socialism-free zone. I've got a couple of comrades who've pledged to guess blog a couple of sessions for me. But I want more! If you're going and fancy a stab writing about a talk/discussion, your overall impressions, the socialist party at the Saint Aloysius Social Club and what not, drop me a line.
Socialism 2009 takes place over the weekend of November 7th and 8th. Get your tickets here and come along!