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james connolly portrait

POLICY ROOTS

The original Socialist Labour Party was founded on 7th June 1903 by Scottish socialists including George Yates, Tom Bell, Neil McLean and Irish Republican James Connolly. Splitting from the 'reformist' Social Democratic Federation the rebels used Connolly's paper 'the Socialist' to announce the formation of a political party committed to socialism. They beleived that only a party drawing on the tradition of industrial struggle could advance the interests of workers.

Following the foundation of the Labour Representation Committee in 1900 and its successor, the Labour Party, in 1910, the status of the SLP was compromised and by 1923 it was no longer operating.

The original SLP 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.

Connolly's Paper

REVIVAL

On 4th May 1996 following the ditching of the Labour Party's constitution, its 'commitment' to common ownership and its eventual embrace of the free market, the Socialist Labour Party was re-established 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 contributed to the founding congress of the SLP. Quite rightly they saw a Socialist Labour Party not tied to the structures of reformism 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. 

HERE for Arthur Scargill's 1995 article calling for the re-constitution of Socialist Labour

HERE for the SLP 1996 founding 'Manifesto'