Developing alternatives: support Croydon’s Assembly

Ahead of its first meeting this weekend, Ted Knight makes the case for the South London Borough’s community assembly

November 11, 2014 · 3 min read

TUC Oct-2014The rise of UKIP in the European elections this summer—confirmed at recent by-elections in Kent and Manchester—is the starkest indication yet that the present political system is dying on its feet. The three major parties find it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves from each other, reinforcing what can fairly be termed as a crisis of democracy.

Increasing numbers of people are alienated from a politics that is too often regarded as self-serving and unrepresentative. This is no small matter for working people, who were at the forefront of the struggle for political representation through the vote in the 19th century and the building of the Labour Party in the 20th.

In this light, Croydon Trades Union Council decided to sponsor an assembly, taking place on Saturday, November 15 (10am-4.30pm). The aim is to give local trade unionists, activists, environmentalists, community groups and campaigners across the board an independent, collective voice. They are being invited to take part in a working organisation: a gathering that goes beyond simply sharing the disturbing experiences of life in Cameron’s Britain.

The all-day event will be built around working groups, while guest speakers will be asked to set out the challenges we face in building a movement for change. John McDonnell MP, Mark Serwotka (General Secretary, PCS Union), Philipa Harvey (NUT) and Nero Ughwujabo (Croydon Black and Ethnic Minority Forum) will be among those on the platform.

We want people to participate fully in developing policy ideas and strategies that go further than the usual shopping lists. The plan is that the working groups will continue to meet after November 15 and take their ideas into the broader community. The assembly is designed to give working people confidence in their ability to create change for themselves.

The Scottish independence referendum showed a massive appetite for debate and discussion when people saw they had a possibility of changing an entire political framework. Initiatives such as ours, together with the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and movements like Occupy, can help towards bringing about the fairer, more democratic society we all want.

Please lend the assembly your support, whether you live in the borough or not.

Croydon Assembly: 10.00am – 4.30pm, Saturday November 15, 2014

Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, CR0 1BD

To register interest, sign up on Facebook or register on Eventbrite

Ted Knight is an executive member of Croydon Trades Union Council; picture credit BBC



The radical potential of the Corbyn project

Even worse than failing to win office would be winning it while unprepared for the realities of government. Christine Berry considers what Labour needs to do to avoid the fate of Syriza in Greece

Photo of Boris with his hand on his head

The crisis of Conservatism

The Conservative Party is in a process of ideological decline or even disintegration, argue James Butler and Richard Seymour.

Why we’ve joined the global climate strike

Landry Ninteretse and Ian Rivera share perspectives from Kenya and the Philippines and call for universal energy systems that are clean and renewable, public and decentralised


The World Transformed 2019

The World Transformed, FYI

Red Pepper’s picks of The World Transformed festival, in Brighton from 21-24 September

photo showing posters for twt on colourful wall

Take part in building a people’s manifesto for the movement

Winning elections is not enough. To transform society we need to involve the people in policy making, argue Kerem Dikerdem and Annie Quick

photo of empty school desks and large window in classroom

This is how we build a National Education Service in the UK

Chloe Tomlinson lays out the battle lines for a more egalitarian, democratic and holistic education system. Essential reading ahead of The World Transformed education sessions


photo of people marching with placards

Nurses say: Patients’ rights have no borders

As a US-friendly no-deal Brexit inches closer, Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United explains why US nurses have joined the fight against NHS privatisation. Recommended reading ahead of The World Transformed health sessions