The following constitution was adopted by the Trotskyist Faction on 21 May 2020, after drafting, consultation and unanimous agreement, and amended on 15 August 2020.
Constitution of the Trotskyist Faction (Consistent Democrats)
a) To organise the working class to lead a revolution to overthrow capitalism in Britain and internationally and build a global communist society based on full social and economic equality.
b) To operate in the class struggle with the method that is contained in the Comintern tactic of the United Front, both the Workers United Front (WUF) and the Anti Imperialist United Front (AIUF) and in Trotsky’s Transitional Programme of 1938. We intervene to solve the crisis of working class leadership because as Trotsky says in the opening line of the Transitional Programme, “The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat”. This is how we fight to tackle this crisis of leadership, i.e. how to fight the bureaucratic misleaders of the trade unions and their political representatives in parliament, the bourgeois-workers parties.
c) Always to seek the defeat of our own Imperialist ruling class in its wars and war aims. We are for the victory of all semi-colonial oppressed nations in wars against Imperialist aggressors and in inter-Imperialist wars we are for dual defeatism, i.e. every national revolutionary organisation in Imperialist countries will seek the defeat of their own bourgeoisie in that war.
c) To enter discussions and practical collaboration with forces nationally and internationally who share our goal of recreating a revolutionary Fourth International through regroupment, joint struggles and programmatic clarification and elaboration.
a) We will accept into membership those who agree with the aims of the Group and the general line of its Platform. Members will be required to serve a term of six month’s candidate membership before the relevant party unit can vote applicants into full membership.
b) Membership dues will be based on a formula which takes into account circumstances and reasonable living expenses, to be decided upon by the conferences of the group, with a low set minimum for unwaged, students etc. and for low waged.
c) The Group shall maintain an Internal Bulletin in the form of a Closed Forum on the web and a broader Forum for discussions with contacts and sympathisers. Hard copies will be provided to members who request this or who are not online.
d) The leading body of the group, currently the steering group, shall have the power to suspend any member it deems to have breached the constitution after a formal hearing. Suspended members shall have the absolute right to appeal to the conference, the sole body which possess the right to expel members. The suspended member will have the right of access to the Closed Forum up to the Annual Conference.
e) The leading body of the group shall direct the work of all members of the Group in interventions into other groups or labour movement bodies; trade unions, Labour party solidarity movements or other working class groupings.
a) We shall hold an Annual Conference in normal times. Any changes in level of the membership subscription shall be determined by resolution of the Annual Conference. International relations and affiliations will be decided at the Annual Conference.
b) The activities of the Group shall be decided at the Conference and by ordinary meetings open to all members of the Group between conferences. A special members’ meeting shall be called within 14 days of the receipt by the Secretary of a request for such meeting, signed by at least one-quarter of the paid up members and containing a description of the business which is proposed for consideration at the meeting.
d) Tendency and Factional rights shall be absolutely protected in the Group. To appeal for a tendency any member must produce a platform of political principles or organisational proposals which shall be published internally by the Group, normally during pre- conference discussion. At least two signatures are required for a Tendency. Tendencies will have the right to representation on the leading body of the Group in proportion to the votes obtained for their platform. Factions may be formed in a similar manner when tendency struggle has exhausted itself and the existing leadership is designated by the tendency as unreformable. We recognise that a tendency seeks to change certain aspects of the Group’s policies and a faction seeks to replace the leadership.
c) We Recognise and reject the practice of bureaucratic centralism in the self-declared Trotskyist organisations in Britain and internationally but nevertheless we defend the principles of democratic centralism on the basis that a healthy revolutionary party needs a “seething internal democracy” and also needs centrally co-ordinated campaigns and interventions if we are to progress our revolutionary current in the class struggle, amongst centrist groups in fighting the trade union bureaucracy and its political extension in the bourgeois workers parties which compromise the chief prop of capitalism and imperialism internationally, outside of the actual state forces themselves.
d) The Trotskyist Faction is a British section of the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International. Currently we publish the quarterly journal Communist Fight in electronic form. The final name of the group is not settled but we adopt as a general alternative designation the name ‘Consistent Democrats’ as did the Bolshevik Party through most of its pre-revolutionary existence.
a) The Conference shall elect the leading body including a Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and other such officers as it deems necessary. Election shall be by show of hands or secret ballot as decided by Conference. The Group shall not operate a slate system. This body will be charged with implementing the decisions of the Conference and all ordinary and special members’ meetings. This body shall compromise the Editorial board of the Group’s publications.
c) The duties of the Chair shall be:
● to chair national members’ meetings where possible and meetings of the leading body.
● to secure full and frank discussion of all matters of contention and an expeditious conduct of the business before all meetings.
d) The duties of the Secretary shall be:
●to ensure the taking of minutes of the proceedings of all members’ meetings and meetings of the leading body.
● to conduct any correspondence arising from the decisions of the national members’ meetings and meetings of the leading body.
● to report to the next members’ meeting or leading Committee meeting as appropriate.
● to deal with all national and international correspondence and communications received.
● To see to ensure that all members shall receive at least 14 days’ notice of the Conference and 7 days’ notice of all ordinary and special national members’ meetings.
e) The duties of the Treasurer shall be:
●to receive and bank all monies received by the Group.
●to pay all liabilities incurred by the Group from the group account.
●to reimburse the officers or other members of any expenses they properly incur in carrying out the duties assigned to them by the group.
● to report to each leading body meeting on the Group’s financial position.
●to prepare an annual income and expenditure account and balance sheet; this shall be presented to the Conference.
f) The duties of any other officers elected by the Conference shall be as decided by the Conference
5. Changes to Constitution
Amendments require a two thirds majority at subsequent Conferences. It is to be expected that the growth of the group will require a more developed structure and this constitution, like the group itself, should be regarded as a work in progress.