lördag, augusti 06, 2005

Young Social Democrats on the march to election victory

Yesterday I came home from the Social Democratic Youth (SSU) congress. After half a year of scandals and internal battle the organisation came to terms with itself. For the first time in more than ten years the leadership was elected with the support of all the congress.

The new leadership showed its strength during the last days as the new general secretary succeeded in doing the impossible - to make the fighting factions agree on a centralised register of the SSU's members.

Politically, this congress was a clear move to the left. Six hours working day, 90 per cent of former income in unemployment benefits and the abolition of the first unpaid day (karensdagen) in the health incurance were all decided quite early in the congress. Good texts were taken on for example class analysis and feminism. And when the congress decided to abolish private schools, some of the right wingers who were used to be able to control the congress' decisions in detail, freaked out and someone wanted to tear up the decision.

This congress marks a start of something new in the SSU history. Young social democrats can now decide for themselves on what they think, instead of being forced to think it by some leading officials in the leading districts. The paralysing conflict can now be overbridged, and the energy can be used on external work instead.

Göran Persson paid an unannounced visit to the congress on the last day. This was commonly seen as a receipt on the success - he wouldn't have come if the congress would have been in turmoil and hard internal fights.

The right wing papers are still bashing the social democrats and try to spin that we will lose the election. But the SSU has shown that we can come together and rebuild ourselves.

They can spin - we will win!

5 kommentarer:

McGregor sa...

Congratulations to the SSU on such a congress! It really shows the way to other young social democrats that the left and the right can come to terms with each other, even if the journey was a little rocky. Young Labour in the UK is entirely dominated by the party officals, particularly in the regional parties outside London, in the way you say the SSU was. So this could also be a lesson to us in Britain.

But do you think that this show of unity from the SSU can impact on the election? It seems to me that if the youth of the party can reforge themselves and take some new directions in a considered and thought-through way, then maybe the party as a whole can too? There is a year to the election, it seems that it isnt lost yet!

Peter Gustavsson sa...

It's definately not lost yet! We'll take up the fight, united, and we will beat those Tories!

fredrik sa...

Peter Hain's pamphlet The Future Party (p. 33-38) has some good ideas for the Labour Youth Movement with, for example a single, separate and autonomous youth section (Youth and Students). But it's of course hard to build a movement with Labour's youth record (Trots and heavy handed control by the Party).


rémi sa...

Congratulations to the swedish young social democrats for your successful congress. All the best for the elections. Now you have all the conditions to win..

socialist regards,
Rémi, MJS France

Peter Gustavsson sa...

Thanks Rémi! I think we'll make it but it takes hard work. I'm trying to have a balance between Swedish and English articles so that all my political friends can have some use of this blog. I will write a comment on For Another Constitution soon!