Our goals are to:
- Foster an atmosphere in which all can participate to their fullest without feeling inhibited, intimidated, embarrassed or belittled.
- Foster confidence, self-respect and feelings of being valued.
- Further develop a model of debate where differences of opinion are expressed through comradely discussions that lead us all to a higher level of understanding.
Underpinning all of these is an understanding that:
- The way we treat each other now is the model for the socialist society we want to see grow in the future.
- No one has a monopoly on the having ‘the right answer’.
- The ‘right answer’ today may not be the best for tomorrow.
To that end we do not tolerate behaviours that are counter to these goals. Rather than exhaustively list all possible types of ‘proscribed’ behaviours (although illustrative examples are appended), we would, in the first instance, put the responsibility on to each individual to consider the effect of their behaviour, or intended behaviour, with respect to the stated goals.
Secondly, in the event that any member feels negatively (hurt, embarrassed, insulted, etc) they do have a responsibility to speak either directly to the member causing that feeling, or to another member as they see fit. A sincere apology and an assurance that the offending behaviour will not be repeated should be forthcoming.
It goes almost without saying that aggression, whether physical, sexual or verbally threatening, will lead to exclusion, and the victim in these cases would not be expected to have to address the perpetrator.
Insults, personal comments, turns of phrase, use of tone of voice and facial and bodily gestures designed to undermine or intimidate, including e.g. misogynistic, ableist, homophobic, or transphobic comments, are unacceptable. It is firstly the job of the chair to ensure that such behaviour is challenged; secondly it is the job of those attending, although any individual who feels they have been subject to such behaviour also has the right to appeal to the chair or to the meeting.
Deliberate misrepresentation of another’s points is uncomradely. In the case of meetings it is firstly the job of the chair to ensure that such behaviour is challenged, secondly the job of those attending.
Frequent and/or lengthy contributions to debates or ignoring the agenda item under discussion are frustrating to others and are inconsiderate. It is the job of the chair to ensure that contributions are kept to appropriate time limits, and that no person enters into discussion again before another who has not spoken.