CPGB paranoia?

The following newsletter of the ‘Campaigning Alliances Bulletin’ has been circulated by comrade Nick Long, convenor of Lewisham SA and a member of the Socialist Democracy Group. It is advertised as “a newsletter of those committed to building real Socialist Alliances”

London SA ad-hoc committee climbs out of the sect ghetto!

At the London Socialist Alliance meeting held on July 5 1998 it was resolved to hold a founding conference of the London Socialist Alliances in the autumn to democratically elect a steering committee. A motion to give tokenistic automatic representation to tiny crackpot sect and ‘front’ campaigns on a future official London steering committee fell. Representation will have to be earned by building real and campaigning alliances, supporting workers in struggle and forming alliances with others. Surely this what the SA is about! It is important that the ad-hoc puts this decision into effect and the ‘Campaigning Alliances Bulletin’ will be working to build a successful conference, able to tackle the enormous tasks we face next year.

Undemocratic move rejected

A move by an amalgam of various tiny vanguard sects to have the meeting drag on all day was decisively defeated. Comrades saw through the tactic of having a prolonged meeting, which the ultra-left would hope to see independents and socialists drift away after having to endure hours of abusive hectoring by comrade John Bridge. Fortunately Bridge only had to be endured for five minutes, although it seemed longer! One CPGBer, to a chorus of laughter, suggested the meeting should be prepared to go on for weeks if necessary! The comrade from Brent later admitted that the Brent SA had not met for three years! The spooky CPGB seem to think that all comrades are of independent means and don’t have childcare or household chores to do at the end of a week’s work and political activity!

Paranoia and misinformation

Comrades saw through a smoke-screen of allegations made by the fanatical and paranoiac CPGB that the moves to hold a conference in the autumn was all part of a sinister Manchester-London axis plot to exclude them. The reality is that the CPGB fear the SA becoming a mass organisation - hence their opposition to a London founding conference and an orientation to mass organisations of the working class. The tactics of CPGB comrades during the meeting in distributing a private letter confirmed to many that to give this organisation automatic representation would be a mistake. No wonder comrades in Manchester SA had a bellyful after two years!

Exclusion of socialist greens rejected

The meeting overwhelmingly endorsed proposals to approach other socialist parties, such as the SWP and Socialist Labour Party, including socialists in the Green Party with a view to involving them in building the alliance. The meeting heard reports that other socialist groups are likely to join the alliance in the future. The meeting further resolved to support underground workers in campaigning against the privatisation of the London Underground.

South London committee?

The SA supporters in South London have taken the initiative to explore the possibility of establishing a South London committee to coordinate and support the work of the campaigning SAs established in Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham. Through supporting local campaigns and struggles SAs will gain weight within working class communities and the wider labour movement

An autumn slate?

The London ad-hoc committee remains just that: an interim committee until the autumn. It is essential, now that the political orientation of the alliances has been pointed in the right direction, that we have officers who are able to drive the alliance forward in London. Supporters of the CAB will be seeking to put proposals forward to the autumn conference which ensure that the SA becomes a mass force involved in the struggles of the working class and not a party-building project of the CPGB.