June 13 saw the first meeting of the steering committee of the Eastern Region Socialist Alliance, established at the June 4 East Anglia launch (see Weekly Worker June 8).
Six comrades attended - one each from the Socialist Party, Communist Party and Socialist Workers Party, along with individuals from various campaigns. The main focus of the discussion was an SA conference for the region, provisionally designated for September 30 in Cambridge, and the coordination of local launches.
There was a reluctance to commit the bloc to contesting elections - it was a "low priority", according to some. Obviously the false notion that standing in elections is electoralism lives on in this part of the country. The battle of ideas needs to be fought and quickly won. Perhaps 'Marxism 2000' will be used for this - let us hope so.
It was generally agreed that the steering committee would need to be "renewed" at the Cambridge conference, although the detailed mechanism for this has yet to be agreed on. However, we all recognised that the basic democratic guarantee had to be enshrined that any affiliate to the alliance was entitled to automatic representation on the steering committee.
The present steering committee sees its role as presenting some basic proposals to September's conference on the political platform of the bloc and its structure. The steering committee meetings are open and will be held fortnightly in Colchester for the time being.
For details of Eastern Region Socialist Alliance activities, contact 07946 269024