Good and bad
It was business as usual at the branch officers' meeting of the East London Socialist Alliance (Elsa) this week.
Typically this represented both positive and negative aspects of the developing relationship between those left organisations active within the SA in this part of the capital.
On a positive level, and as is usual, the meeting was characterised by the active, constructive and enthusiastic participation of all those present, with a number of new initiatives being proposed to highlight and build the SA generally and Elsa specifically.
The proposal for a '100 club', for example, suggested by Tower Hamlets' prospective parliamentary candidate, Kambiz Boomla, to increase membership of the alliance within the area, was keenly accepted.
Plans were also discussed and initiated which involved increasing the activity of those individuals already signed up as members. Reports of a number of important strikes were also heard, as well as other local struggles involving working class communities within the area.
On the down side, and as appears common within some other branch officer meetings of the SA, the agenda lacked any serious political discussion. A report was given of the Liaison Committee's meeting the previous week, for example, but there was little time (or, it appeared, willingness) to discuss the important and controversial agreement reached between the Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Party.
Only the CPGB's Bob Paul and comrade Boomla himself commented on the agreement: most comrades appeared to believe that a local meeting was not the forum for such an item to be debated.
Having stated that, 'educational' meetings are to go ahead within the next six weeks on the issues of 'transport' and 'the greens'.
A proposal from comrade Paul for a meeting to debate the need for a campaign on the abolition of the monarchy, as agreed by the London Socialist Alliance steering committee shortly before Christmas, was narrowly defeated by four votes to three at the branch officers' meeting held last December.