SWP balks

Support continues to grow for the For a democratic and effective Socialist Alliance? platform.

John Mulrenan, former Labour Party activist and SA general election candidate in Peckham, has added his name to a broad list of comrades who want our still new and growing organisation to take strides forward, enabling us to both take day-to-day initiatives and form an effective weapon in the fight for socialism. Others to sign up include Mick Regan, secretary of Hackney NUT, and John Bulaitis of the Socialist Solidarity Network.

With imperialism on a war footing and the relative tardiness with which the alliance has reacted, we see more than ever the need to create clear central priorities. Waiting for the next set-piece demo or the next by-election is inadequate. We need to be able to react immediately to political developments, as events unfold.

With the conference bulletin just out , campaigning to win signatories for the statement is urgent.

Move the statement as a motion at your local Socialist Alliance, get the structure conference on your agenda. Do not let philistines relegate this important stage in the SA?s development to a mere 20-minute session. The discussion is not about rules and constitutions in a dry, technical sense, but about the very future of the organisation.

It is unfortunate, though not surprising, that the leadership of the Socialist Workers Party is not prepared to support the statement. The SWP believes it points the alliance in a partyist direction and for this reason cannot lend it support. I am also told that they balk at the formulation, ?the right to form distinct temporary or longer-term political platforms?. Apparently this may be considered appropriate for a party, but not for an alliance which has distinct supporting organisations already.

The current situation in Afghanistan and the US shows this is nonsense. It is quite possible that different platforms will develop on how best to respond to the war situation. These may be short-term or more long-lasting. They may involve cutting across the groups and the coming together of all manner of previously opposed forces. The right to form such platforms is perfectly reasonable and should be demanded by alliance members.

I trust the SWP will see sense on this matter and overcome its fear of political trends organising for constructive debate within the framework of clear central prioritiesl

Marcus Larsen
SA executive member