Useful debate

The case presented in Jack Conrad?s new book, Towards a Socialist Alliance party, got a hearing on Teesside on a cold northern night on September 17. Leading members of local Socialist Alliances, including three SA candidates and members of the Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Party, came and contributed to a wide-ranging and interesting discussion.

This centred around developing the Socialist Alliance as an independent and effective political force, nobody wanting to wait before the next set of local elections before it got into gear again. Certainly views on the nature of the alliance varied, but there was tangible disappointment that things had not moved forward since the general election.

Discussion around an SA newspaper proved of value - how would it be sold? What would it contain? Would it dovetail in with existing publications? Certainly, as Jack asserted, the existing situation blunted our effectiveness as socialists.

Several comrades put their name to the CPGB initiative, ?For a democratic and effective SA?. The meeting also resolved to re-invite Jack to speak on a joint platform of the local Socialist Alliances - Stockton, Middlesbrough and Darlington - building up to the December 1 conference.

Bill Jeannes