Elections only

Letter to Socialist Alliance national executive

The Socialist Party deeply regrets the decision of the December 1 Socialist Alliance conference to adopt the constitution sponsored by the SWP and others.

As we made clear in the run-up to the conference, we believe that enshrining a 'majority takes all' approach into the SA constitution would seriously curb the freedom of action, including electoral activity, of organisations participating in the SA, and others who might have joined in the future.

On this basis, as we made clear on Saturday, we felt we could not, with any honesty or integrity, work under the confines of the constitution you adopted. However, as we also made clear, this decision does not mean that we will not work for socialist unity where that is possible.

We note that the Socialist Alliance has, as recently as this June, approached both the Socialist Labour Party and the Greens to see if an electoral arrangement could be reached - if not to mutually sponsor candidates, at least to avoid electoral clashes. In Hackney also, although the details are still a matter of contention, the local Socialist Alliance has discussed with the Communist Party of Britain, the publishers of the Morning Star, the idea of SA-sponsored CPB candidates in next year's local elections.

In this light we urge you at the earliest opportunity to discuss with us the possibilities for establishing a committee for socialist electoral unity. In this way we may achieve, with any other socialist or trade union organisation that we can together involve, the greatest possible socialist unity in the May 2002 local elections and in any future by-elections.

Yours comradely

Clive Heemskerk
on behalf of the Socialist Party executive committee