Socialist Party excluded from Euro conference

Last month's conference of the European anti-capitalist left, sponsored by the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, was held in Madrid. The Socialist Party was not invited. This is the revealing correspondence between the SP and a member of the conference preparatory committee

Dear Franà§ois We have heard that a further meeting of the European Left took place in Madrid on June 18 and 19. We are sending this email to ask why the Socialist Party (England and Wales) was not invited to this meeting, following our participation, along with the Socialist Alliance, SWP and Scottish Socialist Party, in the previous meeting in Brussels in December last year. We don't know if you were on the organising committee for the Madrid meeting, so please could you forward this email to the secretary of that committee if necessary. Following the local elections in England last month, the Socialist Party is still the only socialist organisation in England and Wales with elected councillors, polling 10,078 votes with 34 candidates, an average vote of 296 (11.48%) per candidate. In the light of our election results and those of others on the left, we have recently written to the Socialist Alliance to propose that our two organisations begin talks on the possibility of re-establishing a broad, inclusive alliance of the left. We attach a copy of the letter we sent for your information. We would like to continue to participate in European forums that help to build links and coordination between left organisations, such as the European Left meetings you have been involved in organising. We would therefore welcome a reply from the organisers of the Madrid meeting that explains why an invitation was not given to us on this occasion, and would welcome a review of this decision for future meetings. Yours comradely Judy Beishon For the Socialist Party executive committee June 28 2002 Dear Judy I answer in my capacity as member of the preparatory committee and as one of its organisers. Why was the SP not invited? Because: 1. The SP left the Socialist Alliance. The relation to the SA is fundamental to judge the level of collaboration in England between the main forces on the left. 2. The SA took a position not to invite the SP. This was approved by the preparatory committee of the conference. The conference is not a forum. It is a space and a tool for loyal collaboration, political convergence and common activity on a European level. This starts obviously on the national level. This is clearly not the case for the moment, as is indirectly shown by the 'SP appeal to the SA' you added to your letter. 3. The SP remained silent after the Brussels conference. Most of the organisations present adopted the common public statement. Some didn't, because they had to consult their leadership. Afterwards, some signed, a few didn't. The SP did not react at all. Knowing your political seriousness, this was for sure a political decision, related to a judgement on the conference itself. This third reason is circumstantial. The two others touch on the basic method of building these conferences. As for the future, I hope that the SP can get involved again. But this depends on the evolution of your relations with the Socialist Alliance. Comradely Franà§ois Vercammen Preparatory committee conference of European anti-capitalist left June 28 2002