Honest green Mike Davies

The article 'Partners or rivals', published last week, has provoked this indignant memo from Mike Davies, chair of the Alliance for Green Socialism. Comrade Davies, from the minority Left Alliance wing of the newly merged organisation (the other wing being the ex-'official communist' Green Socialist Network), seems to regard himself as the Arthur Scargill of the AGS, for whom 'open' means 'closed' and vice versa

Dear AGS committee member I enclose a copy of an article which was drawn to my attention today, which appeared in the Weekly Worker on Thursday October 24 2002. It covers the merger which formed the Alliance for Green Socialism. The contents of much of the article would be widely available in political circles. However, the article also contains material on the committee meeting of Saturday October 19. That material would only be known to members of the committee. It includes not only factual matters, but even details of opinion expressed in discussion - even, in one case, a contribution that was explicitly withdrawn by the speaker. Clearly the article was informed, directly or indirectly, by a member of the committee. A major strength of both the Green Socialist Network and the Left Alliance was that, in both organisations, committee members were friendly and open. One could express opinions freely, debate them with passion but without rancour and retain a friendly respect for those with whom one might disagree in debate on this or that issue. That is the essence of an open political organisation. In more closed and directed organisations committee members might have both to toe the line and to watch their backs. We all, I hope, expect the AGS to operate in the open and friendly manner of its precursor organisations. For reports of discussions in committee meetings to be leaked to the press - particularly such gutter press as the Weekly Worker - undermines the basis of trust. Free and open discussion is gravely inhibited if committee members, every time they contribute to discussion, have to think about how their words appear in print. I ask committee members to be scrupulous in avoiding any such breach of the trust reposed in them by the membership and by their fellow committee members. If you have any knowledge of how the details of the proceedings of the last AGS committee meeting came to be passed to the Weekly Worker, I would be grateful if you let me know. Yours for honest green socialism Mike Davies chair