Futile opportunism

Amazingly the local elections in England on May 1 see the anti-war party poorly represented in terms of candidates and barely organised. There are 158 Socialist Alliance candidates plus a smattering of candidates for one or another of the socialist sects and a few Labour candidates willing to stand on an anti-war platform. Clearly, we have failed to create a united anti-war party - for carrying on the struggle after the war. Palpably, the Socialist Alliance failed during the war. The SA presented itself as merely one of the SWP's numerous 'united fronts', not an alternative to the sectarian divisions that have plagued the left for far too many decades. Merely tacking 'Against the war' onto our name smacks of futile opportunism. It shows we are not serious about building a credible partyist project. Even in bland marketing terms it is useful not to mess with your 'corporate image' - especially as the war is all but over. Nevertheless, the CPGB recommends a Socialist Alliance vote where possible. It is a project still worth defending against total liquidation. Nothing else has come into existence to replace it - as yet. It might still act as a step towards other, higher, developments in the workers' movement. But as a vehicle of class struggle it has shown itself totally inadequate. Our overall strategy in these elections should be to build the largest vote for the inchoate and now ebbing anti-war party. Where there is no Socialist Alliance candidate, other candidates should be supported - if they oppose the neo-colonial occupation of Iraq, if they support the campaign of the firefighters' union, if they will defend the rights of asylum seekers. Marcus Ström