Aussie contrast to UK failure

Alan Fox reports on Socialist Alliance success down under

On the very day that the SWP used its majority to block steps to put the SA at the centre of the fight for working class unity, the Socialist Alliance in Australia voted by a margin of three to one to move towards becoming a party.

Meeting on May 10 in Melbourne, the Australian SA conference supported a motion which asked for a "commitment from affiliates to building the Socialist Alliance through greater affiliate integration" in word and in deed" with the intention of creating a "multi-tendency socialist party". This new party, with its "strong democratic structures" and a "national paper", would be "as broad as possible", while welcoming "a strong revolutionary socialist stream".

The motion was moved by the Non-Aligned Caucus and had the backing of the Democratic Socialist Party, the SA's largest component, and Workers' Liberty.

It was opposed, amongst others, by the International Socialist Organisation, the SWP's sister grouping; and Socialist Democracy, supporter of the United Secretariat for a Fourth International, like the International Socialist Group in Britain. These organisations wanted the alliance to remain a "united front", while Workers Power proposed a campaign for an abstract "new workers' party" instead.

Nevertheless all the affiliate groups who argued against moves towards a party indicated during the debate that they would remain in the SA.