Alliance loses another comrade

Tess McMahon resigns from the SA

It is with regret that I heard of Tess McMahon’s resignation from the Socialist Alliance. Throughout 2002, Tess played a tremendous role as SA treasurer and stuck to her principles in the face of cynical manoeuvres by the Socialist Workers Party. She was an important figure in Burnley Socialist Alliance.

However, her ‘solution’ - to seek individual release from the direction the SWP seems to be taking the alliance - is hardly one that gives a lead to the working class movement. Splits should only occur as a last resort. And then they should be, wherever possible, orderly, based on clear principles and involve the largest number of people. However, we should also seek to win as much of the alliance as possible to principled socialist unity in order to avoid any splits at all.

Comrade McMahon’s departure offers no avenue for continuing the fight for socialist unity. I trust she will reconsider her position and join those of us in the alliance that wish to campaign for a workers’ party.

I have decided to resign from the Socialist Alliance national executive, as the Socialist Alliance has moved further away from the politics I joined it for, rather than nearer.

I believe the executive has even less of a democratic mandate from the membership than last year, with principles of democratic accountability treated with contempt by the Socialist Workers Party, and with insufficient regard by some others on the executive.

The Socialist Alliance, based on the 80% common ground shared by socialists who join, appears now to be a cynical recruitment ploy by the SWP rather than an expression of an ideal.

Socialism from the top down is not any sort of socialism, but a threat to the rights of working people. That is why I can no longer encourage people to join the Socialist Alliance. I will continue to work with other socialists, including those in the Socialist Alliance, but not as a member of the Socialist Alliance.

Tess McMahon