Socialist Alliance: Still very much to do

Matthew Caygill attended a positive meeting of Socialist Allianmce comrades in Yorkshire and Humberside

In contrast to the turmoil and negativity of much discussion around the Socialist Alliance for the last month, on July 26 Leeds hosted a meeting of comrades from around the Yorkshire and Humberside region in preparation for the European elections in 2004.

Forty-four comrades from a broad geographical spread of branches attended - very good for a meeting called at short notice in the school holidays and showing that there is still considerable life in the project, despite everything.

Alan Thornett from the executive committee gave a general introduction leading on to a discussion that combined reports from various cities with a general debate about what we need to do.

Overall it was heartening that a significant level of activity has been maintained - in Scarborough comrades meet weekly and membership has gone from nine to 23. Elsewhere, even where it is clear that branches have not sustained themselves, there were positive signs.

More generally it was clear we need to keep up (or start) regular campaigning activities if we are to have any credibility. We also need to ensure that we maintain our profile as the SA in the various anti-war, anti-capitalist and anti-Nazi and other campaigns that we support.

There is still much to be sorted out. We need to get on with working out our relations with other forces on the socialist left.

We need greater clarity on working with other forces. We need a strong, central lead on getting the practical details right.