Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/228/9225

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 November 2001

Socialist Alliance Future At Stake

IN JUST four weeks time, on 1 December, the Socialist Alliance will meet in London to decide its future structure.

Clive Heemskerk, Socialist Alliance national executive member

This will be a critical moment, argues national chair, Socialist Party councillor and former Labour MP, Dave Nellist, in an Open Letter to Socialist Alliance members.

The achievements of the Alliance so far, enabling different socialist organisations and individuals to jointly contest 92 seats in June's general election, could be jeopardised if unacceptable proposals are forced through.

The conference agenda will have two main alternative constitutions to debate. The Socialist Party's draft constitution, the Open Letter argues, is the only one "which confronts the central questions in the structure debate": how to guarantee the rights of individual members while, at the same time, guaranteeing the rights of the component organisations and other organisations, groups of trade unionists and community campaigners etc which will emerge in the future and which we will need to involve in the Alliance.

The other main alternative constitution, proposed by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), completely fails to answer such questions.

In debates that have taken place in local Socialist Alliances they have been simply unable to explain how their constitution would guarantee any rights to minorities.

If substantial organisations like the Campaign Against Tube Privatisation, the trade union broad lefts, or even Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party, responded to Socialist Alliance appeals to join, what constitutional right would they have to national executive representation under the SWP's proposals?

If similar groups joined locally who wanted to preserve their own identity and cohesion while participating in the Socialist Alliance (or new groups of former Labour Party members like the Leeds Left Alliance, the Preston Independent Labour councillors or the Walsall Democratic Labour Party), what constitutional rights would they have to do so if they were a minority within a local Alliance?

If such groups, or independent individuals, join one of the many local Socialist Alliances where the SWP have a numerical majority, what additional constitutional rights would they have in the local Socialist Alliance which they wouldn't have if they had merely joined the local branch of the SWP?

Democratic rights

The SWP have answered these points with general promises to 'respect' minority rights - they will be 'enlightened rulers' of the Socialist Alliance. As the Open Letter states, the Socialist Party "prefers democratic rights for minorities".

In reality, the SWP's proposed constitution enshrines the majority rule of the biggest component of local Alliances and of the Socialist Alliance nationally, i.e. themselves.

Tragically, as the Open Letter argues, "it will produce a 'Socialist Alliance' no different in structure - and therefore function - than other 'organisations' they have established in the past such as the Anti-Nazi League, Globalise Resistance, the Carworker, the Stop the Fees Campaign etc, and now, it seems, the Stop the War Coalition. This would be unacceptable, we believe, to a majority of non-SWP members of the Alliance".

The Open Letter acknowledges that "a balance between the rights of the component organisations and individual members is hard to achieve.

If the Socialist Party has got some details wrong in our proposals we're very keen to hear suggestions on how to improve on them".

But what is most important to save the Alliance, it concludes, "is that a substantial body of opinion be built around some alternative to the SWP's unacceptable constitution, which may compel them to re-think their position.

"To accomplish this we would like as many members of the Socialist Alliance as possible to declare their support for our constitutional proposals prior to the December 1st conference.

"Even if you do not agree with all the details of our constitution we would urge you to consider declaring in favour of the basic framework of our proposals, while at the same time recording any reservations you may wish to make.

"Hopefully, out of this process, a final draft could be presented to the conference which, while not what everyone hopes for, is at least acceptable to most".

For a full copy of the Open Letter by Dave Nellist and Clive Heemskerk, for a copy of the Socialist Party draft constitution or to add your name as a supporter of the Socialist Party's proposed constitution for the Alliance, write to: The Socialist Party, PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD or e-mail: clive@socialistparty.org.uk

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 2 November 2001:

Organise Now To Stop The War

Glasgow medical secretaries: Victory Over Low Pay

A Disastrous War and a Dubious Peace

The Deadly Legacy Of Imperialism

Socialist Alliance Future At Stake

ISR Rally: Fighting For A Socialist Future

Why The IRA Decomissioned


 

Home   |   The Socialist 2 November 2001   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Socialist Alliance:

triangleAttitude to the Labour Party and the Left

Socialist:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Why Labour and Plaid councils must set no-cuts budgets

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Do Trump's antics make nuclear war more likely?

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Iran in turmoil

triangleCardiff Central Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

The Socialist:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Building the Socialist Party

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building the Socialist Party

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

SWP:

triangleAfter the Unite elections - now turn outwards

triangleTUSC: SWP suspends participation in England/Wales

Socialist Workers Party:

triangleUnison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/1/18

Birmingham

Home care workers to strike

12/1/18

Waltham Forest

Outrage against 'monster block' plan

12/1/18

Manchester

Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

10/1/18

McDonalds

Strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

10/1/18

Usdaw

Amy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

10/1/18

The Socialist

Socialist sales highest in years as mistrust in capitalist media hits record levels

10/1/18

Fighting Fund

2017 was the best fighting fund total this century!

10/1/18

NHS

Closure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS

10/1/18

Hackney

Hoxton: "Stop this unwanted development"

10/1/18

Newham

Newham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

8/1/18

RMT

RMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

4/1/18

RMT

Strike against driver-only operation on five rail networks

3/1/18

Higher Education

UCU members balloting for action on pension cuts

3/1/18

Bradford

Bradford protest against children's service cuts

3/1/18

Leeds

Leeds college pay protests

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangle10 Jan Strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

triangle10 Jan Movement of workers and youth challenges Iranian regime

triangle10 Jan Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's...

More ...

triangle16 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'Bad Art' - socialist struggle in the arts

triangle16 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: Building socialism in Cardiff in 2018

triangle17 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Planning for 2018

triangle17 Jan Salford Socialist Party: Housing crisis - the socialist solution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2