Socialist Alliances: another step in the wrong direction

THE SOCIALIST Alliances were initiated by the Socialist Party in the early 1990s. Throughout their history they have tried to bring together different Left parties and organisations.

Hannah Sell

Until recently, the Socialist Alliances always recognised that there were political differences between the constituent parts of the Alliance, but recognised that this need not prevent us working effectively together, provided it was on a democratic, federal basis.

However, in the last year the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) have become seriously involved in the Alliances for the first time. They have an entirely different approach. Their goal is to control the Alliances through ruthless centralisation. The very small number of genuine forces involved in the Alliances at this stage mean that they have largely achieved this goal.

At the Socialist Alliance Conference in September an SWP proposal to establish a new Executive was defeated. The SWP then came to the first meeting of the leadership body that was agreed by the September conference, the Liaison Committee, and put forward the same proposal again. This time it was passed.

Unsurprisingly, the main effect of the new Executive is to increase the SWP’s effective control over the Socialist Alliance’s national structures.

At the first meeting of the new Socialist Alliance Executive on 16 December, the SWP moved a resolution against the Socialist Party, “condemning” us for refusing to accept SWP attempts to centralise the Socialist Alliances under their control.

This resolution, along with the resolution moved by Socialist Party representatives in response, was left on the table until the next meeting. Meanwhile it was agreed that we would meet with the SWP to try and reach agreement.

More in the next issue of The Socialist.