Report on discussions between Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative
Joint statement by Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative representatives re-published from Socialist Alternative
A meeting was held in Melbourne on November 4 between Peter Boyle, Sue Bolton and Susan Price (representing the leadership of Socialist Alliance) and Mick Armstrong, Sandra Bloodworth and Corey Oakley (representing the leadership of Socialist Alternative), to explore the possibility of closer collaboration and unity between the two organisations.
The meeting was comradely and constructive, and both sides agree that the basis exists to begin a process of discussion to clarify our respective political positions and engage in collaborative work, with the aim of establishing if unity is possible.
It was acknowledged that there are real political differences between the groups, both historic and to do with immediate questions of day-to-day politics and a conception of what kind of organisation the left needs. We had only the most provisional discussion of these issues, and it is clear that we are just at the start of a lengthy process of clarification.
We both consider that, in a context of global capitalist crisis and an increasing offensive by the ruling class in Australia, it is incumbent on the left to try to work towards unity where it can. Nonetheless, neither organisation wishes to rush the process. We do not want unity at any cost, but unity that will be able to take the socialist movement forward.
We have agreed on the following:
1. Scheduling a series of discussions between the organisations to clarify our respective views on important political questions such as the socialist attitude to parliament and elections; to alliances and questions of party form; to the environment; to trade unions; and to women’s rights.
2. There was provisional agreement that Socialist Alliance would be involved in the Marxism 2013 conference at Easter, that Socialist Alliance speakers would be invited to Marxism 2013, and that Socialist Alliance would help to build the conference.
3. We will continue and where possible increase the level of collaboration between our groups in movement and union struggles.
For more reports on left unity (e.g. Socialist Alternative’s discussions with the Revolutionary Socialist Party, and non-aligned socialists joining) see Socialist Alternative’s revolutionary left unity section on the right hand side of its front page.