In reply to Workers' Liberty Australia editorial, September 2002 by martin
Report by Melissa White
On 3 September, the Brisbane branch of the Socialist Alliance held its monthly meeting. The DSP used that opportunity to publicly announce its intentions to argue for the Socialist Alliance becoming an united party, in which the DSP would cease to be one affiliate amongst others and become an internal tendency within the Alliance. As part of outlining the practicalities of the next step in doing this, Jim McIlroy, speaking on behalf of the DSP, read from the DSP's letter of public announcement, emphasising the plan to dissolve DSP assets and turn over the Green Left Weekly to the Socialist Alliance by January if this proposal of the DSP's political committee is accepted by the broader membership at the DSP's conference in late December (which it very likely will be).
Far from being opposed to the general proposal of transforming the Socialist Alliance into a national socialist party, we were disturbed by one comment in particular that Jim made. Namely, that the DSP would seriously reconsider its commitment to the Socialist Alliance if the Socialist Alliance rejected its party proposal at conference in May.
Whilst this might have been an exaggerated or incautious statement of the DSP's intentions, we can't help but think that such an announcement does not get us off on the right foot for long-term political cooperation, and is not at all conducive to a free and unfettered discussion at the May conference. The groom shouldn't already be waiting at the altar, looking at his watch, before he's even proposed to his brides. To the moment, the DSP has offered (significant) organisational concessions, and the left needs to see some of that goodwill also extend to the political arena from the largest group amongst our ranks.
Isn't the point to reach a more substantive political agreement than currently exists as per the SA platform by genuine consensus? I would like to think this was the DSP's way forward now, but there is evidence to the contrary to suppose it not to be. We want a unified working-class fightback that flows from Marxist politics and socialist activism, not from administrative guile.