Socialist Party split still unclear

Submitted by AWL on 5 September, 2019 - 9:06 Author: Pete Boggs
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The first issue of the monthly newspaper of the new Socialist Alternative group (a splinter from the Socialist Party) is now out.

Unfortunately it has little to mark it out politically from The Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party. The editorial on Boris Johnson is completely evasive on the question of Brexit. The only real difference is that Socialist Alternative have realised, correctly, that it is embarrassing for them to talk about “Lexit” after all that has happened, especially when their main selling point is that they are more hip and trendy than the Socialist Party.

They do hint at their position on Brexit: “if Labour equivocates or adopts a Remain position Corbyn would lose votes to the Brexit Party and Tories, while gaining insufficiently few from the Greens and Lib Dems”. They oppose a “Tory Brexit”, but cannot seem to put forward what a better Brexit might look like or how it might come about.

Socialist Alternative belong to the majority-CWI (Committee for a Workers’ International, what was the SP’s international network), which held a special meeting of the International Executive Committee in Belgium from 12 to 16 August, and has published a declaration.

The International Secretariat CWI (now being used as the factional body of the Socialist Party and its international supporters) has published the document it passed at the meeting where the opposition in the Socialist Party were expelled.

Neither document offers much in the way of new information.

Socialist Alternative and the CWI majority have been given an opportunity to rethink the stale and formulaic politics of the Militant tradition, which they should not squander. It is good that they have made broadly convincing criticisms of the anti-democratic regime of the CWI and the prehistoric opposition to the politics of liberation.

However, Taaffe and his cronies did not become bureaucratic dinosaurs overnight, and their political rot goes much deeper than these two issues.

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