I find myself disagreeing and objecting to almost one thing in every sentence of Adam Baker's contributions to Alliance Voices. I believe his arguments are flawed, full of inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and would effectively constitute political suicide, other than for those members happy to retreat to the “good old days” of constructing left sects on the fringes of society.
More than anything, however, I am rather taken aback that such a position — so at odds with the Socialist Alliance's raison d'etre — has clearly sat quietly in Adam's mind (and, perhaps, his private conversations) for some time, without being aired, discussed, debated, or so on. While I disagree with him, I'd be more than happy to debate the points he raises.
Even under normal circumstances, the short period in the lead up to a national conference provides nowhere near enough time to have a serious debate or discussion about the Socialist Alliance's perspectives and — while I strongly disagree with much of what Adam has written — I find that I simply haven't found the time to write a serious response.
The same goes for the draft document on socialism (and was the case for many comrades in the lead up to last conference too).
With this in mind, I just want to remind comrades that Alliance Voices is open for contributions year-round (not just before conferences), and comrades should continue to contribute their ideas about building the Socialist Alliance — be they supportive, dissenting, or theoretically abstract, policy or political argument — throughout the year.
It's understandable — and probably inevitable — that the immediately pre-conference period is when our minds turn to putting our ideas onto paper (or hard-disk), but the usual avalanche of material this produces does little to foster well-rounded and considered discussion about points of difference, or new ideas and strategies in campaigning or party-building.
While the National Newsletter is useful in circulating information about our activities, it is clearly not an appropriate forum for the kind of the healthy ongoing discussion we need to have to keep improving our party-building and campaigning skills.
Again, I strongly urge comrades to continue to keep contributing their ideas, differences and suggestions to Alliances Voices once the conference has come and gone.