Volume 15

I attended the Ideas Left Outside conference in Ontario from July 29-August 1

In his article In Defence of the Alliance, Ben Courtice says we need “more quantitative and systematic analysis of the limits of current activities, especially those that might be routine or taken for granted, with an open presentation of alternative options. Engage a statistician if necessary!”

A split is never fun and the loss of a group of mainly young comrades that has significantly weakened a branch is not to be welcomed. It has been oddly jarring however, coming almost straight after a successful public conference, forming closer links with campaigning leftwing Queensland MP Rob Pyne, an election campaign featuring a barnstorming effort by key First Nations movement leader Ken Canning, and some significant successes in mobilising people and alliance-building resulting from our local councillor positions.

Most members of the former 21st Century Socialism Tendency have now resigned from Socialist Alliance.  But I think it is still worth critically discussing some of the Tendency’s ideas.

The Tendency seemed to dismiss the whole history of the international left during the past hundred years as a “failed” project... 

While the 21st Century Socialism tendency left before their views had a chance to be debated, some of the issues they raised are worth further consideration, and the response to them also.

The NSW Senate election campaign with Uncle Ken Canning was one like no other that I've been involved in: we didn't do half the things we ordinarily do in elections and we did a lot of other things we had never done before.

24 Socialist Alliance members issued a resignation statement over the night of July 2-3.

I welcome the Ten Alternatives for Socialist Alliance document presented by the 21st Century Socialism tendency. Finally there are specific proposals for consideration. While I am not making a detailed analysis of the document, some proposals deserve examination.

The National Executive reminds all members of Socialist Alliance that we all share a constitutional obligation to treat other members in a respectful and comradely way. This applies in all aspects of political life, including Facebook discussions.

The appearance within our ranks of the 21st Century Socialism Tendency confronts the Socialist Alliance with a significant political challenge, of a type that has always been implicit in the project we have undertaken.

The recent announcement of formation of the 21st Century Tendency is a bit of a shock to the system.

In summary, it is my strong opinion that the perspectives outlined by the "21st Century Socialism Tendency" in its various documents published so far, if implemented, would lead to the complete destruction of the Socialist Alliance (SA) as an organised, national, activist, socialist party.