Left unity

Unity: real steps, or “rebranding”?

Submitted by AWL on 25 November, 2014 - 6:43 Author: Colin Foster

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has made another call for left unity (21 November). Sadly, it seems that the SWP aims more to “brand” itself as pro-unity than to get any actual unity.

Exits from the SWP in the last couple of years have taken maybe half its previous active membership and made it seem more of an expert on how to get splits than on unity. However, the new call makes no offer to recent splinters from the SWP — Counterfire, ISG, RS21, ISN — of terms on which they could reunite.

Unity: from wishing to do

Submitted by Matthew on 5 November, 2014 - 11:07 Author: Rhodri Evans

Socialist Worker on 14 October called for unity on the left. The two articles in SW, one an editorial and one a comment by Alex Callinicos, suggested that the call was really aimed at Scotland.

The SWP hopes to reknit the fragments of the old Scottish Socialist Party split apart by Tommy Sheridan (with the SWP's support!) in the row over his libel case.

But how to move from a wish to appear as people who want unity, to actual progress?

"Why we joined IS" (November 1968)

Submitted by AWL on 7 May, 2014 - 9:28

Why we joined IS (November 1968)

The statement below was produced by the Workers' Fight group (forerunners of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty) on taking up a unity appeal made in 1968 by the International Socialism group (IS: now called the SWP).

The group merged with IS on the basis of an explicit agreement that its members would have the right to organise within IS as a "tendency" it was called the "Trotskyist Tendency") to argue for their basic views where those differed from IS doctrine.

For a Trotskyist regroupment (1967)

Submitted by AWL on 4 May, 2014 - 7:57

This appeal for revolutionary socialist regroupment, based on unity in action and debate on differences, was one of the first public political statements of our tendency, in 1967.The RSL referred to would come to be better known as Militant, now the Socialist Party and Socialist Appeal. The SLL would become the Workers Revolutionary Party. IS would become the Socialist Workers Party.

Left unity: reach out, don't just huddle

Submitted by Matthew on 4 June, 2013 - 8:43

You are absolutely right to conclude that a whittled-down consensus will not inspire people to political activity (“How to make Left Unity”, Solidarity 284). If any of the groups on the left had an inspiring and coherent strategy they would be doing very much better and we would not be despairing at the state of the left.

The left as a whole is weak and disorientated or in some cases stubbornly confident of success in the far-off future.