In Newcastle we have a Tyneside Socialist Forum which has existed for a long time — before the Socialist Alliance.
It was relaunched last year. Along with AWL members it includes independent socialists, left anarchists, ex-CPers and some people from FRFI. It meets regularly and has political discussions, it could be the springboard for greater left unity.
Our next meeting will be discussing precisely that. The SWP have said they will come to the meeting, which is good. The Socialist Party haven’t said they won’t… at least not yet.
It would be good if the group could initiate its own campaigns or back others – e.g. there is a pretty good campaign started up in Newcastle on the Welfare Reform Bill. We don’t have to agree on everything all at once (or even at all!) In time we could think about, or some of us could think about standing candidates in elections. First we have to get the group functioning on a broader basis.