Re Australian Socialist Alliance

Peter Boyle peterb at
Mon Nov 11 19:47:59 MST 2002

Comrades on this list following the discussion on the
Australian Socialist Alliance may be interested in this
latest development:

To: National Executive,
International Socialist Organisation

From: Political Committee,
Democratic Socialist Party

11 November 2002

Dear comrades,

In your letter of November 3 you stated that the ISO
National Executive felt it had no choice but to recommend to
your December National Conference that it terminate your
affiliation to the Socialist Alliance if the DSP's 20th
Congress were to vote to implement our National Committee
proposal to convert the DSP into a tendency within the
Socialist Alliance.

This difficult issue was the subject of a useful and
comradely interchange of opinions on a November 9
teleconference between our two organisations, on which a
communiqué has been issued.

The DSP Political Committee again discussed the issue at its
weekly meeting today, and has come to the following

1. That, given the stance of the ISO National Executive, the
DSP Political Committee will withdraw its recommendation to
the DSP's 20th Congress that the DSP cease to operate as a
public organisation before the May 2003 Socialist Alliance
National Conference;

2. That the DSP Political Committee will propose to the
Congress that it authorise the incoming DSP National
Committee to decide on the timing of the implementation of
the proposal that the DSP cease to function as a public

The DSP Political Committee has adopted this stance in order
to allow more discussion in the Alliance without the threat
of ultimatums and a breakdown in relations. For us the
Socialist Alliance represents too valuable a political gain
with too large a potential to risk such a breakdown.

At the same time, however, the DSP continues to hold to its
analysis of the limitations and potential facing the
Alliance (as expressed in our initial letter to the
Socialist Alliance National Executive and subsequent
letters). We continue to share, for example, comrade Simon
Millar's aspiration (expressed in the Alliance Internal
Discussion Bulletin, Volume 2 Number 5) to see the socialist
groups in this country unite into one party. Continuing and
deepening the left collaboration through Socialist Alliance
offers the only feasible way to build the political basis
for such a united party.

As things stand the Socialist Alliance offers the only
practicable road forward today for greater left and
socialist unity in Australia. Achieving a higher level of
unity within the Alliance would be a huge step forward for
the socialist cause, and would help anchor socialism on the
Australian political map. Moreover, the Socialist Alliance
cannot continue in its present form without squandering big
opportunities and political space to the Greens.
If we all build on our considerable collective effort of the
last year and a half we can continue to attract a much wider
layer of socialists than are currently members of the
affiliate groups in the Alliance, and prepare the conditions
for a qualitative step forward.
In this context Alliance members, affiliated and
non-affiliated, are already beginning to offer their own
views as to how the Alliance should best advance. This is a
precious gain of our discussion to date, and the DSP will do
all it can to encourage the greatest possible participation
by all Alliance members.

Out of this process the Alliance as a whole will be best
able to develop the answers it needs as to how to go forward
and how its relations with existing left organisations and
institutions might best need to change.

For its part the DSP will also continue to put forward its
own views as vigorously and clearly as possible and will be
a willing participant in all actions, proposals and
discussions that strengthen left and socialist unity.

The DSP Political Committee calls on all Socialist Alliance
members, whether members of affiliate organisations or not,
to take up the debate about the sort of Alliance we need and
to help ensure that the Alliance May National Conference
marks a big step forward for the socialist cause in

Comradely regards,

John Percy
On behalf of the Political Committee,
Democratic Socialist Party

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