An ad hoc Committee has been set up by Socialist Alliance (SA) members to press the case for a workers' party. The Committee takes its name and composition from a meeting of SA members held before the 2003 SA conference to discuss the need for a workers' party.
The meeting, with representatives from the AWL, CPGB, RDG, Beds SA Democratic and Republican Platform and a number of pro-party SA Independents, was able to produce the following composite motion for conference and organise a meeting after conference to assess what progress had been made.
Conference notes the development of parties such as the Scottish Socialist Party and Rifondazione Comunista, which have established themselves as serious political forces through a unity of purpose towards making the Party the focus of public work, and a consistent approach of raising the profile of their parties in working class communities and amongst young people in particular. The SSP now consistently polls 7-8% support in Scotland, has just won six seats in the Scottish Parliament, and is expanding beyond the traditional areas of strength for the Left in the central belt of the country.
The SA resolves to play a leading role in the struggle for a new workers party by taking the following steps.
1. Seek to set up a "Campaign for a new workers' party" jointly with other socialist and trade union organisations and activists committed to that goal, and to seek liaison and co-operation with that campaign on elections and other political issues.
2. The SA adopts the aim of a workers party in its constitution.
3. The SA includes arguments for a new workers' party as part of its campaigning propaganda.
The motion secured about a third of the conference votes. It was a step forward which led to the establishment of the new committee. One for the first decisions of the new committee has been to agree the following terms of reference. These are "to co-ordinate discussion and activities of those campaigning for a workers party, with a view to eventually organising a meeting/conference to set up an SA platform/campaign. The May 3rd committee will 'hand over' to those elected at any founding conference of such a campaign." It is important to stress that the May 3rd Committee is a provisional and representative, but not an elected body. Our role is to prepare for a future founding conference of an SA platform/campaign and look toward a conference later in the year.