In the run-up to the 2005 election, AWL formed an alliance — the Socialist Green Unity Coalition — with the Socialist Party, the Alliance for Green Socialism, the remnants of the Socialist Alliance, and the Socialist Unity Network.
The coalition stood 30 candidates in the general election. Almost all the candidates stood as representatives of their own groups, mostly SP and AGS. Only one, AWL member Pete Radcliff, in Nottingham East, stood formally as a socialist-unity candidate, and formed a local Socialist Green Unity Coalition for the campaign. Still, there was a joint platform, a joint website, a joint press conference, and joint press statements. It was a small step towards unity, but a step.
SGUC will be running candidates again in the 2006 local government elections. And at a meeting on 27 November SGUC also agreed, on AWL's proposal, to initiate some limited joint non-electoral campaigning. There will be joint leaflets, petitions, posters, and in some areas public meetings, to protest against the Turner Commission proposals for continuing and increased pension inequality.
This is an issue on which a range of socialists and working-class activists can work together, to go on the streets and tell people — all of whom will be affected, and the young more than the old - that there is an alternative: tax the rich.
Here as always, unity does not exclude debate. While working with the Socialist Party, we will also discuss with the fact that in unions where they are strong, like the civil service union PCS, they supported a deal which, without a day’s industrial action, conceded to the Government that future public service workers’ pension age will be raised to 65.