Unity and diversity



As a non-affiliated member of the Socialist Alliance, I would like to contribute to the debate on left unity and the nature of the alliance.

I am relieved that the Democratic Socialist Party's (DSP) decision to postpone its proposal (GLW #518) has led to a calming down of the situation. Almost all would agree that the alliance cannot afford to self-destruct at a time when the national (and international) social and political climate is becoming increasingly polarised and a left-wing alternative needs to be seen in the public arena.

Ultimately, I believe that many of the areas of difference between the DSP and the International Socialist Organisation, such as revolution or reform and the position on Cuba, are abstract and irrelevant to the appeal of the alliance.

I am definitely not saying that these issues should not be discussed and debated. On the contrary, I believe, as many have suggested, that we should be a pluralist grouping, a "broad church", and on issues not relating to campaigns and the major aspects of our platform, members and affiliates can agree to disagree.

History has demonstrated that in times of political polarisation, in-fighting among the left has allowed reactionary forces to triumph.

[Nick Chinna is a Socialist Alliance member in Perth.]

From Green Left Weekly, December 11, 2002.

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