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More from the Respect coal face

That goes some part of the way to explaining why the principal strategic task for the left is to help create a mass alternative party to Labour. Until Labour’s political grip on union activists and vanguard workers is weakened by the creation of a plausible alternative we are unlikely to see the emergence of large scale class struggle formations in the unions. I think this also holds true of struggles around issues like housing and ecology.

The experience of both the (English)Socialist Alliance and Respect shows that the initial core components of such a new formation will come from the Marxist left. The manner in which they administer and organise the new formation will have a huge bearing on how it develops. The SWP opted for a tight central control while allowing George Galloway and the councillors to operate independently. As we have seen that forced out most socialists and made it very unattractive to most class struggle militants.



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