SP’s latest article on ULA

The SP has a new article on the ULA “What next for the United Left Alliance? – What next for the ULA?

For anyone who is an independent member of the ULA and hoping to see some movement towards the creation of a working class party this article is more bad news.

The article claims that:

“The ULA is an alliance that fights on issues, outlines a left and socialist alternative and crucially popularises the idea of a new party.”

When has the ULA, as the ULA, ever outlined a “socialist alternative”? The answer is never. The joint electoral platform of the ULA is not socialist (as the SP themselves pointed out at the time of the election). When ULA TDs speak they always limit themselves to a left-reformist vision of an alternative to neo-liberal austerity but within the current capitalist framework. (such as the latest ULA statement – http://www.unitedleftalliance.org/united-left-alliance-tds-challenge-troika-on-doomed-austerity-policy/)

The SP article projects the ULA potentially growing out of the anti-household tax campaign:

“The Household Tax campaign can involve thousands of people in political activity up and down the country, creating the potential basis for a new party. ULA members should get fully involved in this struggle.”

This is just so much fiction. I was at the national activist meeting of the anti-household tax campaign on 14 January and I did not hear a single reference to the ULA. There were plenty of “I am from the SP/SWP…”. And that is the reality of both the SP & SWP intervention into the class struggle. The ULA is a secondary factor, at best, for them and only gets primacy in the context of bourgeois electoralism, either in the election process itself or in statements in the Dail.

The article ends on an optimistic note:

“There aren’t any green shoots of economic recovery but there are signs of a recovery in mood and fighting spirit and it is very important that the ULA positively launches itself into this changing situation.”

But how can the ULA positively launch itself into anything when its main constituents more often appear as themselves and the independents are effectively frozen out of any decision making processes.

Of course the one thing this article doesn’t explain is that the ULA’s alliance structure gives the constituent groups a right of veto over all proposals. So just as the PbP/SWP could use their veto to create the farce of calling off the 4 February conference only a week after it was formally announced, and the Tipperary WUAG can veto any discussion on even the possiblity of having a policy of raising corporation tax, the SP can veto any proposals to change the organisational structure.

The thing that astounds me is that the SP seem to seriously think that this kind of political framework will be appealing to militant workers engaging in class struggle and looking for an organisation which they can actively participate in to express their desire for social change.


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