08
Oct
12

SP raises doubts over future of the ULA

There is a new SP article “United Left Alliance at a crossroads” http://www.socialistparty.net/comment/1051-united-left-alliance-uncertain-future

We now have the SP as the ones posturing to the left, calling for the ULA to turn left “towards the advocacy of an explicitly socialist alternative”.

This of course is rather difficult given the ULA’s alliance nature and the associated right of veto – which the SP have been, and indeed continue to be, the most trenchent defenders of.

But I guess the irony of this is lost on them…

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7 Responses to “SP raises doubts over future of the ULA”


  1. October 8, 2012 at 20:39

    Some nice unsubstantiated assumptions on ‘some’ nonaligned – looking for some straw right wingers I suspect

    • October 9, 2012 at 09:54

      Missed that – I wonder who they are referring to? Especially given that the non-aligned meeting that discussed the Wallace issue came out for a harder position of wanting the ULA steering committee to call for his resignation.

  2. 3 Mark P
    October 8, 2012 at 23:52

    If you think back, you’ll probably remember that the Socialist Party have been the main proponents of a more left wing and explicitly socialist orientation for the ULA from the start. That the initial ULA statement is as (inadequately) left as it is was in large part down to the Socialist Party’s pushing in that direction, as against many of our allies who are either not particularly bothered or (as in the case of the SWP) quite explicitly want a “broader” (ie less explicitly left) orientation.

    As for the structure of the ULA, well we could end its federal set up and then the politics of the ULA would be determined by which of the Socialist Party and the SWP mobilised more people for the vote. I don’t think that would be an improvement.

    • October 9, 2012 at 10:04

      So we stay in the current catch-22 situation where individuals recruited to the ULA ended up finding themselves powerless in the alliance structure and as a result many, if not most, have drifted away and virtually every ULA branch is moribund.

      Of course an immediate transformation to one-person one-vote would only make the sectarian warfare between the SP & SWP even worse but some time in the last year or so there needed to be a commitment to the process of forming a party with a concrete timetable for that. Instead all we got were SWP left-right gyrations jumping from one new project to another and the SP repeating the mantra “the time is not right now and it won’t be for some time” while all the time both organisations ALWAYS primarily presented as themselves rather than as the ULA at EVERY public demonstration.

      But anyway it all seems too late now. I previously used the analogy of life-support to describe the state of the ULA, now it seems the priest has been called for to give the last rites…

      • 5 Mark P
        October 9, 2012 at 17:05

        That you ascribe the problems the ULA has had in attracting large numbers of new activists committed to building the alliance to its structures rather than to the very low level of struggle and radical political sentiment in Ireland at the moment (with the solitary exception of the CAHWT) is, I think, fairly telling.

        The ULA is an alliance. The Socialist Party and the SWP present themselves as primarily the Socialist Party and the SWP because they are primarily the Socialist Party and the SWP. Most of what has been done in the name of the ULA however has relied on the resources put into it by those two organisations.

      • October 10, 2012 at 09:37

        Actually that isn’t quite what I am arguing.

        The alliance structure and refusal to make any real commitment to moving forward to the creation of a new party is what has led to the bulk of the non-aligned individual members dropping out. This is because they joined believing that the perspective was for moving forward on a reasonable timeframe. But over 18 months after the election we still hear exactly the same refrain from the SP about it not being on the agenda for the foreseeable future.

        The main reason new people aren’t joining is because the ULA is not a real organisation. Why join something that can’t even put together decent contingents on demonstrations and its two main component groups don’t seem particularly committed to the project of building the ULA as a new party.

        These two issues are of course interrelated bit also distinct to some degree.


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