Around 80 people attended the national conference of the Left Alternative in central London last Saturday.
Delegates from across England and Wales took part in the discussion about how to respond to the recession in order to build an alternative to New Labour.
The session on “Recession, New Labour and the Left” highlighted the need to relate to wide layers of people and tap into the anger that exists towards greedy corporations, bankers and politicians.
In the wake of the damaging split within Respect and the disappointing election results in May, some delegates thought that standing in elections should still be a priority.
However, the consensus that emerged was that the Left Alternative is generally not well placed to involve itself directly in the electoral field but should work towards the wider recomposition of the radical left in Britain.
Preston councillor Michael Lavalette spoke about the need for the Left Alternative to work in wider campaigns and respond to grassroots alternatives that spring from the movement.
Representatives from Rifoundazione Communista in Italy, London bus workers, Stop the War Coalition, environmental group Plane Stupid and Love Music Hate Racism addressed the conference.
There were sessions on war, anti-fascism and the fight against climate change.
A new national council was elected alongside national chair Michael Gavan and national organiser Elaine Graham-Leigh.
Shaun Doherty was elected to the new post of national convenor.
In her closing address, Elaine Graham-Leigh stressed the importance of members using the People Before Profit Charter to draw activists and trade unionists into the struggle against the government’s attempts to make us pay for the crisis.
The conference also adopted the charter as a major campaigning tool.