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Open letter responses: Why we must unite

This article is over 12 years, 6 months old
We need to coordinate on three fronts, argues SWP national secretary Martin Smith
Issue 2158

The Socialist Workers Party produced an open letter to all those on the left in the aftermath of last month’s European elections.

Like many, we believe the results are a warning to us all.

The fascist British National Party (BNP) gained two European parliamentary seats, Labour’s vote fell to a historic low and the Tories are preparing to go on the offensive against the trade union movement and working people.

In our open letter we argued for working class unity on three fronts.

We need a fervent response to the rise of the BNP. We need a united fightback to save jobs and services. And we need a united left electoral alternative to a Labour government that has utterly failed to represent the interests of working class people.

In the few weeks since we launched the open letter, hundreds of activists have signed it. They include Labour Party members, independent councillors, trade union activists, pensioners and students.

The response to the open letter shows that there is a real desire for unity across the working class movement.

Publishing a selection of the signatories we have received so far in the print edition of Socialist Worker is not the end of the process – it is just the beginning.

We are also asking activists and organisations to continue to circulate the open letter and to pledge their support.

As we made clear in our open letter, we do not believe that we have all

the answers or a perfect prescription for a left wing alternative.

But we do believe that there is an urgent need for a debate on the way forward. We have to begin to plan to come together to offer real hope to millions of working class people.

Since launching the open letter we have begun the process of holding meetings with other organisations and individuals on the left.

We would very much like to see a conference organised, open to all and with no pre-conditions, to talk about the possibility of united electoral work.

Now is not the time to rehash old arguments or settle old scores.

Working class people deserve an alternative to New Labour and the dangers of the right. It’s up to all of us to strive to achieve this.

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