Too Good To Go Down

Amongst the subjects for discussion at the last meeting of the RA National Council (NC) was the present condition of the left and the effect this may have on RA. In recent times we have seen the disappearance of the likes of Class War and the various factions that made up the remnants of the WRP. The Socialist Party (formerly Militant) look set to suffer an acrimonious split along national lines, with the Scottish section of the party about to declare U.D.I. and are also said to be down to 30-40 activists for the entire London area. A steady flow of resignations from Arthur Scargill's SLP have been the order of the day since the fanfare of publicity that heralded it, launch; while Arthur tries to buy-up the Morning Star which is tearing itself apart in a dispute between workers and management. Even the self-styled 'hard-headed ideologues' of the CPGB have seen its two Scottish organisers resign in apparent despondency. Surely it will not be too long either, before the SWPs continued electoral support for the viciously right-wing Blair government causes serious dissent within the ranks.
So where does this leave RA? Although, because of RAs long-standing rejection of conventional left ideology, RA has so-far suffered few resignations in what must be seen as a particularly harsh climate for those involved in revolutionary politics; it would be a grave mistake to think that we are somehow automatically immune from its effects. RA has no divine right to survive. To use football terminology, no one is necessarily 'too good to go down' in the present climate.

One aspect identified at the NC crucial to RA's long-term health is the tightening-up of our internal structures. There has certainly been a tendency in some areas to allow this area of work to drift. All organisers should ensure that Regional and Branch meetings are held on a regular basis and are well attended, that subs are paid on time, that the Red Action Bulletin is sold and the internal newsletters are distributed and contributed-to regularly.

It is essential that members who are often burrowing away on equally important but disparate projects do not become isolated from the rest of the organisation. Taking part in branch meetings gives all members an opportunity to gain an overview of the progress that RA is making in the various areas of its work throughout the regions, and to debate and shape short-term policy between annual conference; essential in ensuring internal democracy.
As we have previously identified, an explosion in growth for organisations such as RA is not on the cards for the foreseeable future. Instead we must apply ourselves to the various projects we have been painstakingly assembling over the past few years.

This has often been a frustrating period for some members who have not played a hands-on role in this process, however, now is the time for the talking to stop and the doing to begin. RA has equipped itself with a sound analysis, have been central in putting together a number of potentially ambitious and exciting projects and can look upon the coming period with some optimism. Success is not guaranteed though. These projects will need a solid core, and that core is RA. We must start by doing the basics and do them well.
Steve Potts
Reproduced from RA vol 3, Issue 1, June/July '98