Alex Callinicos's article 'Unity in Diversity' (April SR) was a useful description of the relationship between revolutionaries and organisations such as Globalise Resistance and the Socialist Alliance.
However I feel that in the case of the Socialist Alliance, the term 'United Fronts of a New Type' obscures more than it reveals. The difficulty is that we have been used to jumping from one campaign to another depending on the demands of the day. With ever more going on in Britain, this tendency can become even more pronounced. If the Socialist Alliance is to be successful in winning over large numbers of Labour supporters a consistent effort is needed to give the Socialist Alliance a profile in all united fronts of the classical type.
In effect, at events organised by a united front we have to be able to operate on three levels simultaneously. First of being the best activists of that united front, being advocates for the Socialist Alliance and fighting for SA members to join the united front and also as revolutionaries building the SWP. However the possibilities are also huge. My fear is that by describing the Socialist Alliance as a 'United Front of a New Type' we encourage an attitude that it is just one campaign amongst an ever growing number. The Socialist Alliance is not a party, nor even near to becoming one. However if it is to be a home for those reformists disillusioned with Labour we have to make it a central part of our activity, building its membership and influence at the same time as we build the SWP. It has to be seen as a long-term project to rebuild the whole of the left not a short-term campaign, which goes up and down.