From The Socialist Unity Blog, via Leftist Trainspotters, the following: Where is the IST going? (March 1, 2007):
…in Australia the Socialist Alternative is an IS derived organisation, [not] resulting from the expulsion of the Melbourne branch including Tom O’Lincoln some years ago. Socialist Alternative are basically a propaganda group following a similar party building model to that adopted by the [Socialist Workers Party (SWP)] in the 1980s. The expulsions seem to have been precipitated by an intervention from London, after a visit to Oz by Chris Bambury. Socialist Alternative can sustain themselves perhaps indefinitely on that isolationist, propaganda basis, but to what purpose?
In contrast the official SWP affiliate, the [International Socialist Organisation (ISO)], seems to be in terminal crisis. Within the last couple of weeks they finally formally resigned from the Australian Socialist Alliance (SA), however their participation had been problematic for a while, as they sought to apply perspectives from London which stressed the coalition model that the SWP favoured for Respect. Their long term leading comrade David Glanz has now taken a backseat role, and I have heard rumours that some comrades may have resigned over the ISO leaving the SA.
In New Zealand, the propaganda version of the IS politics is called the International Socialists. It is significant that their web site links to the American ISO, and to the Australian Socialist Alternative, although I do not believe that the American ISO is fostering formal international links. For those familiar with the traditional British SWP of the 1980s and 1990s, the IS (NZ) web site has a comfortable feel to it.
The official IST affiliate in New Zealand, called Socialist Worker, have not updated their web-site for a couple of years ,* but are quite independent of the London line, and leading comrades like Grant Morgan have been regular attendees at events organised by the [Democratic Socialist Perspective] in Australia. Socialist Worker’s orientation on left regroupment appears to be at odds with current London thinking…
So the International Socialist Organisation, with very little ceremony, has finally left the Socialist Alliance? Ah well. In doing so, the ISO has merely rendered SA into what it was always going to be: an(other) electoral platform for the DSP. Speaking of which, the DSP/SA is fielding six losing candidates in the upcoming (March 24) NSW state election: Raul Bassi, Rachel Evans, Susan Price and Jakalene X in the Upper House (Legislative Council); Pip Hinman in Marrackville; and Jess Moore in Woollongong. Interestingly, Hinman will be competing with the Socialist Equality Party for the attention of the masses, where Patrick O’Connor is also standing to lose. In addition, Nick Beams — “a leading figure in the Australian and international socialist movement for more than three decades”, apparently — and Terry Cook are aiming for the Legislative Council, while James Cogan will contest the seat of Heffron and Noel Holt the seat of Newcastle.
* Socialist Worker now got blog (February 2007–).