There has for some years been great potential for a left-of-Labour electoral alternative, uniting socialist and progressive forces around a common platform. Respect had considerable success for a time, but ended badly. The same conditions, however, still exist - indeed more so, considering the crisis of capitalism and disillusionment with Brown's premiership.
It is sad, therefore, to see the Communist Party of Britian, Socialist Party and RMT union using semi-nationalist rhetoric in its No2EU campaign for the European elections this June. What a wasted opportunity. While moves towards electoral unity on the left are welcome, the platform they advocate is confused. It echoes the opportunism many of the same people had in response to the wildcat strikes in the construction industry, when they adopted a largely uncritical position despite the 'British Jobs for British Workers' slogan.
It is also a peculiar approach to unity to deliberately exclude the largest left-of-Labour party in the country - the Socialist Workers Party - from negotiations. And surely, by now, we should have learnt that electoral success requires starting early and getting roots - leaving it until two months or so before the elections will not help anyone rise to the challenge.