Sunday, 20 January 2013

More dispatches from 'the real world'

We restless and unhappy members of the Socialist Workers' Party are so often cautioned to re-focus our energies on 'the real world'. So it happens to be a problem that in 'the real world', because of a failure of both principle and strategy, we are rapidly becoming toxic for many whom we have built up working relationships with. The latest example: Essex socialist students being isolated and shunned.

I simply ask members this. If you are experiencing this sort of problem directly, what do you think can be done to repair the damage? And do you see any sign of it being done? Has anyone in the leadership offered you any productive advice on what to do? Other than, get your head down and hopefully it will all blow over? If not, how can this be? Isn't it because they, who pride themselves on defending a decisive, 'interventionist' form of leadership, are actually in a bunker composed of their own self-serving rationalisations right now? Isn't it because they have no idea what to tell you, because they refuse to concede that there is a real problem? Isn't it because they are in a state of profound denial about the crisis that befalls us? And what are you going to do about that?

My advice is, for what it's worth, is to pass motions in your branches calling for an emergency conference to address this crisis. That is the first and most important step. Since the matter falls to you to resolve, the least that you can ask for is the means to resolve it.

 - Richard Seymour


  1. I've gone from being upset now to being angry. I've just sent Charlie the following:

    Dear Charlie,

    After 16 years of loyal devotion and service to the party, to not even acknowledge my resignation is an absolute disgrace. But then nothing the CC does surprises me anymore. You of all people should know that a top down, unelected by members, leadership is doomed to fail. All of you have become the very people you swore you wouldn't and spent years fighting against. You're destroying the party I loved and making it a laughing stock. What's worse, you are leaving the innocent rank and file members to take the flak for your mistakes. You cannot 'draw a line under it' after it has entered the public domain and offer members no way to respond to the abuse they're receiving because of the CC and DC's actions. It will not go away and those of us who loved the SWP will ensure that it doesn't. Has my resignation been accepted or not? Either way, I will continue to fight you, whether it is from within or without. There isn't anyone 'disloyal' in the party either. You've forgotten that the CC is NOT the party. I am fiercely loyal to the SWP and always will be. The CC and DC are nothing but an embarrassment. If you care about the party at all, you and the rest of the CC and DC will step down, or there will be nothing left. You'll be the National Secretary of Nothing. The choice is yours.


    A true Marxist who doesn't view 'feminism' as an insult. All true Marxists are by default feminists, anti-racists, anti-homophobes, opposed to anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and support the disabled, the old, the young, the weak and the vulnerable. Can you claim to be a true Marxist?

  2. Feminism should never be used as an insult, the fight by women just to have a livable modicum of ineqaulity has met barbaric savagery over centuries, the SWP could have
    treated the recent issue with Delta with the seriousness it demanded.

  3. As a former member of the SWP (1997 - 2004) I have been following this and previous developments with a lot of interest.

    I am fully aware of the SWP's claim to have a rich history of fighting women's oppression and is one that probably couldn't be argued against or maybe some will. I have met some good people within the SWP and am still in contact with them and I value their friendship and understand their devotion to the party. If you are passionate and active about politics you want to feel you have a home to go to.

    I first came across this with some shock from reading an Independent newspaper article which I felt aghast. The events you just couldn't make them up.

    The motions which I have read on this website and other left blogs have been mixed. Other blogs critical, the motions with good intentions, but not all of them.

    I think in all of this we have lost sight of the real issue. An allegation of rape and sexual harassment have been reported but from what I have read, it still seems that politics is the more urgent concern than someone or some people who have been abused. I thought it was bad enough at the BBC!

    The motions do nothing to address the ongoing crisis and death of the SWP and this is such a shame. It is a golden opportunity to really get to grips with the real problem facing the SWP: Rape, abuse, sexism, misogyny which supposedly the SWP campaigns against! Trade unionism, changing face of the working class etc etc can wait for another time.

    The disputes committee should be scrapped, it has no purpose whatsoever as well as the central committee should be scrapped, the accused should be suspended and an external investigator who is fully independent should be appointed to launch an investigation. This issue should never have been discussed at any conference. The police should have been involved and those who are intimidating victims should face disciplinary sanctions if any intimidation is happening.

    The SWP is not exclusive to any "bourgeois system." This is a criminal matter and should be dealt with as such. The SWP is dying out maybe after it's suicide it would be ok to say glad to see the back of it. I would never re-join again

    The way it is being handled is nothing short of a disgrace