Posts Tagged ‘SWP’
Building Unite the Resistance to Expose the Left Misleaders.
The SWP has responded….
Charlie Kimber and Alex Callinicos.
The article begins, “For almost a year the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has been seized by deep division. It has not stopped us acting as a revolutionary organisation. We have had successes and recruited hundreds of new members. The trade union conferences saw some of the biggest party fringe meetings ever and near-record sales of Socialist Worker.”
I continue for the many (very many) who have stopped at this point and skip to the next paragraph.
“But none of that is to underestimate the shock we have suffered or the damage inflicted, as hundreds of members resigned from the SWP.”
For those interested in a serious in-depth discussion on the “specific issues that sparked this process” read (while you can) the just published Alex Callinicos, Charlie Kimber and the investigation of rape. (Hat-Tip AC).
The present piece will concentrate on what lies behind what the Author of the article summarises as,
The strategy behind Callinicos and Kimber’s piece is to blame everyone but themselves for the crisis in the SWP: Michael Rosen, Lindsey German, John Rees, George Galloway, John McDonell, Jeremy Corbyn and many others get criticised by name for their failures of revolutionary nerve.
Amongst the gems we have this, ” Respect was too small and too narrow. The International Socialist Network is at fault. They note the “disgraceful attacks that Seymour and his ilk were making on the rest of the party.” Their former comrades German and Rees, “Counterfire has become little more than decorative coverage for the efforts by Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, to rebuild the Labour left.”
The SWP’s present analysis will no doubt please Len McClusky, and Counterfire, leading forces in the People’s Assembly,
a rank and file to the left of the union leaders does still exist, although not as an organised movement. It was reflected in the 36 percent of the vote won by Jerry Hicks in the Unite general secretary election against Len McCluskey, one of the most left wing leaders. It was seen in the votes at the trade union conferences this year where a substantial minority of a third or more wanted to go much further than the union leaders proposed. It made itself felt in the warm reception at the local and national People’s Assemblies for criticism of the trade union and Labour leaders’ lack of action.
This is the primary layer that Unite the Resistance seeks to pull together and organise into more solid networks of solidarity and political understanding.
In other words the SWP, through its front organisation, Unite the Resistance, intends to use the People’s Assembly’s meetings as pools from which to build their own organisation.
Expect “criticisms” (we are only too familiar with how they are delivered) of “trade unions” and Labour” leaders at every People’s Assembly event.
But then, naturally, “Ultra-left sectarians never have any problem about denouncing trade union bureaucrats such as McCluskey. But, by counterposing abstract programmes to living movements, they ensure there is no interaction between them and activists influenced by reformism but open to the arguments of revolutionaries.”
Is the SWP’s way?
A successful party must seek to chart a clear way forward, and to develop alternatives to capitalist explanations of the world, but crucially it must also raise the level of confidence and struggle by the working class. Ultimately a revolutionary party is about providing the leadership that can enable the working class to conquer state power-in its own country and internationally.
We will be interested to see what “living movement” can be resurrected from the SWP, ready to “conquer state power”.
And how their front organisation’s actions will raise anybody’s ”confidence” apart from their own.
SWP Reaches New Moral Bankruptcy, “The horror in Kenya is a direct product of Western intervention. “
Al-Shabab: No Will of their Own, Says SWP.
“The shocking attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi was not just mindless terrorism.”
The SWP goes on to explain in the latest Socialist Worker why the centre was targeted.
“Westgate was chosen for this operation because, as Kenyan socialist Zahid Rajan put it, “It is the venue of choice for wealthy people across the racial divide”. To most better-off Kenyans the malls like Westgate were seen as a haven from the embittered, violent country.”
Apparently Al-Shabab are no so bad.
After the chaos in the early 200s, they restored some kind of government in Somilia
Central authority collapsed in Somalia with the fall of US-backed dictator Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991. Al Shabaab was part of the Islamic Courts movement that restored some kind of government in 2006.
“This was overthrown by a US-backed invasion and the group has since moved to more extreme forms of Islamism. “
As opposed no doubt to their ‘moderate’ form of Sharia before.
“After the invasion by Kenyan and Ethiopian troops in 2011 it said that it supported the ideas of Al Qaida. Even Rob Wise of the US Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank comments that it was “a relatively moderate Islamist organisation”, which was driven towards Al Qaida by invasion.
He added that since 2008 al Shabaab has “increasingly embraced transnational terrorism and attempted to portray itself as part of the Al Qaida-led global war on the West.”
“The horror in Kenya is a direct product of Western intervention.”
Al-Shabab themselves say (Al Jazeera),
The place we attacked is Westgate shopping mall. It is a place where tourists from across the world come to shop, where diplomats gather. It is a place where Kenya’s decision-makers go to relax and enjoy themselves. Westgate is a place where there are Jewish and American shops. So we have to attack them.
And as for the ‘anti-Western’ claims they underline their wish during the attack to kill only non-Muslims (the majority of Kenyan for a start).
We released all Muslims when we took control of the mall. Witnesses have backed us on this.
Now the SWP may think that Al-Shabab are forces swept into history by Western ‘imperialism’.
They deny them free will – who to kill or not to kill.
Few others will sympathise with this self-indulgent moral bankruptcy.
Least of those suffering from the Al-Shabab attack on a Kenyan Border post today.
Socialist Worker states,
The media made much of a joint walk between a Muslim organisation, Jimas, and the English Defence League (EDL) to lay wreathes in Ipswich two weeks ago.
Manwar Ali, chief executive of Jimas, told Socialist Worker they wanted to help “peace and harmony in Ipswich”. But he now thinks taking part in the walk was “politically naive”.
Since the walk he has come to believe that such joint actions with “a known fascist, racist and Islamophobic organisation known to target other communities and political groupings” are “counterproductive”.
He said they “will not be engaging in any public activity organised by the EDL in future”.
The “media made much” of a march through the town – perhaps, just perhaps, because a joint wreath-laying between a Muslim organisation and a groupuscule whose public presence is dedicated to attacking Islam is, to say the least, news.
One can imagine that the media, including Socialist Worker, would have “made much” of a joint march, say, of the Ipswich Conservative Association and the English Defence League.
It remains to be seen what the full statement of Jimas was, or if they intend to foray into this area again.
For the present it is of interest to know what the Socialist Worker Party thinks of the EDL
Socialist Worker says this.
The racist English Defence League (EDL) and the fascist British National Party are allowed to peddle their foul Islamophobia on the airwaves and the streets.
Many would agree with this.
But, as Howie’s Corner points out, they say more, a lot more.
In the same article on the prosecution of the would-be attackers of an EDL march in Dewsbury they say.
Is it a surprise that some decided they couldn’t take any more and planned an attack on an EDL rally?That’s what six men in the West Midlands, who have been jailed for up to 19 and a half years each, were guilty of.They took a bomb, knives and shotguns to an EDL rally in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, last June.
They arrived after the EDL rally had finished and the attack didn’t happen.
Some have said that the actions of the Dewsbury men are equivalent to the violence of the fascists.
This argument says that there are extremists on both sides and that socialists should oppose both equally.
But this ignores racism and oppression.
The plan to attack the EDL was a reaction to discrimination.
It is not equal to the violence of the state, or of racists or fascists who attack people because of their race or religion.
It was an act of despair against racist thugs.
Not having the SWP’s mind-reading ability we cannot be sure of the motives of these individuals.
A prolonged bout of whataboutery – a list including state violence, fascist attacks and racialist oppression and discrimination – obscures any condemnation of the planned violence.
One might remark that it veers towards the reasoning of ”Tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner’ – to understand all is to forgive all.
The SWP goes on to say,
Had the attack gone ahead, it could have killed or injured people protesting against the EDL.
It could have generated sympathy for the EDL rather than weakening them.
And it could have helped the state increase the clampdown on Muslims and anti-fascists.
Even though the attack didn’t happen, EDL leader Tommy Robinson has used it to blame Muslims for violence and call for the state to deal with them all.
This is from the leader of an organisation committed to race hate and thuggery.
Its initials were spray painted on the walls of the burned out Islamic centre in north London last week.
And EDL members openly sang “Burn the Mosque” in Lincoln town centre last Saturday.
Victory over fascism will not be won by killing individual fascists.
It will be achieved by mobilising mass opposition across the working class and confronting them where ever they organise.
The SWP, in other words, is opposed to individual terrorism.
The SWP’s policy on the alternative, ”mass mobilisation” has been this, “no Platform for Fascists“.
What does it mean?
John Molyneux of the SWP explained in 2009.
Stopping the BNP (and other fascists) from growing and building influence, including by stopping their marches, and denying them public platforms is therefore both a political duty, a necessary act of solidarity with all vulnerable minorities AND, for everyone of colour, LGBT people, Jews, Muslims, trade unionists, socialists etc a matter of self preservation.
Anybody interested in this should follow the problems the SWP has had itself with ‘no-platforming’ and its national organiser, Martin Smith - here.
In the meantime we hope that Jimas are aware of what the SWP policies on the fight against groups like the EDL are.
Kick Their Cunts in Say Some.
In Glasgow, Saturday, faced with protests against the SWP,
… something happened at the Glasgow Anti Bedroom Tax demo yesterday, and it needs to be talked about. It happened because a rape apologist was invited to speak on the platform. Dave Sherry was invited to speak in his capacity as UNITE Scottish Federation of Housing Associations branch secretary, but one of his other roles is as a member of the Disputes Committee of the SWP which it has emerged has delivered a “not proved” verdict in the case of senior party member Martin Smith raping a teenage member of the party. It has also taken it upon itself to “rule” on several other rape cases. That Disputes Committee, and all in the SWP who have lined up to support it and silence internal dissent against its decision to even entertain holding its own rape trial, let alone come to the decision that they “didn’t think that Comrade Delta [Martin Smith] raped W” (Candy U, Disputes Committee member, from leaked transcript of an SWP conference), is a Committee of rape apologists.
“ One unknown young female steward was very keen to let every female Sherry protestor know that she wanted to hurt them, threatening various women with ripping their throats out/kicking their cunts in/stabbing them. I very much doubt she was SWP and to be honest it was more upsetting to see older people who should have been diffusing that situation for both her own safety and ours actually egging her on – it seemed to be a pretty clear example of them using a working class woman as their disposable attack dog while they stood comfortably behind her. For all anyone knew she could have personal reasons why her immediate response to feeling under attack was to threaten violence, and the stewards and bystanders who definitely knew exactly what we were protesting against had a duty not to allow the situation to escalate to threats of violence (but you know”
This is the report we have.
There have been no denials.