Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

SWP Facing Problems with Marxism 2014.

with 45 comments

Statement Regarding Marxism Festival 2014 and the Socialist Workers Party

11 March 2014 at 15:04

Trigger Warning: Discussion on rape-apologism

The Marxism Festival is the annual summer school event of the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP). Our rejection of this year’s request to book rooms at the University of London Union for Marxism Festival 2014 is due to the fact that the Socialist Workers’ Party has, over the last year, proven itself to be a corrupt, rape apologist organisation which prides itself in creating an unsafe space for young women. As elected officers – like many others in the student movement – we see the SWP’s handling of rape allegations against a senior member as a despicable denial of sexism.

Here at ULU we have a clear policy which outlines a zero tolerance stance against sexual harassment and violence. We believe survivors of sexual harassment and aim to offer the best possible support we can. Last year we were angered that the SWP was able to hold Marxism 2013 here but we didn’t not have oversight on what type of organisations hired out ULU. ULU is first and foremost a space for student organisation and we aim to put the welfare of students first. We stated that we were going to bring in measures to ensure that democratically elected officers have powers over ULU conference bookings and we did.

At Marxism 2013, many students and mostly women activists, who attended in order to protest against the SWP, were submitted to verbal and physical abuse by members of the party. This only adds to our concerns for the safety of students at ULU when the SWP is present. Furthermore, criticism of the SWP leadership has been constantly silenced and suppressed at every turn and often met with violent behaviour as well as accusations that it is we who are sexist and sectarian.

The Socialist Workers’ Party has tried to silence any activist within the party who has tried to fight for justice for the women who have been victims of sexual violence at the the hands of the leadership. Instead of supporting those women, the SWP instead started a victim-blaming campaign and protected the perpetrator. To quote a member of the SWP “we aren’t rape apologists unless we believe all women tell the truth, and guess what some women and children lie”.

To the SWP, we say that you are beyond help and progressive debate. You are disgrace to the left and we have no wish to help support any growth in your oppressive organisation. The bottom line is that you do not have any right to use this space, you are not welcome here or anywhere near our union and we will not be harassed by your organisation. As students and activists, we stand united against sexism.

Signed

Susuana Antubam (Women’s Officer)

Natasha Gorodnitski (Ethics & Environment Officer)

Maham Hashmi (Black Students Officer)

Thomas Ankin (Disabled Students Officer)

Andy Turton (LGBT+ Officer)

Facebook.

This is utterly, completely, wrong.

I feel strongly about this since I have been at left meetings held at ULU since the mid 1970s.

Ban one, then why not another?

This was particularly lame, they have “no wish to help support any growth in your oppressive organisation.”

Fuck me, lets look at some really oppressive organisations and practices  in some fucking oppressive countries.

Noteworthy are the signatures of the following added on the Facebook declaration:

  • Leah Edwards, Co-President Welfare & Campaigns, SOAS
  •  Fanni Rintakumpu, SOAS Feminist Soc
     
  • Resham Akhtar, Co – Women’s Officer – SOAS

So what about this?

(Feb 2014)

As members of SOAS Christian-Muslim Dialogue Society, we oppose your vilification and targeting of university Islamic societies including SOAS Islamic Society on the issue of gender segregation in their events.

We support the right of each student to act according to his or her personal religious convictions. For some, segregated seating serves these convictions and allows participation in mixed events. We support the right of SOAS Islamic Society to accommodate both segregated and mixed seating in any event.

We oppose the notion that segregated seating is somehow indicative of extremism, and believe this to be motivated by Islamophobic sentiments.

As members of a Society including Christians, Muslims, and individuals of other faiths and none, we stand with SOAS Islamic Society in this matter.

Or this?

A London university’s student union has come under criticism for allowing a pro-female genital mutilation supporter to speak at a debate on campus.

Haitham al-Haddad spoke at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on Monday, despite having previously publicly advocated his support for FGM.

In a video posted on YouTube, he lectures on the importance of knowing female circumcision in the UK is illegal and says there is a “proper” way of carrying out FGM.

“In some countries.. they do [circumcision] a way that cause harm for the female,” he says. “There are some statistics it can cause 25% death of females.. This is called the Pharaonic circumcision.. We are not talking about that. They cut extensively. That is harmful, definitely. But it is consensus of all the scholars that female circumcision is sunnah [proper].

The event was organised by the Islamic Finance and Ethics Society and although al-Haddad spoke about why lending money with interest is forbidden in Islam, several students voiced their concerns at the preacher being given a platform.

Nadje Al-Ali, professor of gender studies at SOAS, told The Huffington Post UK: “I am saddened and angered that the SOAS Islamic FInance and Ethics society had provided a platform for someone who can only be described as a preacher of hate and ignorance.

“Aside from his extremely problematic views on FGM, which would be challenged by most serious Islamic scholars, he is on record of making anti-semitic, sexist and homophobic remarks. Freedom of speech needs to be applied within the principles of not inciting hatred.

(19.2.14)

It might be interesting to see something Resham Akhtar’s Page about that!

Update: Nothing on SWP Marxism  page, literally nothing, no list of speakers to begin with, yet.

Written by Andrew Coates

March 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm

45 Responses

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  1. What really frightens me about this sort of thing is the fact that the route from Student Union politician to Labour PPC is so short and direct these days.

    Francis

    March 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm

  2. Indeed Francis.

    These student officers have appointed themselves judge and jury on a political party.

    Exactly the kind of thing the SWP is accused of.

    Boycott ULU?

    Andrew Coates

    March 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm

  3. Lol kids have got from the grasp of toy town trots and baabaa Bolsheviks and you’re sad?

    Paul Robeson

    March 12, 2014 at 6:02 pm

  4. Err… Andrew, isn’t that what we have all been doing since the uncovering of the “delta” affair and the rest of it for the last year or so?

    Howard Fuller

    March 12, 2014 at 7:16 pm

  5. This was reported yesterday at Harry’s Place as suggesting, or claiming, that the SWP now has nowhere to hold its Marxism event this year.
    It could also be read as meaning that ULU have turned down the SWP’s booking application.

    Andrew seems to have fallen into the same trap, even if he, unlike HP, isn’t expressing Schadenfreude but rejects the sentiments of the letter.

    My initial reactions were:

    1. Marxism was never just held at ULU, but at SOAS, at the Institute of Education, at UCL, etc. ULU are not responsible in any way for what happens in these other buildings.

    2. Where it is claimed Our rejection of this year’s request to book rooms at the University of London Union for Marxism Festival 2014… ties in firstly with point 1. It is merely a rejection of the SWP’s request to book rooms in the ULU building, not for the rest of the much larger complex around UCL etc.

    3. It is also not a rejection of the SWP’s booking, but merely “our” rejection. It is not a letter from the board of ULU. It is not on ULU’s website as a position of ULU. It is not even signed from the Chair, vice-chair etc. (both close to the AWL) or the majority of the board of ULU, but merely by 5 ‘identity politics’ ULU officers. In total, I think, there are 11 or 12 members on the ULU board /officers of ULU.

    4. They are merely saying they will vote against allowing the SWP to hold Marxism 2014 in the ULU building. This does not mean they will have the majority of the ULU board on their side, it does not mean they will win the vote, it does not mean the SWP will have nowhere to hold Marxism 2014 in the immediate vicinty.

    This letter is merely, as far as I can tell, an attempt to influence any vote in the near future on whether the SWP should be able to rent rooms there. And maybe for the rest of the far-left as well.

    dagmar

    March 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm

  6. These people are fairweather friends. Not really socialists. As things hot up, more and more divisions like this will be revealed: some will become socialists, others will sink into their petty bourgoise philosophies.

    Sue R

    March 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm

  7. What a stream of hysterical sanctimonious bile. They are no better, I mean this literally, than the Daily Mail.

    Susuana Antubam (Women’s Officer), Natasha Gorodnitski (Ethics & Environment Officer), Maham Hashmi (Black Students Officer)’, Thomas Ankin (Disabled Students Officer),
    Andy Turton (LGBT+ Officer) are a disgrace to truth, freedom and liberty and therefore humanity. Which is far worse than being a disgrace to the left, which is a competitive field after all.

    By the way I am not a supporter of the SWP, who (whom) I have found to be a bunch of ineffective, up their own backsides, tossers. But I do regard them as fellow leftists.

    Socialsim In One Bedroom

    March 12, 2014 at 8:23 pm

  8. Sue: I doubt very much whether these people consider themselves to be socialists.

    dagmar

    March 12, 2014 at 8:46 pm

  9. If you can’t see the difference between “appointing themselves judge and jury” in terms of deciding whether you want to rent some rooms to a political organisation or not and “appointing themselves judge and jury” in terms of deciding whether you think someone’s guilty of rape or not, then there is something seriously wrong with your sense of perspective*. Equally, Socialism in one Bedroom obviously doesn’t encounter the Daily Mail very often if they think there’s any mileage in that comparison. I really can’t see what the problem is here (at least with the SWP stuff – the other stuff is obviously repulsive, but I think the point is more that they shouldn’t be condoning either set of sexist practices, not that they should be supporting both).
    The basic principle here is one of free association. As flawed and bureaucratic as student elections are, ultimately these are people who’ve been elected by University of London students to represent their interests, and they’ve decided that their members have an interest in not being preyed on by middle-aged sex pests, and that clashes with the behaviour of the SWP, so they are not willing to put their collective resources at the disposal of the SWP. If you object to that decision, then it seems like you don’t think ULU should have the right to make decisions about who should get to use their resources, which sounds like a pretty horrifically authoritarian position to take. This isn’t about the state swooping in and banning Marxism, which I would oppose totally, it’s about some people deciding that they don’t want to help the SWP make it happen, which seems perfectly fair enough. “First they made the SWP find an alternative venue for their event, but I did not speak out, because I was not a SWP member…” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
    There’s a pleasing irony here in that wordpress is currently recommending a post of yours from last year called “SWP Central Committee Votes for ‘Discipline’; Left Union Activists Warn of Consequences.” at the bottom of this post. Well, quite. They were warned of consequences, they chose not to listen, and now their behaviour is having those consequences. If the SWP end up having to hold Marxism in Alex Callinicos’ living room this year, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

    * of course, this is to give ground to the argument that the problem is that they decided to hear the accusation, rather than that they handled it in such a dreadful way, which is deeply problematic in itself, but that’s a whole other argument for another day.

    nothingiseverlost

    March 12, 2014 at 9:54 pm

  10. Isn’t it a little bit hyperbolic to describe the SWP as ‘middle aged sex’ predators? How many ordinary students would be at ULU when the conference was being held. and of those that are, how many are so weak-willed to be sweet talked by ‘middle aged’ persons (of either gender) anyway? Dagmar is right, these people don’t consider themselves as socialists, if they did they would not take such a hysterical view of what is, to be honest, a rather minor transgression. LIsten, I acknowledge that the SWP may have attempted to cover up Cde Delta’s bad sexual etiquette, that the woman felt used etc etc, but GET OVER IT. Cde Delta has left the SWP, his reputation is shot. What more do these people want? As for the idea of reporting him to the police, I actually find that rather shocking. If there had been physical violence (or a murder had been committed), there are grounds for involving the local state apparatus, but emotional violence is quite another thing. Just remember that old slogan, ‘What does not kill us, makes us stronger.’. (Do you agree. Dagmar?).

    Sue R

    March 12, 2014 at 10:37 pm

  11. […] a very interesting article here by Ipswich Barmy Bolshevik Blogger, Comrade Coates about the Socialist Rapists Workers Party. The […]

  12. “minor transgressions”? “bad sexual etiquette”? Fuck off. And who mentioned reporting him to the police anyway?

    nothingiseverlost

    March 12, 2014 at 11:22 pm

  13. ULU’s website has since published the statement*, but a statement signed by 5 officers** of ULU does not mean it’s ULU policy, unless, possibly, the ULU executive (etc.) has voted on the same issue and the vote went the same way as this letter would wish (and an ULU executive decision would be binding). There is no evidence that this is the case.

    ** of these 5, 1 is a full time officer (out of 4 full time officers) and a member of the ULU executive commmittee; 1 is a part-time officer (out of 4 part-time officers) and a member of the ULU executive, 3 are part-time liberation officers and are not members of the ULU executive (but sit on the ULU senate). None of them seem to be members of the ULU Board of Trustees.

    The women’s officer’s own blog doesn’t mention the letter.

    * http://www.ulu.co.uk/news/article/6013/Statement-Regarding-Marxism-Festival-2014-and-the-Socialist-Workers-Party/

    dagmar

    March 12, 2014 at 11:34 pm

  14. I take it, nothingiseverlost, that you aren’t a woman. If you were, maybe you would be a little bit more realistic.

    Sue R

    March 12, 2014 at 11:46 pm

  15. ” Just remember that old slogan, ‘What does not kill us, makes us stronger.’. (Do you agree. Dagmar?).”

    To answer that question, Sewer, no, I don’t agree.

    dagmar

    March 13, 2014 at 12:02 am

  16. “And who mentioned reporting him to the police anyway?”

    I thought that was central to the argument of the SWP opposition.

    dagmar

    March 13, 2014 at 12:03 am

  17. yeah, fuck you!, I ain’t no swappy, but I’ll defend them ahginst middle class, twatty, student, pretendy anarchist for the summer……errrr where was I….well you get the picture!!

    Carl zacharia

    March 13, 2014 at 2:00 am

  18. Limp non sequitur. Not even that really. Try harder.

    Why should a woman’s officer and other liberation officers accept an organisation using their facilities for their annual mass recruitment drive, when that organisation has proven itself to be an objectively unsafe space for women?

    I mean, you can argue as to whether or not that analysis is true, but based on their conclusion that such an analysis is true (which it is, btw) then they would be shirking their responsibilities to not take such a stance.

    Why would three other signatories positions on a separate topic, a topic which is also intertwined with questions of cultural imperialism rather than having a clear-cut answer to it, discredit the position being put forward qua Marxism 2014?

    Why would the situation in other countries mean that they should not take a stance on an issue which is directly in their remit to take a stance upon?

    It’s like you’re not even bothered to think about why you’re upset about this you’re just far busier frothing at the mouth.

    Get with the times. If an organisation screws up they will be held accountable by people they expect to be able to work with, upon the precondition of being able to work with them. The SWP doesn’t get to play at being hegemon unless it holds hegemony. The way they’re going at the moment that’s never going to happen.

    barnard17

    March 13, 2014 at 2:23 am

  19. All of the talk of socialism begs the question as to what it is. All Marxists of whatever stripe would, if in power, behave the way the leadership of the SWP have always done except that they would have the power to kill people as would a lot of their critics posting here.

    The debate is totally irrelevant to the lives of the vast majority of the population of this and other countries especially those which have experienced “socialism” first hand and rejected it.

    themadmullahofbricklane

    March 13, 2014 at 5:40 am

  20. On the question of involving the police: I don’t think there really was one central position shared by the SWP opposition, as is shown by their wildly different trajectories after leaving the party. My personal position would be that the survivor’s needs and wishes come first, so if she wanted to involve the police that’d be her decision and it’d be wrong to try and stop her, but if she wanted it dealt with internally without state involvement that’d be equally legitimate and she’d have every right to expect it to be dealt with by a process less awful than what eventually happened. Anyway, that’s a side issue; my main point is that no-one, at any point in this conversation, had said anything about involving the police (certainly, there’s nothing in that statement that’s incompatible with my position), until Sue started going on about how offended she was by a suggestion that no-one except her had made.
    Anyway, as repulsive as Sue is, she has at least made her position clear: Marxism should go ahead as usual because rape is a minor transgression and just bad etiquette, and it only happens as a result of the victim being weak-willed, and really they should be grateful because what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, so there’s not really an issue here. Disgusting, but at least we know what she thinks. What’s less clear is what everyone else thinks: do you agree with her? Or do you think that rape and rape cover-ups are actually serious matters, and yet Marxism should happen as normal, because the SWP have some undeniable right to use other people’s space however they want, no matter how they feel about it? If the latter, here’s a suggestion for you: I’ll write to the SWP and offer to fill out their speaker’s list by being the first speaker to book for Marxism, and do a meeting on “what’s wrong with the SWP”. If they don’t want to let me use their space however I want, then they’ll be guilty of exactly the same kind of authoritarian censorship that’s got you all so upset, so you can forget about being angry at ULU and be angry at the SWP again instead.

    nothingiseverlost

    March 13, 2014 at 9:58 am

  21. Are female genital circumcision and gender apartheid issues of ‘cultural imperialism’?

    Absolutely, those defending them have adopted British imperialist policy, from the Raj, towards letting each religious group decide its own “personal law”.

    Andrew Coates

    March 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm

  22. I have heard that a dispute is underway.

    Those who think that the SWP are so bad that they do not deserve a venue for their meetings should perhaps also consider banning the Tories, the Liberals, Labour and UKIP, who have plenty of faults, often similar ones, to account for.

    Andrew Coates

    March 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

  23. Where was I defending those practices? Being a matter of cultural imperialism means that they have to be handled in a different fashion, where a straightforward bureaucratic control approach from state or pseudo-state organisations reinforce a division rather than function to bridge a gap. So your equation of the secondary signatories as incapable of holding a position on this matter, because they didn’t take an equally condemning stance on that matter, doesn’t hold water.

    You still can’t answer why that would discredit the statement which you are drawing light to. Your ad hoc approach to the argument you put forward that calling it a non sequitur is being generous.

    barnard17

    March 13, 2014 at 5:27 pm

  24. Given the case against the formal ban on the SWP letting ULU rests for some part on arguments ad ignorantiams, (nobody has actually proved the assault allegation, the main reason people are hostile to them is their procedures) let alone whatever the plural of ad hominem is, this is a bit rich.

    The only mouth frothing is from those who made this ridiculous, mealy mouthed, hypothetical and repressive declaration.

    Do they really have “concerns for the safety of students at ULU when the SWP is present” ?

    Whatabout the safety of students when the Islamist far-right meet just next door in SOAS?

    On s’en tape.

    Andrew Coates

    March 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm

  25. I reckon that if they had concern for many things with regard to humanity, and also education free of outside influences (e.g. of opressive regimes) they’d have to argue for the closing down of SOAS. Some chance of that happening, as how else would they and their mates start a career at the BBC etc.?

    dagmar

    March 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm

  26. I’m surprised that no-one here agrees with the old adage, ‘what does not kill us, makes us stronger.’. I would have thought that that was an admirable revolutionary sentiment. Thrive through adversity, don’t let the bastards grind you down, and live to fight another day. Instead, what are the moral sentiments of the revolutionary about town? Don’t upset me, I’ve had a bad day, please, I’m feeling fragile today. Perhaps they should try that in Syria or Nigeria. Maybe these particular students were not advocating police intervention, but one of the criticisms made was that the SWP was abrograting to itself the role of a paralegal body without due process. I didn’t say this particular victim was ‘weakwilled’, I was talking about possible victims if Marxism went ahead in the vicinity of non-political students. Incidentally, most students these days are not particular political, so I reckon it would be bloody difficult for middle aged Lothario to seduce them with the promise of defrred revolution, but no doubt I will be told that is a repulsive point of view and that students are champing at the bit to rise up.

    Sue R

    March 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm

  27. I think that these are utopia sentiments: and we all know what Marx etc thought of utopian socialists. Sorry if that unpalatable to some poeple but I’m having a bad hair day.

    Sue R

    March 13, 2014 at 11:27 pm

  28. The old adage “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” obviously doesn’t work because while you might have lived you could be complete disabled! I agree that some of these student officers of this and that elected as they are by a tiny minority of the student body wield too much power.

    They are usually the ones who have too much time on their hands and are looking for a first of all a council seat and then a safe Labour one for the Commons. A lot of this is just grandstanding and getting a few points on the CV saying I stood up to this and I signed this or that.

    Having said that complaints from the SWP about a lack of democracy etc are laughable given their track record in this department.

    themadmullahofbricklane

    March 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

  29. For clarity, then, you’re still incapable of actually addressing any of the questions about how your argument holds water then Coates. More side-stepping, hyperbole and tu quoque.

    barnard17

    March 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm

  30. Captus stercora!

    Andrew Coates

    March 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm

  31. Let us assume for a moment, that Cde Delta is guilty as charged, is it air to punish the whole of the SWP for his wrongdoing? Does one rotten apple spoil an entire barrel? It is a rinciple of justice (justice, not law) that the punishment should fit the crime: is this punishment proportionate to the crime? I don’t think so.

    Incidentally, yes you could be left badly damaged but not killed by a serious injury or disease, but your will to life may be strengthened. It’s a metaphor anyway, it doesn’t have to be accurate. The point is that the class struggle is full of knockbacks and defeats and letdowns, and we just have to pick ourselves up and carry on.

    Sue R

    March 14, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  32. Sorry, don’t speak French and even if I did I doubt if I would understand what barnard 17 has against Andrew. Could he explain? This is a difficult one for Marxists I know. What do you do if one of your leading members is accused of rape which, when I did law, was “non consensual sexual intercourse”.

    They could of course have gone to the the old bill but as they have spent their entire existence denouncing them as lackeys of the ruling class and oppressors of the masses they might have had trouble justifying that politically even though they are good at total changes of tack to suit themselves.

    The other downside is that if knackers men had been brought in they might have not only found evidence in this case but also in others. It seems that men in authoritarian groups, whatever their claimed allegiances, are prone to exploit those younger and more vulnerable than themselves. I have personally heard from former SWP members in East London that Duncan Hallas and Chris Harman, both now deceased, also harassed young women members sexually and that it was no secret within the party.

    The situation isn’t that the SWP haven’t been found guilty of anything or that a few bad apples don’t mean the party is all rotten. It is that there has been an internal cover of up of what a lot of former senior SWP members have categorically stated happened. The fact that they didn’t speak out at the time is of a course a personal indictment of each and every one of them but doesn’t change the fact that a woman claims she was raped and the SWP are still covering it up. Or are they? What exactly is the official party position, does anyone know?

    The prissy minded, holier that thou attitude of the the students reps who organised the ban is another matter. The main offence as far as I am concerned is their inability to put together a document in coherent English!

    themadmullahofbricklane

    March 16, 2014 at 11:53 am

  33. They are logical fallacies, google is your friend. The problem is that Coates’ argument against the statement is irrelevant both to the content of the statement and the elected positions the original signatories hold. It is an attempt to both side step from addressing actual claims being made and use attacks against the conduct of secondary signatories on a separate matter to delegitimise this specific instance.

    An argument tu qoque is one which is basically petty finger pointing, saying “but you as well”, except the fingers aren’t pointed at the original signatories and doesn’t address why the statement is wrong but says “you also have wronged”.

    A non sequitur, Latin rather than French, is an argument which makes a claim and backs it with facts which are irrelevant to the claim but sustains that the facts presented function as a proof of the claim. Which they do not.

    I am still unsure as to why the ULU women’s officer shouldn’t take a position regarding ULU facilities being available for use by an organisation which many people consider to be unsafe for women. But sure, reduce it to prissy mindedness and inadequate use of ‘proper’ English so that you also get to complain about the statement without addressing it.

    A few bad apples doesn’t need to make the barrel rotten. But when the barrel does everything it can to keep hold of those apples and rehabilitate them into the fold when they are ejected, implies that it’s more than just the few obviously bad apples.

    barnard17

    March 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm

  34. Do I take it that you disagree with Andrew as to the correctness of the decision of the ULU students to ban Marxism 2014? Is that a yes or a no?

    I agree with the bad apples bit and the cover up and regard it as hypocracy for all of a sudden Lenin’s Tomb and Socialist Unity to have discovered that this kind of thing had been going on for years. They all knew about it and said and did nothing. The reason why is because the party and its unity and survival are more important than friendship and morals.

    This is Leninism in action and the hyperbole about the opposition “reclaiming” the party for democratic centralism is as funny as it is obscene. What we have witnessed over this issue is democratic centralism in action just as it was in the WRP when Gerry Healy abused women for several decades and the loyalist like the Redgraves defended it all.

    themadmullahofbricklane

    March 16, 2014 at 2:36 pm

  35. I love it when you talk Latin to me baby.

    Us fick North Londoners hardly know our accusatives from our ablatives.

    Andrew Coates

    March 17, 2014 at 11:17 am

  36. From what I’m aware at this stage they haven’t been banned. A minority of the exec have taken the position that they wish to do so, whether or not the rest of the exec are convinced of this and make such a decision I have not heard.

    The exec members that initiated this statement and put it out there are in a position where they have a responsibility to protecting their constituents as well as acting in their best interests. I believe they are acting as such, given the information about the SWP and more specifically how they chose to handle the matter. There is a separate argument as to whether or not those facts are accurate, as well. Because there are two claims: firstly that the decision is correct based upon the facts as presented, and secondly that those facts are being presented accurately.

    As far as I’m concerned the decision being made is reflecting both the best interpretation of the facts available, and is the correct decision based upon those facts. The only reason that this decision would be reactionary or sectarian for the metrics Marxists/Leninists should be using is if the SWP really were the vanguard for achieving communism, rather than a destructive organisation on the left. Even then that’s no reason for non-Leninists to agree with those metrics for use until they’ve been convinced of Leninism.

    The actions taken in events such as these are important for developing organisations of the class to fit with the political developments that have occurred within the political landscape. When the structures and political attitudes of the class have changed, the organisations which function to lead it have to be able to adapt to continue to be relevant – if they can’t (which clearly the SWP isn’t) then they’ve become stagnant and detached and this is what happens.

    I disagree that awareness of how wide, deep, and historically rooted the problem is/was amongst members of the SWP at the time. Maybe there were pockets that knew and hadn’t been fully open, but for a lot of members those problems weren’t common knowledge nor commonly discussed – hence people that had joined after Hallas and Harman had died often weren’t in the know, and the extent of Smith’s behaviour also wasn’t know. For perspective, I say this as someone who had been in the organisation for a couple of years and left in the March split last year.

    barnard17

    March 17, 2014 at 6:27 pm

  37. Have ULU refused to accept a booking from the SWP? I thought this group of five were just lobbying for their position. With regard to the fissiparous nature of those people who left the SWP in high dudgeon (and HIgh Wycombe and High Barnet, joke) they have already succeeded in splitting from the group they founded as a ‘follow on’, the International Socialist Network, over the issue of a racist, pornographic chair being sat on by a hanger-on of the Russian billionaire set. Utopians, all of them. Moralists.

    Sue R

    March 17, 2014 at 8:31 pm

  38. You don’t get to use an idealist analysis of why a split happens and then lambast the splitters for being idealists. Sorry.

    barnard17

    March 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm

  39. Please explain the circularity of your last comment. I find it baffling. Who has given an idealist explanation of the split? (Are you deflecting attention from my other points about a) proportionality and b) the ‘chair’ issue?)

    Sue R

    March 17, 2014 at 10:20 pm

  40. Does anyone know what barnard 17 is on about because I ave just given up?

    themadmullahofbricklane

    March 18, 2014 at 4:23 am

  41. I don’t have an idealist analysis of this split, I put it down purely and simply to inadequate Marxist education. Not being schooled in the struggle and forged in the fight. The younger comrades have no idea of what it was like in the 60s/70s/80s or 90s and why some of us long for those days again. The last twenty years have been very quietescent, witness the decline in Trade Unionism and the defeat of the Left in the Labour Party, the fragmentation of the far left and the emergence of identity politics. All of which is very disorientating for a young socialist.

    Sue R

    March 18, 2014 at 7:09 pm

  42. The great attraction of the SWP is, and always was, the availability of naive and malleable young men and women who could be sexually exploited.

    Arthur

    March 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm

  43. Seems like many of you don’t understand what’s actually happened here…
    Marxism will not have rooms at ULU.
    It’s even covered in The Guardian!

    jojosephinemarch

    March 28, 2014 at 11:32 pm

  44. The story was covered here before the Guardian, after the above declaration was posted on Facebook (and also before it was on its own web Page) but in any case there is an update on the Weekly Worker site:

    http://www.cpgb.org.uk/home/weekly-worker/1003/the-new-moral-panic

    Andrew Coates

    March 29, 2014 at 5:28 pm

  45. That wasn’t my point. My point was people discussing whether officers could do this; it’s done!
    Also I don’t see how that article is an ‘update’, it’s just a rehash of the same old bullshit spouted by various people throwing their toys out of their pram over this.

    jojosephinemarch

    March 29, 2014 at 6:48 pm


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