To The Socialist Workers Party
I have been a member of the SWP for three years. I became involved in politics and the SWP as a result of the war in Iraq. I stood for Respect in the 2007 election in Palfrey ward getting 14% of the vote, coming third, and beating the Lib Dems.
Most of the activists in Walsall are members of the SWP and though they don’t usually live in the wards where we stand, they have put a lot of work and resources into the project.
For this reason I took a subscription to the paper (Socialist Worker) and joined the SWP. I have always said that I am not a Trotskyite or a Leninist and have no interest in the Russian Revolution. I am a Muslim and agree with fighting for socialism in a world of consumerism, neo liberalism and privatisation. I rarely mention the war now without accompanying it with a comment about privatisation or exploitation.
I do not want Respect to split however it appears that this is inevitable. Up until now I have always tried to trust the people who I work closest to and I have signed statements of unity and against a so called witch hunt of the SWP.
The problem now is that since I said I wanted to attend the Renewal conference to hear the other side of the story, I was told by local SWP spokesperson (Martin Lynch) that I would be deselected as candidate for Palfrey ward. It would appear that my position would be ok as long as I follow the party (SWP) line within Respect.
Not only that, when I phoned Martin to discuss, I heard various clicks on the line, and when I asked him if he was recording the conversation, he said yes! I cannot work with people who feel they have to record my phone calls for whatever reason. I am disgusted by this type of behaviour. I feel it is bullying.
I trust that you will understand my situation and will undertake the relevant procedures for cancelling my membership of the SWP.
Arshad kanwar (Respect)