Documents of the SWP opposition

The “In Defence of Our Party” faction of the SWP is meeting today, from 12 noon to 5pm, at ULU, in London.

The following documents may be of interest.

As you know, the crisis in the SWP was precipitated by the mishandling of allegations of rape against leading member, Comrade Delta. Six members, supporters of the woman W who made the complaint wanted to circulate a statement about the Disputes Committee handling of the dispute, they were prevented from doing so. You can read that statement here: statement regarding the Disputes Committee challenge at SWP conference

The IDOOP faction has issued a statement to the faction meeting of their basic political stance, The International Socialist tradition and the current crisis in the SWP, here: IDOOP IS tradition and the crisis in the SWP

The IDOOP faction outlines their strategy here: IDOOP Our Strategy

Also of interest is the set of motions to the faction meeting: IDOOP motions

119 comments on “Documents of the SWP opposition

  1. Jara Handala on said:

    Thanx again, red moles.

    If SWP members prove unable to hold the Permanent Callinicos Faction (Undeclared) to account then those outside are empowered to do what they can to make things better – and our means are argument, not the resort to violence or the threat of it.

  2. Darren redstar on said:

    If there are 400 members of the idoop faction and 500 signatures to the definitely not a faction in support of stalinicos, what has happened to the other 6,500 members of the SWP? Surely this not a matter which a party member can be neutral in, or is it possible that the SWP cc has lied consistently about the size of the organisation for years?

  3. Howard Fuller on said:

    oops, pressed the button too quickly!

    You have to remember that according to their own published satements that only 32% of their so-called membership pay any subscriptions.

    I don’t have a calculator to hand but most estimates of the SWP are 2 to 2,500 members. It does seems that there are many missing from these factions.

    We only found out the true membership of the WRP when it split (about 700). I wonder if there will be two Socialist Workers like there were two News Lines.

    It might “double” their circulation for a while as we joked in the eighties about Heals mobs. Difference is most of it will be on-line these days.

    No wonder the Professor doesn’t like the web.

  4. Forever Delayed on said:

    “It is our politics and experience of struggle that have allowed us to build a revolutionary cadre of thousands”

    I’m starting to think Andy Newman actually has a point when he refers to us as some kind of delusional “cult”. Leaving aside the self-important jargon of describing the members as “revolutionary cadre”, the idea that having thousands (how many thousands?) of members in a country with a population of 60+ million constitutes some kind of success is absurd. If we’re ever going to grow we need to be honest and realistic about where we’re starting from, and what we are: a very small party amongst other very small parties on the left, none of which is remotely adequate to what is needed. If we reason from false premises, we will inevitably reach wrong conclusions which will be the basis of wrong decisions. How can we expect people to support/join us when we talk as if we believe we actually are the Bolsheviks in 1917 (“revolutionary cadre”, etc)? No matter how good our underlying politics, we sound like cranks.

  5. One of the motions begins:

    This fraction conference agrees to support measures to amend the Disputes Committee remit and terms of reference limiting it to exclusively political matters of conduct and discipline by SWP members; and restricting its competence to deal with issues of serious criminal responsibility – for example: theft, embezzlement of funds, violent assault, sexual assault, rape or murder (and any other specifically named serious legal offence) – to one of legal reporting, victim support and referral to outside agencies.

    That such a debate is even taking place suggests the organisation is barmy, disconnected from reality, and irredeemable. They seem to think their disputes committee is a revolutionary court during armed struggle, and I’m beginning to think they really would hold a secret murder trial if they thought they could get away with it.

  6. Calvin: I’m beginning to think they really would hold a secret murder trial if they thought they could get away with it.

    Murder in the Central Committee!
    We can’t be far off from that now:)

  7. Alas Manuel Vazquez Montalban is dead. However, I suspect that this little contretemps would be too minor and too provincial to engage his imagination.

  8. Calvin,

    That’s a problem with all “toy Bolshevik / Zinovievist” organisations – they take the practice of revolutionaries trying to hang onto state power in the midst of economic collapse and civil war as a norm, not an exception.

    I read the documents of the IBT kicking out a member for leaking a document to another tendency. One IBT comrade was going on about how the proper treatment for a traitor in times of war was to torture information out of him then shoot him in the head. As if this was a time of war. (Of course, I think such people would prefer it was time of war because then they’d have an excuse for total amorality in service of their own interests.)

  9. Jara Handala on said:

    Darren redstar: If there are 400 members of the idoop faction and 500 signatures to the definitely not a faction in support of stalinicos, what has happened to the other 6,500 members of the SWP? Surely this not a matter which a party member can be neutral in, or is it possible that the SWP cc has lied consistently about the size of the organisation for years?

    Interesting you ask this.

    I did an analysis of the official SWP membership figures 2008-2012 on another SWP thread, http://www.socialistunity.com/swp-new-faction-declared, comment 99, 6:17pm, 9 Feb. I used the CC report, ‘Building the Party’, in Pre-Conf. Bulletin, #2, Nov 2012, p.5.

    One can only conclude that with recruitment stagnant (almost 18 a week on average, 2008-12, for the whole of Britain), the only way to get the membership figure rising every year was to have an anti-culling policy, keeping on the roll those who didn’t deserve to be there coz they weren’t doing any work for the SWP. Handily the Membership Dept. has the discretion to do this coz of a provision in the SWP Constitution: “Any member over three months in arrears may be excluded from membership” (article 2).

    Rulers appreciate having discretionary power, the permission & ability to do what they want, not to be hemmed in by red tape, all those restrictions on initiative & innovation, the freedom to manage. (Familiar, I know.) Sometimes they even like to violate the rules, like steamrollering article 4 of said constitution, which gives absolutely NO DISCRETION to the rulers of the office (the bureaucrats) known as the Central Cttee.: “Three months before each Conference the Central Committee opens a special pre-conference discussion in the organisation”.

    And this system of office-holders & patrons for the scribes & aspiring full-timers is accustomed to a compliant membership, having seen off any splinter from within that threatens its rule. As its confidence has grown so has its arrogance in the way it dishes out its contempt for the members, the way it heaps disrespect upon them. Instead of being the servant of the members it has turned the membership into its instrument: the grounding power relationship has been reversed. It means nothing less than a political revolution is needed if the SWP is to be restored to health.

  10. Jara Handala: It means nothing less than a political revolution is needed if the SWP is to be restored to health.

    Are you trying to say the SWP is a… degenerated workers’ party? :)

  11. Doloras LaPicho: One IBT comrade was going on about how the proper treatment for a traitor in times of war was to torture information out of him then shoot him in the head.

    I’m reminded of the film “Night and Fog in Japan”.

  12. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    Manzil,

    “Are you trying to say the SWP is a… degenerated workers’ party?”

    I see it more as bureaucratic cult capitalism =)

  13. Jara Handala on said:

    Manzil: Are you trying to say the SWP is a… degenerated workers’ party

    Premise (fact) 1: a (long-standing) SWP member, on the Central Cttee.(CC), Professor Blonde, threatens lynch-mobs if the natives remain restless after the 10 March conference, & no member present (or anyone having read a summary report of the ISJ editorial board meeting where it happened) makes a complaint (SWP jargon) to the Disputes Cttee.(DC).

    Premise (fact) 2: the CC announces a Special Conference without allowing the mandatory 3 months discussion period, & no member, not even one not in a faction, makes a complaint to the DC.

    Inference: these members are indifferent to their rights under their constitution, & also accept powerful people (all 12 of them) trampling all over these rights.

    Conclusion 1: a party with a paper constitution, where the CC rules arbitrarily, is a degenerate party, it has degenerated from what it used to be, a rule-bounded organisation.

    Conclusion 2: the members lack self-respect, they have let the people they elected both threaten violence & steamroller the Constitution, let them do both without facing any consequences; it is not possible to have self-respect & also allow one’s rulers to violate you, to allow them to act with impunity, to allow them to be unaccountable.

    Degenerate organisations are full of people lacking self-respect. They’re institutions of abuse & degradation. Abusers have a field day in them; no surprise it attracts those who like to abuse.

    I take no pleasure in saying these things. But given the facts the conclusions are also true.

  14. Notes on two of the signitories to the CC loyalty pledge – Sally Kincaid (Leeds) always a bit of a loon; Mike Killian (Manchester) (UNISON) seldom writes or intervenes in any publications – started in animal rights but then joined the SWP, and now focuses on anti-nazi stuff. A CC loyalist.

  15. Who wants to split the SWP? Serious question – do the SWP CC want to provoke a split?

    On face value, this seems a crazy proposition. Why would they want to divide and weaken the forces of organised socialism? But all the signs are there. The deadly dynamic is accelerating.

    ‘The Faction’ In Defence of Our Party’ (IDOOP) lead by party stalwarts like Pat Stack was formed to prevent a damaging split, when it looked like the actions of the current CC might lead to the breakaway of almost the entire SWSS organisation, depriving the party of its essential and revitalising link to the crucial new generation.

    However, this mainstream and moderate IDOOP ‘faction’ – of over 400 leading and long term members, is now on the receiving end of a divisive and bitter campaign from the CCs ultra-loyalist hardcore. The bone of contention is whether faction organising meetings are ‘public’ meetings open to all party members, including declared CC loyalists. It looks like the CC is trying to get loyalists to turn up at faction meetings. So today (Sunday 17th) an outrage was staged, when Chanie R and Anna G, Cliffs partner and daughter, public sought emtry to the factions meeting – and were denied. Now the ‘loyalists’ party slogan about IDOOP is ‘they shouldn’t be in OUR party’.

    An absurd discourse about the virtues of splitting from the ‘Menshevicks’ is now allowed to proliferate amongst the ‘loyalist’ ranks. These is part of Callinicos’s ‘lynch mob’ threats, where anger about the party’s crisis is deflected by the CC onto scapegoats. Now they might not just loose the student wing, but also its oldest layers of cadre?

    There is the same air of crazyness, of deliberate car crash about this now – the same as we sensed around the ISO (US)-SWP (UK) split – or the Respect Split.

    The turn of century ISO-SWP split seems to have been be about nothing much in terms of politics. To an outsider, it even looks like sabotage, especially when I wear my tinfoil hat.

    So, multiple choice. Is this:

    a) Some crazy cultural logic at work?
    b) Some far sighted leadership us mortals cant grasp?
    c) Some sinister agencies implanted at the heart of these bodies, biding their time, waiting for a crisis to exploit?

    On a) – the cultural logic – sociological explanations are perhaps always better than conspiracy theories. ‘a)’ would tell us how hurtful things get said, things spin out of control, how the left acts like an infant. Maybe ‘a0′ would show how our inherited Trot-culture means that disagreement necessitates split – where new hierarchies of leaders / followers and new certainties and shibboleths are formed. Otherwise we would have a pluralist far-left, and we would all have to think for ourselves, working together while debating a number of perspectives. Then it wouldnt be the Trot-left anymore, we would have at last grown beyond it.

    But sometimes, I get the feeling that explanation ‘c)’ is not always incredible. Is Lord Prof C giggling as he crashes the train?

  16. Jellytot on said:

    @27do the SWP CC want to provoke a split?

    A major split will result from all of this whether the CC want it or not….All the CC are really concerned with is retaining control of the SWP brand name, open and secret bank accounts (both in Britain and offshore) and associated Party infrastructure.

  17. Barry Kade: c) Some sinister agencies implanted at the heart of these bodies, biding their time, waiting for a crisis to exploit?

    MI5: Menshevik Infiltrationism! Now it all makes sense!

  18. Jara Handala on said:

    Jara Handala: I take no pleasure in saying these things.

    I have just read all the IDOOP (‘Defence’) documents that are publicly available. (The others the SU Office referred to are already at http://www.cpgb.org.uk/home/weekly-worker/online-only/idoop-faction-caucus-agenda-and-documents, available singly or together as a zip.)

    There’s even one from the Democratic Renewal Platform people entitled ‘Under No Circumstances Should This Text Be Posted on the Internet!!’, coz that’s the topic they discuss. (Obviously a ‘postmodern’ joke, designed to further irritate Professor Blonde, author of ‘Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique’.)

    Defence’s mtg. started at 12 & within 3hrs SU had started posting. The Philosopher King really needs to change his deck-chair.

    I just want to make one important political point arising from this cache that corroborates my last comment (#22, 2:04am): there is nothing here criticising, let alone condemning, the CC deciding to violate the Constitution & to choose a pre-conference discussion period that suited the Callinicos Lynch-Mob Faction (Undeclared) rather than the required 3 months (article 4). The closest we get is in ‘Our Strategy’ by Cde. Rob (Croydon), in the ‘Time Scale’ section:

    “We . . . welcomed the calling of a special conference. We have reservations about how the CC is approaching it . . . There are also considerable worries that the timescale makes it difficult to allow comrades space to properly engage with finding a solution. Particularly that it will disenfranchise comrades who are neither in the faction nor the CC supporters grouping”.

    It has the weasel words of management consultants, “reservations”, “considerable worries”, “space”, “engage” – and yes, para.2 of the whole piece has the ubiquitous “concerns”. What will it take for SWP members to speak plainly, directly? They’re being shafted, & we get this!

    Two months’ preparation has been stolen from them. They’re being railroaded. As Barry Kade has just put it (comment #27, 4:09am), the train may be about to crash. Cde. Rob acknowledges the faction was formed coz of “the risk of a damaging and unnecessary split in the party”. And with all this at stake he, if not the hundreds of others in Defence, refuses to INSIST on his rights under his Constitution.

    That’s why I was upfront & said this political posture is a demonstration that one has lost one’s self-respect. Outside SWPworld it would never cross Cde. Rob’s mind to allow his rights, & those of anyone he represented, to be swept aside, in effect to allow himself to be denigrated, emasculated, denuded, treated as an object. But in SWPworld the revolutionary becomes a lamb, a wordsmith of management-speak, an Acas trainee.

    But we are where we are. I have been consistent in not writing the membership off. The Miéville-Seymour Secret Terrorist-Wrecker Centre was the original focus & beacon, bravely going out on a limb coz if anything was to be salvaged from the SWP such an initiative was needed straight after Conference. Yesterday there was a call within Defence for them to close their ISuk blog, as the somewhat conciliatory forces dominating Defence make their move towards Conference & their collision with the embryonic Lynch Mob.

    For revolutionaries they’re pretty restrained, the years of socialisation within & by SWP relations making them who they are. The next 3 weeks will be a whirlwind, & Sunday, 10 March almost certainly a tornado. What emerges not even the Philosopher King knows. The documents don’t amount to a programme for renewal or re-generation: they are a marker. The membership can take the party back but it won’t happen next month. This is just the start of a process that will take a good half-decade.

    As Barry just noted, the female relatives of Kim were at the gates yesterday, meanwhile Donny is soldiering in the Callinicos Lynch-Mob Faction (Undeclared), whilst Daddy Kim, gazing up as the edifice sways, is about to issue a silent scream. As Ross & Matt’s ‘Notes on Student Strategy’ puts it, the first cause of many of the problems is that the critics of the youth “believe themselves to manifest the tradition of Cliff, Lenin, and Trotsky in material form. It is very easy to proclaim yourself as the physical embodiment of a tradition, however, when those who created it are dead”, & to make things worse, the CC-Appointed & Anointed bring these messages from the grave “with a hint of narcissism, and tinged with a mild dose of Stalinism” (p.1). Given all this, isn’t it a good idea to simply agree with Rob Los Ricos that “we can stop analyzing everything through the eyes of corpses”?

  19. Jara Handala: Two months’ preparation has been stolen from them. They’re being railroaded. As Barry Kade has just put it (comment #27, 4:09am), the train may be about to crash. Cde. Rob acknowledges the faction was formed coz of “the risk of a damaging and unnecessary split in the party”. And with all this at stake he, if not the hundreds of others in Defence, refuses to INSIST on his rights under his Constitution.

    Because the two sides are not playing by the same rules, and aren’t even playing the same game.

    The CC is fighting for its life for two things; i) control of the financial and physical assets, the bank accounts, off-shore and UK; as well as the property portfolio,ii) the brand name, and the mantle of the apostlic succession.

    Alongside obvious material self-interest, there is also at stake the integrity of their Weltanshauung, within the self referential world of Cliff’s perception of “revolutionary leadership”, the CC are behaving consistent to their principles.

    As such, the CC are indeed prepared to split the party, lose the students, and if necessary lose the significant layer of experienced members in the IDOOP faction; becasue they can self justify this to themselves within their own Cliffite paradigm. They will do whatever necessary

    In contrast the IDOOP are still a little in awe of their own audacity, and do not share the same ruthlessness. They are still making pleas to the Callinicos faction to see sense, for the good of “the party”, and to a certain extent still share the Cliffite paradigm that privilages the authority of their opponents.

    What this doesn’t recognise is the degree to which cult dynamics of the CC means they are acting in their own group interest, contrary to the institutional interest of the SWP as a whole.

    The stated aims of the SWP – to further socialism – are subordinate to the immediate interest of the CC of hanging on to power, ideolgically self-justfied by Cliffite tomfoolery, and coincidentlally (?) in their material interests.

    That is the way analysis of the SWP as a immanent cult within a sect helps your understand the dynamic as it unfolds

  20. prianikoff on said:

    @1 “Redfriars”
    I can’t believe that the shit from these “Wired” creeps is being advertised with approval.
    Bloods! They went “mainstream” time ago.
    Just listen to Claire Fox on the “Moral Maze”!
    Someone who used to posture as a rank and file opponent of the SWP!

    When is Jabber the Handlebar going to post the latest article from the “Weekly Worker” by Jack( I’ll have fucked your girlfriend by Christmas) Conrad aka John Bridge, John Chamberlaine, Jesus Christ, Jiminy Cricket.

  21. Jellytot: A major split will result from all of this whether the CC want it or not….All the CC are really concerned with is retaining control of the SWP brand name, open and secret bank accounts (both in Britain and offshore) and associated Party infrastructure.

    The interesting thing is that the 500 loyalist signatories, in terms of age profile, geographical distribution, and general intellectual conformism and moral tiredness do not constitute a viable foundation for a continuity project – it is very reminiscent of the Torrence/ Redgrave/MItchell faction of the old WRP, numerically significant in nominal terms only, but not sustainable except as a survivors group with the prospect of long years of decline and regret in front of them.

  22. prianikoff on said:

    @10-11 Quite amusing coming from the resident Straight Left Stalinists on this blog; Ramon Mercarder claimed Trotsky was killed as a result of an internal faction fight for years, until he was released and given the “Order of Lenin” for his services to the NKVD-KGB (See Pavel Sudoplatov “Special Tasks”)
    Then there was the Old Bolsheviks, the murder of Nin in Spain, Tha tu Thau in Vietnam and countless executions for “KRTD” in the Vorkuta and Kolyma Camps.

  23. The split dynamic that we saw with the Respect nonsense in 2007 is being repeated now.

    Yesterday’s faction meeting was a closed caucus, but some CC members went – and brought along Cliff’s wife and daughter. What political reason would they have had to bring those people specifically, as well as an SW journalist?

    Well, there was a vote on whether to let them in. Remember one crucial fact: During the recent conference, when there was a meeting of supporters of the CC’s faction, it was specifically closed to non-members. So, the “In defence of our party” faction would’ve been within their rights to do the same. But this wasn’t a faction meeting, it was a caucus.

    The vote was to not let the opposition in. Now, that was tactically naive, but I don’t blame the faction at all: The entire purpose of bringing out the mother of the party was a pretty disgraceful attempt to make the whole thing unpolitical and moralistic.

    It worked, of course. Ridiculous hack Simon Assaf, reprising the role he played during the Respect split, has posted on FB that “these people don’t belong in our party”. I assume he means the 60% of caucus attenders who voted to not allow the opposition in to a private caucus, or perhaps he means the 40% minority who agreed to abide by the vote.

    Either way, people such as Simon Assaf are going to ensure that the party splits now. The problem is, perhaps this could’ve been avoided had the caucus allowed the opposition in. But surely there are some principles here? The CC wouldn’t let oppositionists in to its faction meetings, and the transparent nonsense of thinking it was important for Anna Gluckstein and Chanie to attend (for what purpose, do they have somewhat better insights than everyone else?) along with an SW journalist who has completely failed to report on anything approaching the reality of this crisis, would’ve done nothing for democratic debate or to heal the rift.

    The entire purpose of the attempted intervention was to make the opposition look undemocratic. I’m not in the SWP, but I’d say this is a bit of a litmus test for whether you consider your party to be a marxist party or not: you need to agree that the CC shouldn’t have tried to attend yesterday’s private caucus (they will be allowed into open meetings, of course, unlike the way the CC treats the opposition).

    Simon Assaf and his allies don’t care about logic or politics. Anna Gluckstein never posts on facebook, but chose this instance to post all about it. That doesn’t happen without the express direction of the CC. That’s the issue – not “they should’ve been allowed in”. The issue is, the CC will do whatever it takes, tell whatever lies it wants to tell, behave as disgracefully as it wants, in order to win.

    If the caucus had allowed the group in yesterday, they would’ve done exactly what they tried to do when the CC sent a delegation to the Respect Renewal conference – heckled, tried to start stand-up rows, and tried to make the whole thing as unpolitical as possible.

    This is what they and their hacks have been doing up and down the country. I’m fucking annoyed, cos of course I’ve seen all this before. And yes, some of the people who did it to me are now in the opposition, but people learn and move on. The main issue here is, unless you’re prepared to have a serious, serious fight, you’re going to lose. The CC will stoop as low as possible to force your defeat.

    Callinicos has spent a lot of energy in the last 3 months telling people that the party could collapse if these people are allowed to win. Again, the man is a disgrace to socialism, a disgraceful liar and hack, who doesn’t deserve to lead anything. He did exactly this stuff during the Respect split. I bet he used exactly the same language.

    I’m becoming more and more of the opinion that the entire leadership needs to be removed, along with the hacks.

    But it’s not gonna happen – cos as much as I might disagree with the tone and style of the faction, they’ve got one weakness: They’re not willing to be as ruthless as the CC.

    In 2007, we refused to allow the CC to rig a conference. We refused to allow them to drive us out of Respect. We won, but the SWP leadership and their hacks made sure we paid a huge price for it.

    These people are not socialists. They are not marxists. They are not leninists. They have all the right beliefs, of course. But being a marxist was never about what you believe, it’s what you do to make that belief real in the real world, right now.

    And the CC and its allies have proved that they uphold nothing of marxism or the IS tradition. They should go.

  24. Andy Newman: it is very reminiscent of the Torrence/ Redgrave/MItchell faction of the old WRP

    Of course, when the full scale of the disaster became apparent, Mitchell also jumped ship and returned to mainstream journalism in Oz. Does Lord Callinicos really want to be stuck in the box of frogs when he could just immerse himself in his academic gobbledegook instead?

  25. Dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap... on said:

    Jellytot,

    I’ll have a C please Bob..

    c) Some sinister agencies implanted at the heart of these bodies, biding their time, waiting for a crisis to exploit?

  26. Broadening it out a bit, how can the faction possibly win against (what it doesn’t yet realise is) its enemy? That fact alone is an issue – they don’t truly realise that the CC and apparat are their *enemies*.

    If you want to know how this is going to play out, go into the archives and look at the threads on here during the Respect split. Look at what hacks like Ray (“unity is strength” was one posting name he used) and others said, and look at what’s happening now. It didn’t matter how political we thought we were being when talking to SWP loyalists, they simply couldn’t hear the words we were saying.

    Seeing the way people have responded to people like Richard Seymour yesterday and today, the same thing is in play. People keep asking “but why didn’t you let them into the meeting” despite the answer being provided half a dozen times. During these arguments, the loyalists just will not hear what you have to say.

    In light of that, how can the faction/s possibly win? Absolutely no political lessons have been learned since 2007, just power ones: Keep on shouting at the oppositionists, keep on lying about them, keep on encouraging a false consciousness in your loyal members, keep on raising the stakes – that way, you might just win over the silent layer of people who just want this to go away.

    That’s how they kept their party going in 2007 and 2008, but the reason we’re all saying the SWP is finished if it doesn’t sort this out is, what’s happening right now is just the next chapter of the Respect split dynamic. These guys weren’t held accountable then, and they weren’t held accountable during the Democracy Commission stuff – as we all said on here that they wouldn’t be. They weren’t held accountable for the Rees split and the loss of so many members.

    If this isn’t resolved, it’s only a matter of time before the SWP becomes just a footnote. This is the dynamic that was set in train a long time ago – long before I joined. The crises are speeding up now, and the party can only survive as something worth saving if the people opposed to the CC realise that this is a fight against people who will do whatever it takes, including losing half of you, to keep their place.

  27. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    Does anyone know who the SW journo who turnedup with Chanie and Anna was btw? And who were the CC members?

  28. stephen marks on said:

    The sheer kitsch of bringing in the Gluckstein family plumbs new depths. Imagine the political level of those who could think up such a vulgar stunt – and their contempt for those of the membership they imagine could be impressed by it.

  29. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    #44 Thanks =)

    #45 I know. I remember hearing from the SWP (I’ve no idea if its actually true) that Lenin’s wife, when asked just a few years after his death where he’d be if still alive, answered he’d be in one of Stalin’s gulags. But while “Lenin didn’t lead to Stalin” is one of their favorite lines, it seems the Glucksteins really do believe Cliff led to Delta =(

  30. history tells us things on said:

    https://twitter.com/occupy_sussex

    Meanwhile, numbers of students are occupying parts of Sussex University aqainst privatisation of services on the campus and in defence of low paid workers there. Apparently there is a genuinely supportive atmósphere with students hosting teach in’s by academics, etc from across the UK. Its a truism, but they will learn more doing this than any traditional lecture programme. Even better, there is an absence of the left sects(part SWP), with autonomist ideas and praxis to the fore and much less tension, conflicts, etc, than in the past when the above tried to dominate

  31. prianikoff: Ramon Mercarder claimed Trotsky was killed as a result of an internal faction fight for years, until he was released and given the “Order of Lenin” for his services to the NKVD-KGB (See Pavel Sudoplatov “Special Tasks”)

    It is quite outrageous that he had to wait so long for his Order of Lenin

  32. Tony @ 35.

    If this is true, it’s the absolute pits.

    Bringing along Chanie Rosenburg and daughter to ward off the evil spirits of the oppositionists… is this really what happened? As living, embodied authority of Cliff and the infallible ‘truth’ of the CC, DC? Or perhaps as quasi regimental mascots? The scenario is so grotesque it’s hardly credible!

    The very thing that drew me to the SWP years ago, is that its members seemed in touch with the real world – or at least orientated to it. Therefore not fixated on winning votes in Labour Party ward meetings above all else or learning by rote a list key transitional demands.

  33. Re the idiot at no. 48. Facepalm moment. Just when ordinary left activists like ourselves might be tempted into an interesting discussion on what a new, pluralist post swp revolutrionary left might look like – and along comes some idiot hollywood stalinist bogeyman apparently supporting the murder of political oppositionists. Idiots like that might as well be actors hired by Lord Callinicos for just this moment. ‘Might as well stick with the SWP folks, look they are all stalinists at SU – even more repressive than us’. Sad, but not untrue. :(

  34. Barry @ 50
    Its your fault Calvin, cracking jokes about serious things like Pepe Cavalho’s fictional investigation into the imaginary death of a imaginary Stalinist when we should be talking about the tendency of the rate of profit to fall

  35. Sam64: Bringing along Chanie Rosenburg and daughter to ward off the evil spirits of the oppositionists… is this really what happened?

    Yep

    There is no confidentiality issue here, as Anna made the post public – anyone can see it.

  36. Karl Stewart on said:

    Barry Kade,
    Calm down Barry, it’s nothing of the sort.

    The sectarian idiot Prianikoff suddenly noticed that communists were in this discussion and posted the shocking news that Trotsky was murdered 73 years ago.

    So Nick took the piss – fair enough

  37. Tony Collins,

    Simon Asaf ‘s comment is revealing – they are whipping themselves into a frenzy inventing “atrocity stories” about the opposition so they can justify a split. The fact that neither resulting half of the SWP would actually be viable is secondary to them.

  38. Karl Stewart on said:

    andy Newman,

    If you’re only counting the 400 oppositionists and the 500 pro lynch mob supporters then I see your point, but maybe when they eventually find the remaining 6,500 members…..

  39. Karl Stewart: Does the Calinicos-lynch-mob faction allow the opposition into its own factional meetings?

    Well, it’s important to be clear here: This was not a faction meeting. It was a faction caucus, aimed at working out and agreeing various positions. As such, it was a closed meeting.

    The CC put out something suddenly saying that they expected all faction meetings to be open to all SWP members. This, from what I remember, is not in the constitution. You can argue that it’s good if these meetings are open to all members, but there’s nothing that says they have to be. But aside from that, this was a caucus to agree positions, not a faction meeting.

    The CC knew that, which is precisely why they sent the party’s last remaining founder to try to get in – cos that’s what you do, right? Mum and daughter just decide to pop along, right? Nothing wrong there.

    Now, when CC supporters held a meeting during conference, they only allowed their supporters in.

    So, the CC and its loyalists (hi guys! We love how much you condemn us!) decided to act one way, and then decided to create a diplomatic, moralistic and unpolitical crisis about an opposition caucus taking the opposite decision.

    And Simon Assaf, as always, is there waiting to snarl at people. What a fucking hack.

    Next: Sean Vernell with “2,000 words on why it’s all everyone else’s fault”.

  40. andy Newman: Simon Asaf ‘s comment is revealing

    He was pulling the same stunt at the Respect Renewal conference in 2007. He’s also been one of the most vocal people on FB snarling at people and deciding who deserves to be in the party.

  41. I don’t really think we should keep on about the membership.

    In 2007, when they were in another crisis in which Callinicos claimed the very existence of the party was at stake, they did their “witch hunt petition”. After weeks of contacting everyone in and out of the party, they only had something like 1,200-1,400 signatures.

    This tells you that the number of people who feel like members is in the 1500-2000 range. I’d say the lower end of that range.

    The CC will no doubt release an updated version of this latest witch hunt petition (otherwise known as “list of people who support our statement”), showing (I’d guess) 750 people on it. They’ll struggle to get it much higher without some serious intimidation and lying.

  42. jim mclean on said:

    Tony Collins,

    I find it very sad, she never does facebook but has 5 times more friends than I have. And one of my friends is SU. I am never of facebook. I wonder if all those posting comments realise they are open to the general public.

  43. Karl Stewart on said:

    Tony Collins,

    Just find it odd that anyone in the SWP would stay neutral.
    Surely either one supports lynch mobs, summary expulsions of people for having conversations, inappropriate behaviour by leaders towards members, zero rights for employees, bullying and being bullied as the “500” do; or one oppose those things as the 400 do.

  44. #64 One day someone will catalogue all the people sacked, sued and prosecuted as a result of saying stuff on Facebook.

  45. jim mclean on said:

    Yep, the DWP sometimes look up claimants on facebook prior to an interview. Just noticed that many on Ms Gluckstein’s page give their place of employment on their profile, no need for the Secret Police. Not too surprised at the number of University Lecturers.

  46. Jellytot on said:

    Sam64Bringing along Chanie Rosenburg

    Whenever I see Chanie’s name she always brings back memories of a very elderly lady I used to know who was a CPGB member back in the day.

    This delightful OAP was a regular feature at all the local political activity and would always stand up in a public campaign meeting and, in a faltering voice, start any contribution with variations of,

    “Look, I don’t know much and I’m not very good with words. I am just a pensioner living on a pittance but I see it this way…..”

    However, get her into private conversation and she could recite whole passages of “The Short Course History of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)” almost without a pause.

  47. Jellytot: get her into private conversation and she could recite whole passages of “The Short Course History of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)”

    Sounds lovely. Betty Reid?

  48. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    Just jumped in my seat, BBC4 announces “and then we’ll be looking at the dark side of the internet at 10pm”! Could Stallinicos have more influence than we’ve given him credit…

  49. Karl Stewart: Just find it odd that anyone in the SWP would stay neutral.

    Not sure it’s that strange really. It certainly seems like a far higher proportion of the members have put their name down one way or the other than they would have in a… ummm… normal organisation.

    I suspect quite a few haven’t followed it, some have not wanted to get involved and others are deliberately keeping an open mind until the special conference and will make their minds up based on the arguments. It can be a reasonably healthy instinct not to leap into one faction or the other, in my opinion anyway.

  50. Jara Handala on said:

    Andy Newman: What this doesn’t recognise is the degree to which cult dynamics of the CC means they are acting in their own group interest, contrary to the institutional interest of the SWP as a whole.

    Andy Newman: That is the way analysis of the SWP as a immanent cult within a sect helps your understand the dynamic as it unfolds

    #31, 8:35am

    As an ethnographer I am reluctant to comment on the extent to which the SWP is cult-like coz I do not have access to the info that would be necessary to allow me to make a judgment. I’m cautious as I am all too aware of how difficult it is to adequately describe & explain a way of life.

    For people such as yourself, who have lived in IS/SWP for many years, who have a visceral experience of being inside SWPworld, their judgments, & yours, on the nature of IS/SWP are most valuable, & are perhaps the best info we have on this topic.

    My caution is simply a result of my interpreted experience in trying to accurately describe & explain the way people live, informed in part by the training opportunities I have been fortunate enough to have had.

    In passing let me say there are quite a few ethnographies of life inside Stalinised organisations in many languages (Jane Jenson & George Ross’ study in English of the French Communist Party, focusing on 1978-9, springs to mind) but I’m aware of no published ethnography of a revolutionary org’n, professed Marxist or otherwise. Do readers know of any?

    I felt I had to say this to you coz I’ve just read Stephen Marks’ comment (#45, 12:08pm) referring to the usage of the Gluckstein family by the Kimber-Callinicos faction, which disturbed me greatly, reminding me of the ghoulish way the WRP would place a death-mask of Trotsky on the speakers’ platform.

    I sincerely fear for the coming weeks & months. Professor Blonde & the rest of the Callinicos Lynch-Mob Faction (Undeclared) are showing that they are unhinged. Given the evidence one cannot but predict that they will be violent. This upsets me greatly, but that is where this is leading – and soon. I had no idea Alex Callinicos would be capable of such a thing, but that shows my naivety.

  51. The CCs line of attack seems to be challenge the right of the IDOOP faction to hold effective organisational meetings. It wants them all to be ‘public’ meetings open to all SWP members, including CC loyalists. It seems that turning up and being offended is part of the strategy.

    It is also using Party Notes as a factional tool against IDOOP. This is from the latest party notes – or so I’m told (its not on the SWP website yet). Thus Party Notes uses the manufactured ‘atrocity story’ as ammo in the opening salvo in their war to crush the faction and split the party, in their new fantasy line of ‘driving out the menshevicks’.

    “Faction meetings – for open debate
    On Sunday the In Defence of our Party faction of the SWP met in London. This meeting lasted five hours with a wide ranging of discussions including a debate on the IS tradition and the student perspective, yet it was entirely closed to SWP members who had not signed up in advance for the faction.
    The history of the SWP’s experience of debate involving factions is based on open discussion, yet the whole of this meeting excluded non-faction members, CC members and journalists on Socialist Worker.
    This sets a seriously worrying precedent for the conduct of internal debate in the SWP.
    In 2009 the Left Faction headed by Lindsey German and John Rees was launched in the run up to the SWP’s conference.
    Whatever criticisms we may have had of those comrades’ perspectives, all of the faction meetings were open, including its launch where Chris Harman and Michael Bradley from the then CC were given speaking rights.
    At this Sunday’s faction meeting two CC members, a number of SWP members and two Socialist Worker journalists were excluded from the meeting. The faction then even voted not to admit one CC member and one SW journalist without speaking rights.
    The faction’s decision to exclude comrades from a democratic debate is a matter of deep regret to the CC.
    The faction’s organisers had met two CC members and a member of the Conference Arrangements Committee the day before and had been clearly told to allow in all SWP members for the bulk of the day. It is perfectly acceptable to have a short “closed” part of any faction meeting for a caucus. That does not apply to an entire five-hour event.
    The faction’s decision seems designed to entrench division in the organisation rather than promoting unity.
    The CC insists that the main part all faction meetings are open to all SWP members.

    In Defence Of Our Party faction meetings: open to all SWP members (and only SWP members):
    Leeds: Tuesday 19 February, 6pm-8pm,******
    Liverpool: Tuesday 19 February, 7.30pm, *****”

    The report on the INDOOP faction meeting by Rob O puts it differerntly:

    “Sunday’s meeting was a caucus to establish the political ground for the faction. A vote on whether to open the meeting to comrades outside the faction upheld the original decision that this would not be helpful in allowing the faction to clarify its views. The CC had been informed of this in advance. It was, therefore, surprising that some supporters of the CC’s position since conference arrived at the caucus with the expectation they could attend.

    The discussion with these comrades was polite and they respected the decision of the faction that it was to be a closed caucus.

    We are committed to holding meetings open to the whole party and the newly elected faction committee will begin the process of planning these events. If Districts want to hold their own please be aware these must be publicised by the national office. This is best done via the faction committee”.

    So one area of dispute is whether factions should have the right to ‘closed’ organisational meetings, free from ‘disruption’ by factional opponents – or if every meeting has to be an argument between the factions.

    This relates to the wider arguments about ‘openness’ and ‘closedness’ in socialist organisations that run through this whole saga, which is interesting…

    Their is a curious asymmetry in this, somewhere…

  52. Jara Handala on said:

    stephen marks: The sheer kitsch of bringing in the Gluckstein family plumbs new depths. Imagine the political level of those who could think up such a vulgar stunt – and their contempt for those of the membership they imagine could be impressed by it.

    #45, 12:08pm

    I was quite shocked by this stunt, & you are right to stress its significance.

    The leaders of the Callinicos Lynch-Mob Faction (Undeclared) have calculated that they could use the Cliff family as their instrument in trying to show to the undecided members how unreasonable the Defence faction might be in refusing to let Queen Mum Chanie & Princess Margaret-Anna into their meeting. Given the history over the years of the Professor Blonde faction shouting down oppositionists, disrupting political debate, it is no surprise Defence voted 60% to 40% to make it closed.

    The indirect mobilising of a corpse, evoking a silent scream from the grave, is despicable.

    Unfortunately it reveals legions about the nature of the Callinicos-Kimber bloc & what they are capable of. As Tony Collins & others have repeatedly said, Defence needs to wise up – & quickly. If they don’t they will incapacitate themselves, not achieve all that they might, & the SWP will degenerate further & in even more disturbing ways.

    Marxist Lennonist: I remember hearing from the SWP (I’ve no idea if its actually true) that Lenin’s wife, when asked just a few years after his death where he’d be if still alive, answered he’d be in one of Stalin’s gulags.

    #46, 12:15pm

    I haven’t heard that before, but let me just say, 9 days after Lenin died this is what Krupskaya wrote in an open letter in ‘Pravda’, 30 Jan 1924:

    “I have a great request to you . . . Do not permit your grief for Ilyich to take the form of external reverence for his person. Do not raise memorials to him, palaces named after him, splendorous festivals in commemoration of him, etc.: To all this he attached so little importance in his life, all this was so burdensome to him”
    (Robert McNeal, Bride of the Revolution: Krupskaya and Lenin, 1972, p.242)

    McNeal also reports (same page) that in all the things she wrote Krupskaya never referred to the mausoleum or what was inside, never went there, nor stood upon it during parades. Likewise in her letters she never used the word ‘Leningrad’, preferring the old nickname ‘Piter’.

  53. Jara Handala on said:

    Barry Kade,

    Thanks for commenting the other day at http://www.internationalsocialismuk.blogspot.co.uk, the ‘Stop the Bullying!’ page, about your experience in the local anti-cuts campaign of SWP members acting uncomradely & rudely in trying to get campaigners to remove FB comments, etc., & to stop talking about the SWP crisis.

    The control-freakery is scary, & as you & others have said, sadly it is indicative of how such people would behave if they ever had some power.

  54. Jara Handala on said:

    For the information of readers, I’ve just noticed online a summary report of the Defence meeting held yesterday:
    http://www.cpgb.org.uk/home/weekly-worker/online-only/in-defence-of-our-party-timidity-in-the-face-of-the-cc

    It’s written on behalf of the faction cttee. by Cde. Rob Owen (Croydon), who authored perhaps the key Defence document so far, ‘Our Strategy’ (available top of this SU thread).

    It names the 20-strong faction cttee. (it includes those from Democratic Renewal Platform, such as China).

    It describes a meeting 3 reps of Defence held Saturday with the CC & the Conference Arrangements Cttee..

  55. jim mclean on said:

    From facebook.

    ” and something else regarding gossip and division: don’t forget a tiny minority of comrades keep passing documents to a disgusting sectarian website, that is unacceptable. Whoever they are, they should not be in our organisation. That is used by our enemies to attack every SWP member whether in a faction or not.”

    Anybody know where this website is?

  56. Jara Handala on said:

    Andy Newman: This link isn’t working for me. I wonder whether Weekly Worker has been under the same sustained cyber-attack that we have over the last few weeks?

    I still had the Rob Owen caucus report open, then after posting the link at 10:45pm I clicked straight away & no connection, just a ‘MODx Parse Error’, reams & reams of it.

    I thght., fcuk, attack!

    Perhaps the Citadel has hired some hackers to disrupt the opposition & those interested in how the SWP is descending.

    Just this minute I tried again, still no connection.

    Hope normal service is restored soon, so that the forces of the Dark Side can continue to shine light where it is needed.

  57. Jara Handala: Given the evidence one cannot but predict that they will be violent. This upsets me greatly, but that is where this is leading – and soon. I had no idea Alex Callinicos would be capable of such a thing, but that shows my naivety.

    I’ve heard numerous accounts of Delta’s own thuggishness – not merely within the SWP, although I did once experience that myself in the context of UAF (where he publicly bullied a young activist for raising a minor disagreement), but in the old CPSA’s internal politics as well.

    That such a repellent and belligerent person was used as an ‘enforcer’ by the SWP’s leadership surely should have raised serious doubts throughout the Left as to their own judgement and values.

  58. Jara Handala on said:

    Marxist Lennonist: Just jumped in my seat, BBC4 announces “and then we’ll be looking at the dark side of the internet at 10pm”! Could Stallinicos have more influence than we’ve given him credit…

    #73, 9:04pm

    I think, sadly, we have more than enough evidence to NEVER underestimate what Stallinicos is capable of, the extent to which he is prepared to draw upon the Darkness that is the Far Side of the Dark Side.

    (Any chance of getting Gary Larson interested in the degeneration/renewal of the SWP? Which animals would he use to tell his tale?)

  59. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    Manzil,

    “I’ve heard numerous accounts of Delta’s own thuggishness – not merely within the SWP…That such a repellent and belligerent person was used as an ‘enforcer’ by the SWP’s leadership surely should have raised serious doubts throughout the Left as to their own judgement and values.”

    Indeed. His whole record, from the Atzmon love-in to the physical assault on Simon Wells at Marxism (expelled I think for taking the same position as George Galloway on nuclear energy at RESPECT conference 2005, having missed the caucus and been ignorant of the line!), to “going nuclear” in the RESPECT split then using the disaster he had pushed to take over from Rees, to the absurd ultra-left perspectives and practice on his watch as the main boss, like sending students to disrupt trade union negotiations, to tearing the party to shreds over the rape allegations, reads like a litany of what’s worst with the SWP in the last decade or so. Far from being an indispensible asset, the party would in fact have been less badly served with almost anyone else in charge…

  60. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    Andy Newman,

    Not working for me either, nor is the WW homepage. Are you still going to post those other docs you said were already up on there?

  61. Marxist Lennonist: Far from being an indispensible asset, the party would in fact have been less badly served with almost anyone else in charge…

    Anyone, eh? :)

    But I agree, it’s a sorry litany. (I’d forgotten about the ACAS debacle! Congratulations, you’re personally responsible for that pained groan that just emerged from my throat.)

  62. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    Manzil,

    Not absolutely anyone of course, but an inanimate carbon rod would be simply a bland inert presence rather than as actively and extravagently harmful as Delta. A bit like Charlie Kimber perhaps =)

  63. Jara Handala on said:

    Barry Kade: So one area of dispute is whether factions should have the right to ‘closed’ organisational meetings, free from ‘disruption’ by factional opponents – or if every meeting has to be an argument between the factions.
    This relates to the wider arguments about ‘openness’ and ‘closedness’ in socialist organisations that run through this whole saga, which is interesting…

    Tony Collins: The CC put out something suddenly saying that they expected all faction meetings to be open to all SWP members. This, from what I remember, is not in the constitution.

    #76, 9:37pm Barry
    #58, 6:54pm Tony

    You’re right, Tony, the SWP Constitution (article 10) says nothing about how factions can or should organise themselves. It simply says documents (presumably not drafts) have to be distributed via HQ. But in the 2nd sentence of the relevant para. the phrase ‘all members’ is ambiguous:
    “A faction will be given reasonable facilities to argue its point of view and distribute its documents. These must be circulated through the National Office, to ensure that all members have the chance to consider them”.

    Is it faction members or all SWP members? I assume it is faction members, the idea presumably being that coz HQ has the list of faction members, HQ can make sure each faction member gets a copy of all documents.

    The focus of the para. is on the distribution of FACTION documents which implies they’re for faction members, not everyone. If they’re for everyone then it would have been easy to have in the Constitution ‘all party members’ rather than the ‘all members’.

    The whole of article 10 appears in the IDOOP founding statement, the 3rd section, ‘Why a Faction?’, at http://www.socialistunity.com/swp-new-faction-declared.

    Barry, I think you’d agree the healthiest way would be that the faction decides who they let into their meeting. They should even be able to, if they want, invite a team of 3 reps from another faction simply to show some invited independents how ‘confrontational’ & so unreasonable the other faction is. (Rob Owen’s ‘Our Strategy’ made a point to saying Defence shouldn’t copy the confrontational style of the Lynch-Mob Faction: if they did the party would split (page 1).)

    The principle should be that factions organise how they like (which is what the Constitution permits), & the aim is to efficiently formulate one’s positions & arguments, & garner support & attendees for the aggregates where delegates are elected.

    Marxist Lennonist: Are you still going to post those other docs you said were already up on there?

    #87, 12:07am

    They’re not Chanie’s Secret Pension Plan Details but here are all the Defence pre-caucus documents:
    http://www.cpgb.org.uk/home/weekly-worker/online-only/idoop-faction-caucus-agenda-and-documents

    I say ‘all’ but Rob Owen’s report on the Defence mtg., Sunday, written on behalf of the faction cttee., mentions 2 docs. not in the above cache that were passed by the mtg.: one by Jim W, Hannah D & Rob O; another on student work by Amy G & Mark B.

    CPGB site is ok now.

  64. Jara Handala: (Rob Owen’s ‘Our Strategy’ made a point to saying Defence shouldn’t copy the confrontational style of the Lynch-Mob Faction: if they did the party would split (page 1).)

    This just shows their naivity, the split has – de facto – already happened. The only way that they can avoid inevitable defeat is if the IDOOP enter into a bare knuckle fight to depose the existing CC, rather than appeal to a better nature that Callinicos and co don’t have.

  65. Linda Kronstadt on said:

    Resorting to The Family might be considered by some as the last refuge of the closet bourgeoisie. Stage 4 of meltdown (after kangaroo courts, explusions and lynch mobs): bring out the holy relics. Next: Tony’s teef. Who’ll be wearing them?

  66. Stephen on said:

    Andy Newman: This just shows their naivity, the split has – de facto – already happened. The only way that they can avoid inevitable defeat is if the IDOOP enter into a bare knuckle fight to depose the existing CC, rather than appeal to a better nature that Callinicos and co don’t have.

    In fairness – that could be presentational. Not wanting to be seen to want a fight etc.

  67. Totally Horrified Ex on said:

    Stephen: In fairness – that could be presentational. Not wanting to be seen to want a fight etc

    Actually reading through Facebook via the open pages of Princess Anna G–>commentators/supporters/likers and some of the expelled 4, I think I can say two things:

    1. The official (undeclared) C.C. and hangers on faction are a nasty bunch who have already decided the entire oppos are renagade scum who deserve a bullet. Such foul vitriol against people who just yesterday were comrades. They show themselves as horrible, disingenuous, fake, bitter and cruel people. Is this the place where the leaders have led them to? Have they learnt nothing from history?

    3. The oppos are getting a LOT more likes and are behaving in a decorous and polite way because they are much nicer people who appear to wish to retain their socialist values in a nasty fight.

    When the smoke clears and m’luds Kimber and Klinkikof retire to their comfortable lodgings to pick flesh off the bones, the oppos will be bloodied, brused and most lightly beaten but will have retained their socialist understanding and humanism. To that I say hear, hear!

    The list of shame, their idiot attack dogs such as Assaf and ingloriuous leaders can only retire to a future of regret, dishonour, pain and bitterness. Never again will they exercise widespread influence. The stain will never wash out and some of the fools will be driven mad with the future shame.

    So yes, maybe the decent souls won’t fight in the same way and maybe that means they are bound to loose. But I know who I am proud to have stood alongside since the miners strike and who I will wave good bye to without looking back.

  68. Totally Horrified Ex: So yes, maybe the decent souls won’t fight in the same way and maybe that means they are bound to loose. But I know who I am proud to have stood alongside since the miners strike and who I will wave good bye to without looking back.

    That is an honourable position, but mentally they need to be preparing themselves for a split, where the current CC keep all the physical and financial assets.

  69. Andy Newman: a split, where the current CC keep all the physical and financial assets.

    I think the importance of money and premises can be overstated (not very materialist, I know, but bear with me). Who kept the assets when the WRP exploded? (Healy and the Redgraves? Torrance?) Whoever it was, does anyone care? Similarly, we know roughly which plughole the (real) CPGB’s assets went down, but I don’t think the Campaign for New Democratic Nice Things (or whatever it’s called) got very much benefit from it.

    In years to come we’ll date the disintegration of the (old) SWP from 2007. Products of the explosion already include Soc Res, the ISN, Counterfire and Bambery’s group in Scotland*. With any luck this next split will be the biggest and most coherent, and its loss will leave the CC faction holed below the waterline. Money won’t save them – at best they’ll have a professionally-produced paper and nobody to sell it or read it (sound familiar?).

    *I knew the ISG. I worked with the ISG. You, sir…

  70. Phil: Who kept the assets when the WRP exploded? (Healy and the Redgraves? Torrance?) Whoever it was, does anyone care?

    The Torrence group kept the majority of the assets, which is why they have become a zombie left group, doomed to walk the earth long after their demise.

    The damage to political capital is more problematic than the loss of materiel; but I would underestimate the difficulty of sustaining a split of 400 people who had no finance or assets behind them; after all they are also entering a crowded market, with a diminishing number of paying punters

  71. Phil: Bambery’s group in Scotland*.

    But Bambery himself in a bizarre discussion about obesity on the Jeremy Vine show last week said he still lives in London. Is he like the King over the water for his Scottsh disciples?

  72. Andy Newman: That is an honourable position, but mentally they need to be preparing themselves for a split, where the current CC keep all the physical and financial assets.

    The thing is, assets are only really of paramount importance if you’re part of the network of people who depend on the party for their income, or if your conception of a left party necessitates a strong full-time centre that ‘intervenes’ in situations but does not naturally develop out of them.

    I don’t see why that would be a serious problem if there is a split – more worrying would be if the opposition turns around and declares itself a return to a more authentically “democratic” Leninist tradition. Given how small and homogeneous an opposition SWP would be, the chances of it degenerating into another cliquey sect – and much more quickly too – would be all the greater.

  73. Andy Newman: in a bizarre discussion about obesity on the Jeremy Vine show

    I read that as “Jeremy Kyle show” and I wondered if Bambery got an actual kicking/was dragged away by ‘security guards’. The political level of both programmes is similar, which is probably why John Rees is on Jeremy Vine so often.

  74. T’was forwarded to me (hilarious bits in bold):

    Dear Comrade,

    The SWP Central Committee has called a special party conference for Sunday 10 March in London. A statement explaining this decision has been sent to all members and was summarised in Party Notes. If you did not receive these and want a copy, please contact the National Office.

    In the run up to the conference every SWP district will hold an aggregate in order to discuss the issues that conference will consider. These are meetings for all SWP members in the area to debate the way forward and elect delegates to the conference.

    Each meeting will have a Central Committee member introduce the discussion. Any factions formed will also have the right to speak. This will be organised through the National Office.

    If you need help with childcare or getting to the venue please contact your local branch.

    Internal Bulletin and Motions
    In the run up to conference an Internal Bulletin will be produced. The deadline for articles will be 10am on Friday 1 March. Please keep articles as short as possible and send to Charlie@swp.org.uk and you will receive an acknowledgement within three working days.
    The deadline for motions for conference is also 10am on Friday 1 March. Motions must be passed by a branch, district, aggregate, fraction, NC or the CC. Motions must be circulated to members well in advance of the meeting so that comrades know what is being discussed.

    Conduct of debate
    It is very important that everyone involved in the debate acts in a fraternal manner. Insults, slurs and denigration of other comrades are completely unacceptable.

    If you would like further into please contact the National Office

    In Solidarity, Charlie Kimber SWP National Secretary

  75. Stephen on said:

    Manzil: These are meetings for all SWP members in the area to debate the way forward and elect delegates to the conference.

    …does that mean the delegates will be selected by / representing districts rather than branches?

  76. Yup, AIUI that’s the idea of ‘aggregates’. I guess it guards against the possibility of a branch or group of branches going rogue, thinking for itself etc.

  77. Insults, slurs and denigration of other comrades are completely unacceptable.

    In Solidarity, Charlie Kimber SWP National Secretary

    The postscript, headed “Wait A Minute… Oh Dear God What Have I Been Saying?”, is well worth reading. Unfortunately it’s not to be posted on the Internet under any circumstances.

  78. Mike Tucker on said:

    Phil: Products of the explosion already include Soc Res, the ISN, Counterfire and Bambery’s group in Scotland*.

    This is wrong, Soc Res (Socialist Resistance) is not a product of any SWP explosion.

  79. Stephen: …does that mean the delegateswill be selected by / representing districts rather than branches?

    Aye, meaning the conference will essentially be decided long before it starts.

  80. #108 That’s right. I don’t mind having been associated with the forerunner of SR (Sooialist Outlook), even if they do frequently annoy me but I was NEVER a state cap :)

  81. The Opposition should hire Matgamna for professional advice.
    He has a Ph D with distinction in Faction Fighting and i’m
    sure his price would be reasonable.

  82. Soc Res (Socialist Resistance) is not a product of any SWP explosion.

    I’m thinking of the Respect split, which led to the ISG making overtures to some of the activists involved in the ‘Renewal’ project, which in turn led to the ISG dissolving into the new and (slightly) larger formation of Soc Res. I assumed that some of those who joined Soc Res from outside the ISG were ex-SWP, but I may have been wrong about that. In any case, the turn to form Soc Res happened in the context of the Respect Renewal project – which wouldn’t have happened without the SWP attack on Respect. Since the attack on Respect was also an attack on those SWP members whose loyalties were thought to be questionable, I think it’s reasonable to say that these were the first rumblings of the continuing SWP explosion. (This context also gives you the connection with the ISN, for anyone who’s keeping score.)

  83. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    Peter Burton,

    I’m sure Matgamna does have “a Ph D with distinction in Faction Fighting”, though I’m not so sure thats a good thing(!) I imagine his “price” though would indeed be too high, if the SWP opposition don’t want to sell out to imperialism…

    Btw how are the Scottish AWL getting on these days Peter, I’ve not heard anything from you in years?

  84. Marxist Lennonist on said:

    Andy Newman: But Bambery himself in a bizarre discussion about obesity on the Jeremy Vine show last week said he still lives in London. Is he like the King over the water for his Scottsh disciples?

    That seems to be the case; despite their having split at different times, I don’t know why he isn’t in Counterfire, since they’re effectively sister parties, each seemingly with a line of “join Counterfire if you live in England or ISG if you live in Scotland”. I imagine they’d have merged by now if it wasn’t for their recent and total capitulation to Salmond’s so-called movement for so-called independence; if the Scots in 2014 reject the petty nationalism Bambery is currently tailing, and I predict we will, it will be interesting to see how that affects the group…

  85. : Chanie’s name she always brings back memories of a very elderly lady I used to know

    She isn’t, in fact, as I was once surprised to notice, “very elderly” – at least not visibly so. Here’s a short film –
    http://vimeo.com/34616295

    “The Belivers – Chanie Rosenberg.
    THE BELIEVERS is a series of ten-minute films about people who believe they have ‘the one truth’ and believe it to such an extent that they are on the streets of London spreading their truth every day. The films however do not focus on what it is each individual believes but rather on what led them to believe it.”

  86. I think some comments regarding Chanie Rosenburg and Anna Gluckstein are very disrespectful.
    These women have campaigned for socialism for all their lives, independently of whether they were related to Tony Cliff.
    If you disagree with their position, please do not also attack their integrity.
    The SWP faces severe difficulties which it must resolve, regarding abuse of members by more powerful ‘leaders’ and oppressive attitudes to women. But no one can pretend that this issue does not also
    happen in other left wing parties and institutions.

  87. pat: If you disagree with their position, please do not also attack their integrity.

    But they have no integrity if they were so willing to be used like this. Do you really think these were just two experienced comrades who decided they wanted to take part in a debate?

    Of course not. They were taking part in a ridiculous, hackish exercise in froth-generation, hoping to be banned so they could be angry and “sad”.

    And then Anna, who never posts on Facebook (hasn’t for well over a year), makes one single posting – she felt so strongly about this one incident that she just had to post. She didn’t feel strongly about anything else in the party. She felt nothing about the crisis, nothing about the bullying or sexism, nothing about the female comrade reduced to tears by Smith a few years ago as he bullied and humiliated her at a branch meeting. Nope. Nothing. But she has such integrity, right?

    These people are not gods. They have chosen to act out a role during a time of serious crisis. They put their integrity on the line, and now they’ve blown it.

  88. Pingback: SWP: "AFTER SUNDAY" - NEW DOCUMENT FROM FACTION | Socialist Unity