More news from the SWP

Apparently, Comrade X’s dispute hearing has now been held despite Comrade Delta having left the party and without his participation.

I am informed by a normally reliable source that the decision was that there is a ‘case to answer’ and that he behaved inappropriately.

10 comments on “More news from the SWP

  1. Jellytot on said:

    the decision was that there is a ‘case to answer’ and that he behaved inappropriately.

    If he was still in the Party (and at a senior position) then the decision would probably have been:

    “‘ no case to answer’ and that he behaved appropriately”.

    Now he’s an “unperson” he can be retrospectively thrown to the wolves (in terms of his reputation).

  2. What I found amazing about this whole crisis is the total incompetence of the leadership of the SWP to show any of the basic skills of leadership- such as understanding the mood of their members, giving a clear route through very choppy waters, having a strategy and some objectives. What we have seen is panic, denial, closing down of debate, expulsions, packing meetings with inactive comrades, lying, bullying, and indecision.

    If you look at it objectively the SWP 18 months ago was the largest party in the marxist leninist tradition in the UK, with a thriving student wing, deeply embedded in anti-fascist activity, with influential roots in some of the public sector unions, respected for their activism if not for their politics.

    Now it can barely scrape together 1,000 members, has no student wing at all, it has a thriving ‘opposition’ active both outside and inside it’s ranks, the leading member the leadership stuck by has left, many of the older foundation comrades are actively criticising the leadership, its standing on the left and in the unions is much lower than it has been for 30 years- and still the leadership has given no clear signs that they have a strategy to get out of the mess they have created.

    Maybe the same thing is happening to the SWP that happened to my old crew the Communist Party- the leadership ran out of ideas and motivation so are taking the ship down with them.

  3. jock mctrousers on said:

    Yup, and there’s also that thing where, as someone here noted recently, they’re now to the right of the Tory party, at least on imperialist adventures in Libya and Syria…

    Seems like they’ve always been there, those paper sellers with their strident ” fight now ” messages, so refreshingly more positive than the Communists’ ” the time isn’t right for a fight'” (for 90 years now – when will it EVER be right?). They got that right. If you don’t fight, even to lose, you lose the ability to fight, even the memory of fighting, and then you get walked on, which is what’s happening now. So I’d miss that much of the SWP; but when you get beyond that, to what they intend to do about it… That’s been much discussed here (Andy has put it very well), so I won’t retread it, but the most diplomatic thing I could say is they haven’t really offered clear guidance.

    A devil’s advocate view of the SWP is that they’ve proved a dependable mechanism for drawing in young school leavers, appealing to their tetosterone with the promise of street-fights with ‘ the nazis’, and then use them to pack meetings and shout ” racist, Stalinist, whatever…” at whoever they’re told to – ” disrupting popular movements” as Chomsky puts it – and then losing them again before they start asking questions. Who knows? But this certainly is a model which would have to have a high tolerance for ‘inappropriate behaviour’, which accords with my experience of them over the decades.

  4. #3 They are more supportive of the rebels than many tories, but they did oppose the military intervention, while the majority of tory mps voted in favour, so I think it’s important to be accurate. I suspect the rebels they support only exist in their imagination however.

    As bad or possibly worse imo are my erstwhile comrades of Socialist Resistance who put out a joint leaflet with an SWP splinter at the rally in Manchester essentially saying that imperialism isn’t giving enough support to the rebels, and advertising a meeting in London where Gilbert Achcar will be speaking. I pointed out to the person who gave me the leaflet that Achcar had supported military intervention in Libya. While conceding that Achcar was wrong, he ‘corrected’ me by pointing out that Achcar had actually supported a no fly zone. He had no answer other than to give a shrug and an embarassed smile, clearly agreeing with me, when I asked how a no fly zone could be enforced other than by military force.

    In fairness to Achcar, like the SWP he opposed the military intervention against Syria.

    The confusion and wishful thinking isn’t confined to the SWP, and I see their wrong treatment of sexual misconduct, alleged or otherwise within their own organisation as a separate question from their politics.

    I suspect that their ongoing decline has to certain degree been slowed down by the bedroom tax campaign which has thrown them a lifeline.

  5. ‘behaved inappropriately’ seems a long way from rape and a long way from instigating a crisis.

    Please tell me that this site hasn’t spent numerous articles tinged with total hysteria over ‘inappropriate behaviour’? I behave inappropriately at least once every day.

  6. John Grimshaw on said:


    Marko. The phrase “behaved inappropriately” seems to emanate from the SWP not from Andy as far as I can judge from this short report.

    I would hesitate to use your phrase “total hysteria” to describe what has happened on this website. I would settle for the term “over the top”. This however doesn’t get round the fact that whatever has just happened to the SWP is in essence its own fault. Its not just their failure to deal with allegations made against a prominent member. Rather also its the un-democratic internal culture that has allowed this to happen.

  7. ‘total hysteria’ – not the best choice of phrasing Marko, given the issues under discussion.

  8. What I found amazing about this whole crisis is the total incompetence of the leadership of the SWP to show any of the basic skills of leadership

    What’s amazing about that? People who spent their lives saying “leadership isn’t necessary, adventurism will do” have no leadership skills.

    Not surprised; don’t care.

  9. Same old on said:

    jock mctrousers,

    Yes heavily dominated by the state at senior level. A sponge to soak up radicalism and turn it into a destructive force against genuine change