I have received an email containing a message published on the Facebook page of someone described as a veteran SWP oppositionist. I copy the message below but have removed names.
I remember when an SWP Central Committee member sexually assaulted one of my friends (this was not a matter of an ‘unproven allegation’, since the person admitted his guilt at great length to me, putting it down to his heavy drinking). The assault involved an attack on a party member in which he tried to tear her clothes from her. She fought back, and eventually stopped him in his tracks with a kick in the balls (she told me that she said “fuck off, you old hippy”). The woman didn’t want to pursue the matter in any way and, not surprisingly, dropped out of the SWP shortly afterwards. As an SWP district organiser I raised this with the CC, asking that the person be disciplined even though there was no complaint as such, but it was explained to me that “this sort of thing happens under capitalism”, and nothing could be done about it. Obviously, not being a moron, I didn’t think that was in any way an adequate response, but I couldn’t think of anything else to do about it. Shortly afterwards I was sacked as an organiser. Then, shortly after that, I was expelled from the SWP ‘for life’ for wanting to produce a cultural magazine (as it happens, I don’t believe they expelled me because of my knowledge of this incident). I perhaps should have done more about this, but at the time – over 20 years ago – I didn’t know what else I could do.
I mention all this only because
1) at least [one] of those on the CC at that time remains in position [A name provided but removed by Michael Ezra]
2) others on the CC at that time remain prominent figures on the left, albeit not in the SWP [Two names provided but removed by Michael Ezra], and…
3) the CC member who told me that such things were inevitable, and justified doing nothing about it, has played a role in recent events, justifying or excusing the actions of Delta using very similar arguments [A name was provided but removed by Michael Ezra.]
I mention all this because it bears on the mistaken belief some members seem to have that, if the CC suspected that anything untoward really *had* happened in the latest case, they would have dealt with it and would not have taken part in a cover-up. Actually they have a vested interest in covering up such things, and they, as a group, have done so in the past.
One wonders how much more of this exists.