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The Stinking SWP

Richard Seymour has announced the formation of a new blog: International Socialism, designed for the arguments of the Socialist Workers Party oppositionists.

A post today is headlined: “Comrades need to stop complaining on the internet and bring their concerns to branch meetings…” This is a paraphrased view of the line that is coming to party members from the loyalists, and the view that has independently also been brought to my attention. It can be summed up by the idiom that dirty linen should not be washed in public: keep all the problems in house and do not let the wider world be aware. The problem with the SWP’s dirty laundry is that its dirt is not a normal level that can be contained. The laundry positively reeks. The stench is leaking out of the Central Committee and the the rest of the left as well as those on the right are pointing an accusatory finger at the party and stating loudly and clearly: “You stink!”

The attempt at silencing external comment is, on the one hand not working, and, on the other hand, it is plainly ridiculous that they claim that complaints can be dealt with at branch meetings. The reason why it is ridiculous is because the SWP Central Committee have also stated about the main reason for the current members’ revolt, “As far we are concerned, this case is closed.” If they have stated the case is closed then they clearly have no interest in discussing it further.

What is interesting about this post is the first comment. Someone has used the anonymous name, John Smith, and said the following:

I am being deliberately carved out by my branch. I’m disabled and comrades make a lot of effort to come to me. But since I voiced my opposition to the CC, I was told that I should get off the internet and come to have face to face discussions – except, they are now saying they won’t be able to arrange a group to discuss things at my house, and won’t be able to arrange transport for me to the branch.

It appears that this party with its so-called left wing credentials are not taking into consideration the needs of disabled members if it does not suit them. Another commentator, using the name  KibokothePurpleHippo, has also suggested that they have suffered discrimination mentioning “some members were privy to information that was withheld from others. There was clearly a two tier system operating.”  This particular member has used a different comment on this new blog to publish his resignation email to the party. Below I copy an extract:

Finally, in the interests of honesty and full disclosure, something which the SWP seem to have lost, I need to disclose that just after I joined the Party, I was raped. My branch never asked about my previous sexual history. When my self esteem was at it’s lowest, they made me feel I was still important and I still had something to offer. I was somewhere safe. I can’t say that is the case now. The irony of the fact that the reason I stayed is now the reason I must leave is not lost on me. It breaks my heart as I’m having to leave an organisation who were to me, the family I didn’t have. And before you accuse me of being biased due to my personal history, I suggest you get your own house in order first. As a rape survivor, I cannot be part of a Party of rape apologists.

It causes me great sadness and pain to have to say this, but I have no choice. I hereby resign from the SWP.

I cannot think of a single redeeming feature of the party. It deserves nothing better than to go to the political graveyard where it can be buried alongside Gerry Healy’s Workers’ Revolutionary Party.