So, as predicted, it has happened:
We welcome the formation of a faction which recognises the widespread discontent within the party. We declare our intention to join immediately, and invite others to do so.
In recent weeks, the lack of leadership from the Central Committee (CC) over a very serious crisis concerning the handling of sexual harassment and rape allegations has been compounded by a hostile approach towards internal criticism. It is clear that these criticisms are not limited to a tiny minority, but come from broad spectrum of comrades across the country.
Regrettably, the CC’s attempt to provide a perspective thus far has been limited to blaming internal critics, the left beyond the party, and the right-wing media for the crisis. This is a political failure, insofar as it results from a shocking failure to apply our sexual politics, and has revealed a serious deficit in party democracy. But it is also an untenable strategy that risks doing irreversible damage to the party’s standing in the movement. And it damages our ability to work within united fronts and alongside others on the left.
The motion carried at the recent National Committee meeting unfortunately serves not to solve this crisis but to deepen it. The attempt to curtail democratic rights to call a special conference, and threaten disciplinary action against comrades opposed to the present CC strategy, must be opposed. We also oppose the ill-founded expulsions of four comrades over this issue before conference.
For all these reasons, we welcome the creation of a broad, united faction. And we support any project that aims to promote a genuinely democratic, tolerant culture in the party.
We pledge to work constructively inside the faction for its declared aims, and urge other comrades to join and work alongside us.
We also call for a special conference at which to address the issues raised by the faction. The purpose of the conference should be to identify and correct those aspects of our work that have led to the current situation, not only organisational structures but also failures in long-term analysis and perspective. We believe it must include in its remit the issues of party democracy and the structure and practices of the Disputes Committee. It must allow a full pre-conference period with internal bulletins to allow for the most thorough debate. The right to call such a conference is guaranteed by the constitution and we refuse to accept any arbitrary time constraints placed upon this.
This is followed by a lot of Seymouresque Trot wibble, which gloriously includes the following sentence:
The entrenched scepticism about the internet, though justifiably repudiating cyber-utopianism, is symptomatic of this phobia.
They’re calling themselves the “Democratic Renewal Platform”.
Other leading Trotskyites are describing this as the International Socialist Organisation USA’s UK franchise. According to my contacts in the SWP, that is what Richard “Lenin” Seymour and China “Right Said Fred” Mieville were said to be up to. So perhaps it is. If this is so, then rather beautifully, it presently exists as an entryist faction within the Socialist Workers Party. Has one Trot group ever practiced entryism into another before? I don’t believe so.
I say “presently exists”. Obviously, these chancers will shortly be expelled. For this reason, those who have signed up to the new faction have only given their first names – although I suspect I can guess who “Richard Hornsey and Wood Green” and “China Brent & Harrow” are. And so, I bet, will the Central Committee.
Comrades! Return to your constituencies and prepare for oblivion!