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The SWP’s Other “Faction”

Socialist Workers Party sources have been suggesting that two factions would be formed within the SWP in response to the Martin Smith rape allegations fiasco.

Yesterday, we saw the publication of the Richard “Lenin” Seymour and China “Right Said Fred” Mieville statement.  These are the Trots who expect to be expelled. Socialist Unity and the pretend CPGB have also published the statement of a SWP faction, “In Defence of our Party”. These are the Trots who hope not to be expelled, but probably will be unless a deal can be cut with the Central Committee.

They’re presenting themselves as the fluffy lot who ‘only want to help’:

It is clear that comrades on all sides of the present debate are discussing it in various combinations and using a variety of media, both online and through the internal circulation of documents. It would be better to bring these discussions inside the party’s democratic structures, within a framework that is open and facilitates participation. A faction can help clarify the political arguments in this way – far better than the current situation, which is in danger of spiralling out of control and further damaging the party.

We are for the unity of the party – and for instituting a change of course that will facilitate that unity.

This is what they want:

c) [Martin Smith] to stand down from any paid or representative roles in our party or united front work for the foreseeable future.
d) No disciplinary action against those comrades who have publicly expressed concerns over the DC’s conduct and findings.
e) Full support for the comrades who made the complaints. Zero tolerance of any attempt to undermine them and others who have raised criticisms of the DC report. Action to ensure they do not suffer any detriment in the party because of the position they have taken. An end to the punishment of party workers who have expressed concerns over the dispute.

The reference to “united front work” is a reference to Martin Smith’s leading position in Unite Against Fascism. The Socialist Rapists Party controls this organisation along with Socialist Action: Livingstone’s pet Trots. It is tragi-comic to see them begging their elders and betters not to be expelled. As Michael Ezra would observe, if the Socialist Workers Party were actually in power (ha ha!) they would have been shot by now.

And this is who they are. You’ll see some well known (to train spotters like me) names on the list, including Pat Stack (the Chair and single dissenter on the infamous Disputes Committee), Jim Wolfreys (and others on the National Committee), and also David Renton, a rather nice Old Etonian barrister who has written some interesting stuff about the SWP’s Anti Nazi League. The full list of signatories is below the fold.

It is suggested, in discussion on Socialist Unity, that the Seymour/Mieville faction has joined the “In Defence of our Party” faction – but I’ve seen no clear evidence of that. Although I’m sure that my SWP sources will let me know (when they wake up!!).

Also worth reading is the statement by Mark Bergfeld - the Student Grant who thinks that some students throwing bottles in London is a ‘French-style resistance‘ -  explaining why he has resigned from the SWP’s Central Committee – if only for disclaimer at the top of the letter, which amusingly, Andy Newman has reproduced:


Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

Jamie Woodcock (SWP NC / Goldsmiths /NUS NEC)
Dan Swain (SWP NC /Norwich/ UCU)
Sara Bennett (SWP NC / Unite EC)
Ian Allinson (SWP NC / Bury & Prestwich / Unite EC)
Amy Gilligan (SWP NC / Cambridge)
Laura J (SWP NC / Walthamstow / NUJ)
Jim Wolfreys (SWP NC / Euston / UCU)
Colin Wilson (SWP NC / Hackney)
Chaz Singh (SWP NC / Walthamstow)
Jelena Timotijevic (SWP NC / Brighton)
Mark Bergfeld
Hannah Dee
Ray Marrell
Pat Stack (Camden)
Ian Birchall (Islington)
Colin Barker (Manchester)
Mike Gonzalez (Glasgow)
Megan Trudell (Walthamstow)
Geoff Brown (Bury & Prestwich)
Charlie Hore (Hackney / Unison)
Pete Shaw (Leeds / Unite)
Ru Maclean (Tooting)
Andrew Cunningham (Manchester/ Unison)
Alice Livingston-Boomla (Euston)
Debs Gwynn (Merseyside / NUT)
Viv Smith (Hackney South)
Rita Mcloughlin (Hackney South)
Cathy Porter (Oxford)
Jon Flaig (Kent)
Nick O’Brien (Norwich/NUT)
Pura Ariza (Liverpool/UCU)
Simon Behrman (Euston)
Gill George (Hackney / Unite)
Dave Renton (Islington)
Alison Lord (Walthamstow)
Shanice McBean (Euston/KCL SWSS)
Samir Hinks (Euston/KCL SWSS)
Shereen Prasad (Islington/FE)
Rachel Eborall (Walthamstow)
Roderick Cobley (Walthamstow)
Stacey Whittle (Brighton)
Sarah Young (Brighton)
Ian Crosson (Lewisham / UCU)
Rick Lighten (Manchester / Unison)
Nathan Bolton (Essex Uni President)
Pete Gillard (Hackney / Unite)
Rob Owen (Croydon / NUT)
Willie Black (Edinburgh / Unite)
Mike Thompson (Leicester / Unite)
Norman Maclean (South London)
Brian Parkin (Leeds / UCU)
Paul Burnham (Wood Green)
Andy North (Birmigham / NUT)
Sundara Jermone (Birmingham / NUT)
Simon Furze (Birmingham)
Sadia Jabeen (Birmingham)
Kim Gibbins (Birmingham)
Bunny La-Roche (Kent)
Soren Goard (Goldsmiths)
Ross Speer (Euston)
Matt Myers (Oxford SWSS)
Robin Burrett (Euston)
Matthew Cookson (Hackney)
Dave Radford (Oxford/PCS)
Steve Ellis (Brixton)
Arnie Joahill (Newham)