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A bizarre weekend for the SWP

This is a cross post by Howard Fuller of Howie’s Corner.

This weekend got quite difficult for the comrades of the Socialist Workers Party by all accounts.

Unison Women’s Conference – an update

Firstly as I drew your attention to the leaflet distributed by SWP members at the Unison women’s conference, an ill considered intervention given their own scandalous actions over allegations of rape inside the SWP.

Unison members were discussing a motion which called for a policy of “No Platform” for “rape deniers”. The targets of the motion were people like George Galloway MP whose ridiculous on-line video defending Julian Assange caused consternation right across the political spectrum. Over at Socialist Unity, one rather paranoid conspiracy theorist exclaimed that the attack on Galloway was the work of the CIA. Ridiculous nonsense of course.

This notion prompted a response from the actual mover of the motion at the Conference, Cath Elliot who told Socialist Unity in no uncertain terms:

I’m the person who moved the Galloway/rape deniers motion at UNISON Women’s Conference and I can confirm I’m neither a rightwing CIA stooge nor interested in witch-hunting anyone. The debate went down the way it did because the SWP chose to reveal their complete hypocrisy by producing and distributing the ridiculous leaflet featured at the top of the post, and by choosing to defend the behaviour of the CC in their opposing speeches.

and responded to further criticism thus:

It’s not actually a no-platform motion in the true sense of the phrase. If you read the text of motion 30 the relevant bullet points are:
2)Encourage UNISON spokespeople to refuse to share a platform with George Galloway, or any other speakers who contribute to rape culture by blaming and undermining rape victims.
3) To liaise with the NEC, Labour Link, and other UNISON bodies to try and ensure that UNISON never offers a platform to any speakers who are rape deniers, and who blame and undermine rape victims, and that it never officially supports any event that does.
So to answer your question, no, as a member of Respect no one would be going against the spirit of the motion if they wanted to share a platform with you, not unless you’d publicly made similar comments to Galloway’s anyway.

The SWP has lost all credibility in Unison it would seem.

Manoeuvres in the dark

The opposition inside the SWP held a meeting in the University of London Union (ULU) today which was attended by around 100 people judging by an incident that took place. Some supporters of Professor Callinicos, the leading SWP guru attempted to gain entry but were refused entry on a vote of 60 to 40.

This upset Anna Gluckstein no end and she wrote on her facebook page:

“As you know I never do facebook, but today I feel compelled to. Today there was a faction meeting in central London. I went along with a couple of comrades and others and we were barred from entry! This was not only me, this was two CC members and two of our journalists. I had invited my mum to the meeting and then I had to tell her she wasn’t allowed to come. I understand that there will be organisational points that the comrades in the faction may wish to discuss and we would have left at that point, but they were having a five hour meeting in which general political perspectives were to be discussed. 

Chanie was very upset about this situation as we have never had closed political discussions from other members. We are all in the same organisation, how can this happen? where is the democracy in this?”

I wonder if any member of the SWP can just waltz into a meeting of the Central Committee when they feel like it? Of course not. The Prof’s supporters are crying wolf, especially as the four members of the SWP who were expelled for chatting amongst themselves on facebook (free thought is obviously a crime in SWP land) had their case heard by the Disciplinary Committee (that’s the one that found “Comrade delta” “innocent”). Guess what? They lost their case.

Roll on March 10th. The Prof’s lynch mobs await!