This is a cross post by Howard Fuller from Howie’s Corner
The leadership of the Socialist Workers Party have never liked the Internet, an agency of the middle class as they see it. Except of course it isn’t anything of the sort and like the printing press has enabled knowledge (and gossip) disseminate to the wider masses whether Professor Callinicos likes it or not.
Of course it’s the young who are always most proficient with the tools of modern technology, so imagine the surprise on the faces on the four who were expelled from the SWP for daring to chat amongst themselves on Facebook. The Internet allows for instantaneous communication with others across not only the country but as it says on the label, the World Wide Web!
The SWP have more of a problem with technology than they realise. It’s been pointed out (and I have tried it) that if you “google” SWP it always seems to associate the initials with the word rape. That means that for the foreseeable future when anyone wants to find out about the SWP that’s what they will see. Even a neutral computer programme has turned against the professor and his clan.
The Central Committee (we-who-are-not-a-faction) have now turned their ire against the students in their current struggle against their critics of how they handled the “Comrade delta” rape crisis. The latest documents from the “opposition” state:
A motion submitted to a branch by two well-respected long standing comrades in the organisation (and now circulating widely) essentially lays the ground for a justification for forcing a split between the students and the party, while justifying taking disciplinary measures against students who remain in the organisation post-conference.
In other words the prof is going to sacrifice his current generation of students in the hope that this October he can recruit a new layer of more compliant students to his cult. How he proposes to do that without any presence at freshers fairs is anyones guess.
This situation has not gone unnoticed elsewhere as Soviet Goon Boy writes on his blog:
Not only do they take the view that their gruesome mishandling of a rape allegation is just internet froth of no interest to anyone but students; they further think that, hey, students have no memory, and if we lost almost the entirety of SWSS next month, well, another lot will be along in October and we can just pick up where we left off with a more malleable student organisation. This is assuming students are too stupid to use Google and find out about the group that wants to recruit them.
So where does this leave the SWP? SGB explains:
There is, again, a very definite profile there, at least when you strip out the fulltime party workers. Certain districts are more loyal than others of course, but it’s the age and occupational profile that’s most striking. The List of Shame reveals a very strong bias towards members of the NUT, UCU and PCS; and, from my own knowledge of the people involved, they’re very much the Downturn generation, people who joined in the 1980s predominantly. Actually, rather few of the teachers did join through NUT militancy – they generally joined as students and stuck with the party as they went into the teaching profession.
Anyone familiar with the internal workings of the SWP will be aware that this layer of membership has traditionally been the most fanatically loyal to whatever wheeze is emanating from the CC at any given point in time. There’s also scope for an anthropological study of SWP teachers, who both form a relatively privileged freemasonry in the party and simultaneously have a masochistic tendency to defer to the most boorish and overbearing elements of the apparat. On a rhetorical level, this manifests itself in a buttock-clenchingly stentorian “Leninism” that’s slightly over the top even by SWP standards.
The future of the SWP will be left with the types who might purchase The Oldie in other words. A soon to be dead party, a bit like some of the ageing Stalinist sects like the New Communist Party.
As you might expect this is not the only outrage being perpetrated on the party faithful. It seems even the “discussion” (limited as it is) is being run with a bias towards the profs supporters.
At yesterday’s faction meeting in Manchester, CC supporters declined to debate IDOOP with equal time for each side. It seems they don’t have the confidence to argue their case politically without the advantage of 45 minutes for one side against 6 for the other. 3 more comrades joined the faction at the meeting. As at the national faction caucus, comrades on arriving found that the room booking had mysteriously vanished. The room for tonight’s Leeds faction meeting had also been cancelled by someone else.
Not that anyone should be surprised as the Professor always stated that the “Conference of a special kind” was only being held to “confirm the decisions” of the recent Annual one, which includes both the findings and way the “Comrade delta” case was dealt with.
It’s clear that the “opposition” are losing the internal fight and one has to ask why they would want to either take control of or remain in a party that has been tainted so badly by their disgustingly inept handling of a serious (alleged) criminal case.
A split is inevitable and in addition to the students, some experienced cadre, they are also seemingly set to lose one of few remaining trade unionists of any note. Even the usually compliant Sue Bond (PCS Vice President) has thrown her hat in with the opposition.
Will the last person out of the conference hall please turn out the lights?