So, in the end, all it took was a vote of 400 to 140 at today's gerrymandered special conference to kill the SWP. I'm sure the central committee are toasting a job well done at swappie towers tonight. After all, it takes some mean manoeuvring to pack a meeting with your supporters when your own team is outnumbered by 540+ to 512. And, characteristically for all gatherings on which the fates of organisations turn, according to this report it was something of a tepid, drippy affair. It's all redolent of the official closing of the original CPGB, the shutting down of the Socialist Alliance, and the winding up of my school's chess club.
Well, the central committee and its lynch mob may want to bury their heads in the sand. But that is not going to stop the rest of the labour movement casting them out as pariahs. The rough ride the SWP rightly received at Unison's Women's Conference is a foretaste of what's to come. I imagine their TUSC partners will be less keen to buddy up with them come the morning. Where the SWP have members in senior trade union positions I can't see them coming out fighting the inevitable rape-baiting campaigns sure to be run against its supporters. Anything that smacks of the SWP - model resolutions, front-organised campaigns, it's all irredeemably tainted. And when September comes round for the annual recruitment surge at freshers', Google and the efforts of student union women's societies will drive a further nail into the SWP's tatty coffin.
I don't and have never particularly liked the SWP. But it would be churlish not to recognise the occasional positive contribution it has made to the labour movement; there is also the production of popular and readable theoretical works that have, over the decades, assisted the politicisation of many thousands. And then when you glance at the other side of the balance sheet and see the breaking of campaigns, the wrecking behaviour and cod ultra-leftism, the bullying and systematic burning out/driving out of tens of thousands from the labour movement, and now its utterly appalling rape denialism over a period of time. It's time this rancid cult was put to bed. So thank you Alex Callinicos, Charlie Kimber and your 400 acolytes for doing the rest of the left a massive favour and ensuring your days are numbered.
Regards those SWP members currently considering their options, despite their politics, I hope this bruising experience does not disperse them into the comforting embrace of private life. To those who, I understand, are contemplating a public group resignation in short order - there is a wider movement for you to move into, and it's infinitely more deserving of your talents and energy.