Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A Letter from the SWP Central Committee

Charlie Kimber is back, and this time he's angry. Hat tip to Eddie Truman for supplying the goods.

Statement from the Central Committee
Comrades in the opposition faction have responded to last night's statement from the CC with a vitriolic assault. They have underlined their desire to harm the party, not to make it more effective.

The working class in Britain faces an enormous onslaught.

Internationally the situation in Egypt, Turkey, Brazil and elsewhere shows the crucial need for revolutionary organisation.

The stakes for socialists are very high. The future of the SWP is not to be treated as a game or a trivial matter. But that is what the faction is doing.

At the weekend the SWP's National Committee (NC), the party's main elected leadership body, met. It discussed serious information that had been sent to the SWP Central Committee regarding factional activity.

The information included the plans of a sub-faction within the main faction who were preparing a split in the party.

The SWP is an open democratic party with no history of the kind of factional organisation outside our conference period that has wrecked much of the left.

But we now know that a number of members have been organising on this factional model for months.

After a long discussion the NC voted both to oppose this factional organisation and to support the suspensions of four people who were involved in setting up a bank account to fund a split from the SWP.

In response, the four suspended members gave assurances that the bank account that had been set up to fund a split had been shut down, and that there was not going to be agitation for a split.

Pete G, for example, told the CC, "I am not paying into any bank account to fund a split. I am not agitating for a split."

Søren G also said, "I am not agitating for a split from the SWP" as well as stating that he was not paying into any such account.

Hanif L said he wasn't paying into an account and pointed to how he had increased his subs to the party.

Of course under normal circumstances the four would have remained suspended and could have been expelled.

However after months of difficult debates and arguments in the party, and with Marxism just a few days away, CC members felt it was necessary to take their assurances in good faith and to try to unify the organisation.

In the hours since the lifting of the suspensions the four have issued a statement that shows not the slightest recognition that their behaviour was wrong.

It states that the lifting of the suspensions - rather than being a move towards unity - is proof of “bureaucratic manoeuvre” and that attempts are being made to "shutdown opposition".

This last claim is a little ironic after a number of faction members said they were withdrawing from meetings at Marxism 2013 that the organisers had invited them to speak at!

The four seem to have learnt nothing.

They are clearly not interested in joint work and would rather put factional activity ahead of the unity of the organisation.

Do these comrades really think their methods help to build a serious Marxist party or to strengthen the fightback against austerity?

The SWP is not a debating society. It is a revolutionary organisation with a long history of serious work in the movement.

We repeat our call for the end of all factional activity and for the faction to take down its website.

It seems that for some people the "cut and thrust" of factional intrigue is far more important than building working class resistance to austerity.

Such people are arrogantly irresponsible.

At Marxism 2013 we intend to take up all the political issues recently raised in our organisation as part of the wider debates in our movement. There is a big audience at Marxism, including many non-members of the SWP, who want answers to the major political questions we face.

We are not prepared to see the SWP wrecked by those who put their faction before the party and the working class.

Central Committee, 10 July 2013


Phil said...

Interesting, to say the least, that Kimber implicitly recognises the existence of the opposition faction rather than wasting any more time telling them they should already have disbanded. At this stage of the game we've got to start wondering how many battalions he has. Plenty of good people left when this all blew up the first time; if you look at the signatories to the most recent opposition statement, they've got basically every living Swappie you've ever heard of apart from the January rebels, Charlie and Alex.

Gary Elsby said...

Is there any chance that the revolution can be put off until after the World Cup finals in 2014?

How many Labour CLPs have not been allowed to recruit new members for the last 2 years?

Lots of them.

Anonymous said...

NB Kimber had about as much say in writing that as Bukharin did in writing his own confessions.

Speedy said...

Heh. Splitters!

This will be the Marxism Conference that is going to be picketed by its hosts in protest at the SWPs sexism.

It's interesting - the Truth will get you in the end. The SWP has displayed a huge degree of cynicism in its alliances with Islamist groups.

This of course goes almost unremarked upon. But that lack of integrity will catch up with you in the end.

Rotten to the core.

Phil said...

14 CLPs in special measures, Gary. And btw while Central still fell into that category it recruited new members.

Phil said...

The SWP are done. They might not expire today or tomorrow, but their actions have proved their undoing and a long, unlamented slide into the political graveyard beckons.

As I said in this piece I do appreciate the work of the far left. How could I not seeing as that's where I came from? But on balance, the contribution the SWP has made to socialism, the labour movement and radical politics generally is, for the most part, negative.

James O. Gibson said...

I agree with your sentiment that the far-left can often be quite detrimental to the interests of ordinary hardworking people. My issue is that 'New Labour' has taken a rather Thatcherite front and I can see only two hopes to bring UK politics back into the hands of the working people.

The first being to bring Labour back to its old self as a party for the working man. This possibility is becoming particularly interesting as calls are being made for Labour and the Conservatives to become 'mass-membership' parties again.

The second solution being the rise of a new leftist party; at least more leftist than the current Labour.

I'd like to hear your views.

Gary Elsby said...

"while Central still fell into that category it recruited new members."

Who were then put into special measures.


Phil said...

James, if you keep reading I'm sure a few things of that nature will be written. If you're ever that bored have a skip through the archive too. You'll see my views on these things have changed quite a bit over the years.

Phil said...

Gary, the CLP remained in special measures for some 18 months after your departure. And yet people were recruited and became active.