Monday, October 15, 2007

SWP/Respect melt-down continues

The latest here. Two things are fascinating to me. One, the extraordinary level of control freakery within the SWP (and especially around John Rees) revealed by this, which exceeds even what I expected. It is clear that they don't want Respect to be an open, democratic party - just as they refused to allow the Socialist Alliance to be. And two, the fact that even the SWP internally admit that Yaqoob and Galloway are playing at communalist politics, the accusation the decent left has been making all along.

This is from an e-mail that got forwarded to me, not sure of the author:
It would seem that the SWP has now taken a Left turn and started adopting some of the criticisms of Respect that opponents aired when this un-popular front was first proposed. Rob Hoveman, Nick Wrack and Kevin Ovenden have been expelled - presumably they have gone "native" in terms of the current line. This happened earlier when Ger Francis was expelled, although the line hadn't shifted quite so much back then. Of course it was Ger Francis who organised the witchhunting of the independent socialist and FBU militant Steve Godward from being an officer of both the Birmingham Socialist Alliance and Stop the War. As a long term critic of the SWP's Right turn with the destruction of the Socialist Alliance and the formation of Respect - you might think I could be tempted to embrace the SWP now.

I can't but think back to the history of the Cominterm and the way that the Stalinist parties would periodically have to adopt to sudden changes of line - the result every time was to expel comrades who had gone "native" or where still advocating class politics when the line said required it to be abandoned. For example the turn from Third Period politics to Popular Frontism (at least the Stalinists had the hopes of alliance between the Soviet Union and powerful imperialist countries against Nazi Germany - what do current day popular fronts offer apart from a reason to abandon class politics), the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (need to rapidly shift
to the Left and denounce the imperialist war intentions of the imperialist opponents of Nazi Germany), the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union and the switch back to popular frontism and so on.

I think it was Trotsky who described the Stalinists as a cancer in the workers movement. What are the SWP?
Bonus links: John's Labour blog 1 & 2

UPDATE: Lots more material appearing on Socialist Unity.

Previous here and, before that, here.

1 comment:

SnoopyTheGoon said...

A blight on that cancer growth?