29 July 2009
We regret to inform members of the resignation of SWP national Secretary Martin Smith. This is due to serious allegations which will investigated by the disputes committee using a new procedure. In the meantime, all SWP members are instructed to break all contact with Martin Smith until the investigation is complete.
Meanwhile, in Woodborough, 79 Socialist Workers were sold on a protest against Gordon Brown.
6 August 2009
We regret to inform SWP members that Martin Smith, former National Secretary, has been expelled from the SWP for behaviour likely to bring the party into disrepute. We hope that this sends a signal to all members that all complaints against members especially those in leadership roles will be taken seriously.
We understand that some members have close personal ties with Mr Smith. We would urge all members to break all contact with Mr Smith. For those that feel unable to, please remember that we do not discuss the internal matters of the SWP with non-members.
So, what happened next ?
The SWP carried on as before, without any foot stamping at 2011 conference. The Seymourites banged on about the internet, internal bulletins and the slate system for another 6 years as the party continued to stagnate. At the 2015 conference,Just as the SWP was about to democratise its internal structures, the Seymourites all walked out.
Mr Smith meanwhile could be seen selling cheap coffee from a stall in Cromer Street.
After the expulsion of Martin Smith, a faction was set up called “In Defence Of Our Martin”. It claimed that the former national secretary was the victim of a witch hunt, and that the SWP leadership had been influenced by what it called “creeping feminism”. However, when some IDOOM members emails were leaked to the CC, it was shown that the leadership of IDOOM had broken previous instructions to break contact with Smith and four of them were expelled. The remains of the faction were heavily defeated at 2011 conference, and the whole issue and debate initiated a year long set of commissions which looked at how the party could update its analysis and structures.
The SWP was plagued by rumours about Smith’s resignation for the next 2 years. Then a new book by a former Special Branch Officer caused ructions in the SWP. Firstly, the book reported on a member who’d infiltrated the IMG in the early 1970s, but despite requests, was unable to achieve full-timer status. He was sent to the IS instead on the understanding that he would be able to secure a privileged position. Once in IS, he was able to cause immense damage to the organisation as a full time worker , including ensuring that those in the leadership had no way of knowing what was really going on in the party or what the members were really thinking.
This eventually caused a total rethink on what had happened to democratic centralism and other aspects of Marxist theory that seemed to have lost touch with developements in the wider world.