Party Notes

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.

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Party Notes

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.

Or…….

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.

Or…………..

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.

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One thought on “Party Notes

  1. I posted the following on my blog at http://thatcheroftheleft.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/my-role-perhaps-in-alleged-rapist-martin-smiths-resignation-from-the-swp/ shortly after reading on-line about “Comrade” Delta’s resignation, which bears some relationship to the final possibility in your posting:

    Perhaps my intervention in the meeting on Stephen Lawrence’s racist murder 20 years on at Marxism 2013 set the cat among the pigeons.

    I referred to the Channel 4 Dispatches/Guardian investigation into a Special Demonstration Squad (police) infiltrator into “the Militant Party united front Youth Against Racism in Europe” as the speaker put it (it was actually Militant Labour, previously the Militant Tendency and now the Socialist Party, but that’s nitpicking) who was trying to find dirt to smear Stephen Lawrence’s family. The YRE and another “Militant united front” Panther (of black and Asian people) organised the first demonstration to close down the British National Party HQ. I was in Militant Labour at the time and went on that demo.

    I had a copy of the new book “Undercover” by Guardian journalists Rob Evans and Paul Lewis in my bag and read out front page headlines “They steal identities, they break the law, they sleep with the enemy, the true story of Britain’s secret police”

    I also read part of a paragraph (at the start of page 16): “‘It was a shadowy section where people disappeared into a black hole for several years,’ recalls one officer who infiltrated the revolutionary Socialist Workers Party in the 1980s.”

    I also talked about a leader of the CWI (which links the Socialist Party to similar organisations around the world) who quoted half a sentence from an internal document during the debate around the setting up of the Scottish Socialist Party at the 1998 European School of the CWI (without naming him). I resigned shortly afterwards due to the position of the British and international organisations’ position on the SSP and since I felt, rightly or wrongly, that infiltrators had become dominant as we shrank in size (and preferred to inform others from the outside rather than get expelled).

    Anyway, at the end of my speech, I just happened to mention Martin Smith alias Comrade Delta (implying that he too was an infiltrator). There were some calls of “Shame!” and someone didn’t think that this meeting was appropriate to mention him – but bearing in mind that he was employed by Unite Against Fascism, it was very relevant in my opinion…

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