Yesterday, my guest posed some extremely pertinent questions to Professor Callinicos of the SWP Central Committee. Looks like my cynicism was premature as we now have some answers!
I’m sorry to hear that you have left the SWP. As you are no doubt aware, we on the Central Committee regarded every member of The Party as gold dust.
I’m also sorry that you allowed your letter to be guest posted on “Facing Reality”, one of the sillier responses to the SWP’s difficulties. However, since your questions were about me they were worthy of a response, though you will find that there were in fact fifteen questions, not nine, since you are appear to be an empiricist.
- Were you aware in 2010 that comrade W was complaining about a serious sexual assault and that some women SWP members were judging it as rape? I had no opinion on the matter. How could I possibly know all the facts of the case. That’s why we have a disputes committee.
- Why has the CC already implemented some changes to the way it deals with disputes via the DC? The changes the CC has implemented are like any other changes the CC announces to The Party. We know how to adapt our Leninism to changing circumstances. That’s the beauty of its magic – it can do anything, including the unexpected.
- Do you support the changes recommended by the Disputes Committee Review Body published in “IB1“? Since we haven’t had the discussion at our democratic conference yet, I couldn’t possibly say. I will decide when I have heard the discussion. That democracy!
- “Are you saying that the 2012 investigation was inadequate?” No
- “As International Secretary of the SWP’s “International Socialist Tendency” (apologies if I have the incorrect job title), were you aware of the rape crisis scandal that tore apart the SWP’s sister organisation (Linksruck) in Germany in 2001“ I don’t recognise your job title, but I can say that I heard about it on the internet.
- Were you aware that the Linksruck “CC had been aware of these allegations for some time but had not reacted to them”? No. The IST is made of of independent organisations who , Eamonn McCann’s disgraceful behaviour aside, we do not interfere with each others internal matters.
- Did you know about the sexual assaults before the Linksruck membership? How could I have done?
- Did you advise them to ensure that supporting the victims was their priority? We don’t advise each other in the IST.
- What role did you play during Linksruck’s crisis? I didn’t.
- Did you really invoke the “prime directive” of not interfering in another IST group’s internal affairs? We have no directive of that name.
- What did you say to your friends on the CC when at the September 2001 conference they tried to use bureaucratic procedures to prevent the rape issue being properly discussed? Nothing. It wasn’t my business to interfere in another country’s organisation
- Did you ….. ensure that all IST supporters were aware of what had happened in the German group? There is no mechanism to make sure all IST supporters are aware of anything
- What lessons had been learnt to make sure such disgraceful behaviour by the “leadership”couldn’t be repeated? I don’t know, because Magical Leninism has all the answers.
- What did you learn from the experience of the CC Linksruck covering up sexual harassment and sexual violence? Nothing. i’ve read Cliff’s “Class Struggle and Women’s Liberation”, Lyndsey German’s “Sex,Class and Socialism” and her “Material Girls” and Judith Orr’s “Sexism and the System”. And been to talks on women.
- Did you use any of the wisdom you gained by either following or being involved in the German case to help the leadership of the British SWP deal with things a lot better? I don’t understand what you mean by “things” but the British SWP is helped by Magical Leninism.
Now that your questions have been answered and you may trust us again, we look forward to welcoming you back into The Party And don’t forget the Appeal and the 6 months subs you owe……
Yours Fraternally, Alex
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