In Defence of the Socialist Workers Party!

swpfistFacing Reality‘s discovery of these anarchist-student diaries reveal the hypocrisy and counterproductive nature of recent attacks on the S.W.P. I left the SWP in March 2013 because I refused to follow the leadership’s demand that I defend the indefensible – the cover up of rape allegations by an SWP leader. (And the cover up of the cover up!). So I’m not surprised there’s still a lot of hostility and suspicion among feminists and socialists towards the SWP.

The #creeping feminism and #swpoffcampus twitter hashtags no doubt represent real and  understandable anger. And the SWP certainly don’t do themselves any favours. Only this week for example, after allegedly dissuading women complaining of rape from using the courts because they are “bourgeois justice”, the Party seems to have got the bourgeois courts to stop a debate and censor the newspaper at the Edinburgh Students Union!  (They even had to remove all the front pages of the student paper. Allegedly!)

However, the diary of anarchist revealed here demonstrates why such attacks are misguided, misdireected, and actually help the SWP.

A Day In The Life of Anarcho-Pete

Woke up feeling pissed off. Running late for Freshers Fair. Ran outside to see my anarchist bus go past. Stomped off towards the station. 

Walked past the Doctors. Thought about how the NHS was part of the cover up of Jimmy-Fuckin’-SoVile’s as a serial rapist. Carried on walking.

Walked past the BBC. Thought about how they too were part of the cover up of rape and child abuse by Saville and others. Carried on walking.

Walked past the police pig-station. Thought about how the were central to the cover up of institutional rape and abuse, as well as the cover up of Saville’s rapes. Carried on walking.

Walked past the Town Hall, where politicians and senior officers ensured that the rape and abuse in children’s homes was covered up and that ordinary workers who wanted to speak out were silenced or sacked. Carried on walking.

Walked past many newsagents selling papers that promote sexism and colluded in the cover up of rape and child abuse. Carried on walking.

Walked past the offices of UKIP, the Lib-Dems, Tories, and Labour, thinking about how each party had recently been revealed toswburns have covered up rape and sexual abuse. Carried on walking.

Got to uni. Walk up to the SWP stall at Freshers Fair feeling angry about their cover up of rape allegations against their leader. Started shouting at them. Pushed their stall over. Tore up their leaflets. Shouted some more. Grabbed their newspapers. Set them on fire. Took photos and tweeted them all. Job done!Later voted to ask uni management to ban the SWP from campus.

Got home feeling like I’ve really achieved something. Logged on to see how many hits my photos got. Seems to have gone viral. Excellent!

How witchunting helps the SWP

My first point is that as much as I understand the anger at the SWP – I gave up 30 years membership because of the rape cover up, others gave up more – I also feel angry that so little is said, and even less protested about, the huge scale of rape and child abuse cover ups throughout society. Where is #Labouroffcampus, #BBCoffcampus, #policeoffcampus (OK, that exists), #Localcouncilsoffcampus, etc etc etc. Anyone thinking about joining the SWP (!!!??? yes, some people always will!!!) will see that these hashtags don’t even exist. (Yet!), and will be able to claim their detractors are hypocrites.

In any case, did anybody really expect the SWP to die? The SPGB are still going even though they haven’t intervened in any struggle since 1917. Unbelievably, so are  the WRP despite the exposure are far more systematic rape cover ups 20 years ago than the SWP’s in 2012.They still run a daily paper and have a youth wing that still recruits young women and men, and occasionally do some good work. Any anti-capitalist party can recruit and survive. Their organisation can appear off the wall to everyone else, but a human, dynamic speaker,  like in this video can still attract members .

Even when they are clearly a bizarre socialist cult, according to their own website!

My second point is that when small groups get witchunted, it can make some people think they’re victims, and want to find out more, or make them more liable to believe the group being attacked. While only a small percentage of people may respond in this way, the rise of UKIP demonstrates this effect on a bigger scale.

How To Destroy The SWP

If people really want to destroy the SWP (and to be honest I don’t care what happens to it anymore and just feel pity for some of the decent people left behind) then we should just ignore them. That’s quite easy for me as I haven’t seen them at my union meetings, picket lines or the protests I’ve been to recently. Instead, we need to spend our energy creating something better. I haven’t got many answers. As a member/supporter of Left Unity, I certainly wouldn’t claim that Left Unity has all the answers or that we should place our trust in its leadership. But please leave the SWP alone to fester and get stuck into the movements of millions of people that need our support.

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One thought on “In Defence of the Socialist Workers Party!

  1. I don’t think you can just ignore them. In Lambeth they ran the Lambeth college dispute because the chair of the college branch committee is an SWP member. Ignoring them would have meant not being involved in that campaign at all.

    I think we have to confront them, make sure any campaigns they are involved in people know what happened and why the rest of the left does not like working with them but sometimes has to.

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