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UK SWP, more developments… December 15, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, The Left.

It appears on foot of their latest conference (is that their third in twelve months, it’s hard to keep track) there’s been another tranche of their members departing. Ian Birchall has a letter of resignation here. Many thanks to the person who sent the link.


1. Mark P - December 15, 2013

Yes, that is indeed the third in three months. This one was the last stand of the opposition, and predictably the leadership won all of the votes. There have been a few dozen resignations already (the conference finished this evening) and I understand that there is to be a mass resignation letter issued in January.

It’s a horrific mess (for which their leadership is responsible) and it’s going to have repercussions for the whole British left for a long time to come, in terms of bitterness and recriminations. This week a student protest at Sussex saw an SWP stall turned over, their placards burned, papers destroyed etc.


Mark P - December 16, 2013

Third in twelve months, not three.


2. ivorthorne - December 16, 2013

On the plus side, if this keeps going, the accusation that the Irish SWP takes orders from London will be redundant – there won’t be a “London” organisation to take orders from, right?


Johnny Forty Coats - December 16, 2013

I wouldn’t be so sure. Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453 but millions of Orthodox believers all over the world still recognise the authority of the ecumenical patriarch …


3. Mark P - December 16, 2013

The resignation statement of “Comrade X”, the second complainant in the controversial Disputes Committee hearings::



Bob Smiles - December 16, 2013

Fairly shocking


Mark P - December 16, 2013

Yes. In fact, that’s a rather mild way of putting it.

I’ve generally been of the view that it was unhelpful to try to put pressure on the Irish SWP over something that was happening in a different country and which they had little capacity to effect. Now that the dust has settled though, and the lines have been drawn, with the leadership who presided over this horrific stuff still in charge of the British SWP and the opposition departed, I do think that they should be asked to clarify their position. Remaining a fraternal organisation of the British SWP says something different now than it said when the battle for the future of that organisation was ongoing.


4. doctorfive - December 17, 2013
Bob Smiles - December 17, 2013



5. Starkadder - December 17, 2013
6. que - December 17, 2013

I’ve read those two reports and what is striking is how process driven and bureaucratic the SWP must be. The word aggregates was a hint but it appears to be a place where control freakery is appreciated and the most arcane application of the rule book merited.

But then I thought its not just that they are rule bound but more that they are academics. Very much academics at least at the top. Birchall is an academic type and Callinicos has more a published list longer than your arm.

His response to the rape crisis was a defence of Leninism and central democracy.

As long as I live I will never understand the weird purposeless delusional bubble entire parties of the left can get themselves in. This is some dissociation from reality and that’s true from all of them – callinicos and birchall though the latter saw through it in the end.


WorldbyStorm - December 18, 2013

That’s a great analysis que. It’s like their bulletin with the use of first names and initials. Sheer cosmetic stuff. No substance to it at all. Problem is, as we’ve seen, when real world issues intersect with that sort of play acting. Then they’ve neither the means nor the inclination to deal with them as they should be.


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