SWP crisis: CC lashes out
After being forced to re-admit four comrades into the organisation, the Central Committee now seem intent on tearing up what remains of the SWP
Angry? Who, us?
As we wrote in the first line of our previous post on the swelling second wave of the SWP crisis, the pace of the whole disastrous process is picking up dramatically. This latest, crass and almost unbelievably stupid provocation from the organisation's discredited central committee ensures yet more disintegration.
It will prove highly disruptive to the Marxism event that starts tomorrow and which had already taken a battering in terms of bookings and speakers falling away. It will demoralise some SWPers, who will drift away quietly. It will enrage others who will leave a loud slam of the door. More importantly, it will further discredit the image of Marxist organisations in the eyes of advanced workers. The leaders of the SWP should never be forgiven for these stupidities and crimes - presuming that the organisation can survive at all in some form once this central committee has finished its wrecking work.
Read the 'vitriolic assault' from opposition members, to which this statement responds, here.
-- STATEMENT FROM THE CC --
Comrades in the opposition faction have responded to last night's statement from the CC with a vitriolic assault. They have underlined their desire to harm the party, not to make it more effective.
The working class in Britain faces an enormous onslaught.
Internationally the situation in Egypt, Turkey, Brazil and elsewhere shows the crucial need for revolutionary organisation. The stakes for socialists are very high. The future of the SWP is not to be treated as a game or a trivial matter. But that is what the faction is doing.
At the weekend the SWP's National Committee (NC), the party's main elected leadership body, met. It discussed serious information that had been sent to the SWP Central Committee regarding factional activity.
The information included the plans of a sub-faction within the main faction who were preparing a split in the party. The SWP is an open democratic party with no history of the kind of factional organisation outside our conference period that has wrecked much of the left.
But we now know that a number of members have been organising on this factional model for months. After a long discussion the NC voted both to oppose this factional organisation and to support the suspensions of four people who were involved in setting up a bank account to fund a split from the SWP.
In response, the four suspended members gave assurances that the bank account that had been set up to fund a split had been shut down, and that there was not going to be agitation for a split. Pete G, for example, told the CC, "I am not paying into any bank account to fund a split. I am not agitating for a split." Søren G also said, "I am not agitating for a split from the SWP" as well as stating that he was not paying into any such account. Hanif L said he wasn't paying into an account and pointed to how he had increased his subs to the party.
Of course under normal circumstances the four would have remained suspended and could have been expelled. However after months of difficult debates and arguments in the party, and with Marxism just a few days away, CC members felt it was necessary to take their assurances in good faith and to try to unify the organisation.
In the hours since the lifting of the suspensions the four have issued a statement that shows not the slightest recognition that their behaviour was wrong. It states that the lifting of the suspensions - rather than being a move towards unity - is proof of “bureaucratic manoeuvre” and that attempts are being made to "shutdown opposition".
This last claim is a little ironic after a number of faction members said they were withdrawing from meetings at Marxism 2013 that the organisers had invited them to speak at! The four seem to have learnt nothing.
They are clearly not interested in joint work and would rather put factional activity ahead of the unity of the organisation.
Do these comrades really think their methods help to build a serious Marxist party or to strengthen the fightback against austerity?
The SWP is not a debating society. It is a revolutionary organisation with a long history of serious work in the movement. We repeat our call for the end of all factional activity and for the faction to take down its website.
It seems that for some people the "cut and thrust" of factional intrigue is far more important than building working class resistance to austerity.
Such people are arrogantly irresponsible.
At Marxism 2013 we intend to take up all the political issues recently raised in our organisation as part of the wider debates in our movement. There is a big audience at Marxism, including many non-members of the SWP, who want answers to the major political questions we face. We are not prepared to see the SWP wrecked by those who put their faction before the party and the working class.
Central Committee, 10 July 2013