Opposition blog?: Doubts exist over authenticity
The Weekly Worker is publishing a statement from the new 'SWP Opposition' blog, but doubts over the blogs authenticity remain, reports Peter Manson
Friend or foe?
Weekly Worker is
publishing this statement from a blog from the newly created ‘SWP
Opposition’ (http://swpopposition.blogspot.co.uk). If genuine it
shows that the open rebellion against the bureaucratic-centralist SWP
regime is reaching new heights.
the big problem is that many comrades in SWP circles are sceptical. I
have been told - including by those who you would expect to be in the
loop - that no-one knows who is involved. One comrade closely
associated with the Democratic Opposition told me: “We are warning
comrades away from it”. It was the comrade’s “firm belief”
that SWP Opposition is actually a “front” for the Alliance for
Workers’ Liberty. Those who like conspiracy theories may prefer the
notion that it is a central committee provocation, designed to lure
actual or potential dissidents into revealing their identities.
response to my enquiry, I received an email from the SWP Opposition
stating that the new faction has the support of “27 members”
(“and growing”), including “two former full-time organisers and
current and former national council members”. The trouble is,
nobody - including, as far as I can tell, those associated with the
officially recognised opposition factions set up before the January
4-6 conference - has any idea who these might be.
view of the expulsion of four comrades just before conference simply
for exchanging ideas (including discussing whether to form a
pre-conference faction - and then deciding not to), it would be
unsurprising if genuine oppositionists decided to maintain secrecy.
However, more and more comrades are now openly coming out in
opposition to the CC, to its abysmal anti-democratic practices and
its disastrous mishandling of rape allegations.
now is not the time to ‘keep your head down’. The campaign for
democracy has been building a head of steam and so far no moves have
been made against prominent blogger Richard Seymour, for example. If
everyone came out openly at this time, the CC would have a real
problem. If comrades are not convinced, I would suggest that any
secret faction could, for instance, be fronted by one or another
ex-member whom everyone trusts.
the truth about the SWP Opposition, there is no doubt that the SWP
leadership - however much it pretends it is now a case of ‘business
as usual’ - is floundering.
letter to fellow members of the SWP
is usually the time where the party unites behind the perspectives
agreed and the central committee are given the mandate and authority
with which to lead us during the struggles of the coming year. The
events of the past few months have already given our enemies plenty
of ammunition to attack the party. However, the debates leading up to
and including those at conference have not successfully addressed the
outstanding issues and concerns raised in the pre-conference period
and, if left unresolved, will only continue to damage the party
serious allegations made against a leading member of the party have
unleashed questions not just about the handling of the case itself,
but also around the standard of democracy, accountability and
organisation required within the party. We do not wish to revisit the
details of the case brought to the disputes committee, but instead
focus on the political implications and challenges ahead for our
party and more widely for the movement and our class.
reject the comments made by central committee members and others that
to turn inwards now would harm the organisation. There are serious
questions outstanding and not to address them will risk the long-term
future of the revolutionary socialist project we are trying to build.
We are founding this faction as a rallying point for those who
believe, as we do, that the issues and concerns raised warrant
further debate and discussion.
a democratic, effective and united revolutionary socialist
organisation, join us and fight for change from below.