SWP

The Paradoxes of Tony Cliff, 1917-2000: A Critical Memoir

Cliff

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

"The miners' strike is an extreme example of what we in the Socialist Workers Party have called the 'downturn' in the movement."

Tony Cliff, Socialist Worker, 14th April 1984

Examining the legacy of Tony Cliff, the chief leader of the Socialist Workers' Party in Britain until his death in 2000.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

AWL versus SWP

Material for an AWL day school, November/ December 2005, and other stuff on the political differences between AWL and SWP.

Download all the stuff for the dayschool as pdf (570 Kb), or read individual items below.

"AWL vs SWP" day school, November/ December 2005

Discussion points for the day school

1. Transitional programme vs fake ultra-leftism

Material for an AWL day school, November/ December 2005, and other stuff on the political differences between AWL and SWP.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Is Tower Hamlets really an Establishment conspiracy?

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

None of the socialist organisations politically defending ousted Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman seriously analyse the judgement made against him by election commissioner Richard Mawrey. None mention George Galloway previously hailing a judgement by Mawrey (against the Labour Party and in favour of Galloway’s Respect) in 2007 — in a speech republished in full on the Socialist Worker website!

Socialists have no confidence in bourgeois judges, but the idea that the election commissioner who removed Tower Hamlets mayor Luftur Rahman is a ruling-class assassin or bug-eyed Islamophobe is absurd.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

The SWP's cunning plan

Author: 

Dale Street

When it comes to mealy-mouthed oleaginous opportunism, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has always been in a class of its own. And in the general election campaign in Scotland the SWP is now doing what the SWP does best.

According to an SWP leaflet produced for May Day demonstrations in Scotland: “The SWP is not calling for a blanket vote for the SNP on 7th May.”

This could mean: Vote TUSC or SSP where they are standing (as subsequently advocated by the leaflet), but vote SNP everywhere else. This would be consistent with the presence of the word “blanket” before “vote”.

Are they, or are they not, backing the SNP?

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

The continuing attack on Charlie Hebdo

Author: 

Patrick Murphy

On Sunday 26 April I saw a Facebook posting which carried the pithy comment “anyone still Charlie”? The posting shared a story from “OurAfricaBlog” about an allegedly outrageous cartoon which, the blog claimed, appeared in the French satirical magazine whose leading staff members were brutally murdered by religious fascists earlier this year.

The determination of much of the British left to smear Charlie Hebdo, months after the murderous attack on their office can seem incomprehensible at times. The persistence and desperation has all the appearance of an especially odd obsession. We should resist that conclusion though. It is nothing of the sort.

Publications: 

Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

The Socialist Workers' Party and Syriza

Author: 

Martin Thomas

On 26 February 500 demonstrators marched in Athens denouncing the Syriza-led government’s deal with the Eurogroup finance ministers and demanding that Greece repudiate its debt and quit the EU.

Some of the demonstrators — not on the initiative of the organisers, it seems — smashed up shops, set cars on fire, and threw molotov cocktails.

The SWP can cope with the tasks of revolutionary socialist politics when all that requires is general shouting about the virtues of militancy and anger. When it requires strategic intelligence and patient political argument, the SWP flops from one pose to another.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Around the world: 

Egypt: militancy and Morsi

Author: 

Harry Glass

On 25 January 2011, an 18 day struggle began that toppled one of the Arab world’s longest-serving dictators, Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt.

Eighteen months later, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the founding party of political Islam, was elected president. After barely a year he was deposed by a military coup and the old order was restored under Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. In the space of four years, Egypt has traversed from Mubarak’s military Bonapartism through the so-called “Republic of Tahrir” to the current “Republic of Fear”.

A review of Bread, Freedom, Social Justice: Workers and the Egyptian Revolution (Zed Books, 2014).

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Culture and Reviews: 

Around the world: 

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The SWP and Charlie Hebdo

Those familiar with the Socialist Workers’ Party’s politics won’t have been surprised by its statement responding to the Charlie Hebdo attack. It was the most crude example of the kind of response we have seen from parts of the left in the UK.

The SWP’s statement included one line implying opposition to the killings and nothing at all about the basic principle of the right to free speech.

The Socialist Workers’ Party’s statement responding to the Charlie Hebdo attack included one line implying opposition to the killings and nothing at all about the basic principle of the right to free speech.

Around the world: 

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Verbal inflation blurs

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Mumsnet defines a rape apologist as “someone who seeks to excuse rape. Normally by finding a way to blame the victim...”

Finally, a Feminism 101 Blog summarises: “A rape apology is any argument that boils down to the myth that rapists can be provoked into raping by what the victim does or does not do”.

Cathy Nugent (Solidarity 346) defends her claim that the SWP is “rape apologist” by quoting reports from SWP oppositionists of responses by SWP members in the “Comrade X” and “Comrade W” cases. They are bad. But not all bad is “rape apologist”.

Reports from SWP oppositionists of responses by SWP members in the “Comrade X” and “Comrade W” cases are bad. But not all bad is “rape apologist”.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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