The explosion of political discussion in IS, ignited by the sudden change of line by Cliff in favour of building the embryo of a "revolutionary party" seemed six months ago to be the most hopeful thing on the British left. Many, seeing also the new-type IS positions on Vietnam and the Middle East — a radical break with the abstentionist attitude of the group to this kind of struggle in the first 15 years of its existence — wondered whether the leadership might not even disavow other aspects of its past.
The SWP Central Committee has not expelled the opposition, but instead called a conference for 10 March.
Under the headline “No easy solution in or out”, Socialist Worker (2 Feb) describes the divisions which exist in the ruling class and the Tory party over Europe.
ULU, Malet St, London WC1E 7HY
A roundtable discussion with Joan Smith and Cathy Nugent.
The Socialist Workers’ Party is in crisis.
An internal fight over democracy and women’s rights has seen many activists expelled, and a broad debate has sprung up over what a revolutionary organisation is for and how it should be organised.
The fact that the fight pitted the Central Committee against what they called “creeping feminism” has also raised the question of what the attitude of Marxists to women’s liberation should be, and where the SWP leadership’s mistrust of “feminism” comes from.
Joan Smith, former editor of the SWP women’s magazine Women’s Voice, will speak alongside Cathy Nugent from Workers’ Liberty.
What lessons can socialists draw from the SWP’s current crisis - not just about the SWP but about other organisations (including their own) and the wider movement? How should revolutionary socialists inside and outside the SWP pick up the pieces from the current crisis and continue the fight?
All are welcome to this public debate on the state of the socialist left, hosted by Workers’ Liberty.
On 3 February the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) National Committee met and voted to authorise the smaller Central Committee to expel members of the opposition which has developed within the SWP since the run-up to its 4-6 January conference. Former Socialist Worker journalist Tom Walker has already quit and published a long analysis of the SWP. We print extracts. Full text: http://bit.ly/twalk.
The main documents so far on the crisis in the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), 2013.
The Central Committee (CC) of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has changed its line. For the first while after the SWP's unhappy conference on 4-6 January, the CC said that the conference had decided the controversial issues. The case was closed, SWP members were instructed to think and talk about other things, and, as for non-SWPers, it was none of their business.
The row in the Socialist Workers Party is heading for a split. The opposition, which now has a public website, internationalsocialismuk.blogspot.co.uk, is calling for an SWP special conference and the removal of the current Central Committee and Disputes Committee.
A new dimension has been added to the crisis in the SWP by Gilad Atzmon declaring that charges of sexual harassment and rape against leading SWP organiser Martin Smith are a "tribal" (read: Jewish) conspiracy.
I was expelled from the Socialist Workers Party (SWP, then called IS) on 4 December 1971. IS then was different from, and more open than, the SWP today. But there are links between then and now.