The SWP: its crisis, its history, its politics

  • The SWP crisis of 2013
  • The SWP crisis of 2013: weblinks to all the main documents
  • The SWP and "Leninism": response to Alex Callinicos's "Is Leninism finished?"
  • Where will SWP opposition go? (comment on ISO-USA and Socialist Alternative)

  • The political record of SWP-IS
  • The formation of the SWP (Workers' Liberty 3/38), by Sean Matgamna
  • The paradoxes of Tony Cliff, 1917-2000: a critical memoir, by Sean Matgamna
  • "Si monumentum requiris, circumspice": review by Paul Hampton of Ian Birchall's biography of Tony Cliff
  • The Northern Ireland crisis of 1968-9 and the left: a 12-part series including coverage of the iS (SWP)'s line
  • The politics of IS (SWP): a 1969 polemic on IS's switch from concocted "Luxemburgism" to a "Leninism" redefined as administrative centralisation
  • IS and Ireland: 1969 Workers' Fight pamphlet

  • The IS-SWP tradition: a Workers' Liberty symposium
  • Steve Jefferys
  • Ken Coates, Sheila Rowbotham, Stan Newens, the ISG
  • Jim Higgins, James D Young, Mike McGrath
  • John Palmer
  • Pete Keenlyside

  • Also
  • Alex Callinicos and the future of the SWP: Workers' Liberty 3/33
  • AWL versus SWP: educational and background texts
  • "Neither plague nor cholera": open letter to SWP about their call for a vote for the Muslim Brotherhood
  • Critical notes on the SWP's Unite the Resistance

    Dan Jeffery

    Since the crisis hit in 2008 I have been involved with various anti-cuts initiatives and trade union campaigns, from the National Shop Stewards Network, to the Coalition of the Resistance, to local in

    SWP’s “good old days”?

    Martin Thomas

    Oppositionist writers in the SWP, in their polemics against the SWP’s current regime, are sometimes harking back to the ideas of the SWP (then called IS) before 1968, as summarised by two texts by Tony Cliff: Trotsky on substitutionism (1960) and Rosa Luxemburg (actually also 1960, but usually attributed to 1959).

    Why the Crisis in the SWP? "The politics of IS" - a 1969 polemic

    Sean Matgamna

    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 crisis: socialism, democracy and feminism. A round-table discussion

    27 February, 2013 - 19:00 - 21:00

    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.

    Facebook event