SWP

The SWP / IS tradition

How not to fight the BNP

Some on the left seem to have decided that the size of the leaked BNP membership list is bad news for the fascists.

“A weak divided party exposed”, the Socialist Party headline tells us: the list “makes it clear that the BNP is a relatively small party... with just over 3,000 members classed as activists, it is welcome news that the BNP has capitalised so little on the enormous anger against New Labour, Tories and Lib Dems that exists.”

We should not allow ourselves to be paralysed by the strength of the BNP, or imagine that the far right is an unstoppable juggernaut. But the danger seems to be rather that the left will lull itself to sleep, convinced that the news is not so bad after all.

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The SWP in PCS

Author: 

A PCS activist

The Socialist Workers Party has three members on the NEC as part of the Left Unity slate – Sue Bond, one of the National Vice Presidents, Andy Reid, and Paul Williams.

Paul Williams is a serious trade union militant who AWL supporters suspect was placed on the NEC slate to stiffen the backbone of the SWP NEC members (for instance the then SWP NEC members, including Sue Bond, had supported the calling off the planned jobs, pay and pensions strike in 2005).

SWP’s PCS members have pretty much supported the approach of the NEC to national pay and other big issues throughout the years Left Unity has controlled PCS

Trade Unions: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Britain's Far-Left Groups [SWP, Militant/Socialist Party] in the 1960s, 70s and 80s

Seedbed of Today's Revolutionary Left

1959 seemed to mark a nadir for the radical left in Britain. The Tories had just won the third general election in a row. The right wing was triumphant in the Labour Party.

Download the pamphlet here as pdf (2 MB).

Then, however, the Labour leaders decided to launch an official movement. And a big movement developed for nuclear disarmament.

An account of the political battles in the Labour youth movement in the early 1960s, which formed the seedbed of the British Trotskyist movement of the late 1960s and after.

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Round-up from the left

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Rent-an-SWPer... at a price

Crestfallen though the SWP is these days, it still seems to be trying to pull something pretty outrageous in Stoke.

SWP charges anti-fascists for the "services" of its full-timers; Galloway on the "taxpayer in the boardroom"

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

What kind of student movement?

Author: 

Dan Randall

Student Respect, or in other words Socialist Workers’ Party students, are organising a conference for a “democratic, campaigning student movement” at the School of Oriental and African Studies on Saturday 1 November.

Student Respect, or in other words Socialist Workers’ Party students, are organising a conference for a “democratic, campaigning student movement” at the School of Oriental and African Studies on Saturday 1 November.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

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Matt Wrack: we need a workers’ party

Author: 

Bruce Robinson

Report from The Convention of the Left, meeting in Manchester in parallel to Labour’s conference (20-24 September).

Though the organisers had successfully argued against a debate on links between the unions and Labour, the question of political perspectives for the unions ran through many of the contributions to the trade union session.

Report from The Convention of the Left, meeting in Manchester in parallel to Labour’s conference (20-24 September).

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

SWP to the right of the TUC?

Author: 

Jack Yates

The new ten point People Before Profit “charter” sheds more than a little light on how the Socialist Workers Party views its role in the growing economic crisis and the role it expects the wider labour movement to play.

The new ten point People Before Profit “charter” sheds more than a little light on how the Socialist Workers Party views its role in the growing economic crisis and the role it expects the wider labour movement to play.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

No class politics: student stop the war conference:

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

About one hundred student activists attended the Student Stop the War meeting on 6 September — not a bad turn out, but unfortunately that was the best thing about the meeting.

Most of those present were from various socialist groups with the SWP — who organised the event — in abundance. The politics promoted by the SWP were very far from socialist, and the meeting failed to develop any real strategy for action.

Of a two hour meeting, seventy minutes were taken up by speeches from the top table — not much time for discussing anything.

About one hundred student activists attended the Student Stop the War meeting on 6 September — not a bad turn out, but unfortunately that was the best thing about the meeting

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

"Resignations" from Left Alternative officers group: SWP palace coup afoot?

Author: 

AWL

The 'Left Alternative' members bulletin on 10 September reported:

John Rees and Lindsey German have resigned from the 'Left Alternative' officers group. Is this just a shuffling of chairs in the SWP or is a palace coup afoot?

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

AWL bulletin for 'Student Stop the War Conference', Sept 2008

Author: 

AWL

Class struggle in the Middle East

Bulletin content: Class struggle in the Middle East, news on Iran, Iraqi government and militias terrorise workers' leaders, Georgia + South Ossetia: the issue is self-determination, SWP students - answers please!

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

The missing six million

Author: 

Editorial, Solidarity, 21 August, 2008

The Socialist Workers Party’s behaviour at last Saturday’s [16 August 2008] protest against the British National Party’s Red White and Blue festival was spectacularly crass. But nothing they did was odder than the text of the petition they were circulating to gather contact names.

Using Love Music Hate Racism as a party front, their petition’s second bullet point reads: “[The BNP] deny the holocaust where thousands of LGBT people, trade unionists and disabled people were slaughtered.”

No mention of the main victims of the Holocaust, the Jews.

SWP contact sheet refers to the Holocaust as "when thousands of LGBT people [etc.] were slaughtered" - no mention of the Jews!

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Where is the SWP going?

Author: 

Charlie Salmon

Something about the SWP’s recent behaviour smacks of more than the usual sectarianism. Desperation might be closer to the mark

Over the last year ‘the Revolutionary Party’ has experienced one setback after another. The split with George Galloway, the collapse of Respect, the more than dismal showing for the “Left List” in the London elections and a raft of resignations must have hit them hard. Further resignations and disputes may well follow.

The steady accumulation of disasters, embarrassments, resignations and increasing paranoia will take their toll.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Has the SWP Discovered a "Jew-Free" Holocaust?

Author: 

Gerry Bates

At the demonstration against the fascist BNP's "Red, White, and Blue" festival in Codnor, Derbyshire, on 16 August, the SWP was circulating a contact sheet.

The document (attached) described itself as a "petition", though it had spaces only for names, not signatures, and the text directly above the name/ address/ details blanks was "Join UAF". Then at the bottom it said "return to Love Music Hate Racism", but identified itself as "initiated by Socialist Worker".

A contact sheet distributed by the SWP defines the Holocaust as when the Nazis killed "thousands of LGBT people, trade unionists, and disabled people" - no mention of the six million Jews.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Brick Lane & The Carnival, an open letter to Tony Cliff' (1978)

Author: 

James Ryan,

Dear Comrade Cliff,

You admitted in last week's Socialist Worker that the SWP and the ANL made mistakes in relation to Brick Lane on September 24th.

A response in Worker's Liberty's predecessor, Workers Action to Tony Cliff's attempts to 'explain' how and why the ANL and SWP failed to defend the East End from fascists.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Police riot as “anti-imperialists” embarrass themselves

Author: 

Chris Marks

George Bush’s visit to London on 15 June was an opportunity for socialists to take advantage of large scale opposition to the actions of the American and British governments’ both abroad and at home. Unfortunately, the demonstration held by the Stop the War Coalition was as politically vacant as previous ones. Instead of highlighting wider issues of global capitalism, the only subject on the agenda was the war in Iraq. The demo was embarrassingly small; only about 2,000 strong. The speakers were of an equally disappointing character.

Homophobic behaviour at demonstrations is not acceptable, but when you are silent about the struggles of LGBT activists in places like Iran and Iraq and treat them as an inconvenience to your kitsch ‘anti-imperialism’ then what do you expect?

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Socialist Action lashes out

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

These are bad times for the Socialist Action group. Not only did the defeat of Ken Livingstone mean the loss of their sinecures at City Hall, their front group “Student Broad Left” has now almost disappeared. In an attempt to shore up their position, SA have hit out at their erstwhile allies in the SWP.

These are bad times for the Socialist Action group. Not only did the defeat of Ken Livingstone mean the loss of their sinecures at City Hall, their front group “Student Broad Left” has now almost disappeared.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

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Socialist Worker:social patriots

Author: 

David Broder

The 21 June Socialist Worker, an issue geared for the SWP’s anti-BNP demo in London, was full of establishment anti-fascism, claiming that the BNP are not a “respectable” party and calling for an apolitical cross-class front against fascism. To this end, the paper included an article about the “hidden story” of West Indian people fighting for the Allies in World War Two, as “revealed” by a new Imperial War Museum exhibition.

The 21 June Socialist Worker, an issue geared for the SWP’s anti-BNP demo in London, was full of establishment anti-fascism, claiming that the BNP are not a “respectable” party and calling for an apolitical cross-class front against fascism.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Anti-fascism needs more politics

Author: 

Pete Radcliff

Unite against Fascism (UAF), the SWP-run anti-fascist coalition backed by several unions, called their first national demonstration in a long time on Saturday 21 June in central London. But the demonstration, organised at only just over a month's notice, was very small, with less than 3,000 people.

Unite against Fascism (UAF), the SWP-run anti-fascist coalition backed by several unions, called their first national demonstration in a long time on 21 June in central London but the demonstration was very small, with less than 3,000 people.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Trotskyism? C'est moi! Tony Cliff's Book, "Trotskyism after Trotsky"

Author: 

Paul Hampton

"As in private life one distinguishes between what a man thinks and says of himself and what he really is and does, still more in historical struggles must one distinguish the phrases and fancies of the parties from their real organism and their real interests, their conception of themselves from their reality."

Karl Marx, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.

A polemical review and refutation of Tony Cliff's "Trotskyism after Trotsky."

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The left: What a Waste, Flat Earthers

Author: 

Charlie Salmon

The split between the SWP and Galloway-sycophants in Respect has politically destabilised and reduced both sides. Destabilised in the sense that the SWP was presented with the problem of sticking to its perspective of building a populist alternative to New Labour whilst the Galloway faction lost its best organisers and activists. Reduced in the sense that both sides fared miserably in the recent London elections.

SWP, Galloway and Workers Power

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Who's sorry now? The 'Left List' and the London Elections

Author: 

Janine Booth

The Left List's explanation of the results of Thursday's elections strongly suggests that the SWP is stubbornly refusing to learn the lessons or even face reality. We can only hope that some of its more thoughtful members will notice that their emperors have neither clothes nor answers, and will call them to account and/or join with others in renewing and reorienting socialism.

An article by Janine from www.stroppyblog.blogspot.com

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Woeful London Elections

Over on Stroppyblog, Janine warns of a gloomy result in the London elections and picks apart how we got into this state; and looks at the Left List's response.

Over on Stroppyblog, Janine <a href="http://stroppyblog.blogspot.com/2008/04/nightmare-awaits-us-who-is-to-blame.html">warned of a gloomy result in the London elections</a> and picks apart how we got into this state; and <a href="http://stroppyblog.blogspot.com/2008/05/whos-sorry-now.html">looks at the Left List's response</a>.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Respect on “extremism”

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

On 23 April, the Guardian published a letter from the three Tower Hamlets Respect councillors linked to the SWP, Oliur Rahman, Rania Khan and Lufta Begum, which denounces the “extremist” views of Islamist organisations like al-Muhajiroun, calls on the government to “stop” them and requests a meeting with Tower Hamlets police to discuss the issue. (See www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/apr/23/uksecurity.bbc)

On 23 April, the Guardian published a letter from the three Tower Hamlets Respect councillors linked to the SWP, Oliur Rahman, Rania Khan and Lufta Begum, which denounces the “extremist” views of Islamist organisations like al-Muhajiroun, calls on the government to “stop” them and requests a meeting with Tower Hamlets police to discuss the issue.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

NUT left abstain on homophobia

By abstaining on this motion Ray Sirotkin, the SWP and a large chunk of the STA shamed themselves once again.

For the first time in its history, the annual conference of the National Union of Teachers debated a motion submitted by LGBT teachers from their own conference. The motion, entitled “International Homophobia and Transphobia” condemned the current levels of anti-LGBT bigotry in Britain and the rising tide of militant right-wing attacks on LGBT people and Pride demonstrations around the world. Poland, Russia, Israel and Iran were among the places singled out for mention.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

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NUT Left Abstain on Homophobia

Author: 

TomU

For the first time in its history, the annual conference of the National Union of Teachers debated a motion submitted by LGBT teachers from their own conference. The motion, entitled "International Homophobia and Transphobia" condemned the current levels of anti-LGBT bigotry in Britain and the rising tide of militant right-wing attacks on LGBT people and Pride demonstrations around the world. Poland, Russia, Israel and Iran were among the places singled out for mention.

At this years NUT conference sections of the Socialist Teachers Alliance - including the SWP - abstained on a motion dealing with International Homophobia and Transphobia

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

1968: Vietnam solidarity and the British left

Author: 

Bruce Robinson

March 17 1968. 20,000 gather in Trafalgar Square for a rally and march to the US Embassy in protest against the US war in Vietnam. The Square is full of the flags of the National Liberation Front (the “Vietcong”), who, only weeks previously had launched the Tet Offensive that had taken a largely rural guerilla war into the cities of Vietnam, getting as far as the gates of the US Embassy in the capital Saigon. Someone throws red dye into the fountains to symbolise the blood shed in the war.

Forty years on, examines the movement against the Vietnam war in Britain and the role of the revolutionary left in it.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Around the world: 

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Anti-war doesn’t mean pro-repression!

Author: 

Jack Staunton

Respect Renewal MP George Galloway has been far from sympathetic to the case of Mehdi Kazemi, instead choosing to spew homophobic bile and defend the Iranian regime. Showing his complete contempt for human rights and democracy, he has levelled the ridiculous accusation that people campaigning against the deportation of Mehdi Kazemi are “the pink contingent of imperialism” — even though the protests are against our own government.

Respect Renewal MP George Galloway has been far from sympathetic to the case of Mehdi Kazemi, instead choosing to spew homophobic bile and defend the Iranian regime.

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Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Vote Lindsey German no. 1

“Red” Ken Livingstone’s campaign for re-election is being supported with a high profile statement signed by... trade union militants? left activists? anti-cuts campaigners? No, instead we have a statement of the great and good, launched by that oh so radical organisation Compass.

“Red” Ken Livingstone’s campaign for re-election is being supported with a high profile statement signed by... trade union militants? left activists? anti-cuts campaigners? No, instead we have a statement of the great and good, launched by that oh so radical organisation Compass.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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