Many people reading this article may ask themselves “why join the SWP in the first place?” Others still will ask “why go on to join the AWL?” These are legitimate questions. In fact, the answer to the question “why I left the SWP” revolves almost entirely around answering the other two.
Solidarity 3/120, 25 October 2007
“The LRC meets at a time when socialists within the Labour Party, trade unions, left groups and many progressive campaigns are being forced to face up to a number of hard truths in reassessing their future”, read the National Committee statement to the Labour Representation conference on 17 November
Marx’s aim of transforming society into a “free association of producers” has long been ignored by large swathes of the “Marxist” left. Not only Stalinists and social democrats, but also avowedly Trotskyist organisations such as the Militant Tendency (forerunner of the Socialist Party) have equated nationalisation with socialism, with the state bureaucracy substituted for the working class as the vanguard of social transformation.
IS AND IRELAND
Continuing the series about the events in Northern Ireland in 1968-9 — the start of the long-running turmoil there, still not resolved today — and the debates and disputes as the left tried to orient itself.
Parts of the left back any opposition to US imperialism around the world dogmatically, without qualification, and with little attempt to examine what the effects and actions of the imperialist power are. Or what the political character of the local alternatives to imperialism are. These leftists might be suprised by the story of the US imperialist intervention in Japan, contradicting as it does, some preconceived notions of how an imperialist power behaves.
I don’t think there is a point in ‘taking sides’ in this faction fight. The SWP are reaping the whirlwind that they have sown.
Continuing the series on the life and times of Tom Mann
In 1887 Keir Hardie called the leaders of the trade union movement “holders of a fat, snug office, concerned only with maintaining the respectability of the cause.”
On 16 October the NUS National Executive Committee voted with only two votes (myself and SWP member Rob Owen) against to endorse the proposals of the “Governance Review” for slashing internal democracy, and, with only four votes against, to call on member unions to authorise an Extraordinary National Conference to rush through the changes.
Daniel Randall’s article in Solidarity 3/119 was extremely useful for the information it collected on working-class movements and groups in Israel and Palestine.
Energetic US diplomacy may have headed off – for the time being – the threat of a Turkish invasion of northern Iraq.