"Brittle, Irrational and Childlike" - Response to Mark Fischer

Submitted by Anon on 24 April, 2013 - 7:05

On 4 April the Weekly Worker newspaper published a letter from Weekly
Worker/CPGB full-time organiser Mark Fischer referring to me (but not
mentioning me by name).

The letter referred to a real incident in which I was leafleting
outside my workplace in defence of a Weekly Worker supporter who is
being victimised by our management. When leading Sheffield SWPer
Maxine Bowler appeared and went into the building, I became quite upset.

The letter claims this is because of Bowler's role on the SWP Disputes
Committee in the Martin Smith case, and goes into a laboured attempt
at satire (perhaps I thought she would activate sleeper rapists in the
building, etc). In fact, it was nothing of the sort - though I would
criticise the way the SWP has dealt with that case, and I think the
Weekly Worker's slogan that rape is not the issue is highly
problematic. I was alarmed because Maxine Bowler is a bully who has
repeatedly treated me extremely unpleasantly. Most recently just a
week before this event, at an SWP public meeting for International
Women's Day, when Maxine physically blockaded the entrance to prevent
me getting in, as well as verbally abusing me.

Mark Fischer suggests that instead of engaging with the SWP's broader
political and organisational problems, I am part of some attempt to
shout down the SWP. In fact I have spent a considerable amount of time
in recent weeks and months meeting with SWP members to discuss the
recent debacle, precisely in order to engage and raise the bigger
political issues.

As I said I was very upset at the time Maxine turned up at my office,
and not thinking at all calmly or clearly, for a few seconds I
advocated that we should consider speaking to our on-site security -
who are, for the record, fellow workers we know and work with on a
daily basis. Another AWL member who was with me at the time
immediately pointed out that this was nonsensical and wrong, and I
withdrew the suggestion. The Weekly Worker supporter present (who I
have worked with since 2008) is aware that I suffer from an
anxiety-related mental health problem, and as such the reaction
described in the article were also part of the symptoms of my
disability. It's unfortunate if he failed to convey this fact to Mark
Fischer, or if Mark Fischer chose to ignore it.

Mark Fischer's implication that calling security on other socialists
is some sort of AWL policy tells you a lot about him and about the
Weekly Worker. So does the fact he felt the need to write about this
incident at all.

As for his description of me as "brittle, irrational and childlike",
the fact that he pre-empts accusations of sexism by flatly rejecting
them simply highlights the patronising and sexist character of his
language.