By Paul Hampton
The CPGB, those pretentious squirrels of left-wing tittle-tattle, outdid themselves by chickening out of a debate with the AWL over Iraq.
- For The "CPGB" — Gossip or Political Debate? By David Broder click here
- For An Open Letter to a confused Anti-Imperialist, by Sean Matgamna click here
They have sought in vain to manufacture mischief with some AWL comrades who disagree with the group’s position on Iraq. After a series of private e-mails demanding that the AWL minority agitate to “clear out the leadership of the scabs”, the CPGB invited David Broder to debate with them at their overinflated “communist university”, under the title: troops out – but when? David referred the matter to the AWL office, which generously put up Sean Matgamna to speak for our politics.
What was the reaction of the CPGB? To withdraw the invitation to speak. To publish lies in their worthless “communist Hello” paper about having problems getting a speaker. To falsify the AWL position on Iraq. To warble on about really wanting a debate about Iran. To hold a “debate” where all the speakers on the platform would answer “Now!” instead of debating openly with the AWL, which disagrees. And all that in front of an audience of 20. (Or, to be precise, 18 — I saw only 18 people go in during the first couple of hours of the first day of "The Communist University".)
Mark Fischer promised readers in the latest Weekly Worker that he is willing to debate the AWL on any other occasion – just not at his own event, in front of his own people. Fischer, ever the mañana socialist, always promises debate tomorrow, always another day – just not at the time and the place he’d been arranging for weeks.
And all this from an organisation that tosses around the word “scab” and yet took six weeks to even bother to write about the postal dispute, the most important industrial action for years. (Picket lines not political enough, comrades?) An organisation which wants to talk about Iran but couldn’t send anyone to the largest demo for years outside the Iranian embassy on Thursday, called in solidarity with imprisoned Iranian workers.
An organisation that for four years has failed to do anything to help Iraqi socialists and trade unionists build a labour movement. An organisation that wants to inherit the mantle of the Stalinist CPGB that really did organise scabbing during WWII and acted for decades as the agents of the Russian Stalinist ruling class in the British labour movement.
Chickens when it comes to debate. Chicken shit when it comes to politics.