The pathetic intervention of the CPGB at the AWL-Machover on Sunday has been followed by an even more pathetic write up in its paper, the Weekly Worker (16 October). Interestingly, it does not print what its own comrades said – as we have in Solidarity – since to do so would expose the apolitical poverty of their contributions.
The CPGB gave out a leaflet headed “time for politics” at the debate – yet none of its speakers said anything substantial about either Israel-Palestine or about Iran. Instead, the tone was set by the hysterical Ben Lewis, and reiterated by editor Peter Manson and “guru” John Bridge – lying about Sean Matgamna in order to whip up left public opinion against the AWL.
I was involved in the “basement” end of the debate – refuting the WW nonsense and highlighting the Stalinism of its story-telling and its call – repeated by Bridge - to drive the AWL from the labour movement. The WW complained that AWL comrades behaved like a “baying mob” and “continually shouted down their opponents”.
Actually the atmosphere was set by Ben Lewis – the first CPGB speaker, for whom truth is an incidental convenience, much like the broken clock which tells the right time. I came in after Lewis set the tone, and make no apology for attacking the WW lies and its behaviour – allowing others to put the politics, while it prints the gossip, steals and publishes internal materials etc. For sure some of us heckled when CPGB speakers told lies – and rightly so. We do not apologise for combating Stalinist slander.
The CPGB explanation for this? They wrote: “This behaviour was undoubtedly facilitated by the organisation’s culture of drinking at political events”. This is laughable. I’ve barely touched an alcoholic drink in over 20 years. Virtually no one in the AWL drinks alcohol in meetings. The meeting room was so full I doubt anyone present could have had a couple of pints. It is another invention, a fantasy concocted by invertebrates.