Add new comment

Submitted by AWL on Fri, 01/07/2011 - 23:33

1. All I meant was that, thinking about it, it occurred to me I didn't know the SP Tube worker's name - so it might have been Lewis. It wasn't. Good: no argument: that's clarified. However, I fail to see why the idea that Lewis would "slag off" Janine is so ridiculous, when his comrades did so at the drop of a hat. There is no "implication" involved: whoever he was, the individual in question said what he said.

2. Your characterisation of Jill Mountford's behaviour is completely untrue (you must spend time in some very tame pubs). So you were there, were you? The real issue, however, is that Peter Taaffe flatly refused to discuss with her. (He also, btw, asked me "Can't you take her away?") If someone comes up to us on a demonstration and tries to discuss, we discuss. Difference in culture - one of many! In the same way, if someone asks us to do a public debate, we generally do it - particularly if we've just published thousands of words criticising the people in question.

3. The SP has 2,000 members? Then how come only 900 people (SP website's figure) attended Socialism 2010? As for the quality of the SP's members, I'm still waiting for an explanation of Brian Caton, who - leaving his former profession aside for a moment - told us, as a Socialist Party member, that he thought Barbara Castle was "marvellous" and that "we're never going to smash financial markets altogether but we can restrict and regulate them" (see the interview here).

4. The point about the RMT election is that you lost it heavily (more than 2-1) to a member of a group you claim has absolutely minimal influence in the labour movement (not less than you, but almost none - I've heard this claim repeatedly). And who was running on a much more radical program than your candidate, arguing for a complete transformation of the union while Lewis argued to defend it, as it is, against the right. And despite him being part of the largest RMT branch on the Tube. And despite support from the SWP. Etc etc etc.

5. I think Janine has already used her position to good effect. See the Tubeworker blog for some examples. The Arwyn Thomas dispute is a case in point.

6. Another is being the only person on the RMT exec to oppose a pay rise for Bob Crow. Which brings me to another question. Can you explain why after ten years dominating the leadership of PCS you have made no effort to insist that full-time officials receive only a worker's wage, and why you have recently opposed quite moderate attempts to move towards this? It's a live issue: there's been more than one article in the bourgeois press recently about Serwotka's inflated salary!

7. Lastly, we're still waiting for an explanation: how is that your "general secretary" will spend what must have been hours and hours to write thousands of words against us, but you can't meet us in public debate? (Or even give us a straight answer on whether you'll do it, apparently. We've still not had a formal reply, not even a one line email!) Although the Tube worker comrade did say that you'd debate us in the RMT, and that the meeting could be public: good, let's start with that.

Sacha Ismail

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.