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Submitted by AWL on Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:21

Hi Rob,

Thanks for your comments, which are comradely and thoughtful, and contain a strong element of truth.

I'd be interested to know where you're based (if you're willing to say - don't worry if not). I'm sorry if the AWL meetings you attended made us come across as mindlessly sectarian. It's very far from the case that most AWL meetings are like that, even when they are focused on the politics of other groups.

However, I do think you fail to engage with some key political issues.

For instance, what do you think about the way the SP operates in the unions, and particular PCS - damping down class struggle, presenting defeats as victories, maintaining bureaucrats on high wages and opposing attempts to challenge this and so on?

What do you think about its ultra-sectarian behaviour in, for instance, the NSSN and in the student movement?

What do you think of the fact you can be in the SP and love Che Guevara, or hate Che Guevara, and there is no debate about this? And that, meanwhile, the group's position is still that North Korea is a workers' state!

What do you think about the nationalistic, non-socialist politics of the No2EU initiative?

What do you think about the internal democratic culture of the SP, or lack of it? For instance, about the almost total lack of debate in its publications?

What's the positive case to be in the SP?

Yes, the left has a lot in common and needs to work together more (though as I note above, the extent to which the SP facilitates this may be doubted). But it's also necessary to grapple with the political differences, if we are going to get a unity which is both sustainable and fertile.

Comradely,

Sacha Ismail

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