Forum Replies Created
March 19, 2013 at 6:40 am in reply to: Independent Socialist Network, Lets get the party started – 23 March 2013, Vauxhall, London #92367ALB wrote:Since nobody knows where today's SWP Conference is taking place, this is the obvious place to distribute our "Open Letter to the SWP" instead. So, Sunday 23 March in Vauxhall (just down the road from Head Office).
Just to clarify, the 23rd is a Saturday.
I didn't say the rape allegation had snowballed. That would be absurd. I said the controversy had snowballed. I also didn't use the phrase "real sickness" when referring to a lack of democratic procedures, just the phrase "sickness". "Real sickness" would suggest that allegations of rape (and there are now a few coming out) were less serious than a lack of democratic procedures. This would be, as you suggest, absurd.However, as I have already suggested in this thread, an abusive democratic centralist model is a perfect setting for all kinds of abuse of "ordinary" members.stuartw2112 wrote:The controversy in the SWP, as anyone who reads a tabloid newspaper will know, is about an allegation of rape, which the SWP leadership decided to investigate for itself, by a committee made up of the alleged rapist's mates. By issuing a statement about it that drivels on about democratic procedures, you've made yourselves look about as out of touch and loopy (and potentially dangerous) as the SWP. Quite some going.
The controversy within the SWP may well have been sparked by the treatment of a rape allegation but it has snowballed to include the internal structures which have for years acted as a means by which a cult (the central comittee) within a sect exert control. I think the SPGB statement has quite wisely avoided a matter which should be decided on the basis of evidence in a properly constituted hearing rather than a court of mates or hearsay. Democratic procedures are hardly loopy or out of touch when the lack of them has led to the sickness that many SWP members are finally waking up to.
Most interesting details about the AWL. I am not sure you can write off all current members of democratic centralist parties as having no self respect and aim purely at ex-members. The shifts that are happening within the SWP would suggest that quite a few current members are about to become ex. A "we told you so" approach may appear sanctimonious.I am attracted towards a more general critique that the kind of abuse of power that appears to have taken place in the SWP, and the inability to resolve it satisfactorily, is inevitable in a structurally abusive democratic centralist party model. Put simply, when a party is designed to abuse its members it is hardly surprising that it cannot resolve this kind of behaviour satisfactorily.
Can only welcome what appears to be movements towards rejecting the democratic centralist model. The SWP has been a thoroughly nasty organisation for many, many years.