Party News: Anti-Democrats Exposed
Rumour has it that a new ‘Democratic Socialist Party’ will soon be on the scene, nationally and perhaps locally. As an active socialist in Islington. I can appreciate the sympathy which many local people would feel for it. Many of us are appalled by the patronising arrogance and undemocratic elitism of the traditional Left. Most of us are unimpressed by the absurd efforts of that tupenny circus, the Liberal Party, to convince us that its political opportunism is somehow more virtuous than that exhibited by its opponents. All but the privileged and the naive are beginning to see through the vicious defence of capitalism of the Tories. So, ought the new Council for Social Democracy to be welcomed as a radical alternative? Most certainly not.
A gang of political careerists, with a sterile programme of more nuclear arms madness, more Keynesian economic nonsense and more of the same old profit system which serves the few and exploits the many, is no alternative at all. Despite the media’s frantic efforts to give the Gang of Bores a chance to spell out the case for Social Democracy, they have failed to offer anything but the same old social inequality, class division and oppression which arc the hallmarks of capitalism. Contrary to the confused views of the leftist-guard-dogs of the state, socialism means social democracy: the common ownership and democratic control of the means of wealth production and distribution by the entire community. The Utopians who want to reform capitalism from a nightmare into a paradise may indeed follow the new set of leaders, but I for one shall be staying in the Socialist Party of Great Britain and fighting for real social democracy.
Tire following week (March 13) a letter appeared from one Tim Jilani. who said
that he found ‘the prospects of the Council for Social Democracy very exciting as it represents the resurgence of political thought of the radical middle ground.’ On March 20 the Gazette published a reply from an Islington SPGBer. pointing out that:
There simply Is no middle ground between escalating militarism and the human desire for secure survival, between production for profit and production for need, between the dictatorship of the few and the democratic co-operation of the many.
As a local active supporter of the Council for Social Democracy, I challenge [the SPGB) to substantiate its bland assertion that the SDP . . . is no alternative at all.
In the Islington Gazette (April 3) I issued a public challenge on behalf of the Socialist Party of Great Britain to the so-called Social-Democrats to come out into the open and debate their policies. Then the voters of Islington would be able to choose between the revolutionary stand taken by our party which the Social Democrats prefer to attack by means of unsubstantiated slander and the reformist manifesto of their party. So far there has been no response at all from the ‘Brave New Face of British Politics’ — not even a letter to say that the democrats refuse to debate. Perhaps we should have offered them a TV debate with Robin Day or David Dimbleby loading the questions in their favour. But to debate in front of ordinary workers — why, it would be beneath their dignity, wouldn’t it?