..a reply to a reply to a reply to a critique...
I agree with Mike that life's too short for internecine combat and also
I fear boring the pants off everyone, so just a brief rejoinder if I
Clearly we ain't going to agree about the benign/malign influence of the
SWP in campaigns, or whether we have acted democratically. Let history
be the referee, or Perluigi Collina if available.
But there are a couple of points I have to take issue with. First, why
do you think SWP members are fibbing when we cite our own experiences?
Contrary to popular myth, we don't join as blank clones into which is
implanted The Party Line. We are in fact just like real people, in that
our ideas develop from what we've seen and done. It's just that the
ideas we've arrived at are such that they led us to join the SWP.
And the fact that we usually stick to our position in debates isn't
evidence that we're failing to engage. It is possible to listen,
understand and disagree all at the same time!
On a heavier note, can I ask that you clarify your comments on finances
in the Socialist Alliance? I don't think you meant to imply fraud or
dodgy dealings, rather what you felt were formally incorrect
procedures. But people might mistakenly read in darker implications,
especially as this is a public access website.
Finally, I'm glad I was wrong about your view of the Stop the War
campaign. It's only fair you're aware that some do cite your essay as
evidence for the 'didn't try hard enough' position. But any road up,
the most important thing is we all continue to campaign and co-operate
where we can in campaigning.
To that end, can I urge all SUN readers (!) to start collecting
signatures on the national petition for the immediate withdrawal of UK
troops from Iraq, launched by the Stop the War Coalition in support of
the campaign by the family of Gordon Gentle, a 19-year-old soldier from
Glasgow who was killed in June:
https://stopwar.org.uk (or you
can currently go to this from the Socialist Unity Front Page)
Socialist Unity ~ For Internationalism ~ For Peace ~ For Justice ~ For Unity ~