[Marxism] SWP Membership figures

mike pearn neprimerimye at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Nov 1 09:41:26 MDT 2007

Richard wrote "This isn't quite right.  The SWP claims
about 6,000 registered members and roughly 2,000
unregistered members, and these figures are accurate.
Secondly, the party grew substantially during the poll
tax riots and  the second miners' strike, way above
the levels of 1974, for instance.
  It's true that the left has collectively faced a
crisis in advanced  capitalist countries, but I think
it's fair to say that the SWP rode out the storm quite
well given all prevailing conditions."

The trouble with Richards claims are that they aren't
true or accurate. The thing of it is that those of us
with grey hair are quite capable of observing that the
numbers of SWP members regularly active seems far
lower today than it did twenty years ago. One simply
sees and hears less of them in fact.

For example a friend of mine attended, by error, a
members only meetings last week in my hometown. He
tells me that in addition to the local appointed
fulltimer there were only 3 comrades in attendance.
Now I know of at least one other active SWPer in the
town, to be fair, and a number of other National
Members but this is terrible nonetheless. Terrible
because no more than 15 years ago even a poorly
attended branch meeting in the same town would have
drawn no less than 40 comrades. A couple of those
comrades are still in the SWP but almost all the rest
have totally abandoned politics or trade union

I happen to be of the opinion that the collapse of SWP
membership in the area I refer to is greater than in
many areas. However from observation and discussion
with many other comrades active SWP membership has
fallen everywhere. In the trade unions despite there
being a large number of SWPers holding various offices
it seems to many of us that this is due to the lack of
competition from reformist and non-political

I find it a matter of regret, to be frank, but the
number of SWP members has fallen as has the level of
political education in the group since the late
1980's. How else could a fraud such as Respect have
been sold to the poor bloody infantry of the SWP?


Mike Pearn.

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