ISO/SWP

Philip Ferguson plf13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Fri May 19 20:10:26 MDT 2000


>From the IST list:


>Comrades:
>
>Please, publish this signed by "Alex."
>
>In its latest issue of SW, the SWP leadership wrote:
>
>"Socialist Workers Party delegates meeting
>
>"Big challenge for socialists
>
>"DELEGATES FROM Socialist Workers Party (SWP) branches across Britain
>met on Sunday."
>
>Comment: This is a complete fraud.  This was a National Committee
>meeting with some guests to deal with some "problems" and few
>"proposals."
>
>There were NO delegates from the branches.  Some "observers" and
>"guests" from other sections of the IST were also present.  This was
>a factional meeting disguised as a "Delegate Conference." I was
>utterly disgusted!
>
>The leadership wrote:
>
>"There is a real polarisation, and a disintegration of Labour's
>traditional base. There was no major shift from Labour to the Tories.
>Rather it was Labour voters not voting."
>
>Comment: A total contradiction, if it is "disintegration" of the
>Labour's traditional base, how they explain Labour electoral results
>for the Assembly and our results?  Apathy is never a positive sign.
>And that is what happened at the elections.
>
>The leadership wrote:
>
>"There are people in our organisation who think this is not our
>audience. In fact, the people there were wide open to anyone who had
>something to say. All three issues-the crisis of reformism, job
>losses and the emerging anti-capitalist movement-are not separate."
>
>Comment: they are talking about the anti-capitalist youth.  This was
>directly against the ISO supporters in London and other areas.  This
>will be a main point of contention in the factional struggle with the
>ISO since the SWP leadership believes that such constituency is now
>also present in the US and that the ISO leadership is not paying
>attention to it and instead, the ISO is directing all its efforts
>towards liberals and old leftists.
>
>The SWP leadership wrote:
>
>"The success of the LSA poses the question of an electoral challenge
>to Blair at the next general election. We need to seriously discuss
>the possibilities of standing."
>
>Comment:  They lined up the troops for an all-out participation on
>the Socialist Alliances around the country. They talked about wiping
>out the SP and other "hostile" forces. The SWP leadership proposed
>and was accepted - with very few nominal opponents at the meeting -
>to launch a national campaign to send all available members inside
>existent SAs and into organizations such as the SSP (Scotland).  In
>those places where SAs do not exist, the membership has to launch
>them.  There is opposition to this plan, but few dared to speak up at
>the meeting. Some of us that this sudden shift would confuse many of
>our members and sympathisers.
>
>The SWP leadership wrote:
>
>"All of this poses a big challenge to us. When there are changes in
>the outside world there have to be changes in the way we operate. In
>London, when we decided to stop the branches meeting and operate in
>the LSA, people found it a liberating experience."
>
>Comment: some of us fear that the dissolution of the old branches of
>the organisation is an strategy to re-launch an agitational campaign
>without discussing it.  This decision (dissolve the London branches
>that is now being proposed to be extended to other branches) and the
>fact that the organisation is now on record with a drastic shift
>towards electoral work .... left more that one stunned at the
>meeting.  Is this liquidationism in its embryonic form? Why not take
>some time to debate the issues?
>
>If you think I'm over-reacting, look at their next statement:
>
>"We can't simply shoehorn SWP members back into the old structures
>now. Outside London we didn't have the LSA, and we can't simply
>replicate that. But we have to basically follow the London road. We
>have to start pulling in wider forces and move towards campaigning
>branches everywhere."
>
>What the SWP leadership is not saying:
>
>1. That the meeting also discussed an intervention in the ISO's
>Summer School;
>2. That Marxism 2000's workshops will be utilised to rally support
>from the IST against the ISO.  They are particularly busy preparing
>the workshops about Seattle, anarchism, reports from the US and they
>would try to prove at all cost that there is a retreat from the ISO
>from objectively incredible opportunities.
>3. The SWP's response to the March 20 ISO Steering Committee's letter
>was widely distributed and discussed in small groups.










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