on a question from Philip Ferguson

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Nov 27 14:15:42 MST 2002


It might have been useful if Jose had've actually posted to the list the
off-list post I sent to him so that people could see what I dealt with,
before they were belaboured with Jose's lengthy diatribe against the
Fraser tendency.

My main point to Jose was that his ecumenism in relation to WWP, ISO,
Solidarity etc getting together was rather undermined by a complete
unwillingness to rehabilitate Kirk's tendency - not on the basis of him
having to agree with them, but on the basis that they were *driven out*
of the SWP.  Of course, they resigned.  Anyone who was treated the way
they were would.  I pointed out to Jose that it was time to rehabilitate
all the people who had been driven out - the class of 83, the ITers, the
FAPO, the Fraser group, the Cochranites et al.  They were all
bureaucratically forced out one way or another.

I guess I am also surprised, given Jose's claim that the need to reject
Fraser is related to the antiwar movement today and the urgent need to
build it, that he was able to take such a long amount of time out to
make yet another lengthy attack on Fraser - especially since Fraser is
long since dead and his tendency was driven out the best part of 40
years ago.

On how wonderful the SWP was during the Vietnam War, I think people like
Lou Paulsen (and quite a few others) would disagree.  I also think it is
rather unproductive for Jose to try to open up that one at this point in
time as well.

I am also flabbergasted at Jose's declaration that he was 'white hot
with rage'  - what, over my defence of the democratic rights of (now
dead) people to have put forward their views in the SWP 40 years without
being driven out!  I think you need to chill out a bit, Jose.

Lastly, his reference to the SAL is also odd.  What's left of them took
no part whatsoever in building protests against the war on Afghanistan
last year.  My contempt for them is therefore not merely for their
execrable past but also for their execrable present.

Philip Ferguson

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