[Marxism] New Scottish Socialist Formation

www.leninology. blogspot.com leninology at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 31 08:52:59 MDT 2006


Nick Fredman wrote:

>  > the recent absurd stunt of burning a Wicker Tam in Lanarkshire
> 
> I'm sure I'm not the only one from outside Britain who hasn't got the 
> faintest idea what you mean.

It was reported in the Sunday Mirror last week that SSP members in Lanarkshire had hosted a big party in the woods, and burned a Wicker Man, to which to had appended an image of Tommy Sheridan.  They were drunk, I suppose, but it's still rather mad.

>  >I don't think the real difference is over women's liberation ...  [the 
> UL has] an analysis that the divide between reformism and revolution no 
> longer matters
> 
> As I said I'd like to reserve judgement but ... I haven't ever seen 
> Sheridan differ from the other ex-SML leaders on the second point (or 
> what you're referring to by it - I think it's quite a caricature of 
> their views).

The obligation to be concise has obliged me to short-change the theoretical distinctions, but a) Sheridan may not have differed over these matters, but many SSP members did, and it is clear that is the dominance this theoretical purview that led to the conduct I've described, and b) this is a discussion that has been ongoing for a few years now:

http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj97/smith.htm

http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj97/rees.htm

http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj100/smith.htm

> I'm sorry, 
> along with your unconvincing denial that the party majority couldn't 
> possibly get a majority at a conference, when I haven't seen any 
> complaints about the democratic functioning of the SSP until a few 
> weeks ago, it's just a bit hard to see the clear political basis for 
> this split. 

You evidently haven't paid attention, then.  The NC vote was disregarded, and this caused a considerable uproar, way back in May and well before Sheridan's victory:

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id=8929

It's no good saying that you personally didn't hear of it until a few weeks ago, and making your assessment on that basis.  I think the changing of locks, intimidation and the issuing of factional notices in the party's name is also a slight problem, but you didn't mention these.

The basis for the split is that a faction has usurped the democratic structures of the party, indicated that it will not and cannot work with Sheridan who is plainly supported by the bulk of the party and worked in ways to undermine a fellow socialist through the scum Murdoch press, and the reasons for this are rooted in the growing inward-focus of that faction.  Interestingly, one UL leader did come out to oppose the split on the grounds that it was being led by the political opponents of Scottish independence: now, this at least has the virtue of being a political argument.  But unfortunately, it is a nationalist argument and not a socialist one.

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