This mornings newspapers were carrying stories on the fact that the scale of sexual assault on women was far greater than has been previously realised. The Times reported that "one in twenty women is raped or suffers serious sexual assault before the age of 60".
At the same time we have been shocked with further revelations about the activities of Jimmy Saville, the scale of which is astonishing given his high public profile throughout his life.
This was also the week that the treatment of women in India came to light following the brutal rape and murder of a young medical student on a bus in Delhi. The Indian transport unions have begun a campaign to sensitise passengers to women's rights as reported on this blog earlier this week. A very positive step in the right direction.
The so called "progressive left" has been shocked by the widely reported actions of a leading member of the Socialist Workers Party who was tried and found not guilty by members of the SWP themselves, all of whom were his mates.
China Melville writer and SWP member told the New Statesman:
"The way such allegations were dealt with - complete with questions about accusers' past relationships and drinking habits that we would instantly, rightly denounce as sexist in any other context - was appalling. It's a terrible problem of democracy, accountability and internal culture that such a situation can occur, as is the fact that those arguing against the official line in a fashion deemed unacceptable to those in charge could be expelled for 'secret factionalism."
Coverage of this disgraceful affair has also surfaced in the mainstream press as the Independent reports "Trotskyist group exonerates official because it does not beleive in bougois justice".
Finally (for now the SWP) has lost a small group of affiliates in Serbia who were issued a statement that included the following:
The scandal involving allegations of rape and sexual harassment against a member of the party’s Central Committee has shocked and angered us. It has exposed the dangers of the current turn. The fact that a full-time party worker was not allowed to continue in her post for raising similar complaints of sexual harassment against the said CC member speaks volumes, as do the expulsions of comrades who raised their voices against the leadership’s handling of the matter. This is conduct that reflects bourgeois management techniques, not the revolutionary socialist struggle for women’s liberation.
There will probably be further resignations from the SWP in the coming weeks.
It is quite clear that this cult (I refuse to to see it as a legitimate political party) has no place in the wider trade union and labour movement.
Trade Union leaders should no longer agree to appear on the platforms of this pernicious organisation.
Unions should also cease funding the various "front organisations" of the SWP such as Unite the Resistance and the Right to Work Campaign just to name two.
The reason? Women's Rights! They are not negotiable!