The Socialist Workers Party has managed to get itself in the news again today with a substantial article in the Saturday edition of the Daily Mail. Whilst much of what they write will be familiar to readers of this blog there is further information now creeping into the public domain of other rape cases that have also been badly mishandled by the internal mechanisms of the SWP, or "Kangaroo Courts" as they actually are.
The Sheffield case has been "touched" upon by both Nick Cohen in the Guardian and elsewhere on the Internet, but the allegation (without identifying any individual) is that a female member of the SWP was raped and the alleged culprit appears to have been suspended from the party for two years. He apparently has been told to read up on feminism and receives visits from the party to check up on his progress.
It has been rumoured that the members suspension is actually up some time this year. Then what comrades? Business as usual?
Unsurprisingly the Daily Mail reports that "Susan" (not her real name) has left the SWP, but with the constant reporting of the comrade delta affair are the SWP simply going to allow this to happen? After their appalling special conference last weekend the party and its more brain dead supporters seem to be in complete denial of their ludicrous behaviour.
Disturbingly another allegation has now been made public. The Daily Mail reports:
We have also learned of a third alleged rape case in London, which went before the disputes committee and resulted in the accused — a party member also in his 20s — being expelled from the SWP
How much more of this is there to come one has to ask?
A number of members have already quit the SWP as a result of all these disgraceful shenanigans, the largest group of which is the International Socialist Network which now claims 114 supporters signed up. Additionally we have already seen a from of students from Sussex University quit the SWP.
Now its' the turn of the Leeds students who have "disaffiliated" from the SWP. I note one of the signatories is Paris who was one of the "Face-book 4" who were expelled from the SWP for having a private chat on the Internet. They write:
In response to the recent crisis engulfing the SWP over its mishandling of rape allegations, Leeds University Socialist Workers Student Society would like to announce our disaffiliation from the organisation.
We feel this step is necessary because of the party’s inherent sexism and bureaucratised democratic structure, which has also historically subordinated the role of Socialist Workers Student Society. The treatment of dissident voices within the party and subsequent bullying and intimidation of young members has made our continued affiliation untenable.
There will be more to come.
Mores to the point anyone with any sense of common decency cannot remain in the SWP.
This nasty little misogynist cult does not belong in the labour movement and all trade unionists should now refuse to work with any one who remains a member of the SWP.
No trade unionist should appear on their platforms (including their numerous "front organisations" such as Unite the Resistance) or agree to write for or be interviewed by any of their publications.
I make that appeal in particular to my own union the PCS as I was shocked to see a leading PCS activist Jane Aitchison on the front page of Socialist Worker after the very weekend of the SWPs conference of shame. I have written to her and told her apparent co-operation with the SWP was a mistake.
I hope that senior members of the PCS take note. The National Executive Committee should ensure that any links formal or informal with the SWP cease at every and any level. All other unions should also take this course of action.
The SWP is not welcome in the unions.