Thursday, 1 August 2013

Martin Smiths "confidential resignation"

In the latest edition of Party Notes the Socialist Workers Party has finally decided to tell their own members that:

Martin Smith

There has been a lot of online comment about Martin Smith. We can confirm he has resigned from the party for reasons that he wishes to keep confidential but that he has shared with the Central Committee and the Disputes Committee.

We can also confirm that, as stated last week, the process of looking at the Disputes Committee procedures continues and there will be a report to the National Committee in September. It will then be open to debate throughout the party before, and then at the next conference.

After everything that has been going on this all seems a bit of an anti-climax to be honest, but it did prompt a rather odd letter from the "Facebook Four" that were expelled whilst all this was going on. The sent the following letter to the SWP:

Dear Charlie Kimber -
We are writing to you in light of Martin Smith’s resignation from the Socialist Workers Party, news of which reached us yesterday afternoon.
Whilst we are not in the business of simply repeating ‘We told you so” over and over again, tempting though that is, we do feel it is worth noting that house of cards you constructed in order to expel us have now crumbled.
We maintain now, as we did in November 2012 and throughout our vilification by Martin’s supporters both on and off the Central Committee, that we were in fact not guilty of the factionalism you accused us of. We maintain now, as we have done since our email expulsion, that the real reason we were expelled is because we were critical of a flawed disputes process that ‘exonerated’ the accused and did not give fair hearing to Comrade W- or to Comrade X, who we are pleased to learn will finally have her own hearing in the coming weeks. Our support for these women has not faltered, and our determination to see real justice for them remains unchanged. We feel that Martin’s resignation is an important part of their fight within the revolutionary party, which, whilst far from over, can be seen to have progressed somewhat this weekend.
You are hopefully well aware that the current battles you face within the party will not now simply disappear. Martin’s resignation cannot be seen as a panacea for peace in the SWP, and neither should it. The wider issues of democratic failure in the SWP will continue to be fought, and should now be seriously addressed by the leadership if you truly want to save the organisation that the vast majority of us have given so many years to. We sincerely hope you rise to the challenge that comrades in opposition have presented you with, and conduct a serious and thoroughgoing review into democracy in the party, making the changes to the organisation that must be made in order to prevent the total collapse of what was once, and could be again, the biggest and best revolutionary party on the British left.
Step one of this process needs to full and public apology to the Facebook Four with the option for all four of us to re-join the Socialist Workers Party should we wish to do so. You know, as we do, that our expulsion was a smokescreen to divert attention from the real issues of the party’s failure to take Women’s Liberation seriously. Martin’s resignation presents you with a unique opportunity to remove that smokescreen, by issuing us with an apology for the appalling handling, and outcome, of our case.
United, we can all begin to rebuild the organisation in the spirit of inclusivity, cooperation and democracy.
We await your response.
In comradeship,
Charlotte Bence, Adam Marks, Tim Nelson and Paris Thompson

I am really not sure what they seek to gain from this missive since they are all (?) involved in the newly founded International Socialist Network. As for signing the letter "in comradeship" the mind boggles at what sort of response they will get given all the ill-feeling resulting from the underhanded behaviour of the Professor and his "Lynch Mob"!

Rather tellingly "Justin T" comments over at Soviet Goon Boy

What the SWP needs is a code of conduct in regard of sexual matters and bullying that can highlight arbitrary and inappropriate behaviour from the CC.

The authoritarian nature of the rump SWP, let alone its' dismissal of the rights of women is clear for all to see. No one should touch them with a barge poll.

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