Tuesday, 18 February 2014

More trouble for Trots

The world of Trotskyism may be small but it does attract a disproportionate amount of attention.  Over the past year the Socialist Workers Party had a crisis which both appalled and bemused many in equal measure. That's not to denigrate the fact that there were allegedly several victims of abuse in their organisation not least of whom was the target of unwanted attentions from "comrade delta".

This affair and the way it was handled led to coverage in the national press and eventually caused splits in the SWP leaving it virtually a pariah inside the trade union and labour movement. Their leader, the aptly nicknamed Prof didn't exactly help matters in his totally inept handling of the issues at hand. To the horror of most, if not all women activists the SWP turned the term "feminism" into an insult.

You would think that even the most dim-witted of the Trotskyist sects would  would learn from all this, but as we have seen the former allies of the SWP in America certainly haven't. Coverage of the "comrade daniel" affair was published on this blog last week. The controversy still continues and Ross Wolfe writes more about this scandal at The Charnel House today.

At the same time (surprise, surprise) the ISO leadership has expelled it's factional opponents. Not really unexpected as they had already set up an External Bulletin on-line for the whole world to see, not likely to go down well with the would be Lenins on the Central Committee! The faction announced that:

On 17 February 2014, the National Convention of the International Socialist Organization voted to expel the Renewal Faction. Our delegates were excluded from this session, as they have been from the last two days of the Convention.

A longer statement is forthcoming, but we wish to take this opportunity to thank our comrades inside and outside the ISO who supported us during this difficult struggle.

One former member commented of the organisation:

Everyone seems to imagine themselves to be some mixture of Huey Newton, Che Guevara, Lenin, and Trotsky.

Whilst news of the way the group handled the "comrade daniel" prompted one poster to write:

I have no idea why anyone would take a charge of sexual assault anywhere else than to a lawyer or a policeman. If a socialist’s house gets robbed, they go to the police. If a socialists’ bike is stolen, they report it to the police. If a socialist’s boss, coworker, or neighbor threatens or assaults them, they go to the police. If a socialist’s child is missing, they go to the police.

That anyone in either England or the US would expect a political organization with no legal authority, prisons, ability to fine, or protect citizens to solve major criminal offenses for them is almost beyond my comprehension. What is entirely beyond my comprehension is why any leading political activist not holding a law degree, when confronted with such an issue, would attempt to solve it through a discussion among their activist friends rather than frankly admit the problem is of larger scope than they are qualified to advise or solve.

Its all down to self centred arrogance at the end of the day. We saw that with the Prof and his "lynch mob" in the UK and no doubt his peers in the ISO will act in the same fashion over this.

The capacity for self delusion is not just limited to the seeming corrupt leaderships of the sects. One faction member concluded in his premature resignation from the IS that:

As it stands today, I’m convinced that there exists an almost unprecedented opportunity to rebuild the Left..

Really comrade? Have you not seen the mess that happened over here when the SWP fell out. Even their fragments are falling apart over the most obscure of issues. Leninism just doesn't bloody work.

Meanwhile back in the UK, the Socialist Party (Scottish franchise) has just suspended Bruce Wallace who has spent the last year attacking the CWI/Socialist Party leadership of over aspects of Marxist economic theory. 

It amazes me anyone stayed awake long enough to take notice. However Brucie informs readers that:

..my own branch, of which I was a founder member in the late 1970’s, apparently unanimously passed a resolution demanding my suspension without me even being informed that this was to be discussed!!

Peter Taffe and his mob are a boring bunch at the best of times. However as those of us active in the PCS union are aware when it comes to bureaucratic manoeuvres the old Militant tendency sure knows how to stitch a man and his mates up:

The reasons for your suspension are your continued public campaign of attack against the party through elements of social media, which has been conducted for almost one year. Your blog, which was established in March 2013, has been a platform for a continual stream of invective and attacks on the party in Scotland as well as England and Wales, individual members and the CWI. Your campaign has been escalated recently through the “Really Radical CWI” Facebook page, which you are one of the main contributors to, and now a website set-up by your small grouping.

This continued conduct is despite repeated appeals to you by the democratically elected party bodies in Scotland to stop this behaviour. Instead you have ignored the letter sent to you by the EC in October 2013, the resolution passed by the National Committee in January 2014 ...
Splitters! All twelve of them!

Expect the birth of two new Trotskyist groups in the English speaking world. A world of ever diminishing returns it would seem.

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