Sunday, 5 July 2015

A disunited Unison United Left

The far-left never fail to amaze or amuse me.

The World Socialist Web Site published an article Rumbles of a military coup as Greek workers demand an end to austerity which argues:

A group of 65 retired high-ranking officers issued a statement citing their “oath to the Fatherland and the Flag” and warning, “By choosing isolation, we place the Fatherland and its future in danger.”

The statement continued: “The strength of our country is the most important thing we have, and this is being put in jeopardy. Our exit from Europe will make our country weaker. We will lose allies that have stood by our side. We will lose the strength we gain from associations and groupings to which we belong historically and culturally.”

These declarations constitute an enormous act of political intimidation

The WSWS are of course unreconstructed Healyites, former members of the now defunct and thoroughly discredited Workers Revolutionary Party who made a living out of claiming there was a military coup in the making back in the seventies and eighties. They fell apart after a scandal revealed the sexual activities of their leader Gerry Healy, which were far more extensive than the allegations raised in the "comrade delta" affair that rocked the Socialist Workers Party a couple of years ago.

The "delta" affair has come up yet again. This time in the inevitable infighting that is taking place inside the not so united Unison Unite Left.

The comrades met a couple of weeks ago to thrash out who would be "their" candidate for the position of General Secretary of Unison, the local government union. The SWP wanted Karen Reismann whilst the Socialist Party said they wanted Roger Bannister and would probably stand him anyway regardless of whatever the outcome of the meeting. Nobody else seemed to get a look in.

What it shows is how incapable the people who organise in socialist groupscules or sects are of engaging in that basic premise of their ideology co-operation. Forget democracy. None of them believe in that, except for public consumption. It's all about control.

However this aside it was the background of the discredited SWP's choice that caused some consternation. The new blog Trouble in Unison: reports:

There is a more fundamental problem with the nomination of Karen Reissmann as General Secretary candidate, which was expressed by someone from the floor during the debate last night. The Socialist Workers Party a couple of years ago was embroiled in a damaging internal battle which lost it at least 50 percent of its members, when it attempted to cover up sexual assaults perpetrated by one of its then leaders Martin Smith. A transcript of a session of its annual conference where the issue was discussed (this session was a key part of the cover-up) was leaked online. Reissmann presided over that session, and throughout the faction fight was a vocal and loyal supporter of Martin Smith and the SWP Central Committee. The SWP are so keen to secure the United Left endorsement as part of an attempt to rehabilitate themselves in the movement, and also to prove to their own members that they haven’t been damaged by the incident. That many good activists, disgusted by the SWP’s behaviour, would simply walk away from any United Left campaign headed by Reissmann and dominated by the SWP should be an important consideration. That the SWP’s primary motivation is its own sectarian interest, rather than those of the movement and the left of the union as a whole, should not be forgotten. That is why they have behaved in this manner.

Quelle surprise! The SWP acted in their own interests, who would have guessed?

The far left never learn.


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