News - December 2002


7th Dec '02

Maybe the greatest irony in regard the Davies resignation, and subsequent allegations of white-washes and cover ups is that the likes of the CPBG, Workers Power, and Workers Liberty who slavishly refused to check the SWP, in the belief that to challenge them might cause them to leave in huff -' and then where would we be', are at least as responsible in creating the predictable disaster the SA has become.

Because they think only of their own futures they shirked every opportunity to bring the SWP to heel in the mistaken belief that
they, the smaller groups needed the Socialist Alliance more than the SWP.
Funnily enough while the SWP was not entirely in control of the project this was not true. As long the SA was to some extent independent of the SWP, especially when organisations like the Socialist Party and Red Action were affliated, it represented at minimum, a threat to their presentation of themselves as the entire Left.

However as soon as the SWP formally took charge the die was cast. All the above groups who went along with each and every SWP manouevre to secure total control, and provided cover for them while doing so, now have their just reward.

A dry husk of an organisation without analysis, strategy or credibility. An organisation now so thoroughly devoid of any internal democracy, and thus so lifeless, the SWP can afford to ignore it, and as a mark of respect to their Trotskyist comrades routinely go so far as to deny it's very existence.

Meanwhile the similarity between the rise and fall of the Stalinist Socialist Labour Party and the Trotskyist Socialist Alliance bears some examination.
In terms of launch and near total collapse the trajectory is almost identical. And the causes too are familiar: edicts handed top down, infighting, high-profile resignations, allegations of financial irregularities topped of by shameless and craven support from political cronies.

Most stunning of all perhaps is the absolute disregard for the opinions and morale of the rank and file membership, which merely reflected a contempt for the interests, concerns, and aspirations of the wider working class public. In other words they have more in common ideologically than either would like to admit. What they also have in common now is of course abject failure.

As we all know in both cases this was entirely predictable. Indeed Red Action predicted the likely causes of the eventaul demise to the letter. (see Socialist Alliance archive) Across the Left Scargill it is broadly accepted carries the can for the failure of the SLP. But who ultimately is to blame for the fiasco that is the Socialist Alliance?

Most will point a withering finger at the SWP but the blame must go wider. At issue here is not the SWP, but the whole Leninist ethos that has ill-served the working class for the best part of century. Put bluntly, every sleazy, cowardly, unprincipled action is forgiven if it can be shown to benefit the building the party.

So trapped is the conservative Left in this dogmatic time-warp of 'the party' as the centre of the universe, it is quite incapable of any analysis that survives untarnished for more than a week. Far from been gifted with foresight more often than not such groups get everything just as wrong even in hindsight. The BNP breakthrough being a case in point.

Much of the time this serial blundering is dressed up or camouflaged by the wider working retreat, but once in while, as now, one is allowed a glimpse at how
the fifth rate intellects who govern the sects normally conduct business, and it is not a wholesome sight.

Commenting on the gentrification of football former Tory MP Matthew Parris remarked: 'the middle classes will ruin football, the middle classes ruin everything'.

The middle classes may not have totally destroyed the beautiful game (work in progress) but they have enthusiastically collaborated in the destruction of what was once a proud revolutionary working class tradition.

Working class resistance will be rebuilt but the job will not be carried out with the support of what remains of the Leninist Left but in opposition to them.