In an increasingly hysterical and incoherent effort to justify the Socialist Party’s shameful betrayal of the Libyan rebels (and to attack the AWL), Mr Peter Taaffe lashes out at my goodself and ‘Shiraz Socialist’:
“ Again, after the very successful National Shop Stewards Network conference earlier this year, when the AWL, along with the other ultra-left groups, were defeated and a fighting anti-cuts organisation was set up, this is what Denham wrote once more on his blog: “However, two leading RMT bureaucrats Alex Gordon and Steve Hedley were present at the conference and both spoke in support of the SP, though neither is a member… It would seem that Bob Crow and Alex Gordon had a meeting with Bill Mullins and Linda Taaffe (of the SP) in advance of the conference, and agreed a deal. This was never put to any constitutional body of the RMT . RMT activists may wish to raise this matter within the union.” Once more this is a farrago of lies and misinformation. Leave aside the sneers about good RMT fighters being “bureaucrats”; there was no “deal” between the Socialist Party and Bob Crow over the conference. There was a meeting, a discussion and then agreement arising from this on how to approach the NSSN conference amongst individuals from the RMT, Bob Crow and Alex Gordon – they did not commit the RMT as an organisation to that position – and the Socialist Party representatives from the NSSN steering committee. Denham is incapable of accepting defeat in the most open and democratic conference seen in the labour movement in recent years. He prefers to give the impression of a sinister “deal”. This once more illustrates the rotten character of the AWL and its representatives in its approach to others on the left and the labour movement generally. ”
Now, I ask you, what do the words “There was a meeting, a discussion and then agreement arising from this on how to approach the NSSN conference amongst individuals from the RMT, Bob Crow and Alex Gordon – they did not commit the RMT as an organisation to that position – and the Socialist Party representatives from the NSSN steering committee” actually mean? And how does that account of events, from Mr Taaffe himself! – show that what I wrote (as quoted by Mr Taaffe himself, above!) about that particular matter (calling what Mr Taaffe describes as an “agreement” by the alternative noun “deal”) was “a farrago of lies and misinformation”?
I understand that the AWL has challenged Mr Taaffe to debate the question of Libya, but as the Socialist Party are not very brave when it comes to debates in front of audiences not made up predominantly of their own members, that’s probably not to happen.
In the meanwhile, the AWL’s Martin Thomas takes Mr Taaffe apart on Libya, Trotskyism, modern history, the English language and elementary logic, here.
And here’s the ‘Shiraz’ article that so upsets Mr Taaffe.
Mr Taaffe: hysterical and incoherent