Respect: Stand with the SWP!

October 27, 2007 at 12:17 am (Galloway, Respect, SWP, voltairespriest)

This’ll sound weird coming from me. But I felt the need to add a little personal note to Jim’s excellent post (with which I largely agree) about the recent crisis in the “Respect” coalition.

I have all sorts of problems with the SWP. I think their political instincts suck. I think many of their cadre members are utter wankers. I think their organisers hold a lot of responsibility for their own party’s parlous current state. Indeed, one of said organisers, Ger Francis, has actually joined the sick political lash-up behind Galloway and is currently protesting (laughably for those of us who know how he has worked in the past) about “democracy” in Respect being abused by the SWP. But at last the SWP have stood up, and they’re at least now willing to show some kind of commitment to a politics that believes in changing the world, rather than one that believes in the best way of brokering deals with corrupt and reactionary political forces.

Well done, SWP. I sincerely hope you kick the machine’s collective arse.


  1. Jim Denham said,

    We’ll put out an official Statement soon. Something like…
    “Whilst we hold no brief for the Socialist Workers Party, we recognise that theyhave been the victims of a McCarthyitie witch-hunt within the “Respect” organisation…”
    That sort of thing.
    I’m sure they’d be grateful for my support; I must discuss the exact wording with the Priest.
    We’ll be putting out our official “Shiraz” pro-SWP statement shortly. I’ve already sent them my support for their petition. it’s here at:
    put your name on it!
    Support the SWP!

  2. hakmao said,

    This is more like it.

  3. stroppybird said,

    Its pretty hard to see either side as heroes (youtube clips).

    The SWP knew what they were doing when they made all their concessions and compromises in order to work with the more reactionary elements within Respect and join forces with galloway. Now they are saying some of the things lots of us have been , but back then we were attacked for it and told we were wrong.

    So the SWP have made their bed. That said I do find it strange once critical lefties are now seeing a galloway rump as some sort of opportunity. Say what you like about Galloway’s politics, he is a much more sussed operator than the SWP and the other lefties. Pnce he has despatched them no way will he make concessions to lefties. He will have a party that no longer has to pay lip service to women’s rights or LGBT rights. I can’t see any other grouping or independents being able to pull Respect towards socialism ot hold Galloway to account.

    All the lefties saying how right he was re his letter on democracy, but the point is he was happy with that when it suited his purpose.

    So support the SWP, not sure . If that means not backing the Galloway wing then yeah, but neither of them come out with any principles or commitment ot democracy and neither are to be trusted.

    Personally I would like to see both sets of arses kicked…perhaps a bit more than Galloways’ reference on QT to ‘light spanking between consenting adults’ !

  4. splinteredsunrise said,

    Funnily enough Volty, although I’d be a lot closer politically to the SWP than yourself, I hope George kicks their ass. It may be the only thing that could provoke some actual rethinking. And if you take the SWP’s statement at all seriously, I’m afraid your guilty of an idealist deviation.

  5. voltaires_priest said,

    A formal statement from Shiraz Socialist detailing our principled choice to support Comrades Rees, G (whose full name we cannot publish for security reasons), and German will follow in due course. However for the moment I feel obliged to restate that in the spirit of revolutionary comradeship we have decided for the period immediately following to set aside our differences with the Socialist Workers’ Party and stand with them in their hour of need. This is the correct choice for revolutionaries everywhere and we expect that all those with the correct political stance on issues of organisation will follow our lead.

  6. stroppybird said,

    You and Denham been at the whiskey ar this hour 🙂

  7. stroppybird said,

    at, not ar..a touch of the Nooooman’s!

  8. voltaires_priest said,

    Nooman seems to have taken leave of his (usually not bad) senses on this issue, and sided with a reactionary lash-up against socialists. Nooman, come back to us!

  9. martinohr said,

    Andy Newmans brain has gone into full scale anti-socialist meltdown:

    ” I am a bit concerned that the debate in this blog is just becoming a tit for tat between left groups like Alliance for Workers Liberty, and Permanent Revolution, point scoring off each other, and others rotating around that false “debate”.

    Can I ask for some discipline please. As you know, we don’t have a moderation policy on this blog, and I don’t want to introduce one.

    BUt I would like there to be space for people to debate the future of the Respect project who actually want it to succeed, without being drowned out by the predictable comments from those who oppose the project.”

    Not only has he come out in support of Galloway but he doesn’t want to discuss it any more either.

  10. modernityblog said,

    the blog debate on moderation at SU is a bit silly, as someone said, on a public blog such debates are open to the public

    makes you wonder why IF they want a Respect only debate then why don’t they organise it ?

    the technical setup is not too hard, but I can’t see them mastering it

  11. New allies in the Respect Split « Shiraz Socialist said,

    […] sectarianism, voltairespriest) As you will all be aware, we at Shiraz Socialist have taken the principled decision to support the SWP in their battle against right-wing forces for control of Respect. We believe this to be the right […]

  12. LucyB said,

    A plague on both their houses – the SWP are neither socialist nor revolutionary. They’re an authoritarian faction composed of academics and bureaucrats, fed by a perpetual tributary of daft students. Galloway’s a cynical political operator with a well developed instinct for power and privilege, but is no more reactionary than the dictatorial hacks of the SWP.

    Why do we keep on conflating Trot factions with socialism, anyway? They’ve done more to alienate people from genuine socialist ideas than just about any other social or political force. Paper selling, marching in circles, building ‘The Party,’ calling on the Trade Union leadership, ad nauseum. Their achievement? A large group of neo-con ex members and thousands of people alienated from social activism forever…

  13. capacitor said,

    Well said Lucy.

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