Gameboy: you’re on!

November 13, 2009 at 9:27 pm (AWL, Free Speech, Jim D, Marxism, politics, SWP)

Sometimes, all you can do is make yourself plain:

John, I’m willing to debate you here, anywhere else you choose, in person or electronically, on the subject of third campism OR ANYTHING ELSE YOU CARE TO MENTION…OK? I’m sure I’ve made that offer to you before. “Run a mile” from debate”? Name the time, place and subject, pal…

“(Preferably in person  and in public- JD).”

…in response to the below:

November 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm · Edit

“In any case here is the opportunity. The AWL are wierd. Constant demands for real political discussion. But as soon as you move away from a discussion which is apolitical they run a mile.”

Reply
  • Jim Denham said,

    November 13, 2009 at 8:45 pm · Edit

    Gameboy (aka “Johng”) writes :

    “You have not for instance registered that the article written by Denham starts off with a bold-faced lie”: John, I presume that is a reference to this:

    “in Cairo – presumably continuing the SWP’s sucking up to the clerical fascists of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

    Let’s accept, for the sake of argument, that you are factually correct that Harman was in Cairo for a meeting of socialists and *not* the Muslim Brotherhood…OK…

    1/ Note the word I used: “presumably”;

    2/ Do you deny that the vast majority of SWP jaunts to Cairo in recent years have been at the behest of the Muslim Brotherhood?

    3/ Assuming that you do not deny #2 (above): what’s so unreasonable about speculating that Harman’s visit was “presumably” to continue the SWP’s “sucking up” to the Brotherhood – a force that Tony Cliff himself once characterised as “clerical fascist”?

    I haven’t read the Harman article that Gameboy refers to, but I’d be interested to know whether it is regarded now by SWP’ers as representing a definitive break with the Socialist Review/IS “third camp” tradition now that the SWP has become a third worldist outfit. If so, I think the SWP owes it to the left as a whole to mark this departure from its own tradition rather more clearly.

    Gameboy: “In any case here is the opportunity. The AWL are wierd. Constant demands for real political discussion. But as soon as you move away from a discussion which is apolitical they run a mile.”

  • John, I’m willing to debate you here, anywhere else you choose, in person or electronically, on the subject of third campism OR ANYTHING ELSE YOU CARE TO MENTION…OK? I’m sure I’ve made that offer to you before. “Run a mile” from debate”? Name the time, place and subject, pal!

    (Preferably in person  and in public- JD)

    26 Comments

    1. Jim Denham said,

      I’ve had enough of this wanker Game: he must put up or shut up.

    2. voltairespriest said,

      I’d rather see it head to head as well, however if you’d prefer to do it electronically John, you can of course use this blog as a forum to do, without fear of censorship.

    3. johng said,

      A wonderful example of the WRP lite approach of the AWL. Why are you incapable of normal political discussion? What a nasty bunch of self deluded sectarians.

    4. voltairespriest said,

      Agree to the debate then: as Martin Ohr points out on the Harman thread, you are the one who would be breaking from the SWP’s normal habits by doing so.

    5. Jim Denham said,

      1/ John Game accuses the AWL of “running a mile” from political debate;
      2/ I – a member of the AWL – offer to debate him under whatever circumstances and on whatever (political) subject he chooses;
      3/ Gameboy replies: “A wonderful example of the WRP lite approach of the AWL. Why are you incapable of normal political discussion? What a nasty bunch of self deluded sectarians”;

      I take it that’s a “no” to a debate, eh, John? Not that you would “run a mile” of course.

      Readers will draw their own conclusions.

    6. Lobby Ludd said,

      Readers will certainly draw their own conclusions.

      Mine is that a debate between one fired up member of the AWL versus an avid member of the SWP on any political topic of that SWP members choosing is a waste of time. Who would attend such an event, and who would be educated by it?

      Any political topic? What is this, a willy waving exercise – my debating skills are bigger, better and stronger than yours?

      Why not an ‘I can eat hotter curries and drink more beer than you’ challenge? (I wouldn’t be there either.)

      Political debate is about finding a way forward, not about ‘winning’.

    7. Jim Denham said,

      No, Lobby: it’s not about “winning” or “willy waving”; it’s about Gameboy’s claim that the AWL “run a mile” from political debate. I trust that in the face of his own personal retreat from a debate, we’ll hear no more of that particular accusation.

    8. Lobby Ludd said,

      Fair enough, Jim, but a ‘debate’ between individual members of different organisations, and whether it happens, as something of relevance , was never really a runner.

      Somebody was bound to blink. Best it happened early

      As it is, I believe that the AWL is far more open to, and engaged in, ‘debate’. That is because they are a tiny group, that’s what tiny groups do.

    9. voltairespriest said,

      To be fair Lobby, I’d say it’s also because on the whole they actually believe in debate on the left, whereas the SWP don’t.

    10. dave said,

      this blog is ridiculous

    11. voltairespriest said,

      No Dave, the attitude to debate of SWP members such as yourself is ridiculous.

    12. shug said,

      I think a debate would be good and hopefully put to bed the animosity between the parties,with the view to more structured dialogue around the issues facing the socialist movement in general.And for those unable to attend a face to face,this site would be an ideal vehicle.

    13. martin ohr said,

      This is my -slightly edited- response to johng’s challenge that AWL members are apolitical, scared of debate and accuse the rest of the left of being mean to us:

      johng -I’m happy to debate politics any time, in so far as it’s possible with you and the rest of the SWP.

      Lets have some perspective and honesty about debating and who is scared of it.

      In general the SWP shies away from debate with other revolutionaries- your presense on this and other blogs is an exception. Letters from other revolutionairies -even those correcting basic factual mistakes- are never printed in socialist worker; the main swp-led blog lenins tomb is rigidly censored in a pretty disgusting way to prevent debate; swp public meetings will only allow you to speak if you can convince the chair that you are some naive reformist by your general meeting demeanor; the swp does not allow revolutionaries from other groups onto the platforms of the fronts it controls- ever.

      Like Jim, I’m happy to debate you on a mutually convenient subject- come up to yorkshire and we’ll make it happen. A joint SWP-AWL public meeting hasn’t happened for a very long time anywhere in the world. This isn’t willy-waving about debating skills but a chance to have an open discussion of politics

      More urgent though -the rest of the marxist left in leeds would like a public debate about anti-fascism; we’d like a 4-wayer AWL, WP, SP and SWP –only the SWP in leeds will not do it– can you help us to arrange it?

    14. anonimouse said,

      johng speaks:

      from Socialist Unity:

      “I have no desire to engage in a debate with someone who thinks it fun to heap lies and slander on the head of recently deceased socialists. In an earlier thread I’d made a contribution and pointed out that it was rather extraordinary that no-one was capable of responding in a normal way. It was not an offer to debate with Jim Denham.

      Comment by johng — 16 November, 2009 @ 1:39 pm “

    15. voltairespriest said,

      Said with all JG’s usual respect for truth and lack of exaggeration, I see!

    16. Rosie said,

      So Gamey welched, did he? Does that mean I can collect the tenners I put on Jim?

    17. Lobby Ludd said,

      Martin Ohr:

      “This isn’t willy-waving about debating skills but a chance to have an open discussion of politics”

      Bollocks.

    18. martin ohr said,

      Lobby, if it was a contest about debating skills I’d certainly lose; I’m pretty hopeless as a public speaker- but I’d like the chance to engage any member of the SWP in an open -debate about politics, because I think my politics would win -despite me.

    19. Albert Bridge said,

      #18

      Your politics win every time. Which is why the AWL is such a massive force on the British left. Just think how important you could be if you *weren’t* hamstrung by personal and social inadequacy and the effects of a lifetime of drink.

    20. voltairespriest said,

      Eh? Martin, are you hamstrung by your personal and social inadequacy and the effects of a lifetime of drink? Or was Mr Bridge referring to the entire AWL, in which case if the drink’s free can I apply to re-join even though I left years ago?

    21. shug said,

      Ah well, the (Guru) is a no show,how sad.Would the omnipotent Vanguard be less of a oligarchy by his absence for an hour.

    22. Jim Denham said,

      Johnny “Father Coughlin” Gameboy:

      (from the ‘Socialist Unity’ blog):

      “I have no desire to engage in a debate with someone who thinks it fun to heap lies and slander on the head of recently deceased socialists. In an earlier thread I’d made a contribution and pointed out that it was rather extraordinary that no-one was capable of responding in a normal way. It was not an offer to debate with Jim Denham.

      Comment by johng — 16 November, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

      Jim D comments: “fair enough, Father: but let’s hear no more of this kind of thing:

      “In any case here is the opportunity. The AWL are wierd. Constant demands for real political discussion. But as soon as you move away from a discussion which is apolitical they run a mile.”

      You’ve admitted that you are unwilling to debate us. Readers will draw their own conclusions.

    23. dave said,

      To be honest i wasn’t really referring to a ‘debate’, or whetever you think is a ‘debate’, it’s the macho posturing and unfraternal atmosphere I regard as ridiculous.

    24. johng said,

      The AWL still running a mile from political debate I see. You had an opportunity. You could have just tried to respond to the political critique of third campism I wrote. This is the only way you know how to respond. How pathetic. The key line by the way is ‘I have not read harman’s piece but…’ I supplied a link. You might have responded. Especially as you claimed that your revolting personalised attack was motivated by ‘politics’. You can’t. Because you have none.

    25. Jim Denham said,

      John Game: for all your bleating:
      1/ You have refused to debate me -an AWL member – despite my offering you free reign on time, place and subject;

      2/ You complain that I have’nt responded properly to your online “critique of third campism”: actually, Mr Game, I *did* respond, as follows:

      “I haven’t read the Harman article that Gameboy refers to, but I’d be interested to know whether it is regarded now by SWP’ers as representing a definitive break with the Socialist Review/IS “third camp” tradition now that the SWP has become a third worldist outfit. If so, I think the SWP owes it to the left as a whole to mark this departure from its own tradition rather more clearly.”

      I recieved no response from you. So, Mr Game, don’t give me that bollocks about the AWL (allegedly) not being willing to debate you: We’re all too ready, and have given you every reasonable opportunity to agree a response. But you won’t. Readers will, indeed, draw their own conclusions. Mine is that you lack confidence in your own, pretty superficially held, political ideas. And – of course – your organisation is now falling apart round your ears. Fundamentally, however, the present day SWP has betrayed its own founding principles and it would be very embarassing for any present-day SWP’er (Mr Game or anyone else) to have to explain that away.

    26. martin ohr said,

      johng has attempted a similar approach over at liammacthings blog too: http://liammacuaid.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/a-missed-opportunity/#comment-18801

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