Guest post from Alex Callinicos

March 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm (SWP)

Guest post from Alex Callinicos:

I have to offer some corrections to a piece by Jim Denham, who has omitted some significant passages from my missive to the Organizing Committee of the Historical Materialism conference in India.

Denham quotes:-

I understand of course how important the issue of rape and sexual violence is in India, especially after last December’s gang rape and murder in Delhi. It is also a very important question in Britain, and for me personally, as it is for the Socialist Workers Party. We are strongly committed to women’s liberation. We took the rape allegations against a leading member extremely seriously; the controversy over how the party handled these allegations is indicative of that seriousness.

The next paragraphs should read:-

Furthermore, our experience of dealing with rape allegations is invaluable. We have much to offer in models of procedure for how the gang rape incident in Delhi should be treated. We have developed a revolutionary method whereby some friends of the accused hold a private inquiry on whether they are guilty or innocent. If I can employ the loaded term “common sense”, who is more likely to know if someone is guilty of a crime than his long term comrades?

In the unlikely event an accused person is found guilty he should not be allowed to use that particular bus-line for a year.

We have followed this procedure for all charges of rape, sexual assault or harassment in our Party for decades now, and we can confidently assert that we have eliminated these evils totally. Similar procedures could be implemented in Delhi. It will soon lose its reputation as an unsafe city for women, especially when all those who object publicly to our failsafe methods are banished from the city or incarcerated.

Comrade Denham has seen fit to pass over these constructive suggestions for a revolutionary process of eliminating sexual violence within our society.

Jim Denham then quotes:-

This is to say nothing of the personal inconvenience and expense you are exposing me to by withdrawing your invitation a week after you had circulated a programme that included me as chairing one session and speaking at another, and barely a week before I was due to fly to India.

However again he has been highly selective in his quotation, omitting a further passage:-

I have had three different jabs for this impending trip, which have caused me considerable discomfort, I’ve stocked up on anti-malaria tablets, which aren’t cheap, and I had a nice little beach-break in Goa tacked on at the end of the conference.

I can only conclude that Denham’s selective quotations and omissions are through sectarian malice.

[NB: more from Redfriars and its Acting Headmaster Stallinicos, here]


  1. charliethechulo said,

    Ha, ha, ha! Very good.

    Meanwhile, SWSS students in revolt and CC clueless:

  2. Pinkie said,

    I’ve not found much of the stuff taking the piss out of the SWP CC very funny. Now, the SWP CC, there’s a different matter……..

  3. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Comrade Callinicos is not alone – several people in the Platypus Group (whose position I won’t even try to characterise in one line other than that it starts with the I think entirely justifiable thesis that the left is dead’) who have had amicable relationships with HM and submitted papers also seem to have been declared persona non grata for this event:

    Despite having shown a willingness to engage with members of Platypus in the past — Chris Cutrone and others at HM Toronto 2010, Haseeb Ahmed, James Vaughn, and Spencer Leonard at HM London 2011 — it soon became clear that by late 2012 an unofficial policy had been enacted so as to exclude the entire organization from participation. Of course, this was not announced anywhere. It would probably have appeared too juvenile, too petty and unprincipled, to make public. After all, shunning is seldom practiced anymore except amongst grade-school students (the so-called “silent treatment”) and the Amish. But after some senior members of Platypus heard back positively from the great Jairus Banaji and others on the papers they submitted papers for the HM New Delhi 2013 conference back in September 2012, only to receive no response to their subsequent follow-up e-mails, it became clear that something was amiss.

    Spencer Leonard and Sunit Singh, both relatively close to Banaji (who they interviewed back in 2010 on the Naxalite rebellion), eventually learned from him that he had been “pressured” by the organizers of the conference to disregard submissions from members of Platypus. It’s a shame, too, since the research of a number of those who were looking to present in New Delhi take Indian/Pakistani history as their primary focus: Sunit Singh, Atiya Khan, Spencer Leonard, Ninad Pandit, etc. Though her paper proposal on the American Civil War was at first greeted with enthusiasm by the HM New Delhi conference organizers, Pam C. Nogales C. also saw the e-mails she’d been receiving taper off, without any explanation. Not even a notice of rejection.

    • daggi said,

      Protesting the group’s inaugural event, “Imperialism: What is it and why should we be against it?”, the Sparts unleashed their entire arsenal of abuse upon Platypus. Straining the very limits of their lexicon, they released a polemic (charmingly entitled “Platypus: Pseudo-’Marxist,’ pro-imperialist, academic claptrap”)

      Well the Sparts manage to get it right sometime.

      and Paul is right, quarantine the motherfuckers [Platypus]. Otherwise the infection spreads, like in Germany. It’s the worst.

      isn’t far off either, assuming they *are* “anti-Germans” as well as being “pseudo-Marxist academic claptrappers”, like most of the so-called German “Marxists”.

      • Ross Wolfe said,

        We’re not anti-Germans. We’ve published several pieces against the anti-Germans, who don’t much care for us either.

  4. Monsuer Jelly More Bounce to the Ounce (Much More Bounce) OOps upside your Head this time with feeling said,

    Sarah @glebbityshem 20m

    I & others threatened with having our cunts kicked in/throats ripped out while other stewards egged them on and tried to forcibly remove us
    Retweeted by Martha Rose Robinson

    Sarah @glebbityshem 20m

    Dave Sherry is one of the key architects of the cover up of the rape of a teenager by SWP National Organiser Martin Smith
    Retweeted by Martha Rose Robinson
    Sarah Sarah @glebbityshem 21m

    SWP/Solidarity stewards at the Anti-Bedroom Tax demo were incredible aggressive and were grabbing and shoving people who heckled Dave Sherry
    Retweeted by Martha Rose Robinson

  5. l said,

    I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written
    by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty.
    You’re wonderful! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: