The latest edition of Socialist Worker carries an extraordinary appeal for far-left unity, closing with the following observations:
The problem is the extreme fragmentation of the radical left, compounded by the mutual hostility that exists among these fragments. This is, if anything, worse in Scotland than it is in England and Wales. Wallowing in the rights and wrongs of these divisions is futile and self-destructive.
The combination of the Scottish referendum and Ukip’s rise demands that we change.
We have to shake off the petty narcissism of our different projects and work together to create united left wing alternatives to neoliberalism both sides of the border.
History will judge us very harshly if we fail.
Those of us who, over the years, have witnessed the SWP’s unique combination of self-important bombast, ultra-sectarianism towards others on the left, opportunistic grovelling to the likes of Galloway, intolerance of internal dissent and regular expulsions of oppositionists, will have difficulty suppressing our laughter – especially at the stuff about “wallowing in the rights and wrongs of these divisions” and the wonderful phrase “petty narcissism’ which just about sums up the present SWP leadership and much of its middle cadre.
Unity on the far left would be a wonderful thing, but at the moment it looks further away than ever. And it seems (to put it mildly) highly unlikely that the SWP will have any positive role to play in the process of honest accounting and open debate that will be necessary in order to eventually achieve this desirable but elusive objective.
In the meanwhile, serious socialists would be better advised to devote their energies to work in the labour and trade union movement.