SWP

The Paradoxes of Tony Cliff, 1917-2000: A Critical Memoir

"The miners' strike is an extreme example of what we in the Socialist Workers Party have called the 'downturn' in the movement." Tony Cliff, Socialist Worker, 14th April 1984 "Sammy lugged his papers up and down Fourteenth Street yelling about a war in Europe. He used to come home with a hoarse throat and 30 or 40 cents in pennies. He would count the money and say, 'God dammit, I'm yellin' my brains out for nuttin'. "Several weeks later Sammy came in with a dollar seventy-eight. Papa, Momma and Israel danced around him. "'Sammy, you sold out all the papers?' said Papa in amazement. "'Yeah,'...

AWL versus SWP

Material for an AWL day school, November/ December 2005, and other stuff on the political differences between AWL and SWP. Download all the stuff for the dayschool as pdf (570 Kb), or read individual items below. "AWL vs SWP" day school, November/ December 2005 Discussion points for the day school 1. Transitional programme vs fake ultra-leftism Socialism after Stalinism, by Sean Matgamna, from How Solidarity Can Change The World The SWP and its "March on Parliament", by Sean Matgamna, from Socialist Organiser 591, 03/03/94 2. Marxism vs "Apparatus Marxism" The Degradations of Apparatus Marxism...

Cliff never really understood the British labour movement

I joined the Socialist Review Group [forerunner of today's SWP] in 1952 and drifted out about 1960. I was a left-wing socialist who believed that social ownership and democratic control should be extended. I believed in international socialism. I was utterly repelled by the Stalinist show trials in Eastern Europe. That put me off the Communist Party. When I was approached by an organisation which was left-wing and clearly opposed to Stalinism, I was attracted. The other organisations in the Trotskyist movement believed that the Stalinist states were degenerated workers' states which should be...

What we owe to Ernie Tate

Ernie Tate, who died from cancer on 5 February at the age of 86, was once well-known among revolutionary socialists across the world as the central figure of “the Tate affair”. Born and raised in Northern Ireland, he was an active Trotskyist from his early 20s, in Canada. He moved to London in 1965-9, and that was where the “Tate affair” happened, in 1966. Back in Canada, he quit the organised Trotskyist movement about 1980, but remained active on the broader left until his last years. I last met him in 2015, at a conference at the University of East Anglia. An obituary by John Riddell gives...

Drop Walney's inquiry!

Fighter against "extremism" John Woodcock (Lord Walney), with two far-right Turkish politicians On 7 February, the former right-wing Labour MP John Woodcock — now Lord Walney, a Tory supporter, and the government’s official for “countering violent extremism” — announced via the Daily Telegraph that the government had asked him to do a new “inquiry” into “extremism”. Walney said that the biggest “threat” is the “far right”, but the Telegraph chose to headline “far left influence in Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Black Lives Matter”. It quoted Walney further as saying that he was worried about...

Unison left needs unity and democracy

Following the relative success of Paul Holmes’s candidature for Unison general secretary (GS), the left should hope for gains in the elections for the National Executive (NEC). Nominations are open from 1 February to 5 March, and voting will be 4-27 May. However, making the most of the situation needs an open approach to left unity, as a forerunner to a democratic rank and file organisation. Sadly, that has taken a step back after the GS election result. Paul Holmes and the SWP [Socialist Workers Party] have interpreted the result of the GS election to mean there is no need for left unity or...

The SWP school of falsification part … ad nauseam

The SWP's policy in the NEU of toadying up to the bureaucracy and siding with it against militant industrial trade unionism has exposed the organisation for the fraud it is time and time again.

In the latest episode Chris Denson (who?), a third rate SWP hack and bureaucrat who seems to be...

Socialist Worker on "The Lobby": half a step forward

Socialist Worker half-breaks from its previous attitudes to tell readers that seeing "the Israel lobby" as super-powerful in world politics is an antisemitic idea "Continuing to believe [criticism of Corbyn inside Labour is] all simply orchestrated by an 'Israel lobby' can lead you down some very dark paths… It can lead to antisemitic arguments". That's not from Solidarity, but, surprisingly, from an article by Nick Clark in Socialist Worker (2 December 2020). Clark's article is progress. Mind you, he doesn't explain how the "Israel lobby" idea of Jews worldwide being mysteriously highly...

Lockdowns and "life against life"

Mike Haynes was long the SWP's leading writer on Russia. Since quitting the SWP in 2013 he has been connected with the SWP splinter group RS21. It's interesting that on his blog he has criticised the gung-ho lockdown-enthusiasm of the SWP and RS21, explaining that "lockdowns not only save lives, they take them".

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