Richard Seymour’s supporters in the SWP tell me that Tom Walker made a purely personal decision when he resigned from his party. Completely untrue. These are the words he used on this in the resignation letter:
“After much reflection, I have decided the immediate aftermath also means that I have no option other than to resign not just from the paper, but from the party, and encourage others to do likewise.”
Richard’s support for a resignation letter which calls for mass defections from his party speaks volumes. Richard’s supporters are as constructive towards the Socialist Workers Party as a body as were those Greeks bearing gifts. Or a malignant tumor to its host. Is that too strong? Not in the least.
In Richard’s latest blog article he describes all SWP members who don’t agree with him as, “effectively locking themselves into a cell with the headbangers” The ‘headbangers’, according to Richard, are the SWP’s elected leadership and everyone who dared to vote for them at the party’s conference.
Richard Seymour is planning for twelve months of civil war inside his party. This is his priority as David Cameron and Nick Clegg provoke the entire labour movement into a series of mass strikes, provoking employed workers’ brothers and sisters and extended families – all the oppressed and exploited – into acts off civil disobedience.
Mass struggle of an extreme variety will prove essential if our class is to have any chance of defending itself from the cheerleaders of a chaotic and parasitic capitalist system. These cheerleaders are to be found amongst Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet and Alex Salmond’s Scottish government. And that brings me to another point, relating to Richard’s attitude towards his party’s democratic structures and Marxist politics in general.
Richard’s commitment to his party consisted of rubbishing its electoral interventions as part of TUSC. He told me the time is not right for Marxists to challenge the likes of the Scottish National Party or Ed Miliband’s Labour Party south of the border. What a plonker.
I find it highly unlikely that the SWP rank and file will tolerate Richard’s enthusiasm for dragging his party into sectarian squabbling when the only possible outcome would be an extremely damaging split. Since Richard self-evidentally wants such a split, why not get it over with? If he opts for that, both sides can do their own thing, rather than fight each other to a standstill, distracting one another from our common class enemy. That’s what Richard would do if he was a socialist. When the heat dies down, both sides could grope, reluctantly but inevitably, towards extending olive branches: united fronts, electoral pacts, democratic forums? Or is that asking too much?
Given his friendship with thugs and perjurers like Eddie Truman and Catriona Grant (who worked hand-in-glove with David Cameron’s Director of Communications and one of Rupert Murdoch’s most disgusting editors to destroy the Scottish Socialist Party), I for one am not that sorry to see the back of Richard Seymour.