Where on Earth do I begin with that lot? Counterfire have issued a joint statement on the state-orchestrated witch hunt of the Socialist Workers Party. This statement is opportunistic to the core. It is also incredibly dishonest. So it is hardly surprising that it poses no viable solutions for socialists.
Feels a bit strange to place John Rees, Lindsey German and Chris Bambery into a single list. The first two are misguided. They’re still socialists though. Socialists of a sort. United fronts all round for all socialists, however off-the-wall they prove to be from time to time. As for Chris Bambery… Not so much.
Chris Bambery appeared live on BBC Radio Scotland’s Kay Adams phone-in show, a day or two after Tommy Sheridan was found guilty by a jury. That jury was deliberately (and illegally) kept in the dark by The Crown and a series of perjurers (not excluding David Cameron’s Director of Communications) about the nature of a conspiracy at the heart of which was a police spy on the executive committee of the Scottish Socialist Party: Frances Curran MSP.
Chris Bambery got all chummy with Rosie Kane, happily echoing Rosie Kane’s lies to the effect that SWP members on the SSP executive had committed perjury. Chris Bambery knew full well what he was doing: he was attempting (not for the first time) to frame socialists to have them arrested, charged and then imprisoned.
Chris Bambery was still a member of the SWP’s central committee when he sank so law as to employ the broadcast media to frame leading members of his own members. Do I hear a “what the fuck!”?
Chris Bambery is also the ‘leader’ of an ‘organisation’ up to its neck in injecting pro-imperialist poison into the international labour movement. Here is my analysis of one isolated instance of their doing that vis-a-vis Julian Assange: https://derekthomas2010.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/with-friends-like-the-international-socialist-group-assange-doesnt-need-enemies/
To dismiss Richard Seymour’s faction inside the SWP as little more than his fan club would be wrong. While it is true that they are a bunch of ill-disciplined and utterly rabid sectarians cobbled from a middle class student milieu, they are more than that.
Their disruptive provocations remind me of nothing so much as the factional trouble makers organised by Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin. Inside the First International, Bakunin’s conspiratorial factionalism proved so corrosive that Marx and Engels preferred to mothball the entire international organisation of the working class rather than surrender to the anarchist rabble-rouser dragging its good name through the mud.
I trust that Charlie Kimber and the rest of the central committee will not repeat the tragic mistake of Marx by waiting too long before cutting out the tumor that is attempting to strangle the Socialist Workers Party. Richard Seymour’s explicitly anti-Leninist group are obviously smuggling Chris Bambery’s stooges into SWP’s confidential meetings specifically to release sensitive information to the world. They do this to help the capitalist state frame members of what he pretends to be his party. Helping the capitalist state is what Richard Seymour’s friends are boasting they intend to do on Andy Newman’s misnamed ‘Socialist Unity Network’ blog.
Richard Seymour is the one who has to be expelled as there is an open and shut case against him, which is also true of a very large number of his fellow travelers. The SWP should draw a sharp distinction between the likes of Seymour and his loyal lieutenants on the one hand from those young students who have been mis-educated by Seymour. It is probably too late to save all the latter for the party. They will split in solidarity with someone who will convince them he is some kind of courageous martyr, rather than what he truly is: a fifth column for Chris Bambery and others intent on helping the capitalist state lock up as many members of the Socialist Workers Party as he can, helping the imperialists lock up all its enemies all over the world. The solution is to try to patiently explain to socialists who will split in solidarity from the SWP thanks to lies spread by Richard Seymour. Try to win those capable of being won back to the party. But don’t concede basic principles: democratic centralism and the presumption of innocence for all the accused.