How can socialists who refuse to surrender to Ed Miliband fight the witch hunt against us by Andy Newman, Tony Collins and Phil Burton-Cartledge?
These Stalinists support Ed Miliband’s surrender to the priorities of the richest 1%, to capitalist austerity. While it is true that they pose to the left of Miliband on many issues, when push comes to shove they demand everyone write him a blank cheque. They want millions of trade unionists to subsidize their own hit-man, someone who has no interest in workers resisting a rise in the rate of exploitation. These bastards are all ready and willing to destroy every socialist who has the audacity to pose an electoral challenge to Ed Miliband.
First we had their witch hunt against the Socialist Workers Party. Now we find Andy Newman and co moving on to those other two pillars of TUSC: the RMT trade union and the Socialist Party. It is unfortunately true that a few handfuls of SP members wanted to believe the worst of the SWP. They have actively participated in the witch hunt of their TUSC comrades, despite there not being a shred of evidence of any crime. This was outrageous sectarianism on their part, and it has to come to an abrupt end. Maybe it will now that they find members of their own group being subject to the exact same allegations (or worse) leveled at them by the exact same Stalinist apologists for Ed Milband. Let all socialists defend basic democratic norms, including the presumption of innocence, due process, and natural justice.
How can socialists fight these witch hunts? I think we need to discuss this. In my opinion, our weakness springs from the fact that the accused are denied their rights. Why is this? In both instances, the accused’s defense is limited by the methods employed by the accusers. We need to accept that we want the guilty punished, and that justice must not just be done, it must be seen to be done. If socialists are guilty of what is being alleged, then all socialists want them identified and punished. Having said that, the smears against these socialists are allowed to go unchallenged because the party is being blamed for the absence of the police and courts getting involved. It doesn’t matter to Andy Newman, Richard Seymour or Andrew Neil that the lack of police involvement can be pinpointed to the wishes of the accusers. This has placed the party in an impossible position, and it has done the same to the accused. This is not acceptable to anyone.
I think the only way to remove that problem is to remove the party from investigations into such crimes of violence between individuals that have no shred of political significance. Socialists have no way of getting at the truth of what happened. That is the reality. If the allegation is an invention, then the accused deserves realistic prospects of proving his innocence. The capitalist media are not going to allow that to happen. And out-of-control sectarians like Richard Seymour guarantee that this is a catch 22 dilemma for the party. There is only way to satisfy the enemies of the party (including those who’ve been signed up to the party by Richard Seymour) that there is no substance to such allegation.
If a comrade is genuinely guilty, then that guilt is the property of one individual. If, however, he is entirely innocent, then in the process of fighting to prove his innocence, he will be able to explore why he was subject to a false allegation of such a serious crime. If the allegation is genuinely false, then that could backfire on anyone who sinks so low as to invest a smear campaign designed to destroy an innocent man and his party.
What goes for the SWP applies with as much force to Andy Newman’s latest victim. If he is innocent as he claims, then he cannot be vindicated without the state getting involved to investigate. If he has been the victim of a smear campaign, then his accuser’s story may fall to pieces on the witness stand if not before, and others may be exposed as having played a key role in a conspiracy. And that would help all those falsely accused to sue everyone who has libeled them: Andy Newman, Tony Collins, Phil Burton-Cartledge, Tom Walker, Richard Seymour, Dave Parks, John Chamberlain, Peter Manson, Nick Cohen, etc., etc., etc..