What will Richard Seymour do next?

Richard Seymour

Richard Seymour

Richard Seymour’s advisers on twitter are telling him to do as much damage to the SWP on the way out: https://derekthomas2010.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/richard-seymour-kicking-and-screaming-from-the-swp/. As if he needed to be told that.

That is what he has been doing for as long as I can remember: sabotaging the SWP’s electoral strategy, talking nonsense about the defense of the democratic rights of women and trade unionists under President Morsi, a bonaparte that Seymour thinks (or used to think) is the Egyptian Lenin.

Richard Seymour gets all lovey dovey with the rats who destroyed the Scottish Socialist Party, those determined to have members of the SWP prosecuted for perjury. At long last Richard Seymour has been exposed for what he is before all the world to see, even the most naive member of the IDOOP faction. Good. Better late than never.

One of Richard Seymour’s advisers is telling all Richard Seymour’s friends to follow me to smear me as a rape apologist. Am I a rape apologist? Of course not. But Richard Seymour’s fan club are not about to let facts get in the way of a good witch-hunt.

On what basis do Richard Seymour’s supporters on Twitter alleges that I am a rape apologist? Anyone who takes a few minutes to examine what I have written at length knows that I want the guilty identified, punished and punished severely: I have gone so far as to justify the use of covert surveillance equipment to catch anyone acting inappropriately towards victims: inappropriate touching or even course unwelcome flirting that is clearly making someone feel uncomfortable. The allegation of Richard Seymour’s supporters is simply vile libel which is actionable. These people don’t care. They are beneath contempt.

However, although I (like all decent people) want those guilty of sex crimes being caught and punished, I am not willing to throw everyone to the wolves of the capitalist state on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations and nothing more than that. There has to be proof.

There has to be the presumption of innocence until a jury of one’s peers hears the testimony of both sides. Anything else is a show trial, a kangaroo court.

Everyone deserves to be given a fair trial. But those who have been employing an allegedly ‘feminist’ critique of the Marxist perspectives of the Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Party and other left-wing organisations deny men any rights whatsoever. Men are denied any right to challenge an accusation if that allegation has been issued by a women. That is a ludicrous position. No socialist would touch it with a bargepole.

We are being invited by Richard Seymour and the rest of these so-called champions of women’s liberation to defend collective punishment against every single man for the crimes committed by individual men. That is an utterly reactionary methodology regardless of whether it is deployed by those fighting against sexism, anti-semitism, other forms of racism/xenophobia, homophobia or any other form of discrimination. Society has to issue guilty or not guilty verdicts on the basis of facts. We need evidence. We cannot tolerate disciplinary action or incarceration on any other basis.

The SWP now find themselves facing the same allegations that had previously been leveled against Julian Assange. Too many members of the SWP simply went along with the prevailing current peddled by a pro-NATO mass media vis-a-vis Assange, one that refused to defend his right to a fair trial, one that tapped into a fertile reservoire of ‘feminism’ in the universities that was anything but conducive to a fair trial. That was a very serious mistake in my opinion, and I made of point of saying so at the time.

Now the SWP and the SP are both being accused by those same ‘feminists’ (particularly in the universities and colleges of further education) who smeared anyone who wanted to examine the evidence, and the possibility that Assange may indeed have been the victim of a CIA honey-trap. Just because this may be a ploy resorted to by a desperate guilty man, that does not prove a priori that it should not be given credence as one possible explanation of what may have happened between Assange and his accusers.

For daring to argue this very reasonable point in the past, I was subject to smears by a long list of members of both the SWP and the SP as a ‘rape apologist’. I had the good sense to stop wasting my breath trying to rationally debate with such people on twitter and facebook: they had forgotten the ABC of justice and democracy – if they ever had any familiarity with these concepts in the first place. I was given no option but to block these trolls on both Facebook and twitter.

Now that the SWP and SP are facing the same anti-democratic smear campaigners (including from within their own ranks!), every one of us has to give serious thought as to how we can identify and deal with the genuine offenders while ensuring that innocent people are not victimised, possibly framed by those who are in the pay of British Intelligence or some other intelligence agency.

In the meantime, the only way to defeat trolls is by refusing to feed them. SWP members need to walk away from the provocations of Richard Seymour’s fanclub on twitter, Facebook, and blogs such as Andy Newman’s Capitalist Disunity NarkSquad.

In the trade unions, the SWP is likely to find far less hostility than is to be found amongst sectarians who inhabit cyberspace, and even in university cafeterias. Workers value natural justice, due process and the presumption of innocence. While there will be no shortage of attempts by Richard Seymour to fan the flames of the witch hunt against the SWP, it can be defeated.

Success depends in part on not rising to the bait of Richard Seymour’s friends, regardless of how big a twitter following they have or how left-wing they can be on many other subjects. The best of such people have to be debated with, to the extent they are prepared to make rational debate possible. Owen Jones is probably someone who can be persuaded, which is why descending into abuse of him will prove counterproductive and plays right into the hands of Richard Seymour. He is claiming on twitter that at least one SWP member is abusing him by email. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it is best not to do that. If someone has lashed out at him, maybe an apology would be in order.

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