Who is John Chamberlain’s spy in Peter Taaffe’s Socialist Party

John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain

Tony Collins’s favorite member of Peter Taaffe’s Socialist Party is someone called ‘Manzil’. In fact that is the only so-called SP member that he can vaguely tolerate, the only one whose comments are not deleted on a regular basis, who is not subjected to smears, who is championed as a defender of free speech and the ability to think for himself, the only one whose contributions are not dismissed as little more than spam! I am glad I am not the only one who thinks this strange individual may not be all he pretends to be.

The following exchange on Tony Collins’s blog kinda gives the game away. In it we find a so-called member of the SP deploying precisely the witch-hunting rhetoric Neil Kinnock used of “a party within a party”. This is sectarian drivel that is being used today by the most right-wing components of Left Unity that is forming around Ken Loach’s call for a broad socialist party (which I for one support) and the more anarchistic and centrist elements of the Independent Socialist Network.

Manzil peddles the lie that the leadership of what he pretends to be his party is an unaccountable bureaucracy. He would have us believe that it is unrealistic to expect its policies, strategy and tactics can be changed by the Socialist Party’s rank and file. In every one of these respects, ‘Manzil’ plays the same role vis-a-vis the Socialist Party that Richard Seymour played inside the SWP.

Manzil is helping Tony Collins, Andy Newman and Phil Burton-Cartledge to incite a witch hunt against his leadership, and all his comrades who support that leadership, for embracing the democratic notion of caucusing and expecting all members to accept majority decisions, all the better to maximize the influence of their organisation inside the class; in other words, democratic centralism:

  • Manzil: I think is [if? TD] a broad realignment of the left is to happen, it will consist of parts of the existing left, but not the formal apparatus of the sects.*

    *(For the sake of argument: I don’t think the SP should operate “as it does now” even by itself, so I’d rather it didn’t within a broader formation. Or it’d probably end up like the Socialist Alliance all over again. Not up to me though, is it? As this has made apparent, I must be the worst SP member in the country.)

  • So basically you don’t really agree with the SP but you are working in it to try and split its rank and file from the apparatus and build some democratic and broad left party? Kind of like CPGB spies do except that they call for “Marxist” unity without saying who they regard as a Marxist? I kind of agree that you may be the worst SP member in the country.
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