One of the heroes for all those intent on destroying the Socialist Workers Party in Britain today is Professor of Latin American Studies in the Hispanics Department of the University of Glasgow. He is also the SWP’s Latin America expert, Mike Gonzalez.
I have a few questions I would put to Mike if he wants to make himself available to me: he could leave a comment on this blog. He has my word of honor that I will let it through in full. Unfortunately for Mike, I will then address whatever arguments he feels able to deploy in his own defense.
Since it is blindingly obvious that Mike Gonzalez won’t find the backbone to take up my offer, maybe over the next few days, during the party’s Marxism Festival, my questions can be put to him in full by SWP national secretary Charlie Kimber and by the rest of the central committee.
While Mike may feel able to run away from me, I very much doubt he can make himself permanently incommunicado to every SWP loyalist, or to Andy Davies of Channel Four News, Paul Lewis of The Guardian or other investigative journalists digging into the illegal activities of undercover cops like Bob Lambert. Time to ‘fess up and face the music, Mike?
My questions are designed to tease out the motives of those behind Chris Bambery‘s state-orchestrated witch hunt. That surely is something the entire left should be interested in. And I am using ‘left’ in its broadest possible sense, including those who make no pretense of supporting any kind of ‘democratic centralism’: Owen Jones, John McDonnell, Salma Yaqoob, Mehdi Hasan, Natalie Bennett, Peter Tatchell, etc, etc, etc.. My questions relate to whether Mike Gonzalez is now or has ever been an asset of British Intelligence. My strong suspicion is that he has, and still is.
I want to be absolutely clear what I am saying here. I need to dispense with a few preliminaries before getting down to the meat of my argument. I do this to preempt a set of disgusting trolling from the likes of Phil Burton-Cartledge, Eddie Truman, Peter Manson and a long list of others. These so-called ‘socialists’ will try to discredit me as they have been doing for many years. That is the only way they know how to distract attention from their own threadbare credentials as part of the legitimate left. They descend to lies that they know to be actionable, to outrageous smear campaigns in the certain knowledge that mud sticks, and that I lack the financial resources to expose them in open court, unless I am myself brought to court to expose them under oath, something I have been itching to do for a very long time.
Anyway, who am I convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt works for (or is a paid asset of) British Intelligence? Only two leftists have I ever been absolutely categorical about: Frances Curran (one-time West of Scotland list MSP for the Scottish Socialist Party), and Chris Bambery, former national secretary of the SWP, then editor of Socialist Worker. Everyone else merely festers on a provisional list. That list is admittedly a fairly long one now. But does that justify allegations of paranoia? I don’t think so. Better safe than sorry. And even my provisional list is utterly microscopic compared to those I have had dealings with on the left over the years, and I can certainly justify why each and everyone of these people belong on this list.
Probably only a small fraction of those who I think might be spies are assets of any kind of the British state. That really is, however, irrelevant given that every last one of them ought to be kicked out of the socialist movement due to their protecting those they know beyond reasonable doubt to be spies. Why would anyone do that without themselves having been lent upon by British Intelligence? I refuse to speculate publicly at this point, although I do have a theory or two. And that brings me back to Mike Gonzalez…
As I have said in a recent post, the most effective police spies are bound to be those who never began that way, but ex-socialists who got turned by the British Intelligence for one reason or another: blackmail, threats, or financial inducements.
I believe that those who are prematurely signed up to organisations like the SWP, who then move on with the rest of their lives after inevitable disillusion sets it, get their revenge on those who recruited them under false pretenses. These people are so very precious to the likes of Mike Gonzalez and Ian Birchill. But they don’t simply create sectarian friction between party loyalists on the one hand and others whose ear will be won by disgruntled ex-members. Those who hold grudges become potential assets for the British state, and in many cases probably paid assets.
At least a few handfuls of such individuals may leave the SWP before being recruited to Special Branch etc to rejoin the SWP, only this time with a different agenda. They may be taught how to feign loyalty and commitment, profess differences as irrelevant, as ancient history. But they will do so only to worm their ways into the heart of the party, to make themselves indispensable to groups of local, district and finally national (maybe even international!) activists. That is the most probable explanation of how police spies climbed so high as Chris Bambery and Frances Curran. On the other hand, maybe they were recruited to the intelligence agencies first. Maybe we will get an answer to that before too long. Or maybe we will always be kept in the dark.
What about Mike Gonzalez? What is his relationship to British Intelligence? To Chris Bambery? To Frances Curran?
If Mike Gonzalez is a paid asset of British Intelligence, then that would mean that our taxes paid for police spies committing perjury on both sides of the miscarriage of justice that was Tommy Sheridan’s perjury trial. I am pretty sure that whoever sanctioned the use of the British state committing perjury in one or in both sides of the Tommy Sheridan trial or any other trial will end up in jail. That is certainly what would happen if the truth gets into the hands of the voters.
Is it possible that the only reason the Crown does not prosecute those SSP executive members who gave evidence on behalf of Tommy Sheridan is because attempting to do that would necessitate their prosecuting one of their own police spy for perjury? Mike Gonzalez? And would that not risk Gonzalez exposing the entire Tommy Sheridan perjury trial as a miscarriage of justice initiated to protect the identity of another of the Crown’s police spies on the SSP executive and at Holyrood? Frances Curran MSP?
What does Mike Gonzalez know about police spy involvement in Tommy Sheridan’s trial? Quite a lot actually. I know that for a fact, and Mike knows that I know this.
In the first place, Mike is aware that the SWP’s two negotiators for the SWP’s entry into the Scottish Socialist Party were Chris Bambery and Julie Waterson, and as I have explained at length several times in my blog, on twitter and elsewhere in cyberspace, Mike Gonzalez knows that he promised me he would tell Chris Harman, Lindsey German, John Rees and the rest of the SWP central committee that Chris Bambery had unconstitutionally expelled me from the SWP in 1987, allegedly (according to a senior SWP member in Glasgow) working with the now deceased Julie Waterson, decisions they are supposed to have taken unknown to the rest of the central committee. Mike Gonzalez lied to Chris Harman and the rest of the SWP central committee about what I told him about the national secretary of the SWP secretly purging SWP members in Glasgow and (presumably) elsewhere from the party going all the way back to the mid-1980s.
Mike Gonzalez is aware that at least 50% and possibly 100% of those who negotiated on behalf of the SWP to secure their entry into the SSP were police spies. Why would he sit back and let this happen and not raise a finger to object? Is it because he was paid to keep his mouth shut?
And the political priorities of Chris Bambery (and possibly Julie Waterson too) might explain why they negotiated an atrocious deal, a deal that was then presented to both the SWP leadership and SSP rank and file as a take-it-or-leave-it deal, a deal that contained the seeds of the SSP’s destruction practically from day one, a deal that almost ripped the party apart on 9-11.
Mike Gonzalez knew I could not expose what he had done because he ensured that our conversation took place with no witnesses. He asked me to trust him, and I did. Well now I do not. Mike Gonzalez tricked me into giving him information that he simply used to protect the identity of Chris Bambery from the SWP central committee, and from the rank and file of the SSP and from everyone else. All very suspicious, if you ask me.