SWP expulsions and squabbles

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by Nigel Irritable, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. SpackleFrog

    SpackleFrog Smash showy bell-bottom pants and sporty haircuts

    Hi Steve. I wasn't too upset to hear about BW being suspended (although I fail to see the logic really, guy needs ignoring more than anything else) but I was surprised to hear about this. You shouldn't really record people without their permission though, even if it is just for reference.

    One question - I understand while you've been suspended, another member of the opposition in your branch has been re-elected as a branch committee member? Why is that?
  2. Nigel Irritable

    Nigel Irritable Five, Ten, Fifteen Years

    Also no mention of an actual suspension in its language, just an expression of a belief you should be suspended. Which is either a strange oversight, or reflects an assumption that some other body would do the actual suspending.

    It's not hypocritical to distinguish between the organisation deciding to make some discussion or aspect of a discussion public, and one member unilaterally deciding to do so, nor to distinguish between the organisation openly recording a meeting and an individual secretly doing so.

    As someone who generally favours having open discussions where possible, it seems to me that the main impact of something like BW's behaviour - churning out endless vituperation, often aimed at individual other members in public forums - is likely to be that open discussion becomes at least temporarily more difficult. Instead of making a case for the advantages of having theoretical or political arguments in public, you and BW have created an endless argument that it's destructive. I'm not inclined to gratitude for that.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  3. Mustn't grumble

    Mustn't grumble Active Member

    leyton, given what Steve has said above:
    1) do you still maintain Steve recorded "a branch meeting", rather than a debate in which he was one of the two protagonists?
    2) what evidence do you have that this recording was (a) uploaded to the internet, & (b) available to anyone on the net?

  4. Mustn't grumble

    Mustn't grumble Active Member

    I'd heard Mr Wallace had written a fair bit on causes of crises in capitalist production but how can an "endless" presentation of an argument be a problem? Surely cdes. have the right to express themselves; correspondingly cdes. don't have a duty to keep reading what others write or keep listening to what they say. If one is satisfied that nothing new is being offered, & that the view on the matter doesn't need changing, then if one's bored with the repetition then one politely does not engage: there's no compulsion involved, concerning anyone. Certainly no need for punishing anyone. That's plain absurd - & trying to discipline anyone just gives Marxists, & others, an appalling reputation, one justly deserved.
  5. BK Double Stack

    BK Double Stack Reconstructed Marcyite

    "For personal reference" my ass. He sent the recording along immediately to people all over the world. If you secretly-recorded a meeting in a place where the state regularly spies on the left, then you wouldn't be treated with the kid gloves that the London comrades treated you with.
  6. BK Double Stack

    BK Double Stack Reconstructed Marcyite

    We entertained this boring debate publicly for a year. Wallace was abusive throughout.
  7. leyton96

    leyton96 NGO's selling privilege checking solutions

    What happened was this:

    There was a branch meeting which involved a debate on the causes of the capitalist crisis between Steve Dobbs and Lynn Walsh. It had been decided previously by the branch committee that this was to be an internal debate not open to the public. Just to be absolutely clear. This was not a public meeting.
    At the meeting itself the Chair moved that the the meeting was not to be recorded or disseminated publicly on the internet or elsewhere. This was put to the vote and agreed by the branch.
    Steve Dobbs without informing anyone present, recorded the meeting. This was then put on a closed facebook group. One of the members of the facebook group then passed this fact on to the SP centre. It's quite simply not true to say the recording was for personal use.

    Despite this display of, at the very best, extreme bad manners (imagine being in a group where you weren't sure if what you were saying was being recorded or not and you couldn't trust the person if you asked them not to?) this didn't prevent him from putting his case about the causes of the capitalist crisis to the rest of the party. After he made the secret recording he was still the platform opposition speaker at a regional meeting called to air the debate. He also had attended and spoke at the London regional debate etc.
    SpackleFrog and Spanky Longhorn like this.
  8. Nigel Irritable

    Nigel Irritable Five, Ten, Fifteen Years

    I don't think you've read the post you are responding to very carefully. I have no problem with BW raising his disagreements on a particular issue in public, nor with him raising it repeatedly.

    Now, as it happens raising some particular hobby horse endlessly, at every opportunity, and with no ability to compartmentalise, can indeed be destructive behaviour as anyone who has ever been in any small organisation with a driven obsessive can tell you. It's my understanding that BWs local branch and the unfortunates in the Socialist Party Scotland leadership who receive his emails etc do think that he's destructive in that manner, but I'm not in a position to judge if they are being fair or not and that wasn't the part of his behaviour I was complaining about.

    My issue with his behaviour has been the way in which he has expressed his opinions in public, which has been endlessly and entirely unnecessarily vituperative and has involved turning that public vituperation on individual branch members who disagree with him, young full timers, people who disagree with him on Facebook etc. I think its incumbent on people raising criticisms and disagreements to do so in a friendly and respectful manner. I think its even more incumbent on people who are deliberately pushing the envelope in terms of unilaterally making elements of a discussion public to do so, because otherwise people will inevitably conflate their bad personal behaviour with the results of public dissent.

    There are a number of other actions taken by BW and/or one of his co thinkers that I have a significant problem with. These include setting up a Facebook discussion group which inevitably was going to gather every crank with a hostile attitude to the CWI, in Steve's case the apparent secret recording of a meeting (this is the first I've heard of that btw) etc. but my core problem is the one above. This is a debate that could have been generally productive, but instead, has been bad tempered, needlessly factional and damaging to those of us who want an organisation that leans as far as possible towards open discussion.

    I don't blame everyone in the "group of eleven" for that, nor do I any by any means absolve everyone in the leadership or the majority for that. But the hostile, vituperative, bitter tone was set and constantly reinforced by BW and to a lesser extent some of his allies in a manner that left me regularly taken aback.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  9. All organisations should have the power to suspend or expel members on the grounds of wankerish behaviour
  10. articul8

    articul8 Dishonest sociopath

    Welcome to urban Dobbo2k - though we won't always agree
  11. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman it was already like that when I got here

    Have you seen his blog? Political and economic arguments are there, but they're accompanied by a series of bizarre and unwarranted personal attacks - often including the full names and photographs of those he's attacking. Shame cos there's loads of people in the party with sympathy certainly for the economic arguments but we've kept out of it because we don't want to be associated with his behaviour.

    To be fair to Steve he's not done any of that stuff.
    dennisr likes this.
  12. Dobbo2k

    Dobbo2k Well-Known Member

    Ah, more distortions from the anonymous Socialist Party hacks.

    Actually, there was no decision to make the debate private. It was only when I advertised the meeting on our local website, as I normally do, that suddenly the branch sec contacted me to tell me the debate was not open to non-members. This decision had not been discussed or voted on, and I protested against it

    Also, the motion was regarding not to discuss internal matters via social media. This was voted on AFTER the debate, AFTER I had already recorded it.

    Now, clearly the Socialist Party EC would not throw a hissy over recording a theoretical debate between 2 members. What this really is an excuse to witch-hunt known dissidents 2 weeks prior to the national congress. Now even NUT Exec member Pete Glover is getting emails threatening him with disciplinary procedures. This is a witch-hunt and your pathetic excuses hold no weight. The CWI is in serious disrepute and a lot of members are very concerned with these blatant attacks on opposition within the Party.
  13. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    Did you really need to be told not to record a branch meeting?
    I a no friend of Trotsky party's, if you need an expressed order not to behave like a cunt what do you expect?
  14. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman it was already like that when I got here

    Fuck off and stop being an anonymous SP hack :mad::mad:
  15. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman it was already like that when I got here

    Quality lurking btw - 2 posts since 2006, both of them today on this thread :cool:
    articul8, muscovyduck and SpackleFrog like this.
  16. leyton96

    leyton96 NGO's selling privilege checking solutions

    Cheers mate
  17. Hey at least you haven't posted a recording of a private meeting online and then claimed innocence
    muscovyduck and leyton96 like this.
  18. SpackleFrog

    SpackleFrog Smash showy bell-bottom pants and sporty haircuts

    Why wasn't the other member of the opposition group in your branch "witch hunted"? I'm just trying to understand the difference in your treatment.
    Spanky Longhorn likes this.
  19. bolshiebhoy

    bolshiebhoy socialism leinster drink

    Paul le Blanc is a very decent fella and a fine Marxist. But there's something a little ironic about him closing down discussion on his FB wall tonight about anti ISO slurs (on a thread he started) when he was happy enough to join in the avalanche of half truths on the Prof's wall a year ago. Once you let the genie out of the bottle...
  20. SpackleFrog

    SpackleFrog Smash showy bell-bottom pants and sporty haircuts

    By "let the genie out of the bottle" do you mean allow public discussion on issues of contention?
  21. Delroy Booth

    Delroy Booth Off to join the SPGB. Have fun. Banned

    top fucking crank this chap
  22. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    Fuck off
    Spanky Longhorn and barney_pig like this.
  23. Oisin123

    Oisin123 So Much for Subtlety

    But if you agree that the rape allegation was unfairly addressed, then in retrospect don't you see that the half-truths (and lies) were from the loyalists? You're still swimming with them?
  24. Karmickameleon

    Karmickameleon Too long in exile

    It would appear that the Socialist Party has problems on another front (ie apart from Dobbs/Wallace). While following a Facebook thread I stumbled across this from a male member:

    "Because that dirty old pervert is not going to be allowed to rip apart the only party in the UK I consider worth being a member of as a revolutionary. As far as I'm concerned no other party comes close to the SP and I'll be damned if I'm going to leave it and allow that bastard to stay in it!"

    And from a female comrade:

    "but the leadership have CHOSEN him and women are getting disenfranchised as a result yet there's no public protest or challenge to the leadership from any of you! and if that's your defnition of a revolutionary party - picking a sex offender over the survivor then we clearly have very different ideas of what makes a revolutionary party. and as i've explained, a signifcant reason why i haven't pursued a prosecution (never mind the whole system is against survivors anyway) is that it will mean exposing the SP in the mainstream press! well i refuse to be silent about this stuff, even if i'm not quite ready to go to the guardian yet. what i would like is to be able to see the SP remove him and take a principled position but instead u r no better than the lib dems on this question! i'm sorry but u've made a choice to lose me and keep him"

    For those interested, the thread is to be found on Really Radical Marxism Facebook.
  25. Nigel Irritable

    Nigel Irritable Five, Ten, Fifteen Years

    Wtf? Is this a reference to the incident in Wales discussed here months ago or something else?
  26. Hocus Eye.

    Hocus Eye. Snap, crop, scrap crap R.I.P.

    Why is there so much talk of the SP on this thread when it is ostensibly about the break-up of the SWP? I know that a lot of the information about the "Delta case" is to be found in the on-line publications of other left groups and sects but I get to feel that members of the SP especially seem to want to say "look at us, we are also having troubles". Maybe there should be a whole new thread about the squabbles in the Socialist Party.
    Spanky Longhorn likes this.
  27. Nigel Irritable

    Nigel Irritable Five, Ten, Fifteen Years

    Pretty much all of that stuff is brought up by non-SP members.
  28. Karmickameleon

    Karmickameleon Too long in exile

    Yes, this would appear to be reference to the Wales "incident". Beyond that I can't help you as I know relatively little about the SP (compared to the SWP). As an ex-member of the SWP, I followed the Delta scandal closely over two years as it was clear that it was a time bomb waiting to explode. I sincerely hope that nothing remotely similar will occur in the SP; the British left is weak enough as it is.
    frogwoman likes this.
  29. Trotboy

    Trotboy Well-Known Member

    Steve recorded the meeting and posted the recording on a secret Facebook Group, which serves as a communication forum for those of us in the 'group of 11' - it was never public, and only used as a resource in the debate, in the way notes might be. I hardly see that as controversial - except when it's made out to be something it's not. The leadership of the party are seeking to divide & rule by excommunicating us one at a time. It won't work, it will blow up in their faces. Why have they just published our second and third documents in an internal bulletin a week before moving to suspend some of us?
  30. Nigel Irritable

    Nigel Irritable Five, Ten, Fifteen Years

    There are only a handful of you. They don't need to divide and rule. You've given them more than enough excuse to just expel you all and have done with it.

    They arent threatened by the power of your arguments - even if you are right it's simply too esoteric an issue for you to win large numbers round - they are exasperated by your behaviour. I'm slightly taken aback by just how much leeway BW was allowed before the Scots suspended him. I'd have assumed he'd be out the door the second he started slagging off random branch members on his blog. I'm even more taken aback that people like you seem willing to overlook his behaviour because he agrees with you on the TRPF.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014

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