John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

Further Education (FE) SWSS members' statement

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SWSSAs FE SWSS members* we would like to make public that we condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the recent handling of very serious accusations against a leading member of the SWP Central Committee (CC).

The SWP is in crisis. Over the last month, our reputation as the best fighters on the left has been dealt hefty blows. It is time the straw man arguments the CC has consistently used since November are dispensed with and the CC acts to stop the inevitable demise of our organisation; at the centre of these arguments is the report of the Disputes Committee, a mere two fifths of conference delegates approved the Disputes Committee report, a vote at conference that tends to be unanimous. Despite the wish of the Central Committee at the end of Conference for the matter to "remain closed" it was never to be so, even before a full transcript was released in sectarian blogs.

All members of the SWP should take these suggestions to their branches and argue for a special conference through the mechanisms in place to keep the party democratically accountable.

 

As an organisation, the SWP has a long and proud tradition of fighting for women’s liberation; the actions of the CC have caused this reputation significant and irreversible damage to those in and outside the organisation.

As FE SWSS members, we call for:

  • A special conference, so the organisation can resolve this political crisis in a way that holds accountable those responsible and gives the membership the clarity and confidence needed to implement our political strategy.
  • An immediate public response that can provide clarity around the failures of the DC’s due process.
  • Delta to be removed from any official or public position within our organization, particularly given disagreement on the DC with respect to the question of Delta’s conduct.
  • The reinstatement of all comrades either replaced or removed to their original positions

Signed by

Dexter Hill
Gina Elby
Kaity Squires
Ollie Vargas
Robert Jones
Amy Ward
Shereen Prasad
Rob Jones

*We would like to make crystal clear that we do not claim to represent the views of all FE SWSS members, only the concerned members listed. However, we would welcome further signatories, and urge FE students who agree with us to add their signatures.