This isn’t simply about the SWP’s view on an outcome of a dispute. No, this goes deeper than that. It’s about the constant digs at Unite as an organisation. It’s about an arrogance they possess when pontificating on all matters political, economic, social and industrial. It’s about the overbearing way in which they attempt to educate the rest of the labour movement. It’s about a refusal to accept that the other person has a valid view. It’s about their inability to work within the accepted structures of either Unite or the United Left.
My reading of the article in the SWP newspaper differs from that expressed by other Comrades. The piece isn’t at all balanced, but then, why would it be, balance and objectivity are not the aims of this party. No, their aims are at all times to sow discord while looking for the main chance to inveigle their way into and onto structures in order to give the party a greater platform.
Everything they do is party driven; and as history has taught us their party aims and objectives do not chime with the majority within the trade union movement. Yet, they maintain the right to interfere in the business of others, even when and where they don’t have party members, or so few as to be insignificant – remember the invasion of ACAS; an action which they still maintain they were right to carry out.
There is a grave danger in my Region, the L&E, that this latest breach by the SWP will drive out good committed United Left supporters. Some UL supporters in the L&E region are expressing deep concerns with the SWP. It is likely that an SWP presence at our future meetings will see a drift away from our group; a drift away by the very people we need in the Left.
These aren’t people who want to sit around discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. No, they want to attend meetings where they feel they can contribute; meetings that address their industrial concerns. Not meetings where a few practiced politicos deign to lecture them on arcane and esoteric party dogma.
For my part I don’t agree with my friends from the North. We’ve tried the inclusive way. How many times does the hand of Comradeship have to be shunned before the penny drops? In the past the appeasers have pleaded a case of non-exclusion on the part of the United Left. We’ve been told that it’d be better if they excluded themselves rather than us using the ultimate sanction.
The article, the intervention by an SWP Executive member on the subject, and her ensuing attack on our BASSA reps, our union and its leadership is a step too far. These actions do in my view constitute the SWP excluding themselves from the United Left. However, we have a democratically arrived at process, which I’m willing to follow.