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Thursday 14 March 2013 Letters
The politics of the SWP
The Socialist Workers' Party and its critics deserve each other.

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Letters responding to: The SWP: slain by cynical scandal-milkers

Brendan O’Neill is quite correct that the crisis in the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) is a fine example of an almost a priori assault on institutions.

Nonetheless, the presence of radical feminists (and ‘intersectionalists’) among the critics of the SWP shouldn’t blind anyone to the fact that most normal people find the SWP’s internal politics unpleasant and weird. Moralising may be widespread among some of the party’s most prominent critics, but simple and widely-shared morality suggests all is not well in the camp.

As politics has changed in the past three decades, the majority of people attracted to far-left organisations, now completely free of any entanglement with either the working class or indeed real-world politics of any kind, are surely those who don’t want open debate, instead preferring pat answers to complex questions. As a result, the ex-SWP rebels’ claims to be shocked by the behaviour of the party apparatchiks and their system of nomenklatura, including by way of sex, rings hollow precisely because the absence of internal democracy is the key attraction of such parties in the first place. The party and its critics, internal and external, deserve each other.

Jason Walsh, Ireland


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