Sunday, January 23, 2005

Weekly Worker 560

Weekly Worker 560 (Jan 20th 2005) has a cover devoted to Prince Harry and 'Reviving Nazi ghosts'. The story defends The Producers and criticises the SWP for tailing establishment outrage about the young twerp.
'Dave Craig' of the Revolutionary Democratic Group makes a lengthy call 'For a republican Socialist Alliance' on behalf of something called the 'Republican Socialist Tendency', tracing the history of the SA, criticising the SWP and arguing that the SA shouldn't be either wound up or frozen, but given a new direction as a 'republican Socialist Alliance'. There's a nasty argument brewing here over the forthcoming conference of the Socialist Alliance, not just between the SWP and everyone else, but between critics and opponents of the SWP, with accusations of treachery already being made. Monty Python's Life of Brian continues to be the authentic document of the English far left. WW also has an excerpt from the SWP's 'Party Notes' setting out the SWP's intention to close down the SA and pass on what remains of its assets to Respect. London comrades are asked to attend to stop those who want to take over the SA and use its financial assets and reputation to promote a 'sectarian alternative to Respect'. PN also claims that 'the vast majority of SA members have thrown themselves into building Respect', which I find a bit dubious. To add to he fun there is a letter from SA (current or former) executive members calling for the continuation of the SA by those that want it to continue and calling for a negotiated transfer. There's also Salman Shaheen writing about the Socialist Unity Network (which I support) in 'Too few to be divided'.

Tina Becker has been to another ESF process meeting, this time in Brussels. And ho else would we know what was going on without these reports? Well, except that these goings on seem as obscure as ever! In 'Giving leadership to the movement' Tina finds a combination of complete failure and important steps forward. This process is discussing whether there should be some form of ESF leadership and what should it do, and role should European-wide campaigns and networks play. Discussions remain unfocused. Meanwhile the complete absence of the SWP from this meeting is discussed in 'Que? No SWP?' and an explanation is posed in terms of a) the SWP's lack of interest in matters European or the unity of the left in Europe, and b) what WW describes as a 'U-turn' in shifting from being a bureaucratic enforcer of the no-party rule to re-discovering politics. Of course it might just be that the SWP cadre that might have gone to Brussels were more interested in going to Porto Allegre! By the way, the March 19th demo in Brussels sounds pretty dull. There's also a critique of ATTAC by Anne McShane as 'Euro-nationalist'.

Graham Bash is building the Labour Against the War AGM and arguing to get back into the Labour Party. And finally Alan Stephens looks at the competition between Jon Rogers (Unison United Left, Labour Party) and Roger Bannister (SP) as left-wing opposition to Dave Prentis as general secretary. The SP left UUL last year and although the author seems to think Bannister the better individual, on political grounds goes for Rogers.


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