Anti-communist wrecker

A MUNDANE report of the recent Socialist Workers Party school, ‘Marxism 95’ was featured in the New Statesman and Society of July 14.

The author was a certain Mr Mark Perryman, erstwhile Eurocommunist Party member.

Perryman notes the undemocratic internal regime of the SWP. He correctly points to the paradox of an organisation purporting to recognise the “revolutionary potential of a self-emancipated working class” being defined internally by a “culture of control and discipline that actively discourages independent thought.”

His real complaint, however, is that the SWP “manages to keep [its] past history under wraps”, a history of “painful decades of expulsions, bans, splits, defections and a huge turnover of members”.

He should know. As a leading supporter of the Euro faction in the CPGB in the 1980s and 1990s, Perryman was complicit in that faction’s bans, proscriptions and attacks on the democracy of our Party. He and his gang of anti-communist wreckers closed down district congresses where they could not secure majorities, gerrymandered, expelled and bureaucratically terrorised. They drove The Leninist - forerunner of the Weekly Worker - underground, making it a ‘crime’ to write for, contribute to or even read this paper.

When they had finished the Party was decimated.

Perryman does compare the SWP’s internal regime to the CPGB’s “most undemocratic features - appointed officials, a central committee empowered to re-elect itself, the outlawing of free and open discussion and the exclusion of oppositional views”. I would be surprised if this constituted self-criticism however. More likely he identifies these practices with the period before the Euros seized the Party machine, contrasting it to the Euro golden age of ‘openness’.

Comrades in all revolutionary organisations should be wary of this man. His only purpose in writing about the SWP or any other left group is to contribute to its demise. Be warned - he has a record of it.

Mark Fischer