Peter Manson replies for the Weekly Worker
The “false version” of an SSA conference resolution to which comrade Green refers was in fact the original version of the motion passed at the June National Council, submitted by Tom Delargy of Paisley SSA. This “first draft” was sent to us by comrade Delargy and published in good faith under the headline, ‘Call for left cooperation’ (Weekly Worker June 19). The choice of headline indicated our agreement with the main thrust of the motion - that the left should cooperate to oppose the bourgeois parties in elections.
After sending us the original version comrade Delargy was persuaded to tone down the wording of his motion. For example, the call to the Socialist Labour Party to “grow up and stop recklessly splitting the anti-capitalist vote” was changed to an encouragement “not to split the anti-capitalist vote”. The sentence urging the Socialist Workers Party to “wake up to this fact” (that working class disunity benefits the establishment) was omitted.
Comrade Delargy did not inform us of these diplomatic changes. As soon as the mistake was brought to our attention, we published the resolution as it was actually passed, as well as the letters from comrades Green and Delargy pointing out the mistake (see Weekly Worker August 28).
The previous week we published a letter (‘SSA’s sectarian approach’) from Dave Spencer, chair of Coventry Socialist Alliance, who put his own interpretation on comrade Delargy’s motion. The inclusion of comrade Spencer’s letter was unconnected with the decision to send out that issue of the Weekly Worker (August 21) to SSA members.
As well as several articles on Scotland, the issue included comrade Mark Fischer’s ‘Open letter to SML’, explaining our use of the term ‘national socialism’ and discussing differences within the leadership of Scottish Militant Labour.
We suspect that comrade Green’s irritation stems more from fear of debate, sharp polemic and revolutionary politics than the inadvertent publication of an undiplomatically worded draft motion.
The Weekly Worker has no interest in publishing deliberately false or misleading information. On the contrary, we do all in our power to ensure that letters, motions and opinions are accurately reproduced. However, we cannot take responsibility for errors or omissions on the part of our contributors.