Truman smears

SSP press officer's accusations against CPGB

"The question of the role of the CPGB and the Weekly Worker in the socialist movement is an interesting one. Accusations of involvement with black propaganda by the state are very difficult to prove by their very nature. The best that can be done is to lay out the facts and people have to draw their own conclusions. Back in 2001 a series of events occurred which fit exactly with the way in which the state operates against organisations they perceive as a threat. Various individuals and offices of the Scottish Socialist Party started receiving falsified emails clearly designed to cause upset and strife within the SSP, purporting to threaten the recipients with violence if they did not stop attacking the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement, a recognised platform in the SSP. The mails were, however, quite obviously bogus and to be ignored, along with all the other nonsense that gets sent to socialists and anti-fascists. The Weekly Worker claimed to have received one such email. Instead of ignoring it or indeed officially informing the SSP office that it had received a "threatening" email that related to our organisation, 'Mark Fischer' wrote a hysterical article in the Weekly Worker, the sole aim of which was to inflame matters even further. ('Separatist provocation' Weekly Worker July 19 2001). The CPGB simultaneously wrote to the Scottish Socialist Party demanding the expulsion of the SRSM comrades from the SSP. The executive of the SSP dismissed the CPGB's letter as nothing more than an attempt to sow division and strife within the SSP. In the article itself 'Mark Fischer' admitted that the mail was transparently bogus and yet used it in an attempt to whip up a witch-hunt against a recognised platform of the SSP. Subsequently a number of SSP members received visits from the police. There are a number of interesting points relating to the information that the police revealed in the course of talking to our comrades that lead us to believe that there was an ongoing attempt to fit up individuals in the SSP. Members of the SSP in Glasgow were at that time subject to a covert surveillance operation by Strathclyde police, a fact that was becoming increasingly evident to those involved, confirmation coming in a story in The Scotsman ('Riot police filmed SSP group', August 11 2001). Police were also at that time (and undoubtedly still are) involved in monitoring the activities of the Faslane anti-nuclear protesters and documenting their links with the Scottish Socialist Party. The results of these covert operations by Scottish police surfaced when protesters from Scotland were deported from Italy prior to the Genoa protests (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/scotland/newsid_1453000/1453278.stm). So, in a situation of direct and covert state intervention in the Scottish Socialist Party, an organisation that purported to be a "supporting organisation" of the SSP was printing an entirely unsubstantiated story based on forged emails in its public newspaper. Simultaneously its political organisation was demanding the expulsion of a recognised platform of the SSP. 'Fischer' was obviously being fed information on events (although, as usual, he made no attempt to verify information, leading to some interesting factual errors) and the Weekly Worker followed up the story a week later with a further poisonous article attempting to cause more trouble for the SSP. Far from condemning police involvement in the affairs of the Scottish Socialist Party, the article, 'Threats denied', strived to further inflame the issue, gleefully reporting that "We hear that similar threats have been made against the lord provost of Glasgow and that the CID has launched an investigation" (Weekly Worker August 2 2001). The first part was not true; the second was - CID, along with special branch and covert units of the Strathclyde police. An SSP member was subsequently arrested by armed police, who smashed their way into his house and, although later released without charge, his computer was impounded for many months. This was not the first time that the Weekly Worker had printed stories attacking the Scottish Socialist Party on the basis of provocation and allegation. An article entitled '"A breath of fresh air"?' was printed on January 11 2001. This article was also based on unsubstantiated allegations and false emails and ended up attempting to draw a line from members of the Scottish Socialist Party, including myself and my partner, to the Soho bomber, David Copeland. The Weekly Worker then printed a letter which was entitled 'SSP terrorists'. This contained the following paragraph: "The nominal 'leader' of the SRSM is Donald Anderson, a homophobic creature with a low IQ, a murky past and an obsessive hatred of just about everyone else. Anderson also hates Busby with an obsessive passion. As a result, Busby used Dinsmore and Kelly to propose and second the successful motion that the SRSM affiliate to the Scottish Socialist Party. The results are clear, and getting clearer. The SSG and SNLA have established an extreme anti-English presence in the Scottish Socialist Party, and seek to expand their influence by threats and intimidation" (Weekly Worker April 19 2001). The Weekly Worker had spent the nine months attempting to do one thing: associate sections of the Scottish Socialist Party with violence and terrorism. The material in the Weekly Worker ran at the same time as a series of stories and smears in the tabloid press. Both the Daily Record and the News of the World carried stories attempting to associate sections of the SSP with violence and 'terrorism'. In an article printed in the News of the World on March 11 2001 entitled 'Tartan terrorist is working for Tommy Sheridan', the paper draws the same line from a non-existent 'terrorist' organisation to the Scottish Socialist Party. It falsely claimed that the SSP's website was run by the link to the 'terrorists', David Dinsmore. For good measure the Daily Record repeated the smears the following Monday morning ('Bomber recruits for MSP Sheridan - "tartan terrorist" is behind party website', March 12 2001). This was four years ago. Subsequent events have shown exactly how the state has used accusations of terrorism to arrest and detain people without trial and as a generalised tool of oppression. As I said, people will have to make their own mind up about the role of the CPGB and the Weekly Worker in the socialist movement."