Ben Lewis

CPGB comrade Ben Lewis stood as a candidate in the elections for the six vacant posts on the WASG national executive

His vote is all the more impressive when one considers that neither the half-dozen SAV delegates nor a similar number of Linksruck members (the Socialist Workers Party's German section) voted for him. The SAV comrades argued that Ben was not worthy of support for three reasons: he did not support Berlin declaring UDI in support of separate WASG candidates there; he was in favour of a quick merger with the L.PDS and - worst of all - the "leadership might have decided to support Ben" in order to keep SAV candidate Sascha Stanicic off the executive.

Rather unlikely, considering that comrade Lewis made by far the most leftwing speech of the whole conference. The SAV's tactic of supporting only their own candidate (and not using the other five votes every delegate was allocated) did not work - their comrade Stanicic came seventh. The new WASG executive is now almost exclusively composed of left social democrats and those like Linksruck member Christine Buchholz who uncritically support the leadership.

Clearly, both the Socialist Party and the SWP have been very successful in exporting some of the very worst elements of their sect culture to Germany.