Whenever we have criticised Tariq Ali for his support for the ‘Iraqi resistance’ anti-war readers have objected that it is unfair to ‘smear’ the movement by association with the views of a single person. The suggestion was that large numbers of the anti-war movement found Ali’s views repulsive and rejected his notion that backing the car bombers was the way to peace and progress in Iraq.
Well, the Stoppers have been so keen to distance themselves from Tariq Ali’s position that they recently elected him Vice-President of the Stop the War Coalition.
We have also been criticised for assuming that the odious George Galloway is anyway representative of the anti-war movement. So it was interesting to note that the former Labour MP was also recently elected as Vice President of the Stop the War Coalition.
Those votes were taken at the recent STWC national conference, a report of which can be found on the Workers Liberty website. I found this passage quite revealing.
Two resolutions were put forward to lend the coalition’s support to progressive and secular forces in Iraq, one from the Jewish Socialist Group, and one from the Communist Party of Great Britain. However both were voted down by quite a large margin, with speeches against them stating that it wasn’t our job to tell the Iraqis who to support and who not to.
One memorable speech against these motions even compared them to the MAB (Muslim Association of Britain) asking us to support only theocratic forces, stating that we (the conference) would vote down such a motion from the Muslims so we would have to do so in this case as well to preserve impartiality. The SWP really have lost the plot when the MAB are considered on an equal footing with socialists.