Vote 2005

A Pro-Fascist Party?

In the comments on the Galloway exposed post, Jim Denham states:

Let’s just say it loud and clear: George Galloway is a supporter of fascist regimes (notably, but not exclusively, Saddam’s Iraq) and his SWP foot-soldiers are the latter day equivalents of the 1939-41 “Communists” who supported Hitler. The SWP is (now- it wasn’t always) a pro-fascist organisation. It should be denounced and exposed within the Labour movement as such. I will certainly do my best to expose it as pro-fascist.

I think that if the SWP has become a pro-fascist party, may be in one of two senses.

In the first, simplest sense, one might say that its policy of defending fascist or totalitarian regimes, or allying itself with organisations – like the MAB – which are essentially theoconservative, if not theocratic, is pro-fascism. Whatever one terms it, it’s less than impressive.

In the second sense, the SWP might be said to be simply a racist organisation. The SWP does clearly proclaim its commitment to anti-racism. It has chosen to ally itself with bigots with slightly brown skins, rather than with white religious fundamentalists, and that might be said to be an anti-racist preference. But it also engages in racism denial.

A good example is the egg throwing incident. I’m personally quite happy to believe that the youths intended merely to hit their MP, and that the reports indicating that racist statements were made by locals were false.

But the desperation of the Guardian letter writers who were at pains to point out the lack of firm evidence of racism is notable, is it not: clinging, as they do, onto that doubt almost as if it were a lifeline?

Why would somebody be so keen to display Nelsonian blindness towards the possibility of racism? Why are a series of events only ever isolated incidents? Why are speakers who make ambiguous statements always given the benefit of the doubt.

I mean, I can understand the point of forging alliances with those whose motivations differ from yours. But critical support does need actually to be critical. You don’t have to criticise everything, of course, but you know, you actually do have to be critical sometimes.

In this case, I think, the only sense in which there is a racist undercurrent in the SWP’s politics, is that there’s a kind of fellow feeling between their simple class-based conspiracism with other, more dubious conspiracy theories. They deny racism at every turn not because they are racists themselves, but because they could not consistently ally themselves with, or support, racists if they thought that their friends were racist.

The trouble is, they are racist. They’re also theocrats, totalitarians, and stalinists.

Now is the time for that friendship to end.