This is a guest post by Dave Dudley of Leninist Vanguard
How are socialists to respond to the removal of John Rees from the SWP Central Committee? Of course, our instant reflex is to titter, to gloat. Why should we not engage in a spot of schadenfreude at the expense of the bearded one? Such responses are not only juvenile and revisionist, but miss the point entirely.
I’m no Keith Flett and I certainly hold no candle for Rees’ mild efforts in analysing the great works of Trotsky or his poor grasp of dialectics, but his choice of facial hair is his alone to make. If he wishes to behave like a man in midlife crisis and attempt to look like Craig David then so be it. Internet chatter over his goatee merely distracts those of us on the left striving for left unity from the most important task of exposing the sheer lack of democracy at the heart of the SWP, an outfit which long ceased to be socialist, workerist or a party for that matter. We can only pity the student members who joined up at freshers’ fayres recently.
Furthermore, is mocking facial hair not at least Islamophobic? Those who engage in such activities are no better than the Zionist AWL and deserve to be driven out of the labour movement. Provided Comrade Rees is prepared to undergo the necessary cadre training in order to correct his poor grasp of dialectics, there is a place for him in Leninist Vanguard, even if the SWP aren’t prepared to have him.
Defend Comrade Rees!
No attacks on facial hair!
Smash the SWP!