Andy Newman – over at Socialist Unity – has no sympathy for Lindsey German, a recently purged SWP leader. Ms German, of course, was notified of her termination with a blunt reminder that it was her responsiblity to cancel her membership fee standing order with her bank.
Sorry Lindsey, but nothing about the way you have been treated is in any way different from the way you used to treat others for years.
In a previous entry, Newman had said something similar:
Part of the dilemma for the Left Platform in the SWP is that Rees and German have done over too many people, and their personal arrogance, (and in the case of John Rees, alpha male swagger and Healy like expectations), has meant they have few friends.
I think this points to something deeper though.
The reason The SWP and their ilk have failed to gain traction in wider society is that they are seen as nasty, spiteful small-minded people with cruel and vicious streaks. The average person suspects – probably correctly – that if operators like German, or Martin Smith who purged her, or any of the troglodytes that swell the ranks of the SWP and who stand on street corners on Saturday mornings ruddy faced and ranting, ever got their hands on power, they’d be living out their Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot fantasies before their acne cleared up.
The way they treat each other when they fall out is exactly the way they’d treat anyone else who dissented or merely got in the way.
What’s worse, this sociopathy is the reason why even Left successes with the open road ahead steer towards the ditch. I believe the reason the voters of London threw Ken Livingstone out of the Mayor’s office had almost everything to do with the way his Socialist Action-dominated office treated people: the smears, the mendacious and cynical branding of people ‘racist’ when they questioned policy decisions or exposed incompetence or corruption.
That politics is about people is a lesson one forgets at one’s peril.