Dave Dudley

Julian Assange is no modern day Gerry Healy

By Dave Dudley, Leninist Vanguard (personal capacity)

Coming on the back of Julian Assange, Tommy Sheridan is a blow for the organised left in this country, but socialists must defend fellow anti-imperialists come what may, writes Dave Dudley.

So the so-called charismatic Scottish socialist leader Tommy Sheridan’s media career as the presentable face of Celtic Trotskyism has reached its inevitable tragic end and he faces jail time in the New Year. Though it is incumbent on every revolutionary to oppose the proceedings of the capitalist courts (especially when slavishly in hock to the Murdoch Empire), we can be forgiven for not only enjoying a minor degree of schadenfreude on this occasion, but also pointing out the extent to which we all saw this coming. What begins with modest gains in the Scottish Parliament on the back of a revisionist manifesto and accommodation with Zionism through a lack of critique of the state of Israel in that programme, can only ever end with, as one Scottish Socialist Party member put it, sex acts committed in a swingers’ club with “minging decor, old carpets, dingy lighting”. Serious revolutionaries ought not to rake over the prurient details of the affair however, but instead consider its ramifications for left unity in the critical economic crisis period ahead.

The repulsive presence of the late Healyite thug Gerry Healy himself, leering at every passing feminist at Workers’ Revolutionary Party meetings and imposing his sweating, physical bulk on them afterwards, quite often non-consensually, suggests that the far left has a lot to learn when it comes to maintaining discipline and remaining focused on revolutionary goals. We only have to look back to the shameful coupling between the ageing and frail Trotsky and Frida Kahlo in the late 1930s to see how such lack of discipline can often engulf the antics (and the loins) of the left. I confess I was not aware of this biographical detail of Trotsky’s life until my partner Jo made me watch the film Frida starring Salma Hayek, though a Trotsky coupling with Friedrich von Hayek would probably have been equally as believable!

This brings us on to the case of Julian Assange, for whom Leninist Vanguard proclaims its eternal solidarity and unyielding defiance of the notoriously corrupt Swedish judicial system. When news of the anti-imperialist visionary Assange’s incarceration broke, Leninist Vanguard pledged to donate the receipts of our next week’s paper sales to his legal fund. Jo and her feminist group (which hadn’t been particularly active of late, truth to be told) flung themselves into fierce internet activity, not allowing a single smear on The Guardian’s website to go unchallenged. I do not need to repeat here the copious arguments advanced by others regarding the inevitable involvement of the state of Israel in this White House witch-hunt and note the reticence of the Socialist Workers’ Party and its celebrity bloggers in denouncing this Zionist plot to deprive the anti-imperialist struggle of its greatest hope. We can only ever see this for what it is: SWP collusion in the attempted prolonged incarceration of Julian Assange.

No to Scots lecherous lefties!
Defend Julian Assange!
Smash Zionism, smash the SWP!