SWP leadership: Smith out, Kimber in

The British far Left’s most compelling real-life soap opera continues.

The Weekly Worker, newspaper of our favorite far-Left groupuscule, the Communist Party of Great Britain, reports that the Socialist Workers Party central committee has deposed Martin Smith as national secretary and replaced him with Charlie Kimber.

Has any news leaked out from the SWP’s annual conference this past weekend?

Update: A few highlights from SWP internal bulletins quoted by The Weekly Worker:

Brian [from Leeds] continues: “Overall, the quality of theoretical understanding in the organisation is quite poor. And, furthermore, there seems to be an attitude that education and other aspects of consolidation tend to be in conflict with ‘activism’ … For example, when asked to explain in simple terms the labour theory of value, many leading comrades simply can’t.”

When he began setting up an education programme, Brian remarks that “there were those (usually more experienced members) who wished it well, while predicting its failure”. He advises: “Don’t take the excuse from older members that they know everything about a certain subject, so they need not attend. They are probably lying, but if they are such experts, they should be sharing their expertise with newer comrades.”

“Martin and Anne” (West London) ask: “How is it possible for a party like ours to be smaller after 10 years of political upturn than in the long years of political downturn?” They go on: “We are dogged with the twin problems of weak organisation on the ground on the one hand and strong hierarchical tendencies on the other …. The rank and file have openly been called ‘foot soldiers’ and treated with condescension and/or contempt by our ‘officers’. If the ‘officers’ do attend the odd branch meetings it is in the manner of visiting royalty.”

As for the ‘revolving door membership, “It is painful to see a new comrade enthusiastically proclaim that at long last they have found their political home, only to become disillusioned, say the opposite, reject the party and leave, sometimes just months later”.

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