Laurie Penny meets the ‘old left’









A report from the Laurie Penny vs. AWL debate on 27th Jan 2011 in central London

If you have come to see a bloodbath, you’re in the wrong place”, announced Alliance for Workers Liberty member Ed Maltby. No worries Ed, I didn’t expect that. After all, various far left groups have been virtually falling over themselves to appease the influential young journalist Laurie Penny, who in a notorious article likened Socialist Worker sellers to cockroaches. -Read more>


Official optimism gone mad

published in Weekly Worker, 25th November 2011

“I think today’s turnout is amazing,” announced Lindsey German to the assembled anti-war protesters in her trademark style. It was a case of official optimism gone mad: not only was the turnout at the November 20 Stop the War Coalition demo the poorest in years, but Lindsey’s blatant reversal of the truth was screamingly obvious to anyone who was there and had eyes to see. You can take the girl out of the SWP … -Read more>

Uncritical Stalinists?

This poster was plastered on the walls of Manchester University by a group called Communist Students last week, inviting to a “debate and discussion on Stalinism, what it is, and why we oppose it”. What does it say in huge letters? “Stalinism is anti-communism”. A clear enough statement, right? -Read more>

The readers’ letter Socialist Worker won’t publish

Following an incident at the SWP’s Marxism 2010 festival (reported here) Claire Fisher and myself sent a readers’ letter to the SWP paper, Socialist Worker.
We had the faint hope that honesty and solidarity would prevail over apparatchik attitudes and our letter would get printed.

Initially, one Socialist Worker journalist expressed (feigned?) interest in our concern when speaking to an SWP member and friend of mine in private. But he never replied to any of my messages, and our letter remained unpublished. Here it is for your information and enjoyment. -Read more>

Leftist dogma and exaggerated threats









The EDL did not turn up to disrupt an SWP event after all.

On Wednesday August 11, the Socialist Worker Party’s Dave Renton gave a talk on the history of fighting fascism in the UK at Houseman’s bookshop in central London. Formerly a member of the now defunct SWP front, the Anti-Nazi League, and currently active in Unite Against Fascism, comrade Renton counts among his most recently published books the poetically entitled When we touched the sky, an account of the ANL’s anti-National Front campaigns and related anti-racist struggles of the 70s and early 80s. -Read more>

Why don’t you call yourselves something different?

Report from the 1234 Festival, Sat 24th July 2010 in Shoreditch Park, also published in Weekly Worker.

From Greenpeace to Amnesty International, from the Metropolitan Police to Lucky Strike and the Socialist Workers Party, everybody was testing their credentials with those trendy young things at the July 24 1234 music festival in Shoreditch Park.

“You can take it or leave it as far as we’re concerned, what we want is buried in the present tense” sang 1970s punk poet Vic Godard from the main stage, as the SWP comrades began chatting up festival-goers to sign a petition against cuts. -Read more>

Thuggery at the SWP’s ‘Marxism 2010’

A report from the SWP’s ‘Marxism 2010’ Festival by Claire and Zuri – published in Weekly Worker.


I’m writing as a member of the SWP. Attending Marxism has always been enjoyable for me – the opportunity to listen to debates within a left forum can be inspiring and help foster the belief that we can move forward together.

I’ll admit I have not always been unflinchingly supportive of the CC’s strategies and tactics, which often suggest a suppression of party democracy, combined with a drive to ban any contact between party members and the rest of the left. -Read more>