Tag Archives: David

A compendium of confusions



For delegates to conference – a list of the pieces I’ve posted since September with conference in mind:

Why the SWP matters

A history of the International Socialist Tradition in 13 books

Sheila Rowbotham, Women’s Liberation and the International Socialists

How the SWP and its predecessors responded to women’s liberation

Women’s Liberation: What Cliff got right and where he went wrong

Lindsey German, Sheila McGregor and sexual violence: the SWP after Cliff

Women’s Voice in retrospect

How the SWP investigated a rape complaint

Alex Callinicos, Charlie Kimber and the investigation of rape

We need to talk about secrecy

I have a hearing; do I need to attend?

The two women are still owed a proper apology

On DC reform

The first complaint: what the SWP should have done

Martin Smith: a retrospective

Democracy and comradeship

What would a democratic party look like?

The stupidity of being Stalinist

On being, or not being, a finger-wagging Jaberwocky

The trial of Paris Thompson

The view from the top table

Women’s liberation

When did rape begin?

What is wrong with sexual harassment?

Why are some men violent to some women?

Notes on the family under neo-liberalism

Updating a tradition

Reflections on an industrial perspective

If you want to intervene stop being miserable

Cliffism: reopening the age of interpretation

An organisation with integrity

How things were; how they should have been


“It was a solemn moment at Millennium House (as the main square of the Canary Wharf complex had been renamed when roofed over after the Second Great insurrection of 1998). The delegate from the Seattle Convention of the Western Republics, Citizen Prairie Gates, had just finished speaking of the historical links between the American Revolution and the new Republican Federation of North East European Islands. ‘We in Amerika, in honouring the spirit of Tom Paine, send greetings to the descendants of Citizen Connolly, Citizen Larkin and Citizen Pankhurst. We remember the British cotton workers who supported the struggle against slavery and we salute the inventors of regicide, hunger strikes, civil disobdience, and the reggae-punk fusion.’…”

“In fact, the Harold Wilson-King Charles National Government’s final collapse was not in revulsion at the hated Lord Hattersley’s brutal repression (rioters had their hands cut off by privatised surgeons. The real damage was done by the Swuppies, an elite cadre of disgruntled City dealers who had joined the SWP and spent their time sabotaging what was left of the international stock market by making loans and siphoning payments into workers’ groups. Curiously the Swuppies, while intensely loyal to the general line of SWP philosopher Tony Cliff, also claimed loyalty to the cosmic re-embodiment of the Levellers…”

David Widgery again (from ‘World turned upside down’, published in the Guardian in November 1991)