Monday, February 08, 2010

the trotskyists can't even achieve cult status

Those of us who have been through the mill of trotskyite politics have argued that It resembles more of a series of religious cults than a political movement. This belief is usually treated as little more than an insult in the knockabout world of interweb political banter.
However, it appears that some enterprising comrades at the socialist party (thats the old Militant Tendency, now outside Labour and in the big wide world) decided that there might be currency in admitting that they are a religious cult after all.
They took the trades union UNISON to an employment tribunal claiming that the unions attempt at stopping trotskyite manipulation of their union, was denying their religious freedom under the new antidiscrimination laws.
The tribunal threw the SPEW application out, and were particularly vehement in their judgement of the political beliefs of the trotskyists, describing them as holding views which were “not compatible with human dignity” that the attitudes of the SP were “Extreme and repugnant views” and that Trotskyism is “not a belief that qualifies for protection from discrimination" they found that “The claimant views conflict with the fundamental rights of others, and the dignity of others, and are not worthy of respect... in a democratic society".
Understandably the socialist party has been somewhat miffed by this verdict. They have decried it as an attempt by a Capitalist legal system to attack socialism and put it on a par with the banning of the British airways staff strike before christmas.
Leaving aside the absurdity of comparing an injuction gained by the management of BA banning a legal ballot by 14000 workers with an employment tribunal verdict in a case they themselves had brought . What is striking is the unbelievable naivety of these 'professional revolutionaries'. They complain that the courts are capitalist and class biased, and "that socialists and Marxists do not have the right to be protected in law from discrimination and harassment in the workplace or in a trade union."
what sort of revolutionaries seek legal protection from the state? what sort of socialist attempt to attack their trades union by dragging them through the capitalist courts?
Oh yes, Leninists.

1 comment:

Duncan said...

I think you're misrepresenting what the Socialist Party set out to do here Darren.

There was a fair bit of publicity recently about the bloke who took his employer to court, and won, claiming that he was being required to do stuff that violated his deeply held environmental beliefs (something like that anyway, I don't know the ins and outs of the case). I believe the court ruled that it’s unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their philosophical beliefs so it’s inaccurate to say this is about religious belief or that, by taking this action, the Socialist Party is claiming in any way to be a religious organisation.

Given this precedent, the Socialist Party decided to try and challenge the suspension of some of our members from UNISON (more on that in a minute) not because we have naive faith in the courts but because there was a chance the case would receive some publicity and a slim chance we might win.

Now the case has been lost it makes sense to use it as a propaganda point as, unfortunately, not everyone in this country shares your correct view that the courts aren't neutral arbiters of justice and perhaps need persuaded otherwise, maybe even by using examples.

It is a bit silly to compare the outcome to the ban on BA workers striking though.

You can disagree with the decision to take this court (I don’t think it was the correct one) but to act like it breaches some fundamental political principle, which is what your article reads like, is silly and you know it.

They took the trades union UNISON to an employment tribunal claiming that the unions attempt at stopping trotskyite manipulation of their union

Bloody hell. Re-read that sentence again Darren, do you really think that's what this dispute is about? You’ve not been reading pamphlets from the old CPSA National Moderate Group have you?

Four Socialist Party members, elected representatives from various UNISON branches, were suspended for 'racism' after distributing a leaflet refering to the useless leadership in the union as the 'three monkeys'. That's the sum of the case against them.

You can read more about the case here:

Do you really think that's racist? I thought you were a cut above the hysterical leftist PC silliness where political disagreements are denounced as racism (see, for example, what happens every time Paul makes a comment on Socialist Unity).

Second question Do you really think this is about 'stopping manipulation' in UNISON or about the right-wing Labour loyalists in the union using dirty tricks to undermine the growing left in the union who threaten their cosy position? See also: Karen Reisman.

If you really think that I would say you're the naive one here, not the Socialist Party.

I know you're in the Labour Party now but it doesn't mean you have to defend every disgraceful action taken by their union bureaucrats.