After the expulsions and resignations, what next?
'It is time to move on. Those who have left the SWP will be launching some sort of new left-wing organisation, inviting other activists and socialists to participate and to help shape the direction it takes. There are some things we can be sure of. Its activists will be thoroughly involved in broad-based campaigns around war, recession, climate change, fascism and more. There will be a high level of political discussion, seeking to renew the theoretically rich Marxist tradition for a new generation.
The internal democratic culture will be vibrant and inclusive. We will use the internet in dynamic and innovative ways to communicate ideas, with a website as an organising hub. There will be creative approaches to political discussion, using the recent Mutiny: Love on Trial event as a useful guide, rather than relying on tired old formats. We have to be willing to experiment, take risks and find new ways of connecting with people.
I expect anything we launch to grow rapidly. There is a thirst for radical politics and discussion of ideas, but also frustration amongst many radically-minded people with the perceived sectarianism and conservatism of the existing left, which seems stuck in old ways of operating and incapable of connecting with a new generation. We need to work together in shaping resistance across a range of political areas and, at the same time, bring Marxist politics to life for those seeking alternatives to the chaos and barbarism of our age.'
That's the final part of my article on the split from the SWP, published on New Left Project (sorry to spoil the ending). I flag it up because I've noticed two common misconceptions on the blogs, both of which are refuted by the above passage. One is the bizarre notion that former supporters of the SWP's Left Platform will simply 'liquidate' into the movements and not have any independent socialist organisation. Why would people fight so hard for the future of a revolutionary party - through its internal debates - if they didn't passionately believe in the need for such political organisation?
The second, equally wrongheaded, view is that we are looking to create something modelled on the SWP, but obviously far smaller. Anyone who suggests this really hasn't been paying attention! Again, it doesn't make sense: why would you put up such a struggle for your party to change direction if you merely wanted to do pretty much the same thing anyway?
Anyway, watch this space...