Sunday, 17 April 2011

How do we build revolutionary organisation today? A reply to John Molyneux

Socialist Workers Party veteran John Molyneux has responded to the resignation of former Central Committee member Chris Bambery and the statement by 38 Scottish ex-members on why they are leaving the SWP.

Although sneaked in at the end of a fairly lengthy blog post, this is by far the most politically important paragraph:

'And far from it [Bambery and 38 others resigning] being a symptom of the SWP’s decline it is rather unfinished business from the struggle against Rees/German/Bambery regime which in my opinion was the pre-condition of the party’s recovery from the severe crisis into which we were plunged by the splitting and abandonment of local branch organisation in the late nineties and early noughties.'

Lindsey German and John Rees were leading SWP members up to January 2009, when they (and Chris Nineham) left the Central Committee. They later left the SWP altogether and were involved, as I was, in founding Counterfire last March. Molyneux is locating these fresh resignations in the context of the differences some of us previously debated inside the SWP.

Those differences fundamentally concern how revolutionary socialists relate to broader political forces, e.g. anti-cuts and anti-war movements. Molyneux argues here that a 'struggle' against a previous way of operating (embodied by a 'Rees/German/Bambery regime') was the precondition for an effective SWP. The departure of a number of former leading members from the CC in January 2009 was a turning point in this successful struggle.

When and why did things go wrong in the first place? Molyneux refers to 'the party’s recovery from the severe crisis into which we were plunged by the splitting and abandonment of local branch organisation in the late nineties and early noughties.'

According to Molyneux, it all went wrong around the turn of the century, commencing a period of "severe crisis" for the SWP, and the main turning points in recovering from this were January 2009, the departure of some members to found Counterfire in early 2010 and finally this week's resignation by Bambery and a chunk of the Scottish organisation.

Molyneux's interpretation is focused on internal organisation, without any reference to the wider political context or how the organisation sought to relate to that context. This internal focus is explicitly linked, in turn, to particular personalities.

But we need a political understanding, not Molyneux's depoliticised personality clashes and fetishism of internal organisation. It is a touch ironic, as Molyneux lambasts Bambery for a "low political level" in his resignation letter, apparently thinking that his own blog post's listing of several political developments automatically guarantees he is being "political". Yet there is no politics evident in his account of what happened in the SWP a decade ago, and what followed.

So, what did happen? What exactly was this "severe crisis"? Three important things happened.

Firstly, the SWP oriented itself on the emergent anti-capitalist movement heralded by the landmark Seattle demonstrations at the end of 1999. It played a vital role in co-ordinating the UK mobilisations to a series of major anti-capitalist demonstrations, including those in Genoa in July 2001. This ensured the revolutionary left connected with other radical currents and the politicisation of a layer of mainly young people rejecting neoliberalism and looking for alternatives.

The party played an important role in the international Social Forums, including the Florence European Social Forum of November 2002 (which became the springboard for a massive global day of anti-war demonstrations on 15 February 2003) and the London ESF in October 2004.

Was this a "severe crisis"?

Secondly, the SWP extended its activity to the electoral sphere for the first time in generations, an opportunity opened up by disillusionment with a right-wing 'New Labour' government. This created the possibility of new forms of co-operation and the SWP committed first to the Socialist Alliance and later to Respect. This latter saw the election of an MP, George Galloway, in May 2005 followed by a batch of councillors a year later.

Whatever went wrong in the long term, the successes in building Respect marked a breakthrough in left-of-Labour electoral politics, to which the SWP was central. It extended the party's work into new political territory.

Was this a "severe crisis"?

Thirdly, and ultimately most importantly, the SWP played a dynamic role in initiating and building Stop the War as a nationwide coalition opposing the fresh drive to imperialist war and occupation which immediately followed the 11 September 2001 attacks. Stop the War was, and is, a genuine united front, a coalition involving revolutionaries but also a wide range of people from reformist backgrounds.

The anti-war movement's achievements are many, including organising some of the largest demonstrations in this country's history, reaching a peak on 15 February 2003, with 2 million on the streets of London and a global day of mass protests initiated at the previous November's ESF in Florence. The movement also laid the foundations for the SWP working with others in launching Respect at the start of 2004.

Was this a "severe crisis"?

To summarise the above: what characterised the SWP in those years was an outward-looking approach with a commitment to building broader coalitions and movements in response to the dominant issues and challenges of the age. The project of building a revolutionary party was formulated in that context.

This was a continuation of the SWP's tradition, associated above all with Tony Cliff (who died in 2000), applied to new circumstances. The overlapping crises of neoliberalism, imperialism and social democracy opened up new opportunities - expressed in the anti-capitalist mobilisations, the anti-war movement and new electoral formations (Socialist Alliance/Respect; SSP in Scotland).

It was possible for SWP members to build new alliances and extend the scope of their activity - into elections, social forums, mass demonstrations, international mobilisations, etc.

This inevitably meant a process of re-thinking many aspects of party organisation. All the above provides the context for what Molyneux mis-represents as 'the splitting and abandonment of local branch organisation'. What is true is that SWP leaders - and many grassroots activists - recognised the need for moving away from treating a routine of weekly branch meetings and Saturday sales of Socialist Worker as sacrosanct.

"How do we build revolutionary organisation as a pole within broader movements?" became the important question. And rightly so. Mistakes were certainly made in answering that question in practice. But it was the correct question to ask and the correct orientation to have on larger political events.

It is a project ('building the party in an age of mass movements', as it was once put) we undertook in the context of playing an influential role in confronting the crises of neoliberalism, imperialism and social democracy.

What has happened recently in the SWP is a growing abandonment of the outward-looking united front approach. This has caused tensions and conflicts, first expressed on the Central Committee and then finding wider expression during the period ahead of last February's split by around 60 members, most of whom went on to launch Counterfire.

The retreat from a united front approach has grown still worse since that split, and now we see further resignations from people dedicated to answering that question "How do we build revolutionary organisation as a pole within broader movements?"

Why have the tensions deepened? Precisely because the need for revolutionaries, allying with a range of other people and groups, to adopt a mass coalition-building response to the economic crisis has become more acute. The scale of the government's cuts programmes demands mass resistance. We need to build serious anti-cuts campaigns - broad, united, national.

It isn't the time for fetishising a routine of weekly branch meetings and paper sales. It is a time for building mass resistance, and developing organisational forms to help that happen, as the first priority. In that context we need to pay close attention to how revolutionaries build their own independent political organisation, as a strong Marxist pole within broad-based movements.

Right to Work has failed to develop as a credible co-ordinating and campaigning body with broad appeal beyond the SWP. This reflects the retreat, by most of the SWP's leadership, from the sort of approaches which increased the party's scope and influence during the last decade. It is failing to apply the united front approach to the overwhelmingly important priority of our times. The party will invitably become more isolated, inward-looking and sectarian as a consequence.

Counterfire activists have played a central role in launching and developing Coalition of Resistance, which shows far greater promise. This was exemplified by last November's founding conference of over 1000 people and again on 26 March, with thousands of marchers carrying COR placards and 25,000 copies of a special free paper being distributed on the demonstration.

COR's role on 26 March was just one step in building a national coalition politically shaped by the left, and there's a long way to go, but it reflected a commitment to building the broad movement that is sadly lacking in the SWP today.

Those of us in Counterfire are committed to both building the movements and creating a revolutionary Marxist pole which attracts many of the best activists. It is obvious Chris Bambery and the Scottish comrades have the same commitment. I, for one, wish them well.



  1. Was it a severe crisis? In 2004 there was a severe crisis in paper circulation, due in part to the break up of large branches, the pool from which comrades could organise in each area was drastically reduced at a time when the pressure on active members time went up. Coexisting with this was a crisis in membership. Numerous comrades will testify to the enormous length of their branch unregistered list, people who had joined 2002-3 but did not want to renew their membership. A significant (but not single) reason for this was there was nothing to join, just a shadow of an organisation. If cadred membership of the SWP is a good measure of revolutionary organisation, revolutionary organisation spent some of the best few years at best running to stand still, people joining and heading straight back out again.

    This is only hindsight but it is absolutely clear SWP organisation in this golden age was wrong. But what about today? We'd be fools if we did not note three things. The membership, even more so the leadership of Counterfire, have a direct personal interest in sustaining the united fronts mentioned above. The people who went on to form Counterfire were decisively voted down during the most extended party argument I can ever remember. Finally, the majority SWP has not abandoned the principle of united front action. In trade union branches up and down you will find SWP members leading the argument (although they are far from the only people doing this) to turn rhetoric and potential for a united fightback into action. In Camden and Tower Hamlets, for example, they have already brought people to the picket line.

  2. Interesting . In my town the swp collapsed following the dissolution of the branches . All the Respect activity that we were expected to throw ourselves into failed to materialise . Respect was little more than some middle aged men meeting in an islamic centre . I think the party overestimated the importance of the anti globalisation movement and exaggerated the possibilties of building left of labour groups like Respect . The anti-war activists and disillusioned labour lefts never got involved as expected . The hyper activism pushed in the swp at the time meant the swp lost a lot of good people . With respect , I'd like to point out that all this took place under the leadership of Rees , German and Bambery . Of course others in the cc went along with all this but they keep quiet about that now .
    It is true that there are some problems in the swp ( although I think it's a much more open and democratic party than before but there's room for improvement ) but it 's on the road to recovery following a disastrous decade .
    By the way RtW round where I live is thriving , has a lot of local affiliates , and most of it's activists are not in the swp . I can't say what it's like nationally and I think competition between RtW and COR is unhealthy .

  3. Roobin,

    Thanks for a considered response. There's no doubt that there were problems with both Socialist Worker circulation and membership. But they derived from weaknesses in adequately adapting party structures to the new situation. Adapting elements of party organisation lagged behind adapting to serious, sustained working in united fronts.

    What we have seen recently is NOT, however, improvements in party organisation so that members can build out of the movements more effectively. Instead there's been a retreat from united fronts, replaced by a dogmatic routine of weekly meetings and sales while paying lip service to anti-cuts (and other) campaigns.

    An obvious example is the massive disparity between the number of people carrying Socialist Worker placards (or selling SW) on 26 March and the numbers carrying RTW placards (or promoting RTW on the day). This can only have been a conscious decision by the party leadership to prioritise a SWP intervention as far more important than promoting RTW as a serious, national anti-cuts campaign. It also indicated the lack of life in RTW beyond SWP activists.

    In Counterfire our recurring challenge is how to build and strengthen our organisation in the context of movement building. We are doing that very successfully. One reason is that we've learnt a great deal from experience, including from the problems and limitations in the SWP during the noughties.

  4. Robert:
    'It is true that there are some problems in the swp ( although I think it's a much more open and democratic party than before but there's room for improvement ) but it 's on the road to recovery following a disastrous decade.'

    What is healthy, I suppose, is that current SWP members are at least articulating these views openly and honestly. I think they are fundamentally wrong, but it's now obvious there's full-blown revisionism about the SWP between (roughly speaking) Seattle and the Respect split.

    It is at least now acknowledged by many members - exemplified by Molyneux's post and Robert's comment - that they are making a sharp turn away from the approaches adopted in an earlier era.

    'By the way RtW round where I live is thriving , has a lot of local affiliates , and most of it's activists are not in the swp.'

    Good. In my area, Tyneside, it simply doesn't exist - no planning meetings, no stalls, no RTW materials getting distributed, etc. And most of the SWP's members locally aren't involved regularly in any other campaigns.

    More importantly, it isn't functioning properly at national level. I attended a RTW conference last May - in London after the general election - and probably around 75% of those present were SWP members. It hasn't been organised in the ways necessary to build it as a credible and broad campaign.

  5. Well for that matter COR dosen't exist whre I am . Which is why it's important that both organisations work together . What ever happens at a national level it's important people work at a local level to ensure as strong an anti-cuts movement as possible

  6. "What we have seen recently is NOT, however, improvements in party organisation so that members can build out of the movements more effectively. Instead there's been a retreat from united fronts, replaced by a dogmatic routine of weekly meetings and sales while paying lip service to anti-cuts (and other) campaigns."

    What we have seen is a the SWP attempt to organise trade union work so as to pull off (1) industrial action against the cuts, leading to (2) coordinated industrial action against the cuts and (3) use of the first two points to advocate a general strike against the cuts. A one day general strike will not stop the government, although it'll deal it a healthy blow AND, more crucially get the organised working class back in the game for the long run.

    What we have NOT seen, however, is the SWP dedicate itself to united fronts led by John Rees and Lindsey German.

  7. The difficulty with the counterfire position is that they don't seem capable of addressing the question 'what went wrong'? Its almost as if they don't notice anything did. Which leaves their own current situation somewhat inexplicable. If you can't even talk about what went wrong its hardly likely that you can begin a sensible discussion of 'what is to be done?'. One suspects that most people on the left don't think the answer to that question is forming yet another small group of left wingers.

  8. Robert
    I agree local co-operation is extremely important. It's therefore unfortunate that Tyneside SWP had a public meeting on the same evening as a broad anti-cuts group, the local Coalition of Resistance, held a well-attended and important 'where next after 26 March?' meeting. It's these things that really test socialist organisations.

    My point, anyway, is that SWP has thousands of members nationally and should really be able to ensure an initiative like RTW becomes rooted across the country. COR has no comparable organisation centrally involved in it.

    That's just not a realistic perpsective on the SWP's role in the unions. Today's SWP is not like the Communist Party at its peak. A reality check is sorely needed.

    This preoccupation with 'what went wrong' - or 'severe crisis', or Robert's 'disastrous decade' - is just odd. It mis-characterises the period under discussion, as I've outlined above.

  9. So you have no explanation for the collapse of Respect, the subsequent split in the SWP, the departure of (now) four long standing members of the SWP's leadership, and the fact that your now having to advocate starting all over again, building up what you see as the tradition of Cliff. Despite the fact that there is an existing organisation of several thousand members in this country claiming to represent the same.

    All this after this organisation had placed itself at the centre of the largest mass anti-imperialist movement seen in Europe in modern history, had, as you say, succceded in laying the basis for a recomposition and revival of the left etc, etc. These are all shared understandings. The point is it all collapsed. And to have nothing at all to say about why this happened, beyond testimonials as to your own correctness is...well...a bit incomprehensible.

    Realistically what your proposing is to do it all again with exactly the same politcal orientation, but with no large organisation, in the aftermath of fairly public failures and embarressments which have not only been failures and embarressments for those of us caught up in this sordid little internal row, but for large sections of the rest of the left as well.

    Its not very edifying really. Sorry, but I can't imagine that I'm the only one baffled by the idea that its Roobin who requires a reality check.

  10. These polemics remind me of one of those strange US made for TV bio-pics about the Beatles for some reason. Trying to work out why.

  11. Roobin:
    "What we have NOT seen, however, is the SWP dedicate itself to united fronts led by John Rees and Lindsey German."

    So the oft repeated statement that the SWP is NOT less committed to united front work is untrue then? Is it now the case that the main criteria for deciding whether to engage fully in a campaign or NOT is whether it is led by John Rees and Lindsey German?

    The current party perspective is hardly a roaring success is it? Scores of good committed comrades have left the organisation. The current leadership of the SWP has presided over the worst factional catastrophe in the party's history and will no doubt now seek to remove Chris Bambery from his post in Right to Work - thus further emphasising their lack of commitment to working in genuine, independently constituted united fronts.

  12. “So you have no explanation for the collapse of Respect… The point is it all collapsed. And to have nothing at all to say about why this happened…”

    John, this is entirely disingenuous. At the time of the collapse of Respect there was an immense amount of discussion and debate in the SWP about ‘why this happened’, so we hardly need to go over it all again. What was important, of course, was how the party responded to the situation.

    The outcome, however, was that the SWP chose to personally blame individuals and hold them solely responsible for circumstances instead of the CC and the party accepting collective resposibility for decisions which it took & implemented collectively.

    This was then followed by a knee-jerk panic about membership & recruitment & the abandoning of all the good united front work that had been done in Stop the War & Respect in order to focus on the simple ‘party-building’ with which so many ‘older’ members had become comfortable in the 80s & 90s. As one ‘leading comrade’ [sic] commented, “we build the SWP – that’s why we’re in it!”

    Whilst, as Roobin commented, it may be that “the majority SWP has not abandoned the principle of united front action”, and there are many SWP members who continue to do good work in united front activity, it is clear from Bambery’s letter that the CC’s adoption of party-building ahead of movement-building is still the perspective.

    The message in Bambery’s letter could not be clearer: “…there has been no lead or drive from the CC in turning the party towards building the growing anti-cuts movement… Stop the War is now treated with derision by leading CC members…”

    The difference is, as Alex says, those of us in Counterfire (and clearly Chris Bambery and the Scottish comrades) are committed to both building the movements AND creating a revolutionary Marxist pole which attracts many of the best activists.

    p.s. On a less political, but perhaps more fundamentally important, note: since leaving the SWP I now attend (and leave) meetings feeling positive & comradely, and have noticed how many other people around me at these meetings tend to smile & be pleasant towards each other… even when they disagree!

  13. The question is not whether any particular perspective is realistic or not but whether it amounts to abandoning or retreating from the united front. The SWP has not.

    "So the oft repeated statement that the SWP is NOT less committed to united front work is untrue then? Is it now the case that the main criteria for deciding whether to engage fully in a campaign or NOT is whether it is led by John Rees and Lindsey German?"

    No, the criteria Counterfire applies to whether the SWP is engaging in united front work is (or perhaps seems to be) whether the SWP prioritises Stop the War or not. Coincidentally (or not) the Stop the War national office employs a great number of Counterfire cadre.

    My above description of united front work is a summary of the SWP's outlook, the key link to be grasped (borrowing a favourite metaphor of Counterfire). I could go into what I see as the lesser aspects of what we do and how we do it at the moment (such as the role of anti-cuts groups up and down the country) but, man, would that be boring. The key point is this:

    Counterfire's rationalisation is a split from the SWP, it is largely based on a canard.

  14. Firstly, the SWP is unquestionably not committed to united front work It only pays lip-servce to it, whether that be Stop the War, Right to Work or Coalition of Resistance.

    This has been proven in practice many times over, for example by (as Alex point out) the massive disparity between the number of people carrying Socialist Worker placards (or selling SW) on 26 March and the numbers carrying RTW placards (or promoting RTW on the day).

    Chris Bamberry also made this very clear in his letter of resignation- “Martin Smith has attempted to blame me personally for the weaknesses of Right to Work despite the internal arguments which have held it back from its inception and which have brought it near to derailment....Stop the War is now treated with derision by leading CC members. ”

    As did his 38 scottish comrades who stated “our work around the Right to Work campaign has been confused and patchy across the country, primarily because the Central Committee - as a whole - did not drive that perspective from its inception.”

    The same view was held by the Left Platform faction I was a part of back in the January 2009 conference.

    UAF by the way isnt a proper united front because it is controlled completely by the SWP. It is a party front like Youth Fight for Jobs and like all party fronts it inevitably fails to mobilize the kind of numbers that a united front does because it lacks the support and involvement and initiative from other organizations.

    Secondly, the SWPs lack of commitment to the united front tactic and its priotisation of building-the- party-above-everything-else, means that it inevitably has lost its dialectial relationship with the working class.

    Its emphasis on party building unaviodably means that the SWP now in essence sees itself as 'the fount of all correct thoughts and deeds' and percieves the working class as 'an inert mass without initiative'. That its tactics are actually invented from 'thin air' rather than being generalizations learnt from an anlysis of the class struggle. Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin, Cliff etc would be appalled.

    This mechanistic 'party building' perspective implemented by the SWP for the last few years also ironically means that the SWP will certainly not be able to recruit at an IS esque rate during upturns in the class struggle let alone become a mass party.

    Thirdly, the SWP isn't an impressively large organization and it certainly doesnt have nearly as much influence over the masses as it use to enjoy during its application of the united front through its orientation on anti-capitalism, Stop the War and Respect.

    Counterfire for example had a lot of influence on Autumns student revolt in London because of its central involvement in the London Student Assembly, evident most obviously by the 30 000 strong day X3 demo in central London at very short notice.

    Fourthly the SWP can't be won back over to the united front perspective. The current CC and their cadre have a death-grip over the organization. This was the conclusion of those like me who formed Counterfire and was also the conclusion of the 38 Scottish socialists and Chris Bamberry who in his letter stated this point extremely clearly when he wrote; 'A revolutionary party is an instrument for making a revolution. If it is blunted or broken another must be built.'

  15. "Firstly, the SWP is unquestionably not committed to united front work..."

    Unquestionably? Shiva H Vishnu, if only you'd have told me at the start, then we wouldn't have had to bother questioning it.

  16. ummm.. I'd have more time for this argument about the Counterfire split being about building of a revolutionary pole within united front movements’ v sectish behaviour if not for my experiences
    I was told that if I brought socialist worker into the Newham Respect office--the organising centre for Lindsey German's election campaign--ever again it would be burnt. Personally I, who had brought large numbers of non revolutionary folk into the local Respect, found it very hard to build a revolutionary pole in such circumstances
    The "burn socialist worker" line was later reversed when John Rees wasn't selected for a key seat and lost the ability to be elected.
    This experience was not building a revolutionary pole but simple opportunism in which party members were used as a stage army--and it helps explain why all went horribly wrong. And believe me the Respect experience was a crisis for the SWP--and where local branches had been effectively shut down there was no forum for the rank and file members to discuss and influence the situation.
    Then there is the question of how exactly revolutionaries in the leadership of Stop the War managed to accept the promises of so many Labour MPs that they would vote against the war and demobilise protests the night the MPs voted in favour of demanding protest strikes and walkouts after the event? The Egyptians proved so much more astute about the dangers of demobilising your forces!
    Such a mobilisation--even tho it would have been much smaller than 15th Feb would have been bigger than those when the war began and would have made it very hard for Clare short et al to renege on their pledges.
    As far as I can see, the splits are a reflection of the weakness in revolutionary strategy and tactics hiding in the size of stop the War and fleeting success for Respect. This argument that the splits are about the movement versus paper sales is rubbish.
    The unresolved questions are
    How do revolutionaries build the movement in a non opportunist way, pushing beyond where the non-revolutionary forces want to go? How, while a small minority of people are revolutionary, can socialists be in the leadership within such movements but not owe their existence and position to usefulness to reformists or bureaucrats by appearing to be radical while actually missing the opportunities to take the movement? This question has been successfully answered by revolutionary socialists in Egypt. It wasn't answered during the height of Stop the War in the weeks between 15th Feb and the war starting; despite the opportunity of the vote
    The failure of the SWP not to ask, let alone answer, these questions while John Lindsey and Chris Bambery were the leading comrades on the CC is the underlying issue of the splits. And while I am not for a moment suggesting that the SWP have found the answer, I think they are at least still looking.
    I like much of the stuff the Coalition of Resistance has done re the cuts but in relation to the question about not owing position to usefulness to the bureaucracy, why is Counterfire making so much about opposing the argument that we need a general strike here in the UK?
    It's not a bonkers position. The NUT delegates passed it, as have others. as one part of a strategy alongside activity to fight every cut etc, then it's an important next step. It is true we need it and it would spark greater confidence among rank and file workers. Why make so much of opposing it?

  17. 'Anonymous': and was it a future CF member who told you your SWs would be 'burned' if you took them into the Respect office? Of course not - I know the incident you're referring to.

    You've been retailing this story for a few years now and it is getting embellished every time. Don't use it to slander socialists.

    And it is a plain and simple lie that StWC demobilised protests on the night of the vote. I was in Parliament Square that evening with many thousands of others. Was it also a mistake for StWC to call for strikes and walkouts? Again, of course not.

  18. Sorry to come back after all this time. Tony, I disagree entirely. There was not an 'immense amount of discussion' about the collapse of Respect. There was very little, given the scale of what happened.

    Funnily enough I would still mantain that a huge problem in all this is that there is no concensus about why it happened.To be sure to the extent that everything was blamed on individuals this is a problem. But I see no persuasive account of what happened from those particular individuals either. It may be that no-one knows.

    This would be, to say the least, little short of incredible given the consequences. This remains, for me, a critique of the SWP as much as a critique of counterfire.

    However I came back here because I had just seen Chris Bambery's latest talk and wanted to share my reaction. Its a kind of 'for the record' type contribution.

    I used to think there was an obvious disengenuity about the combination of hyper-leninism and movementism epitomised by counterfire. I suspect that this was a mistake. Whatever the intentions, to me, it looks increasingly like a network for aspiring leaders of various campaigns. There is no neccessary contradiction here. There is no neccessary connection to socialism either (although to be sure many socialists are involved).

    Bambery it seems to me represents something different. The odd thing about his speech is that he has been making the same one for decades. Whats left unexplained is, given that he was in the core of the leadership of the organisation, his (and our) vision didn't materialise. I suspect he doesn't know the answer to this himself and has decided to combine 'blame the membership' with a turn away from the organised working class. I think he's too much of a socialist to really follow the logic of this to the end (I am entirely unsure about counterfire in this respect it must be said) but I suspect even he isn't quite sure where this will all end up.

    There are real discussions to be had here. But, despite my dissatisfactions, the evidence hear is that these discussions are more likely to be had in the SWP then here. Thats just how it looks to me sorry.

  19. I'm curious how does the SWP and Counterfire stack up with regards to this comparison?

    I know quite a lot of how the ISO operates is based on how the SWP did things back in the 70s and 80s but I know nothing about how CF operates in practice and internally.