Thursday, May 15, 2008

Do They Mean Us? #15

Lazy bastard that I am, I've had this post in the draft section for the last ten days. Whatever . . .better late than never, I guess.

The following glowing testimonial is from the discussion board of Urban 75 and dates from a few weeks back when, during the course of a increasingly heated discussion on the post entitled '10 candidates for Lambeth and Southwark GLA constituency!', SPEW/CWI member, 'dennisr', thought he would try get into the Guinness Book of Records by seeing how many urban myths about the SPGB he could cram into one post:

"The socialist party you link to has feck all to do with the SPGB - either faction. They are not 'dissidants' - they are an organisation of thousands (which is not a lot in itself but - as opposed to 20 just or however many the ejets of the SPGB claim...). The SP are registered as the Socialist Party but not allowed to stand as the Socialist Party.

The Socialist party - which has sitting councillors in Lewisham and Coventry comes from the Militant. irt is forced to stand as Socialist Alternative because the two man + dog of the SPGB (now split inot 2 or 3 factions all with members possibly only just in double figures...) got their knickers in a twist about the name.

In Huddersfield the SP candidate stood under the Save Our NHS name because she was part of an alliance with non-SP members - she is also now a sitting councillor (she is also a doctor which may have something to do with her NHS concerns...).

Outside of the prolatarian stronhold of Clapham the SPGB don't exist." [Post dated 07-04-2008, 15:46.]

Fast forward three and a half weeks and my eye catches the results of Lambeth & Southwark and its neighbouring constiutency of Greenwich and Lewisham.

The SPGB candidate, Danny Lambert, receives 1588 votes (0.97%). Yep, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking William Morris and how it's hardly a case of " . . .a thousand and society begins to tremble . . ", but not too bad an effort in the circumstances from two men and their dog.

How did the artists formerly known as the Militant Tendency do in Greenwich and Lewisham? Must have done better than us sad sacks. According to 'dennisr', they've got thousands of members. The SP/CWI has been one franchise in the crowded Fourth Internationalist market who have been experiencing genuine growth in recent years (admittedly after a fallow couple of years), and in Chris Flood, a sitting local councillor, they had a popular candidate. A tribune of the people, no less, who has built upon the work of their other councillor in the Lewisham area, Ian Page.

Drum roll please:

1587 votes (1.08%). If I could capitalise that, I would. Wait up, I can: ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SEVEN VOTES. Thank christ for their own sake that the Millies don't indulge in the SWP-mantra of 'It's never been a better time to be a socialist.' If that was the case, 'dennisr' would be eating so much humble pie that he would be the SP/CWI's answer to John Molyneux in a matter of weeks. And by that, I don't mean that 'dennisr' would be submitting articles on Picasso to Socialism Today.

And, for the record, we in the SPGB camp shouldn't be too gleeful about the comparable results. As a comrade pointed out in the comments section of the SPGB election blog, Vaux Populi, after the London results came in:

"Of course we shouldn't get carried away. What's happened is that they've been relegated to our league (Third Division South?) rather than us promoted to the league they thought they were in."

Very wise and insightful words from the comrade and, by way of a reward, for his (and other comrades) hard work during the election campaign, the Party should have a whip round and buy him a Rothmans Football Yearbook that's been published in the last 15 years.

I don't care if he has read (and understood) the footnotes in volume three of Capital. He should be brought up to speed as soon as possible with regards to the football pyramid system currently applying to clubs in England and Wales.

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