Andy Newman pens a broadside at the methods and
prospects of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Hypocritically he accuses the
CPGB of indulging in rumour-mongering and mudslinging then proceeds to adopt
this very method himself.
He writes of me that: "Perhaps most significantly
the popular and talented Marcus Strom returned to Australia. Although he said
this was due to his wife wanting to be nearer her family, it is hard to imagine
he would have gone back to Oz, leaving a staff job on the Independent, if he was
not slightly jaundiced about his political prospects."
While I am flattered by his adjectives, his
'analysis' is nothing but rumour-mongering. First, I did not have a staff job on
the Independent. Second, I am not jaundiced by my political prospects at all.
The class struggle exists even in Australia: only it's sunnier. Third, I take
full responsibility for my move to Australia. It was done to be near my own
family, not my wife's, who is a Kiwi. Surely Andy would grant that having my
children near their grandparents, among other things, is a fairly valid reason
for a move.
Fourth, and most importantly, the CPGB provides the
only honest accounting of the left in the UK - that's why it gets up everyone's
noses. If the left continues to lie to itself, its members and the world at
large is it not surprising that much of the true information that leaks out is
partial? Watching the SWP groan under the weight of its own contradictions is a
lesson in Kremlinology. The far left in Britain lives in a fantasy land
concerning its own prospects and its influence in society. The SWP is the worst
offender. If I had a pound for every time I heard an SWPer say: "There's never
been a better time to be a socialist..." I'd be a rich man. By holding up a
mirror to the circus of the far left, the CPGB attracts all manner of brickbats.
To Andy I say, comrade the mote is in your own eye.
As for myself, the struggle is a global struggle
and I am happy to continue fighting for the working class in the land of my
Andy admits to alcohol-fuelled pranks as a
youngster. I trust that his defence (sic) of the SWP was written while he was