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Monday, 4 February 2013

Allegations of rape within a political party but the BBC aren't interested

Reports of allegations of rape within the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) are all over the internet.

The Mail  managed to cover the story:
'Ordinarily, we would not bore you with the interminable machinations of the far Left. This scandal, though, goes beyond militant politics because it involves an allegation of rape against a senior figure in the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) by a more junior colleague.

She is in her 20s. He is a middle-aged, full-time party activist who has a partner. Remember, when you read what follows, that the SWP is also an organisation that has always professed to champion the cause of women’s rights. Many of its estimated 2,000 or so members are women, after all.

Women such as comrade Candy Udwin. Miss Udwin, 58, daughter of an eminent psychiatrist who enjoyed all the privileges of a comfortable middle-class upbringing in the leafy Surrey suburbs, now sits on the party’s seven-strong ‘disputes committee’.

The committee — or DC — is the mechanism for resolving routine grievances and disciplinary matters in the party ranks.

Decisions by the committee have to be ratified at the annual conference. Hence Miss Udwin’s address in Hammersmith earlier this month.

'We [on the disputes committee] are here to protect the interests of the party and to make sure that any inappropriate behaviour of any kind by comrades is dealt with, and we do that according to the politics of a revolutionary party,’ she said.

Even, it seems, when the ‘dispute’ involves the aforementioned allegation of rape. Not just sexist or misogynistic behaviour, but rape.

Instead of calling in the police, it now transpires the claims were dealt with internally by Candy Udwin and her comrades on the disputes committee. The SWP insists it was the alleged victim herself who chose not to involve the police, but that does not excuse the charade that ensued.

No one on the committee knew the young woman, but all seven knew the ‘accused’ — who, it must be said, has vehemently denied the allegations against him. He was referred to as Comrade Delta throughout what can only be described as the kangaroo court hearing that followed.

Five of the committee had even worked alongside him at the SWP. That revelation alone would have immediately disqualified any potential juror from trying a case in the British courts.

It was not the only shortcoming. Comrade Delta was given a copy of his accuser’s statement before the hearing, but she did not see ‘his evidence against her’. The woman was also subjected to embarrassing questions about her sexual history and relationships with men.

The SWP, just to remind you, is the party which often boasts of its proud record on women’s rights.

What verdict then did the ‘disputes committee’ eventually reach?

They exonerated Comrade Delta. The decision was unanimous and was approved by conference. Party members voted to accept the panel’s findings by 231 votes to 209, before retiring to enjoy a buffet supper.

Could there be anything more distasteful — or plain wrong — than asking for a show of hands to ‘decide’ whether a young woman had been raped?

Friends say the woman has been left feeling utterly betrayed and traumatised by the process.
The only spurious justification given at Hammersmith Town Hall for these shameful events (apart from the fact they say they had the young woman’s consent) was that the SWP had no confidence ‘in the bourgeois court system’ to deliver justice.

Of course, the SWP, which describes itself as a ‘revolutionary socialist party’ in the tradition of Leon Trotsky, didn’t want you to find out about any of this.

The only reason that details have leaked out now is because someone made a secret recording of the ‘dispute committee session’ at the annual conference. A transcript has now been posted on the internet. It runs to 27 damning pages.'
Why nothing about this case on the BBC? It's not as though the Socialist Workers Party is unknown to them. A regular on the BBC is 'comedian' Mark Steel, a long time SWP member, albeit one who resigned from the party in 2007, long after he started to make his hugely amusing
appearances on BBC radio. The 'Right To Work' campaign that the BBC gave huge prominence to last year was a SWP offshoot.
I think it safe to say that an equivalent sex scandal at the BNP would be headline news on the BBC so why not when it's the equally vile SWP?

Now why might the BBC have a soft spot for the extrame-left Socialist Workers Party? Who can say.

Anna Chen’s blog on the SWP’s current Sex Implosion  provides an insight into the cultish nature of the party, and the toll – both financial and emotional – which it takes on members.

Here's an interesting aside, during the course of discussing the SWP’s role in the Stop The War Coalition, Anna Chen makes a shocking, but unsurprising revelation:
When a Jewish socialist group requested platform time to speak against the war, they were refused on the grounds that their presence would alienate Muslims. The guy who’d made their case protested and was told that “you people” were “too sensitive.”
 The SWP just get lovelier by the day, don't they.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting, the fear of Jews alienating Muslims! Miss Candy Udwin was born to a father who was an Orthodox Jew!