SP political smears and working class democracy

Prior to signing up for AAA membership online and subsequently having that membership rejected I had been inquiring about the possibility of joining ROSA via Facebook private message to Fiona Ryan, a leading SP/AAA/ROSA member in Cork.

In the new context of my membership rejection I made a little joke:

Maybe I am banned from joining ROSA as well for having the wrong kind (too left wing) kind of anti-capitalism?

To which Fiona replied:

You know damn well it had everything to do with what happened with Ciara
The decision wasn’t just sp comrades

So it seems the SP are running with the story that I was part of a witch-hunt against AAA members in Cobh Says No and that was the real reason I was banned from joining the AAA.

Firstly I have to accept that there was indeed a witch-hunt against the AAA in Cobh Says No in the middle of 2015. Secondly it is clear to me in hindsight that I did not fully recognise this witch-hunt was occurring until too late and instead treated the disputes as primarily about personality conflicts within Cobh. Lastly it must also be recognised that it was pretty much a successful witch-hunt with the bulk of the Cobh Says No activists setting up a new group – Cobh CommUNITY 4 Change (CC4C) – that bureaucratically excluded AAA members.

However if I was part of the successful witch-hunt against the AAA there are some questions which must be answered by those making such a claim:

– why did I defend Ciara, Evelyn and John at the first Cobh Says No rep’s meeting where criticism of them joining the AAA was made?

– why didn’t I participate in the witch-hunt “victory” by joining the new group?

– why didn’t I join the bulk of the activists now organised as CC4C in their sectarian boycott of the last event organised under the name of Cobh Says No (the bill burning)?

– why did I publicly recant my one action (the motion against Ciara) because I realised it would be seen as objectively supporting the witch-hunt? A recanting that came at some considerable personal expense to the political capital I had built up as one of the central leaders of Cobh Says No.

I have publicly accepted I made a mistake with my proposal to expel Ciara but that mistake was not part of the witch-hunt against the AAA.

My mistake in moving the motion against Ciara is therefore an excuse, not the reason, for rejecting my membership of the AAA.

I believe the real reason for my banning from the AAA to have been my political programme for achieving the socialist goal of the AAA (a goal that I saw being so eloquently expressed by leaders of the AAA in videos of their recent conference) being too radical, too Marxist.

The leadership of the AAA should have the political confidence, and indeed the political honesty, to take responsibility for the real reason for their decision. However I am not holding my breath as this is fairly clearly part of a political smear campaign aimed at inoculating SP/AAA members and supporters against listening to, and seriously thinking about, the truly “dangerous ideas” of genuine revolutionary Marxism that I am putting forward in opposition to the reformism in practice of the SP.

I intend to post a comment on the Cork and national AAA Facebook pages linking to this blog post. These are moderated pages so the AAA leadership will have to decide whether to allow the comments.

Most people’s understanding of working class democracy includes the right of reply to the kind of accusations being made against me.

It is unclear to me whether the AAA leadership believes in the norms of proletarian democracy or is so tainted by their participation in, and orientation towards, bourgeois democracy that simple things like honest debate, including the right of reply to accusations, are of any interest to them – we will see.


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