Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Money where your fist is

"Would you like to sign a petition in support of striking Tube workers?"

Yes! Obviously, a thousand times yes! Even if I didn't know what they were striking for, I'd say yes; it's my default position - strikes are good. I'd say it's genetic, except my sister seems to have gone the other way.

It was only after I'd scrawled my name in a vague attempt at solidarity ("I'M SORRY I CROSSED A PICKET LINE IT'S JUST LONDON'S REALLY MASSIVE AND I CAN'T WORK FROM HOME BUT I DID FEEL REALLY BAD ABOUT IT IF THAT HELPS") that I realised that the petition was organised by the SWP.

Remember when ye olde Socialist Workers Party just slightly embarrassing, populated entirely by 1. the over-earnest and under-informed folks at uni desperate to talk to you about Palestine, 2. Mark Steel, and 3. my dad?

No more! It turns out that the party is also, as an organisation, pretty cool with the idea of rape - or at least happier with the reality of women getting raped and their rapes getting hushed up than with the idea of tarnishing The Party by bringing their attackers to account. You know when you read those harrowing survivor accounts, where they detail how going through the justice system is often as horrific and violating as the assault itself? You would think, wouldn't you, that a party which proclaims itself to be in favour of revolution - which even pays lip service to the idea that a revolution in gender relations is as necessary as one in economic relations - would take this into account. But: not so much.
Some of the questions that followed included “what effect would you say drink and drugs had on you that night?” I was also asked and pushed to talk about abuse that had happened to me previously, as earlier on that night I had been emotional and had confided in the man that assaulted me. This was extremely upsetting for me during a process that was already hard enough. 
They claim to have "no faith in the bourgeois court system to deliver justice," but you've got to wonder what kind of justice they think they can provide when treating survivors with as little sensitivity or respect as the worst police officer.

Basically, the SWP's priorities go something like
2. Palestine
3. Stopping The War
4. Publication of truly abysmal newspaper
5. ... 
10. Uh, maybe we should do something about the oppression of women for millennia? And racism and homophobia and transphobia and all that other complicated Identity Politics shit that is really just a bourgeois distraction from Item 1, and also that we don't understand? When we've fixed the other stuff.
It is actually knackering trying to keep on top of all the things that are rubbish in the world. But it's important to try. The moral of the story being, be careful what you put your name to.

1 comment:

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