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(not satire – rape trigger warning)

I’ve just been trying to read up about the crisis in the Socialist Workers Party over accusations senior members were covering up rape allegations against one of its leaders.

I say I was trying to read up about it because I gave up. The jargon, oh the jargon – central committees, dispute committees, steering committees, national committees, district committees – and what the hell are Sino-Seymourites, Bamberyites and Poulantzians?

I could have Googled those terms of course and looked more knowledgeable but I was afraid I’d lose the will to live half-way through the process.

There’s a simple reason why organisations like the SWP will never lead the working class – or any other class – in anything.

Because half the time nobody understands what the f**k they’re going on about.

Which brings me to Owen Jones – who got a bit of stick last month for praising the way George Galloway speaks clearly, simply and directly.

Actually I happen to wholeheartedly agree with Owen about the plain language thing – but obviously Galloway isn’t a great example – not after he did the opposite of what Owen was saying by tying himself in linguistic knots trying to justify rape.

And as for the SWP – doesn’t the well-worn story of a strongly hierarchical organisation trying desperately to cover up sex scandals by its leading members with secret hearings and mysterious-sounding conclaves (committees) while at the same time claiming to occupy the hallowed moral ground on just about everything sound very, very depressingly familiar?

No – as a role model of plain speaking – I much prefer Alexi Sayle’s solution to making politics more accessible:

One of the central problems with politics, particularly Socialist politics as they are currently constructed, is that on a day to day basis they are incredibly boring.

This is not an accident but is a process designed to ensure that only a particular type of individual, specifically those with ……issues to do with the control and manipulation of the behaviour of others are attracted to the business of government and activism. All those with a different view are automatically locked out of the process.

One way to counter this exclusionism is to have balloons and music at all Labour Party meetings and if possible an all-you-can eat buffet offered at a nominal cost. I would suggest £3.50-£4.00.

—Alexei Sayle

The answer to all this – as Alexie Sayle says – is simple. In politics – but particularly on the left – we need more plain speaking, more openness and much much less jargon.

Which brings us back to the discussions on the left about rape.

This isn’t rocket science guys.

If she didn’t consent – or couldn’t consent – it’s rape.

Full stop.


Related articles by Tom Pride:

One little word so powerful it lost the Tories the last election (and probably the next)

The Sue Ryder charity and its sinister Orwellian doublethink

Nick Clegg to Lib Dems – “Prepare for Oppositionment!”

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Fewer Affordable Homes is More Affordable Homes


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