Scandal looming at 2016 Marxism Conference

LONDON/ISTANBUL – DSİP, the Turkish Section of the International Socialist Tendency and thus the sister party of the Socialist Worker’s Party (SWP) has announced that it is likely to boycott the 2016 Marxism Conference in London.

A spokesperson of the party declared: “We feel the need to express our discontent with the leadership of the SWP. Alex Stalinicos has abandoned all principles of democratic centralism and is ruling the party as if it was his private property. Which is something we actually like if autocratic Islamist rulers like Morsi or Erdoğan do it, but not when communists do it, or when we feel the need to accuse communists of doing it because we disagree with them.”

However, there are rumours that the real reason behind the discontent is the fact that the SWP did not provide the necessary material means for the Turkish Marxism Conference held by DSİP in a five star hotel in Taksim in recent years. “They were so used to have nice meeting rooms in five star hotels with plenty of space, especially since nobody ever shows up.” we were told by one insider. “But, you know, Trotskyism doesn’t really exist here in Turkey and after so many people left the SWP because Comrade Delta betrayed them… well, the money isn’t flowing like it used to.”

Asked about these accusations, a DSİP spokesperson responded: “Well, the real reasons are complicated actually, but the Turkish people are too stupid to understand them, so we didn’t want to go into detail. Really, they are just too stupid, otherwise why would they support Marxist-Leninist parties and not us? Anyway, if you must know, yes, we were not happy with some decisions made by the SWP and yes, the money flow has dried up somewhat. The takeaway is this: Callinicos? More like Stalinicos. Whenever you have a problem with someone, compare them to Stalin, because what could be worse than Stalin? Does the comparison have to make any sense? No, but it still works. If you don’t think it works, you’re probably a Stalinist yourself.”

Upon learning that the SWP had been declared “Stalinist”, TKİP sent a letter of solidarity to Callinicos, in which they hinted at the possibility of joining the IST. “So we always tell people we’re Marxist-Leninists, but we basically act like Trotskyites, and you’re officially Trotskyites, but someone called you ‘Stalinicos’, and you know, it seems like a good fit.”

A representative of the SWP reacted to the upheaval from Turkey in a press conference: “So this really hurts us, you know? Our political principle is internationalism, which means for us to be present everywhere and relevant nowhere. However, at the Marxism Conference we gather once every year in London and let representatives from our different sections around the world explain to the audience that they are in fact relevant parts of the movements in their respective countries. If DSİP boycotts the conference, people might get the idea that we’re not leading the revolution in Turkey, and then you know, it’s a slippery slope to British people suspecting we’re not leading the revolution anywhere.” He lowered his voice slightly before continuing: “I mean, what do they want anyway? Do they think they can rely on Turkish people to support them? Well, mate, think again. I suppose they want more money. You know, we basically give all our organisations around the world money in order to pretend that they are a vital and strong political player. If they want more money, others might start wanting more as well. This is not great for us. You know how much money we had to pay them in order to shut them all up about all the rape scandals here at the SWP central committee?”

As was to be expected, there was an intense discussion about these dramatic events. Counterfire immediately published four articles, one for each regular Counterfire contributor, with similar content, namely praising itself for leaving the SWP long before it became cool to leave the SWP among British Trotskyists. Chris Nineham stated: “You know, when it became cool to leave the SWP and uncool to support it, we briefly considered re-entering the party. But as Callinicos got wind of that discussion he sent us a private e-mail that he would rather take an ice axe to the head than breathe the same air as traitors like us, so that was that.”

Sebastian Budgen of Verso Books, a regular reader of Worker’s Spatula, who shares each and every of our articles so long as he is not mentioned in it, asked in a Facebook post: “Does anyone know how to make a poorly-selling e-book out of all this?”

International response was more muted. Stathis Kouvelakis of the newly founded Popular Unity in Greece and a regular participant in discussions with Callinicos commented to our Worker’s Spatula correspondent in Athens: “Should I care? Who were they supporting at the end in Greece? See, the reason I am in a party is so I don’t have to deal with this question every day, Greece is far too complicated. I think it was your paper in which I read about a KKE scale on Greek politics. Obviously, they are crazy sectarians, but I like the concept. What was the question again?”

Our German correspondent called MLPD chairman Stefan Engel to learn about his take on the complex situation. He excused himself for 5 minutes to learn more and promised to call us back, which he did: “I’ve talked to our Turkish and Kurdish comrades. No one of them has ever met anyone from DSİP, but they knew that the party supported Erdoğan’s 2010 referendum alongside many liberals. I believe them to be the perfect representative of Trotskyism in Turkey and the SWP should do everything to keep them happy.”


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