And another thing: about ‘Corbyn said he wouldn’t attend SWP event’

So, my article a few hours ago showing the claim that Corbyn attended an ‘SWP event’ and therefore supports ‘apologists for rape culture’ is nonsense has caused a bit of a stir, with some predictable adverse reaction from those determined to insist that he did.

In response to some Twitter comments, I asked for evidence that he had ever agreed not to attend because of requests not to attend an SWP event.

I’m still waiting, but the nearest anyone has come to actual evidence (rather than simply repeating the same point, occasionally in varying ways, which is the norm), are these tweets, the link to which was tweeted to me by someone else:


But it doesn’t stand up. There are too many scenarios that could fit Ms Foster’s paraphrasing, mostly variations along these lines:

DF: Please ask Jeremy not to go to this event – it’s the SWP

Corbyn’s office: He’s not going. He’ll be in Scotland.

Scotland: Jeremy’s event is cancelled.

Corbyn: Oh good, I’ll go to the anti-racism event

Note that the fact Jeremy’s office said he wouldn’t be speaking does not automatically mean that they said he wouldn’t be speaking because he agreed with the analysis that Stand up to Racism (SUTR) = Socialist Workers’ Party.

Nor does it mean he ‘promised’ he wouldn’t go and then broke the promise. Saying ‘I’m not going’ (or more accurately ‘He’s not going’) is not the same as ‘I will not go’, especially when ‘He’s not going because he’ll be in Scotland’ is the most likely scenario.

All you have is paraphrasing or interpretation of the actual conversation, followed by lots of extrapolation and accusations.

Further down the thread, someone also observes – maybe accurately – that the event was ‘convened’ (which is not the same as organised) by Weyman Bennett. Mr Bennett is apparently a member of the SWP, but that doesn’t mean the SUTR = SWP, or even that ‘the SWP convened it’, since Weyman Bennett is also an honorary President of Unite Against Fascism (UAF, an organisation endorsed by, among others, Doreen Lawrence and David Cameron), as well as an individual who is not the same entity as any organisation he belongs to. He might be a horrible individual, or he might not (I don’t know him), but he’s not the SWP.

Since the SUTR event was timed to take place on the weekend after the anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, in which anti-fascists prevented a march by Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists through a Jewish area of London, it makes far more sense that Mr Bennett was acting on behalf of UAF.

But of course it’s harder to create a smear out of Corbyn attending an event ‘convened’ by an individual – especially when the President and Vice-Chair are black, female Shadow Cabinet members. And some people are desperate to smear.

So, still no actual evidence. Just more #smearwegoagain


    1. That might have been true of ANL but can’t be said about UAF. From Wikipedia: “Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is an anti-fascist[1] pressure group in the United Kingdom, with support from politicians of the three largest political parties in the House of Commons, including the former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and the late Labour politician Tony Benn”

  1. Note that UAF (and ANL before it) turn out thousands to stop fascist meetings and marches, because its policy is to unite ALL those who want to fight fascism. The reason no other group ever matches this is because they are too busy trying to fight other socialists over other issues they disagree on. The individuals who wanted to boycott Cable Street do not follow up their posturing with any alternative large-scale anti-fascist mobilisations – left to them, the fascists will be free to rampage through our communities. The SWP will continue to fight fascism along with a diverse coalition of trade unions, groups and individuals. Over this weekend, this included Momentum and Labour Party activists, councillors, MPs and leader Jeremy Corbyn. Call SUTR a ‘front’ if you like, but it is laying the basis for the united action we need to counter the racism being stirred up by our politicians.

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