It will be 40 years next year since the black athlete Jesse Owens kissed the 'old Nazi' photographer/ film-maker Leni Riefenstahl at the 1972 Munich Olympics, according to Leni: 'As Owens hugged and kissed me, we were both near to tears. Several guests began to clap, then the applause grew louder, intensifying into a storm. Confused and embarrassed, I left the reception.'
With these kind of painful paradoxies in mind I sent the email below to Bob Crow, National Secretary of the RMT union, who is linked to the 'Socialist' Party through his personal support for the political body Trade Union Socialist Coalition (TUSC) explaining my resignation from the National Shop Stewards Network that Bob's union helped to establish.
Last week I gave in my resignation from the NSSN (National Shop Stewards Network). Normally I would not consider doing such a thing and would have just allowed my involvement to quietly lapse, because normally I wouldn't regard myself as that important in the way of things. This time, following Lynda Taaffe's (NSSN Secretary & Socialist Party leader) assurance that you had not been misled when you gave your backing to the Socialist Party, I have decided to join with the others in making a fuss and a statement. I do this because of nature of the immature takeover of the NSSN by the Socialist Party and having studied the policies of the TUSC and listened to Alex Gordon (President of the RMT union) at his Industrial Society talk in Manchester in December with his reference to exchange controls and British sovereignty, I fear that what you may end up with is national socialism without the racism. I say without the racism, but I think an unintended consequence of your position and that of Alex Gordon - with its nod to 'Little England' - could be a drift to the encouragement of xenophobia in this country. I know that TUSC has an etc. clause here & there that is internationalist in intent, but the underlying policy is reactionary and 'Little England'. I also heard Steve Headley at the special conference criticise Dave Chapple for 'taking his ball home': well does that mean that if we were in Germany in 1933 at the time of Hitler's triumph at the elections there we should behave like good Prussians and accept the result? Far better to behave like good Spaniards and Catalans in 1936 and be the first to confront the Fascists...
The German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, in his speech in 1934, supported nationalisation, and the policy of TUSC is as follows: 'Stop all privatisation, including the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), and the immoral privatisation of prisons. Bring privatised public services and utilities back into public ownership under democratic control.' The form of 'democratic control' is not explained, there is no evidence here that it would differ much from Herbert Morrison's model as established in the 1940s.