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national / elections / politics Saturday October 25, 2003 18:31 by Des Derwin

siptu.gifThe Socialist Workers Party is running a candidate for the post of Vice-President of SIPTU. The Election is to take place in January 04. Des Derwin, an unaligned socialist (and a previous election candidate for the position of General Secretary of SIPTU) who announced in October that he was running for the position published his reaction on Indymedia. Follow the link below the excerpt for the full text of his reaction.

"In over thirty years of political activity I cannot recall a more astonishing act of pure sectarianism on the socialist far left. They are running a candidate with no surface difference of policies to mine. As it is a trade union election they cannot run as an organisation. There can be no defensible reason for them standing a candidate against me. Not only have I worked with them in SIPTU and actively supported their member Carolann Duggan in four successive SIPTU elections, but also, as I detail below, they were instrumental in persuading me to run for General Secretary just last year. I might add that not only have I worked with the SWP in various campaigns and bodies, trade union and other, including the recent Socialist Alliance, down the years, but that I have been in recent times an increasingly isolated voice on the rest of the far left for working with and not writing off the SWP.

Now, when I am actually in a better position to run, having stood last year, I am not good enough and they put up a virtual unknown. The effect will be (particularly in the absence of a soft left candidate - though there's a whisper of one emerging) to split the left vote. To run against a radical socialist candidate in a general election (which the SWP did once against the Socialist Party) is bad enough. Seemingly identical organisations vying for votes is a scandal to ordinary workers. But to run a candidate against a long established, independent oppositional activist, with a thirty-year history of exactly similar ‘Rank and File-ist’ policies (i.e. myself) in a trade union election, where candidates are standing on trade union issues and trade union records, is sectarianism and sectism without any cover."

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