Tuesday, 11 June 2013

UAFs' "Love Music, Hate Racism" Events run by man accused of rape

Unite Against Fascism's 'Love Music, Hate Racism' campaign is now officially headed by a man accused of rape.
Martin Smith - 'Comrade Delta' - was accused of raping a
17 year old girl, but escaped justice at the hand of the SWPs
'Disputes Committee' comprising 5 of his colleagues.

Martin Smith, a former national officer of the Unite Against Fascism campaign, is a close friend and political associate of UAF leader Weyman Bennett, and is listed on their website as the LMHR National Organiser. He is also a former leader and Central Committee member of the SWP, which is the organisation behind UAF and LMHR.

There is a much seedier side to Smith, however. Apart from his string of criminal convictions - most recently in 2010 for assaulting a police officer - there is his role in the rape scandal which has convulsed the Socialist Workers Party in recent months.

News of this first leaked out after the SWP decided that it did not trust the 'bourgeois court system', and decided to deal with the allegations internally through its disciplinary committee: no, really! At issue was a 'Comrade Delta', who was accused of raping a 17 year old SWP member, Miss X.

Miss X was pressured into not reporting the matter to the police, but to pass it on to the party Disputes Committee to investigate. The Disputes Committee found in favour of Comrade Delta, and dismissed the case without further action.

Comrade Delta was in fact Martin Smith, former leader of the SWP and Central Committee member. According to the 'pre-conference bulletin' prepared by supporters of Miss X:

In this case, the comrade making the complaint was kept waiting for four hours before she was called to the DC [disputes committee] to give evidence. This added stress made it harder to put her side of the case.

Weyman Bennett, UAF leader who appointed accused rapist
Martin Smith to run an organisation which would give him
access to young girls
‘In this case, the DC made a one-sentence decision — that the allegation of rape was unproven — with no further explanation. As might have been expected, the comrade who had made the accusation was extremely distressed.
‘The DC took a full two weeks to provide a statement. Yet the DC’s statement did not explain why it did not accept her account, or why it failed to make any criticism at all of the male comrade’s behaviour.'

Given the age of Miss X, it seems almost unbelievable that Martin Smith now runs 'Love Music, Hate Racism'. With its mission of putting on concerts in support of anti-racism, his new position will bring him into contact with large numbers of impressionable young girls - just like Miss X - while the apparatus of the SWP has already shown that it will do all it can to close down discussion of allegations against its leadership. At least two Central Committee members of the SWP were expelled following their attempts to challenge the findings of the Disputes Committeee.

To quote Tom Walker, a journalist who left the SWP over the handling of the matter,

"As those who raised criticisms pointed out, the disputes committee included five current or former CC members, and all have known comrade Smith for many years. Though I believe they took the case deeply seriously, this was not a jury of his peers, but a jury of his mates. If we were talking about any other organisation we would all consider it obvious that allowing it to investigate itself is unlikely to produce damning conclusions"

It is worth remembering that there are allegations that a further 9 rapes - including at least one other involving Smith - have been dealt with in a similar fashion, with the Disputes Committee dispensing 'revolutionary justice' in the form of expulsion or suspension from the SWP, in some cases for periods of up to two years. For any who feel that being made to temporarily leave a minor political party may not be a punishment which fits the crime of rape - which is a hate crime based on power - it may be worth asking why Hope not Hate feels no need to address such behaviour when they are supposedly opposed to inequality.

Thankfully, under Smiths' leadership the Love Music, Hate Racism campaign seems to have ground to a temporary halt: the last event listed on its website was last August, although the nature of the campaign means that there are often long hiatuses in its event schedule.

Should they start up again under Smiths' leadership, you may wish to ask yourself one thing before allowing your teenage daughters to attend an anti-racist event which sounds so worthy: the man behind it has been accused of rape, and has never faced justice because his friends in the anti-racist, anti-fascist movement whitewashed the allegations. Is this a person young girls should be around? You decide.


  1. Wonderful article. Now on twitter as well. What do you have on weyman, surely he deserves a blog now..keep up the great work.

    1. Thanks for your comment - its nice to be appreciated! Weyman will feature prominently in the near future, don't worry!