Feminists V Socialists: Edinburgh Uni Feminists Try to Ban Socialist Workers Party

Feminists V Socialists: Edinburgh Uni Feminists Try to Ban Socialist Workers Party

Another day, another round of infighting between the People’s Front of Judea and the Judean People’s Front. The Edinburgh University Student’s Association (EUSA) has been accused of “inconsistency” in its commitment to “end rape culture and lad banter on campus”, after a motion put forward by the University’s Feminist Society to ban the Socialist Workers’ Party from campus was withheld when the SWP threatened legal action.

The motion, which extends the ban by refusing affiliation to student “front-groups” of the SWP, was brought by the Feminist Society because they believe the SWP to be deeply misogynistic, following allegations that a number of rape accusations against a senior party figure known only as ‘Comrade Delta’ were covered up, and eventually dismissed following kangaroo court proceedings within the party.

Eleanor Brayne-Whyatt, who submitted the motion, told student newspaper The Journal  that she had done so because “This will show that rape apologism and victim blaming cannot be put up with, and any movement that allows them to take place and that stamps all over women’s rights for the furthering of some ‘bigger’ cause will not be accepted. It is a shame that this hasn’t come sooner.”

The motion’s supporters pointed to the EUSA’s safe space policy, and its policy to “End Rape Culture and Lad Banter on Campus” in support of the motion. However, before it could be voted on the SWP contacted the EUSA and The Journal to claim that both the motion and media coverage of the motion were libellous, forcing the Association to withdraw it pending legal advice.

That action has prompted Student Rights, an organisation that bills itself as ‘tackling extremism on campus’, to accuse the EUSA of hypocrisy and inconsistency in its application of the policies. Student Rights also highlights another case from earlier this year in which members of the EUSA voted down a motion put forward by the university’s Humanist Society to ban segregation within union buildings or events, after the delegates heard speeches claiming that the motion had racist and Islamophobic intentions.

“For a union to selectively apply safe-space policies in this way is unacceptable, and de-legitimises the very idea of these policies.

“Students Rights would hope that these ideals would extend to all those that express misogynistic views, including groups which validate such views through religious belief,” the organisation has written on its blog.

It adds: “Until such a policy applies indiscriminately across campus, loopholes will exist through which the intolerant will be able to find a platform.”


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