the begin of trotskyism II

wdrb at wdrb at
Fri Aug 25 08:46:21 MDT 1995

Jj Plant reports on the SWP:
<There is some material/debate on a.p.s.t which I am gathering together.
I'll email it on to you if you like. SWP is pretty upset about these
people and has banned its own members from participating in a list run
by, or used by, ISG. From outside, and only being able to read the tea
leaves, it looks like a bigger split than SWP has had before, and it
crystallises some past discontents and pulls in some people who drifted
out or were pushed out previously.

Their politics is pretty much SWP business as usual, but with criticisms
of the leadership & internal regime. Those outside seem to be encouraging
supporters to stay in and fight, and build opposition in the run up to
SWP conference.

jplant at


Will Brown:

I'd be very interested in anything you can
glean or guess on the SWP because

1) It is now the only significant party
in the UK to the left of the Labour Party
(which is rapidly moving right).

2) There has been much debate amongst Marxists
in the UK of the virtue of trying to
organise neo-bolshevik vanguard parties
given the failure of the previous 60
(no exageration) attempts that have been
made in the UK since 1945. So the fate of the
SWP as the last exemplar of the vanguard party
(whatever your personal criticisms of it) is important.

For myself, I've seen the stufff Open Polemic were
giving out outside Marxism this year (reprints of
criticisms by dissident internal groups mainly
critical of lack of democracy)

I also have the impression that the SWP has been unable
 to take advantage of the dominant position on
the British Left in the way it would have
expected. Its behaviour looks like
that of a party stalled by internal
division or controlled by old people
who can think of nothing better than to carry
on in the same old way.

Will Brown

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