Socialist Labour Party
TimW333521 at aol.com
TimW333521 at aol.com
Wed Nov 22 07:00:52 MST 1995
This is largely a reply to an early post by Jeff Booth. I apologize for
being "stuck in the 80's" when it comes to British far left politics.
However, it is really more accurate to say I'm stuck in the 60's and 70's.
There is a certain advantage to being so stuck. This is because I hear
arguments today which are IDENTICAL to those I heard in the 60s in particular
re: the BLP. Gerry Healy, somewhere in the summer of 1964, decided that
life within the BLP was no longer possible (after existing therein from 1943
or so). The "youth" in particular couldn't take it anymore. Then, about
three years later I attended a LPYS convention, in believe in Scarborough.
Healy was on the outside and we had to sneak in. The organization was
controlled by the Cliff group and Grant's people represented the opposition.
The next year Cliff decided that the "Youth" couldn't take the BLP and it
was necessary to leave to reach these radicalized youth. Grant perservered
and, over time, did rather well gaining MPs Liverpool, etc. It appears that
more recently, in an event I missed, the group he founded sans Grant left the
BLP finding that the "youth" didn't like it and that now anyway it is
Therefore recent arguments are identical with those of Healy and Cliff in
earlier periods. Is it that the BLP has QUaLITATIVELY changed? I really
feel to claim that now is not so much to exaggerate its current right wing
drift but to whitewash its supposed "left wing" past.
Please correct me if I am wrong and reading too much of the American
situation into contemporary Britain: I think Britain is experiencing a
modest swing from the right to the middle which may bring a middling BLP to
power. One can decide whether or not to be part of such a BLP or not, to
vote for it or not, but it does not seem to be a particularly good time to
launch a new radical party. I would doubt if more than a handful of workers
would vote for such a party when it could mean a loss of the elections to the
Tories. I certainly wouldn't. (It could also prove that Scargill is about
as committed to this project as the Oil & Chemical Workers here are to
actually launching a labor party in 96).
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