== No Subject ==

Ian Nicol sumo at cix.compulink.co.uk
Tue Aug 20 09:55:00 MDT 1996

Re:OP Broadshhet 5 part 2
Open Polemic and the Leninist Faction

In pursuing its general line for the integration of the movement, Open
Polemic has undoubtedly placed itself in a state of unity and conflict
with the vanguardist organisations, no more so than with the TLeninistU
faction of the old CPGB which, following the launch of the Weekly Worker
in 1981, has given the movement a relentless rendition of its own,
particular TIskraU strategy.

A TLeninistU review of the first issue of Open Polemic's journal was
thoroughly negative and hostile. Open Polemic was obliged to point out
that it had the same goal as the TLeninistU, the formation of a single
communist party in this country and that:
TIt is only our strategic approach to this vital task that differs. As
such, objectively we are allies and not adversaries of yourselves and the
other 30 vanguards.U

Despite regarding Open Polemic as being, by definition abstract and
ineffectual, and unrelated to political intervention, some five years
later, the TLeninistU was inviting Open Polemic to work for communist
rapprochement as a faction under the banner of the TCPGBU.

By the beginning of 1990, ironically the same year that Open Polemic came
into existence, the TLeninistU was confirming its sectarian credentials,
declaring that it was Tthe only revolutionary wing of our movementU and
that to be a TgenuineU communist, one had to accept its TleadU and its T

Although it could not bring itself to formulate any definition of
Marxism-Leninism, the TLeninistU not only argued that TMarxism-Leninism
is powerful because it is trueU, it asserted that it was necessary to
equip the Party with a TMarxist-Leninist programmeU. It went on to say,
and this is significant to its most recent tactics concerning programme,
that this would depend on Treforging the Party and then convening a
congress.U and that the TLeninistU would prepare a draft programme and
present it Tin the form of a proposal to the congress of the reforged

However, by its Fifth Congress, at the end of that same year, the T
LeninistU resolved to transform itself into the TCommunist Party of Great
BritainU and call its own National Committee the Provisional Central
Committee of the TPartyU.

For the TLeninistU leadership this meant that it could pursue its TIskraU
strategy with all the authority that it had bestowed upon itself by
appointing itself as the leadership of a TCPGBU politically organised in
accordance with the TLeninistU version of democratic centralism.

Open Polemic and the CPGB (Leninist)

Undeniably, the CPGB (TLeninistU) has the politically significant
distinction among the numerous vanguardist organisations of allowing its
members the right to form factions. Its PCC (the TLeninistU leadership),
despite its continuing insistence that Open Polemic was Ta reactionary
diversionU later extended its particular,  concepts on factions with an
invitation for Open Polemic to join the TCPGBU as a faction. Presumably
by such an act the comrades of Open Polemic could then be looked upon as T
genuineU communists. By the same token, if they took the decision to
leave on a future occasion, they could then be villified as not being T
genuineU communists.

Despite its misgivings, for Open Polemic this TCPGBU development seemed
to present the possibility of a definite break with the impasse of
sectarian vanguardism for it carried the prospect of advancing open
polemic and rapprochement into the arena of transitional party, political
organisation. Of even greater, particular significance was the prospect
of Open Polemic and the TLeninistU, with their different approaches to
communist  rapprochement, acting together in the revolutionary interest.

It was evident to Open Polemic however that the TLeninistU, with its
established control of the leadership of the TPartyU, was still intent on
continuing the practice of leader centralism  within the TCPGBU. In the
view of OP, any organisation joining the TCPGBU as a faction would not be
polemicising on equal terms with the TLeninistU which had put on the
mantle of the Provisional Central Committee. It would be polemicising on
unequal terms with the Tleadership of the PartyU. As it transpired, the
various organisations recognised this reality and have been more than
circumspect in taking up the invitation to join the TCPGBU as factions.
Being in leader centralist mode themselves, they have their own interest
in the possibilty of attaining leadership status before they commit
themselves to such a step. So, in general, those with any interest in
the TCPGBU who were still clinging to their TvanguardistU backgrounds
were interested in the possible opportunity to put forward their
programmist approach, which well suited the tactics of the TLeninistU.

Being in declared opposition to the continuation of the practice of
leader centralism in any future party of a new type, the Open Polemic
Editorial Board as a whole was not prepared to enter the TCPGBU as a
faction. It nevertheless recognised the necessity for responding to such
a significant development in a positive way but more importantly, it also
recognised that the revolutionary interest demanded the maintenance of
the political independence of Open Polemic.

Open Polemic subsequently responded to the invitation from the TCPGBU
with a comprehensive statement which was published in its Broadsheet
No.4. and also in the Weekly Worker. This statement included its decision
     TRepresentatives of Open Polemic would therefore join the CPGB on
the basis that this would constitute a particular and significant
extension of OP's general strategy for open polemic across the
revolutionary movement.
       On entry as members of the party, these comrades would, however,
regard themselves as the party's Provisional Polemic Committee,
responsible for the facilitation and practice of open polemic as OP's
particular contribution to the work of reforging the CPGB. ...

... They would do so despite Open Polemic's deep reservation that theT
LeninistU faction, at present, lacks the necessary political maturity to
cooperate with others in carrying through the process of rapprochement.U

It was perfectly obvious that the different approaches of Open Polemic
and the TProvisional Central CommitteeU to the question of party could
result in a certain antagonism within the process of rapprochement. These
antagonisms would not be resolved by any demand that OP representational
members must automatically adhere to all majority decisions. The comrades
concerned were entering the TCPGBU as part of their revolutionary duty
towards the rapprochement process. They were not joining a particular
vanguardist organisation because they agreed substantially with its
particular programme.

Open Polemic therefore took the view and still takes the view that in
accepting the principle of representational entry, the Provisional
Central Committee had accepted the entry of another kind of member than
had been the case previously. A situation had developed which posed
questions concerning the practice of democratic centralism within a T
PartyU which had yet to be reforged.

Transitional Political Organisation
Given the long experience and self-discipline on the part of the OP
comrades, and given goodwill on both sides, there was some prospect that
any difficulties arising during the period of transitional political
organisation could be overcome and that the process itself could open up
the possibility of other organisations coming in under the banner of the T

Of interest is the fact that the TLeninistsU of the CPGB at their Fourth
Congress in 1989 recognised the difficulties of transitional political
organisation when they asserted that:
TWith uding gateways to 2 external networks. Asynchronous: 3270
emulators, NTO dial-ups and PSS with NPSI).  In addition the client was
converted from using an IBM Mass Storage device to storage managed by
DF/HSM and CA1 using pools of 3380s backed by 3480 cartridge tapes.

June 1985 to December 1986 : on contract to American Express. Providing
systems programming support to a system consisting of two 3090/200 and a
3081. One major task was the installation of VM/SF, another the
installation of DB2. The primary systems in use were MVS/XA, JES2, CICS
and ISPF.

May 1984 to June 1985 : employed by MASSTOR Systems. As a Senior Design
Engineer designing, testing and implementing new software product in
support of the M860 and Hyperchannel hardware. The major product
developed was an automatic backup and recall system for use with two or
more computer centres linked by HYPERCHANNEL or a SNA network. It
propagated the information from a backup run on one system automatically
to the other and was capable of automatic recall of datasets across the
network. This software involved cross memory communication between the
requester address spaces and a server address space as well as
communication between the server spaces over the network.

August 1978 to May 1984 : employed by AMDAHL. Originally as a systems
engineer assisting customers with their operating system support, later
as a Software Specialist within their European Software Support Centre
providing third level support to customers throughout Europe. This
involved spending extended periods working at Amdahl's development centre
in Sunnyvale working on software for the 580 series of machines prior to
their initial shipment to customers and included developing and fixing
both the hypervisor code to support the Logical Processor Facility and
the UNIX based system used within the console processor. I also provided
sales and installation support for Amdahl's UTS (UNIX) system throughout
Europe.  Throughout all this employment I debugged and wrote fixes for a
wide variety of products including MVS, VTAM, TCAM, JES2 and JES3.

June 1976 to August 1978 : employed by ALTERGO. Principally to design,
implement and support the SHADOW TP monitor.

November 1973 to June 1976 : employed by Barclays Bank. As a systems
programmer (MFT/MVT/HASP and MVS/JES2) later the senior systems
programmer responsible for TP (BTAM/BATS, TCAM, VTAM and NCP)

October 1972 to November 1973 : working for Business Computers on the
Molecular 18 range of computers.

October 1969 to June 1972 : studying mathematics at Warwick University.

January 1969 to October 1969 : employed by ICL as a pre-University
student programmer.
 Summary of main product experience:


Central processors: IBM ES9000, 3090, 308x...360/40, AMDAHL 5995, 580 and
470, P/370, AS/400, RS6000

IBM and Compatible PCs

Teleprocessing: IBM 3725, 3705, 270x, AMDAHL 4705

Terminals: IBM 3270 family, 3780, 2780, 2260, Teletypes, IBM PCs

Other equipment: IBM Masstorage, MASSTOR masstorage, NSC Hyperchannel,
Ethernet & Token Ring LANs.

Programming Responsibilities

System Generation/support:  IBM MVS (ESA/XA/SP/SE) MVT, MFT,

Design and implementation:

LU6.2 and TCP/IP connection from AIX to AS/400 for loan applications

LU6.2 connection from OS/2 to CICS for credit reference application

LU0 connection from OS/2 to IMS for a banking application

APPC transport layer from MVS to OS/2 for a plant control system

Transaction based file and command shipper using APPC on MVS, OS/2,
PC-DOS and AS/400

Remote contingency system interfacing to IMS, DB2, VTAM and NETEX.

Remote backup and restore system interfacing to DMS/OS, VTAM and MASSNET

Amdahl's LPF hypervisor for 580s.

Amdahl's UNIX based console software for 580s.

Shadow TP monitor supporting 3270, 2260 and Teletype devices.
Also 3270 emulator and COBOL pre-processor for Shadow.

370 Assembler, C, COBOL, REXX, CLIST, Visual Basic and  SQL

PC Software

DOS, OS/2, LANs(Token Ring, Ethernet, LAN Server, NOVELL, VXNET & 3COM),
3270 emulation, Word, Excel, Ventura, Manuscript, Freelance,
Excelerator(CASE tool), VM/386, OS/2 Dialog Manager,
OS/2 Presentation Manager, OS/2 Communications Manager, Networking
Services/2(APPN), WINDOWS, ToolBook, WINDOWS 3 SDK,
OS/2 Toolkit, various C compilers, MicroFocus COBOL, NS/DOS, LINUX,

Chris Harris
Director, Lucaswhite Ltd.,
10 Rhyl Road, Perivale, Middx UB6 8LD, England
Tel (+44) (0) 181 997 9780 Mobile (+44) (0) 860-540468
Email charris at cix.compulink.co.uk

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