THE BRITISH SLP AND THE TACTICS OF TROTSKYISTS IN BRITAIN

LCMRCI global at uk.pi.net
Sat Aug 31 17:01:33 MDT 1996


	THE BRITISH SLP AND THE TACTICS OF TROTSKYISTS IN BRITAIN

	On May 4th around 600 people attended to the founding conference of
the British Socialist Labour Party. Its creation represents the most
important left wing split from Labour in more than sixty years.
	The most significant previous Labour’s left split was the
Independent Labour in the aftermath of what Trotsky called a
pre-revolutionary situation in the time of the big depression. Trotski
recommended that his followers enter in that party with the aim of creating
a revolutionary wing. He advocated that revolutionaries should not adopt a
sectarian policy towards reformist Labour. Inside the ILP they should
constantly demand Labour break with the bourgeoisie and to fight for working
class aspirations, ie a united front policy with Labour.
	As yet, there are no MPs, national unions or regional committees in
the SLP. Most of the Labour’s left remains in the official party and they
consider Scargill’s move as a premature rupture from a movement in which
millions of workers have illusions that Labour could replace 17 years of
Tory anti-popular administration.
The SLP have a left reformist programme and a bureaucratic constitution that
forbids any left organisation from affiliation. Despite the fact that the
SLP has less members than Militant Labour or the Cliff’s SWP, it has an
important audience in the unions and is led by a national workers’ figure
(the leader of the miner’s strike). It is said that several thousands
workers know Peter Taffe (Militant’s leader), some tens of thousands know
Tony Cliff (the SWP leader) but millions of workers know Scargill. The SWP
is a big propaganda society while the SLP has the potential to became an
important electoral and union focus.
The SLP is becoming a pole of attraction to thousands of activists. Hundreds
of subjective revolutionaries and trade unions militants joined the SLP with
the aim to break with reformism and create a revolutionary party. That is
why it is important to address that milieu.
When the SLP was launched the SWP adopted a sectarian attitude. Cliff saw it
as a rival organisation. The SWP want to appear as the only socialist
opposition to Blair. In the last Marxism (the SWP annual event) it have tens
of forums but non of them about the SLP.
Militant Labour tried to fuse with Scargill’s project. Nevertheless, he
decided to impose a constitution that forbade other organisations from
affiliating. ML decided to promote its own "Socialist Alliances" which has a
special audience in Scotland.
The SLP now claim to have between 1,000 to 2,000 members. Hundreds ox
ex-members of far left groups and also of the CP plus many former small
organisations (like several dissidents groups from Cliffism or the fourth
internationals) are inside the SLP. The SLP is attracting many people that
is unhappy with Blair new Labour which is programmatically similar to the
Conservatives.
A revolutionary organisation has to have a pedagogic approach to these
left-moving forces. A group with some tens of members should have comrades
working in both Labour and in the SLP fighting inside these and other
working class organisations for a united front policy against the bosses and
for a revolutionary programme.
Inside the SLP some former dissident members of Workers Power are fighting
for a revolutionary programme inside it. Last weekend of July a national
conference with 30 delegates decided to create the first organised
opposition inside the SLP. The Revolutionary Platform adopted many
revolutionary amendments. In that conference there was a debate between
comrades who advocate a socialist revolutionary programme and comrades who
wanted to adopt a  "democratic revolutionary" programme whose strategic aim
was for a (bourgeois) federal republic. The conference resolved to fight for
a Socialist Workers republic and for a Socialist Europe.
In relation to the next elections we wouldn’t advocate a vote for the SLP or
Militant everywhere. We would only advocate a vote for non-Labour left
candidates when they have real working class support. In places when they
don’t represent any significant force we would not endorse them. We don’t
support their programmes but we support some of their progressive demands
and, what is most important, we try to make a united front with the best
working class fighters that are around that movement.
A revolutionary party should advocate critical support for Labour and that
means to have an active participation inside it. At the same time we need to
address to all of the working class leftwing forces when they have a
SIGNIFICANT influence in the masses to stand fighting class candidates.







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