Fight is on for a socialist oriented British Labor Party

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Fri Feb 16 13:14:07 MST 1996

Briefly on two points in the article Scott quoted.

William Pomeroy wrote:

>the last great British working class
>struggle in the miners" strike of 1984

which as it stands ignores the current great struggle of the Liverpool
dockers against a return to conditions of casualization and barbarism that
existed at the beginning of this century. If some deeper historical
significance is intended, and it could well be, then a short explanation is
needed. The reason is that the positive class-conscious aspects of
Scargill's leadership were more than counter-balanced by the weaknesses it
showed in not extending the battle to other sectors and not explaining that
the fight was against the capitalist system and not just a particularly
nasty bourgeois government.

He also writes:

>British Communists tend to urge continued support for the
>Labor Party as the opponent of the capitalist-class-based
>Tory Party. The issue of the SLP, however, has precipitated
>a debate among Communists with some insisting that a Blair
>government would not be different from that of the Tories.
>Arthur Scargill is not taking his SLP along an ultra-left
>path. It has a constitution specifically designed to keep
>out Trotskyists and their "entryist" tactics (the rebuffed
>representatives of the Trotskyist Militant Labor
>organization walked out of the Jan. 13 meeting). In the main
>it seeks to draw its members -- Scargill aims at 5,000
>within 18 months -- from disillusioned Labor members and
>from the trade unions.

This is a hoot. Scargill proposes a Stalinist method of building a
socialist party and the British Stalinists fart in his face and stick with
the reformists they know and love. Look at the Stalinist
sitting-on-the-fence reporting here! 'some insisting that a Blair
government would not be different from that of the Tories'! Of course,
we're going to make damn sure we don't tell you what we think about the
question - that'd be interfering in the sovereign affairs of an autonomous
national party laying its own royal road to utopia!

And then 'a constitution specifically designed to keep out Trotskyists and
their "entryist" tactics'!! The whole point about entrism for anyone whose
brains aren't filled with sawdust, is that you conceal your organizational
affiliation and organize around policies and publications until such time
as it's possible or necessary or unavoidable to come clean. Entrism is made
an option precisely by such constitutions as the one proposed for the SLP.
On this I agree with Marcus Strom's earlier posting on the importance of
factional openness in a revolutionary party (re: Brest-Litovsk). I'll quote
a couple of paragraphs:

>The following debate is very interesting. The whole Brest Litovsk
>thing is one of the major debates that showed the strength of
>Bolshevik organisation.
>I'm sure that our erstwhile 'official communists' in the CPUSA will
>be shocked to know that actual *factions* formed in the Bolshevik
>party on this very issue - and they were not 'illegal' factions, but
>were encouraged to emerge by the collective leadership of the
>Bolsheviks [which included reps from the three factions on this
>issue: Zinoviev, Lenin and Trotsky].
>This debate shows the strength of factions in a revolutionary party.
>When the debate started, Lenin's faction for peace with Germany was a
>*minority* initially. The Zinoviev faction for pursuing revolutionary
>war against Germany was in the majority on this issue. Trotsky's mob
>sat on the fence; 'neither peace nor war'. It was the full blooded
>*factional* debate within the party which won Trotsky and his faction
>over to the position of negotiated peace (This is entirely different
>to a position of socialism in one country).



     --- from list marxism at ---


More information about the Marxism mailing list