Graham Taylor on GA Cohen

Paul Flewers paul.flewers at
Wed Nov 24 23:16:25 MST 1999

James Farmelant quoted Graham Taylor: < Indeed, it is striking how often
the Morning Star and Socialist Worker repeat the arguments of The Times
and The Telegraph. Scargill has often praised Thatcher, discerning not a
difference in values between himself and her but only a difference of
class power. In the 1970s the far left joined Thatcher in condemning the
Social Contract, the Bullock Report, the European Community,
Keynesianism, as if in demonstration of the fact that the political
spectrum is circular, not linear, and the far left stands closest to the
far right. >

This is typical of the way that the Eurocommunists have gone. Non-UK
list members may not be aware of the political background of the
Democratic Left and New Times. The DL is what became of the Communist
Party of Great Britain, the official CP, after it severed all
connections with the Morning Star, the CPGB's daily paper, which had
been promoting a more traditional CP line. The Star's backers now form
the Communist Party of Britain.

One can equate the differentiations in the CPGB with those in the latter
days of the CPSU -- a Ligachev wing (Star supporters, now CPB) which
wished to keep the old show on the road; a Gorbachev wing (a minority of
DL people still proclaiming to be Marxist, often quite open to
worthwhile debate), and a Yeltsin wing (DL majority, basically heavily
into new age social democracy à la Blair, like our reviewer, who want to
junk all vestiges of their tradition). The DL acts as the theoretical
brains of Blair's New Labour.

The bit about Scargill and Thatcher is downright disgraceful. Scargill
said that Thatcher was a class warrior for the bourgeoisie, and openly
wished that his fellow union leaders fought as well for our class as she
did for hers.

It's an old trick to say 'you're against this, he's against it too, so
you're all the same'. The far left opposed workers' participation in
management (Bullock report) because we saw it as class collaboration;
the right opposed it as they wanted a class confrontationist line with
no concessions to reformism. Much the same thing with Keynesianism. We
oppose the Common Market/European Union as a capitalist superstate, and
counterpose to it the socialist federation of Europe (although the CPGB
took a more nationalist line on this issue, calling for British
independence). Elements of the bourgeoisie opposed it as they saw it as
a barrier to profitable trade with countries outwith Europe, although
most of the bourgeoisie either supports it or is neutral towards it now.
And so on, and so on.

Most of the things which Taylor condemns the left for, the
Eurocommunists use to oppose as well, until they started moving
rightwards, and discovered the joys of right-wing social democracy.

Paul F

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