Jose and the Living Dead
Philip L Ferguson
PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Sep 7 17:35:14 MDT 1999
On what has happened to ex-SWP leaders:
'Mac' Warren's first name is James. He was orignally James 'Mac' Warren
and then became just Mac Warren. Mac Warren came to new Zealand a number
of times. On one ocassion he took it upon himself to organise a 'fusion'
of a section of the leadership of the NZ YS with what was then the SAL.
This was around 1981.
I don't know whether he is still in the Barnesites, but his role seems to
be taken these days by James Harris. Harris toured NZ during his US
Barry Sheppard's departure was extremely fraught. An email pal of mine who
was in the SWP in the 1970s and early 1980s knows Barry, and also the
Australian DSP leadership knows him. Both my email pal and a top leader of
the DSP who once stayed with me in Dublin said Barry would not talk about
how the split with Barnes had come about, but it basically seems he
disagreed over something and that was him for the high jump. They
concocted some charge against him, to do with starying into a women's
toilet at some party conference, and he was out on his ear. I assume
Caroline Lund left at the same time. Malik Miah had some disagreement as
well, I think it was over an assessment about some strike. Barnes, with
the usual up-up-and-away line declared it was a great victory, whereas Miah
thought it was a draw or the workers had lost something, so that was the
end of him.
Barry Sheppard (and I assume Malik Miah) were in Socialist Action for a
while, but now Sheppard has his own thing, a journal called 'Independent
Politics'. I recently saw an exchange between him and US Lambertists over
stuff to do with the Labor Party.
These kinds of departures are reflected elsewhere. They main leader of the
CL in Britain when it began was Brian Grogan. Grogan was a probem for
Barnes as he had been a central leader of the IMG for years in his own
right, and was not dependent on the favour of the Barnes' cabal in New
York. This meant some independent thinking might occur in the British CL.
Well, Grogan disputed Barnes' assessment of Eastern Europe - ie Grogan had
some connection to the real world on the issue - and so that was him for
the high jump. He was replaced with people who had no standing and who
would never disagree with the Barnes cabal in New York. In fact the
British CL has been through one or two sets of 'leaders' before New York
has finally been able to have a British 'leadership' which is totally
subordinate and unquestioning.
Doug Jenness is retired from the central leadership and is in Minneapolis,
from where he upholds the Barnesite line. I beieve Linda Jenness had a
breakdown many years ago and left.
I assume Cindy Jaquith is still involved, although not part of the
leadership any more. I also assume Steve Clark is still there.
Of the original four key Barnesites in Australia - Nita Keig, Deb
Schnookal, Dave Deustchmann and (sorry can't remember the other one) - the
first three are all gone and have no time at all for the Barnesite thing
these days. In New Zealand, about 85 percent of the membership, and even
Barnes' chief lieutenant for a decade, have gone. The average age of the
NZ membership is probably about 40 these days.
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