Barnesites (att: Mike Calvert)

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Wed Apr 18 19:44:22 MDT 2001

Mike Calvert wrote:
>I am new to this e-group but have always tried to follow what happened to
>the SWP quite closely. I gather that this is a preoccupation of this
>particular group. Living in the UK it is quite difficult to get first hand
>information. I have always thought of the SWP as Trotsky's party, until the
>decline began in the  1970's.

I think you will find that discussion of the Barnesites is not a
preoccupation of this list.  The vast bulk of posts are on stuff in the
real world.

About half a dozen regular or semi-regular posters on the list spent
formative political years in various FI sections - in NZ, Australia,
Canada, the US and Britain - and, with the exception of Gary (who was
IMT-aligned), were generally LTF in the 1970s squabbles (although some of
us would now say the LTF wing was far from healthy).  So, as a strictly
side hobby, we sometimes post bits and pieces about the degeneration of the
US SWP into a more and more bizarre cult around a tinpot despot (Barnes).

If you are in the UK, might I assume that you were in the IMG and a member
of The Faction in the early 80s and, later, the Communist League, (the
pro-Barnes' current in Britain).  If so, you will no doubt be aware of the
deleterious effects of Barnes' heavy hand in Britain and the exit of people
like Brian Grogan and Rich Palser and other original 'collaborators' of the
Barnes Gang.

Someone in Britain told me a couple of years ago he'd heard that after the
trauma of Barnesism, Grogan ended up finding another god, namely the
Christian one.

Philip Ferguson
ex-SAL (NZ), ex-IMG (Britain), ex-Sinn Fein (Ireland),
current editorial collective member, 'revolution' magazine,

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