CWI and Malvinas War

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Nov 12 14:38:57 MST 2002


Someone from the Left Party said:
> Last May, the SP/CWI of Britain published an article
> on the 20th Anniversary of the Malvinas War.  In that
> article they continued to defend the "right of self
> determination" of the 1,500/1,800 employess of a
> British company and soldiers occupying the islands and
> stated that, at the time of the war, and as
> "alternative to Thatcher's war" they proposed
> international working class actions against the
> Argentinean junta for their taking of the Islands. I
> guess to punish them for defying British imperialism.
>
> A critique of that position here:


Thanks for this.  It is interesting to see their position has not
changed 20 years later.

I'm amused that they support 'self-determination' for these 1500 - 1800
people while *opposing* self-determination in Ireland.

The connecting link, of course, is that the CWI's British leadership
capitulate to British imperialism.

I was a member of the Labour Party Young Socialists in Britain at the
time of both the Irish hunger strike and Malvinas War.  The CWI played
an absolutely despicable pro-imperialist role.  They opposed any and all
motions in support o the hunger strikers and never lifted a finger to
help while ten Irish socialists died slow and painful deaths on hunger strike.

In the case of the Malvinas, the CWI leadership in Britain used their
total domination of the LPYS at the time to prevent any motions comng to
the floor of the LPYS conference (which took place as the Brit war fleet
was zooming down to the South Atlantic).  Their whole position was
geared towards defeating the Argentinian junta rather than defeating
Thatcher.  This neatly ignored the fact that we were in Britain, an
imperialist power, and our key task as Marxists was how to defeat 'our
own' imperialist government in Britain, not how to bring down the junta.
 The British CWI leaders even went to the bizarre length of claiming
that Argentina was 'imperialist' - which still wouldn't have justified
their political position anyway.  The evidence that Argentina was
'imperialist', given by their then chief leader Ted Grant, was that
Buenos Aires had a stock exchange.

Philip Ferguson

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