Vanguards and fire ants

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Nov 19 13:12:50 MST 2002


Louis wrote:
> The nominating sessions for delegates were some of the most painful and
> embarrassing moments I ever spent in the Trotskyist movements as each
> name put forward was vetted by the branch leadership. So and so was
> "developing" as a branch leader, but tended to not work well enough with
> the "team". Once the delegates were elected, the selection of national
> committee nominees by these chosen few was even more excruciating since
> the stakes were even higher.


I recall as a 16-year-old school student attending my first Socialist
Action League conference.  I found the process of electing the national
leadership truly bizarre.  This was done by a 'nominating commission'
(leadership flunkies) drawing up a slate and then proposing it.  It made
me very uncomfortable, but I thought, I'm just a 16-yr-old kid, what do
I know, and these are the leaders and they've been educated at the foot
of the US SWP which has the baton from Trotsky.  Boy, were my original
instincts right.  I should got have out of there straight away instead
of wasting the rest of my teens in that outfit.  A good indication of
what the slate was all about was the year someone who had been in the
movement for only a few months, knew nothing about Marxism and had no
left background or anything, was elected to the leadership.  This person
just happened to be in a relationship with the sect supremo and shortly
afterwards left the organisation when the relationship broke up.  She
was actually a pleasant person, but really!  Still I did manage to
escape well before it degenerated into a mere zombie-cult.  I must say
that Ireland was a bloody great breath of fresh air after that.

Philip Ferguson

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