Cannon's misadventures in Britain

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Sep 4 22:06:27 MDT 2002


Brian wrote:

> On the Cannon jokes, I hadn't heard the other side of
> that story and I am glad that Walter posted it. I
> think though that events have already spoken on which
> side was correct. Bornstein and Richardson's "War and
> the International" describes events in detail for
> anyone who is interested. In short those who accepted
> Cannon's nominal unity split and dwindled, while those
> who told him where to go carried out some of the best
> work of any Trotskyist organisation during WW2 and
> grew many times over.


And the lesson here is that you can't build an organisation in one
country by diktat from another country, or by a line laid down for the
world by an old guy in Mexico City, no matter how clever that old guy
is.

Unfortunately, a lot of the far left have yet to learn this.

Interestingly, I would be pretty sure that while most British Trots of a
certain vintage will have read heaps of Cannon, I wonder how many US
Trots of the same vintage are really at all familiar of what a cock-up
Cannon and co. made in Britain and of the positive aspect of the work of
British Trotskyists in WW2 and afterwards.

Btw, when I was (briefly) in the IMG in the early 1980s, the Americans
were still interfering, mainly through secret factionalism and
attempting to encourage a split.  I know, coz I was in their faction -
fortunately I wised up and got the hell away from them.

Philip Ferguson

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