The Ukrainian Bilko

michael pearn neprimerimye at
Fri Aug 29 07:37:29 MDT 2003

Like many others I have found the fraud carried
through by CWI members in the Ukraine on various left
tendencies in Britain, the USA and New Zealand quite
amusing. But it was not a matter of naive people being
bilked by canny tricksters as Tom O'Lincolln seems to
be saying. In fact this fraud was carried through over
a period of some years and Vernik and his friends had
face to face meeetings with a number of the Western
tendencies who they took in. For example they most
certainly met with representatives of both Workers
Power and the LRP/COFI in Poland. 

Thgis indicates and the written materials produced by
Vernik and company, materials never actually
distributed in the Ukraine of course, indicates that
the grasp of the ideologies of the various groups
involved was quite sophisticated. Rather different
then to a group of youth grasping at something that
might be seen as atractive on a superficial level (the
only level on which workers power group is attractive
in my humble opinion). 

The most interesting question involved in all this is
why would a college lecturer in Kiev, which is Verniks
real job it seems, spend so much effort for
comparatively little reward? (I do not belittle the
losses people have sustained just wish to point out
that some thousadns of pounds in proceeeds might
easily have been obtained legitimately by
sophisticated fraudsters). The LRP have hinted at the
involvement of state agencies but there is no proof of
this. If for personal gain then the effort involved
was surely not worth the benefits. 

Personally I think Vernik may have actually thought
that this was a clever ruse to gain funds to build his
own group in the Ukraine and damage opponent groups at
the same time by depriving them of funds. In addition
I suspect that this was legitimised for him by the
utterly fratricidal attitudes of most of the various
groups towards their supposed competitors. Add a dash
of petty bourgeois smugness at putting one over on
various people and a mere leavening of fascination
with the exotic varieties of left ideas concerned and
I think we have 'Cde Vernik'.

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