A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Transitional demands

The far left are keen on "transitional demands" - on the face of it nice-sounding policies that are undeliverable without a revolution and thus help turn people into revolutionaries (in theory).

The CPGB has this week decided to apply this policy making technique to John McDonnell's leadership campaign: http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/640/labour.htm

Unfortunately, in amongst the apparently reasonable but pushing at the boundaries stuff they are urging on McDonnell like a £300 a week minimum wage, some plain loopy Spart speak has slipped in. For instance, they want McDonnell to campaign for "Replacement of the standing army with a people’s militia".

A "militia" is of course an old Leninist demand popularised by Ken Livingstone's economics adviser John Ross (like most of Ken's kitchen cabinet a former member of the central committee of the International Marxist Group which subsequently entered into the Labour Party as "Socialist Action"). Mr Ross, who earns the best part of £200k a year at the GLA and therefore has little need to worry personally about a £300 week minimum wage, campaigned on the very same concept of a "militia" as IMG Candidate for Newham NE in one of the two general elections in 1974, stating "This is the only peaceful road to socialism. The ruling class must know that they will be killed if they do not allow a take-over by the workers. If we aren’t armed there will be a bloodbath."

So far the workers have not been armed and there has been no bloodbath ... I'm sure I'll be amongst the first against the wall when it comes.

In the mean time this entryist sleeper cell is running London, hence surreal episodes like swapping oil for policy advice with the lovely Hugo Chavez.

They have yet however, to arm the workers, unless the proliferation of PCSOs is a first step.

Does anyone out there have the text of their boss the Mayor's hagiographic foreword to Workers Revolutionary Party Leader Gerry Healey's biography?


Anonymous A soft socialist said...

Saw Ken speak last week and he was excellent. Came across as a moderate democratic socialist. And having used the public transport in London he seems to be doing a good job also.

However, I agree some of those demands made in that article were a bit wacky.

7:51 pm, September 15, 2006

Anonymous barryb1 said...

Luke you mean you want to read things like:

"Paul and Corinna have been friends of mnie for over 13 years. When they asked me to contribute a foreward to their biography of Gerry Healy I was delighted. At a time when political memories are growing increasingly short, it is good that the effort has been made to record the life of Gerry Healy, a revolutionary Marxist who had a massive impact on the working class movement, in Britain and internationally" or "My own research and experiences have strengthened, not weakened, my conviction that MI5 considers even the smallest left organsiation worthy of close surveillance and disruption. Given the pivotal role of Healy in maintaining contact with Yasser Arafat's HQ through the WRP's use of the latest technology, MI5 clarly felt that they had to stop the growing influence of the WRP. I have never changed my belief that the split in the WRP during 1985 was the work of MI5 agents".

No I didnt make these quotes up. They appear in Livingstones foreward to "Gerry Healy- A Revolutionary Life" by Corinna Lotz and Paul Feldman published in 1994.

Pity that Ken hasant published his research into MI5 and its role in disrpupting the revolutionary left. It would im sure make fascinating reading.

9:43 am, September 17, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yes that is the publication I was looking for...

2:23 pm, September 18, 2006

Blogger Dave said...


I was in Socialist Action with Ross in the early eighties. He had certainly changed tack by then.

The paper carried an article by him arguing that "insurrection cannot be a strategy for a serious current in the labour movement".

A massive internal spat followed. He was lucky not to get expelled for shaming us all with such reformist drivel.

Thanks for the link BTW. Will reciprocate when I get round to updating my template.

But tell me. Just who is responsible for that cruel parody site?

7:04 pm, September 18, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Someone who lives in Dalston, reads the Times, has a lot of spare time to spend on the internet, and is probably (based on their obsession with the minutiae of the Council legal department's personnel issues) a former employee of LBH.

9:46 am, September 20, 2006


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