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.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Know your enemy

As regular readers will know, one of my hobbies is trying to follow the convoluted splits and mergers of British Trotskyism. One of the best pamphlets on this subject is "As Soon as this Pub Closes". I was unaware until a commenter on Dave Osler's blog posted a link to it that it's online here:

http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/Sectariana/Pub.html

It's out of date but provides a useful guide to the political antecedents of some of the current groups.

To map the groups described across to their current incarnations for the benefit of younger readers:

Militant is now the Socialist Party (in England & Wales) and the SSP plus Sheridan's Solidarity in Scotland.
The SWP is still the SWP but now has Respect as a broader front group.
Socialist Organiser is now the Alliance for Workers Liberty.
Socialist Action & the IMG now run London through the employment of leading members by Mayor Ken.
Red Action is now the Independent Working Class Association (IWCA), the Hackney branch of which split off to become "Hackney Independent".

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much as these days they are my main political opponents, and I fundamentally disagree with the foundations of their philosophy, I mut admit that the trots fascinate me, particularly the nature of their splits (which I mostly blame on over-rigid party discipline mixed with an emphasis on triviality in difference).

Anyone interested in political thought should definitely give the trotrags a read, even if they disagree. Unless of course it's the fundamentally predictable Socialist Wanker.

9:06 pm, November 11, 2006

 
Anonymous Amir Choudhary said...

Very interesting, Luke. Am I the only one to see a close analogy here between what you have written and certain events this past week that thrust the BNP back into the headlines?

Nick Griffin was acquitted because he expressed his views very carefully and circumvented the law by attacking British Muslims on religious, rather than racial, grounds. Or at least that's what the jury decided.

Were a member of the Labour Party to launch a serious attack upon another member of the Labour Party, it could very well be a disciplinary matter - possibly even leading to expulsion.

So you choose to say "Socialist Action & the IMG now run London through the employment of leading members by Mayor Ken."

Not quite the same as accusing Ken Livingstone of supporting Socialist Action, which is a subversive left-wing organisation dedicated to unseating the Labour Party.

Were the latter true, it would be a similar situation to that which resulted in Derek Hatton being expelled from the Party in 1986. And were it to be falsely accused by you, it would probably lead to your own expulsion.

So well done, Luke. You've obviously learnt something from the BNP (or was it from Herr Goebbels?). You know how to spread lies while just skirting clear of the rules.

10:19 pm, November 11, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be silly guys. Socialist Action don't run the Mayor's office. He runs them, the silly stalinoid bag-carriers.

Luke just has sour grapes over the Dobbo candidature.

2:50 pm, November 12, 2006

 
Blogger Scrybe said...

thanks for this Chris. Militant still continue? [Scrybe shudders]. I Having grown up under a council they managed to bankrupt, I'm far from pleased, but I'm glad I know what their current incarnation is termed.

Feel free to peep my blog and leave comment.

8:30 pm, November 12, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amir,

Justification is an absolute defence. I'm sure Luke would love the NEC to come after him on this, but given there is as much love for Livingstone the liar on the NEC as there is Chez Akehurst I don't see that happening, so enough of your pathetic threats and attempts to intimidate people. Labour isn't a Leninist party and we are allowed to disagree.

As for this:

Were a member of the Labour Party to launch a serious attack upon another member of the Labour Party, it could very well be a disciplinary matter - possibly even leading to expulsion.


Is this a joke? Or do you mean a physical attack?

11:14 pm, November 12, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much as these days they are my main political opponents

Erm... the Tories have a couple of hundred MPs... the Trots have none. Have you perhaps got your priorities wrong, Tom?

1:58 am, November 13, 2006

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

For the record Amir,

a) Socialist Action is not proscribed by the Labour Party - unlike Militant and Socialist Organiser there is no barrier to being a member of the Party and a supporter of SA.

b) As far as I know Ken has never been a member of SA - but he is strongly supported by it and several of his key advisers are leading figures in SA.

I don't think any of this is a big secret or new accusation - as far as I know Livingstone is quite proud of his association with this organisation.

10:43 am, November 13, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted the link to the online version of the famous pamphlet (and I hope to update it someday),

On the IWCA - it's often said that Red Action are their predecessor but some claims about their history have been deemed to libellous - as Oxford Labour councillors found out, to their cost - http://labour-watch.blogspot.com/2006/01/labour-pay-up-15000-for-oxford-libel.html

Also Red Action, long before their demise, stopped seeing themselves as Trotskyists.

12:56 am, November 14, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trots are the enemy because I am student, and they are strong in my Union and NUS. Their idea of socialism is the complete failure to implement it.

3:19 pm, November 14, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are socialist organiser proscribed. AWL have lots of Labour party members, several in my constituency. They don't coem to meetings and more seem to be rejoining to vote for McDonnell.

4:23 pm, November 14, 2006

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yes, since 1990.

4:52 pm, November 14, 2006

 
Blogger Benjamin said...

Socialist Action run London? On which planet?

6:31 am, November 15, 2006

 

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