AWL history

AWL archives at LSE library

Published on: Fri, 02/09/2011 - 13:29

The archives of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty and our forerunners, deposited at the library of the London School of Economics, are now catalogued and available to researchers.

The archives include all the documents and publications of the AWL and our forerunners except the most recent stuff, which is on this website or (in the case of more recent minutes of AWL committees) in electronic archives available to AWL members.

Contents of "Irish Workers' Group" folder:

1. League for the Workers' Republic and

Bob Sutcliffe 1939-2019

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 11:04

Martin Thomas

Bob Sutcliffe, a well-known Marxist economist for over fifty years, and at one time a comrade of ours in the Workers’ Socialist League of 1981-84, died on 23 December 2019, aged 80.

I last talked with Bob about 10 years ago, when I was seeking interviews and discussions with Marxist economists about the 2007-8 crisis and its aftermath. Bob explained that his health was bad, and he couldn’t contribute, but he was, as ever, friendly, helping me with introductions to other economists. He was then, and had been for some years, working as a university teacher in the Basque country of Spain.

When I

The left and the election

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 09:12

Martin Thomas

On 29 October Labour for a Socialist Europe is meeting to discuss its plans, including plans to organise an internationalist-left profile within the Labour campaign in the general election likely to come soon.

A basic leaflet is being printed, and an L4SE video has been produced. Other materials being discussed include:

• short “position papers” or “explainers” on a range of issues, to be available on the website and printable in short runs or from pdfs for street stalls and hand-to-hand use: Green New Deal, public ownership, union rights, etc.
• posters
• stickers
• tote bags

Everything is

Corbyn in the 1980s

Published on: Wed, 17/07/2019 - 08:51

Sean Matgamna

The Times of 6 July 2019 ran an article by Dominic Kennedy, "Corbyn's hard-left blueprint revealed", attacking Jeremy Corbyn for his links in the 1980s with Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. Sean Matgamna, editor of Socialist Organiser in the period described, talked to Solidarity.

We have serious political differences with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

But Corbyn has the record of an honorable, serious left-winger, who - unlike many others who had some association with Socialist Organiser in the 1980s - did not change his coat in the years of Blair's New Labour

Corbyn is reactionary on Europe

Published on: Wed, 12/06/2019 - 10:16

Sean Matgamna

Labour’s victory in the Peterborough by-election on 6 June was of course good news. It was also bad news. It seemed to vindicate the Labour leadership’s political cloak-work and shilly-shallying on the EU.

In the 2016 referendum Labour fought Brexit. Now, behind the attempt to avoid alienating either the Remainers or the Brexiters, by fudging and mudging, the Labour leadership are committed Brexiters. They want Brexit, a soft Brexit, yes, but Brexit is Labour’s policy, no less than that of the May government — Brexit, and refusal to commit to a “people’s vote” that would include a Remain

The development of Workers’ Liberty’s ideas on Israel and Palestine

Published on: Wed, 08/05/2019 - 08:52

Sean Matgamna

Here I will give a brief account of the evolution of the ideas of what is now AWL on the Israeli-Arab conflict, and of those of us whose ideas these were.

Before Stalinism replaced communism, communists rejected the Zionist project on three main grounds. It was a "utopian nationalism". It misdirected Jews away from the class struggle in the countries in which they lived. Its goal could be achieved, if at all, only in collaboration with the British (League of Nations mandate) authorities in Palestine, and by siding with Britain against the Arabs. (Britain occupied the territory, formerly part

More denunciations of AWL

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 09:04

More debate on the right of return here.

The denunciation of Workers’ Liberty by Alan Davies of Socialist Resistance which we printed in Solidarity 499 has been followed by other comments along the same line on the Socialist Resistance website.

There was no state of Israel before 1948 and the backing of Western Imperialism and the [fact that the] state that formed expanded through systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and this violent expropriation of Palestinian land is more than enough to describe the Israeli state as illegitimate. Slamming a state is not slamming the vast

Our debate with Jeremy Corbyn on Nicaragua, 1983

Published on: Mon, 04/03/2019 - 18:13

Jeremy Corbyn, Sean Matgamna

Our criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's politics is not of yesterday. From 1978, and through the early 1980s, Jeremy Corbyn wrote frequently for Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. The picture above shows him on the platform (to the right) at a conference organised by Socialist Organiser in September 1983, the same month as the political exchange of opinions reprinted below.

The exchange was on Nicaragua, where in 1979 the old US-backed dictatorship had been overthrown by the left-wing, Cuba-oriented Sandinista movement. Many on the left besides Jeremy Corbyn were uncritical enthusiastic

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