Left groups and people

The left and the coup: side-stepping the issues

The Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star) claims that Boris Johnson’s shutdown of Parliament was really the fault of the anti-Brexiters in Parliament. Other left groups and papers which have backed Brexit have been less off-the-wall, but maybe more confusing. Socialist Worker essentially calls on its readers to shout other slogans so loudly as to drown out all thoughts about Brexit. It writes: “There was fury at Johnson [at the anti-coup protests]. Beyond that people came with a range of views. “A substantial number had EU flags or anti-Brexit placards. But others were focused on fighting...

Solidarity-US says “not dissolving”

You recently reported our convention’s motion to “to set up a committee to explore converting it from an organisation into an educational centre” as a kind of “dissolution”, and implied that we are “too small, weak, elderly, and divided to function as an organisation”. This characterisation is speculative and inaccurate. There was no motion to dissolve Solidarity or fundamentally alter its organisational structure at the convention. In the 2019 National Convention, Dan La Botz and other members organised a discussion around developing an educational centre for revolutionary socialism in the U...

More on why ISO collapsed

At Socialist Alternative's (S Alt's) "Socialism Sydney 2019" event I was able to talk with some people from S Alt about the collapse and disappearance, in March-April this year, of the International Socialist Organisation USA. The ISO was the biggest group outside Australia with which S Alt had links. With maybe 900 members, the ISO was, and had been for a while, the most active revolutionary socialist group in the USA. Its political history could be traced back (with twists and shifts along the way) to the Workers' Party of Max Shachtman (from 1940). Revolutionary socialist groups often...

“After Johnson’s Brexit, us”

Reprinted from Labour for a Socialist Europe (labourforasocialisteurope.org) A new “left-wing” campaign for Brexit, “Leave – Fight – Transform” (LeFT), has been launched with great fanfare from the Morning Star. The initial signatories, too, confirm that this is an initiative of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) and other bits of British Stalinism. More on that below. What is striking about the content of the statement is not just that it indulges in an extravagant version of the Lexit fantasy – the idea that some form of Brexit is necessary to and can help bring about working-class and...

The rise of the DSA: hopes and limits

The DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) – a group founded in 1973 as a left social-democratic splinter from the then-decaying “Shachtmanite” Heterodox Trotskyist tradition, and long with little profile - has recently grown to over 50,000 members. The DSA convention this year (2-4 August) had over 1,000 delegates, an increase from 700 in 2017. Admirably, the conference was livestreamed. It may have seemed overly procedural at points, but it reflects well on the DSA that their conference is accessible to the membership and a wider audience. The rise of the DSA offers some hope for revival on...

New Tory “Brexit coup” plan: make Labour fight!

Paul Mason, one of the most influential journalists and writers in the pro-Corbyn left, has called for “a progressive pact with Greens and Lib Dems” as Labour’s “only option” against Boris Johnson and his rush for Brexit. In Parliament, as against Johnson’s government as against other Tory governments in the past, Labour MPs will of course walk through the same lobbies as Lib Dems and the SNP and rebel Tories. They will even coordinate parliamentary tactics with them. What is ruled out is a tactic which buries politics under the tactic, rather than having the tactic serve politics. Which makes...

New setback in USA

We reliably hear that the conference of the US revolutionary socialist group Solidarity on the weekend 29-30 June voted to set up a committee to explore converting it from an organisation into an educational centre. [Update, see statement from Solidarity below, received 27.8.19]. This follows the decision by the larger International Socialist Organization (ISO) in March- April to dissolve itself. With Solidarity, there is no hint of a scandal or row triggering the dissolution. The word is that the group came to consider itself too small, weak, elderly, and divided to function as an...

Labour shifts on Brexit. Now clinch a victory!

“No matter what deal is on the table, and which party has negotiated it, our position must be to remain in the EU and oppose any form of Brexit”, declared shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry at a “Love Socialism Hate Brexit” meeting in Parliament on Monday 15 July. Diane Abbott, Dawn Butler, Jon Ashworth and Keir Starmer also spoke. John McDonnell and Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard sent messages of support. “Love Socialism Hate Brexit” (now renamed “Love Socialism Rebuild Britain Transform Europe”) was at first, when launched in February, a small group of nine left Labour MPs...

Corbyn in the 1980s

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...

Greece’s election: end of a chapter

The 7 July election in Greece confirmed the trends that emerged in the Euro elections: • a comfortable ND (New Democracy, equivalent of the Tories) dominance that revolved around engaging the centre right and alt right voters • a lack of momentum from Syriza (the leftish party that has governed since 2015), which paid the price of its capitulation and transformation into a pro-memoranda, pro-austerity party • the weakness of the anti-capitalist Left to persuade and inspire • the continuing fall of the Golden Dawn, leading them out of Parliament for the first time since 2012. Abstention was at...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.