Neo-Stalinism

The CPB said Red London members would be expelled. Does Red London now run their young wing?

The Young Communist League (YCL), youth wing of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), has grown quite a bit in the last few years. It has attracted some attention on the left because of that, but also because of its increasingly disturbing political character. At the end of August a young woman who had resigned from the YCL posted this video on YouTube. In it she reports that the organisation has come to be dominated by a grouping called Redtek, with unpleasant consequences for the democracy of the organisation and for women members specifically. Redtek is a new mutation of the group Red...

Debating internationalism in the Democratic Socialists of America

Dan La Botz is a US socialist active in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Solidarity. He is a co-editor of the independent socialist journal New Politics, and a supporter of the Internationalism from Below initiative. He spoke to Daniel Randall of Workers' Liberty about debates in and around the DSA, especially about what approach the organisation should take to international issues. What follows is an edited transcript. This interview was conducted prior to voting on resolutions at the DSA's recent convention. At that convention, a resolution broadly representing the “campist”...

Do revolutionary socialists have a place in Labour?

Although the Labour leadership's new bans on four organisations have been justified mainly in terms of the issue of antisemitism, the question of Marxist and Trotskyist politics has also been raised. We republish this article written by one of our comrades for socialist Labour Party magazine The Clarion in February 2017, which discusses the issues in the form of a reply to Labour right-winger Luke Akehurst. At the time dozens of Workers' Liberty people had recently been expelled from the Labour Party. Do revolutionary socialists have a place in Labour? By Sacha Ismail Some activists on the...

Stalinist in-jokes won’t build a healthy union

The RMT Young Members Committee has designed a new badge. Nothing wrong with that. But the slogan on the badge, "Always vigilant", has a meaning that is less than edifying. While “vigilance committees” in the unions under the influence of the Communist Party of the 1920s are worthy of study, if not...

Video: What is left antisemitism, and how can it be confronted? With Daniel Randall

Introductory speech by Daniel Randall from a meeting of the same name: video and audio. The publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report, as well as the ongoing fallout from the Panorama documentary and subsequent legal wranglings, have kept the issue of antisemitism in the Labour Party in the news and political discussion. But the “debates” so far have tended to generate more heat than light, by keeping the focus on the factional implications rather than the underlying political issues. This discussion seeks to get back to the fundamental questions: what does antisemitism on the left consist of, where does it come from, and how can it be confronted?

Video: Remembering the Bosnian War, with Sarah Correia and Martin Thomas

Audio and video Introductory speeches from a meeting of the same name, which outline the complex events that led up to the war, left responses and legacies of the war. Sarah Correia is a researcher at LSE, researching memories of the Bosnian war. Martin Thomas talks about the response of much of the left at the time. December 2020 marks 15 years since the end of the Bosnian war. In 1992 after Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence, a Serb-backed military assault took place, bringing ethnic cleansing, rape and destruction of mosques. Under the banner of “peace” and opposing Western intervention many on the left sided with, or failed to oppose, the Serb nationalists. Workers' Liberty argued an international arms embargo should be lifted so that the Bosnians could defend themselves. This meeting will outline the complex events that led up to the war, the left responses and the legacies of that war.

The left and Bosnia

The wars in Croatia (1991-5), Bosnia (1992-5), and Kosova (1999), all part of the break-up of Yugoslavia, were among the first wars of the new era following the fall of Stalinism in Eastern Europe (1989) and the USSR (1991). And the different attitudes then of different trends on the left were among the first markers of how the left would differentiate in the new era. Workers’ Liberty backed the peoples of Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosova in their struggle for self-determination against what we saw as Serbian proto-imperialism, quasi-imperialism, or sub-imperialism. Leading figures of the...

"Pathetic clowns, lousy Trotskyists": The Left responds to a solidarity campaign with Belarus

In late August, at the request of independent trade unions in Belarus and supported by global union federations, LabourStart launched a campaign demanding an end to state repression in that country. The campaign title was “Stop the violence — defend democracy and human rights”. In a mass mailing to trade union activists, we summarised what had happened in Belarus, noting that “a wave of spontaneous work stoppages swept across the country. Workers started to form strike committees to prepare for a nationwide general strike in support of democratic change.” Our message quoted from some of the...

Murray goes, but who instead?

Andrew Murray, former Communist Party leader and prominent Stalinist, has resigned from his job in the Labour Party Leader’s Office. His associate Karie Murphy has already been lined up to go to the House of Lords. What will happen to their associate Seamus Milne we don’t yet know. Good riddance. The 3Ms axis played a big part in: • Labour’s fumbling and evasive policy on Brexit. Murray and Milne were keen Brexiters well before 2016, and retreated only step-by-step before the overwhelming rank-and-file Labour push against Brexit. • Labour’s antisemitism fiasco: Murray and Milne are long-time...

Poor choices for Labour leader

Labour’s National Executive Committee has set a short timetable for the leadership election. MPs and MEPs have one week to nominate candidates (7-13 January). Constituency Labour Party [CLPs] and affiliates have one month (15 January-14 February). Voting will run a month and a bit (21 February-4 April). New members can vote if they join by 20 January. There will be a registered supporters system, in addition to affiliate supporters (eg people registered through their unions). To get on the ballot, candidates need 10% of Labour MPs and MEPs (22), and then either 5% of constituency parties (33)...

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