"Report of statement byComrade J. D'Arcy (Camden Branch) on the question'What Is Wrong With The SPGB?'given at Islington Branch (Spring 1982) (reported by P. Lawrence)Report of Statement given by Comrade J. D'Arcy (Camden Branch) given at Islington Branch - Spring 1982 -on the question - "What is wrong with the SPGB?"First I would like to mention what would appear to be the difference within the membership of theSPGB, because there is a difference - and I think that difference is manifested throughout the Party -the way in which things are moving and the way in which there seems to be a general degeneration- a deterioration - of the Party and its organisation. I think this will eventually have an effect on propaganda - it has already had an effect in my opinion on the way in which the written propagandais put out - I don't think it is anything like the kind of thing that we should be saying as socialistsand I'll go into that detail if necessary later.But the first thing would appear - that the SPGB as an organisation formed in 1904 - had set aboutits business - had set up its Declaration of Principles-and it has more or less stood still since then -'itrelies entirely on its declaration and therefore this was becoming mere of a kind of catechism thanan actual live guide to activity.I'll mention this at the beginning because this has been a criticism that has been levelled at myself and other people - that we more or less just mouth what we have read or agreed upon some manyyears ago - and we have not shown any regard to time or place - and this is to some extent thedifference between the ossified, steam age SPGB'er who hasn't taken anything into account - buthas just continued to more or less repeat the Declaration of Principles and that this view wouldcover all contingencies. Now this is the kind of criticism that has been levelled at - as I say - anumber of members of the Party.Well, one thing I would like to point out is that there is another angle -that you get within any political party - and this did happen in one particular case when I joined the SPGB a very long timeago - and that is a general impatience with younger people - who have got more time and moreenergy - and of course they can move around more than people who have been in the movement for a number of years - who have taken on commitments and so on - and they slow up a bit. So thereis of course this rather technical argument - that inevitably the younger generation will stand on theshoulders of the old and they will carry on the thing - but they will spice it up a bit - and they will asI say push it forward. They will be contemporary people - whereas the older crowd will be more inthe nature of what one might describe as reactionary, Now one position of the Party many years ago was that about two or three years after I joined theSPGB during the last war, I was secretary of a Branch called the Bloomsbury Branch - there were65 members in the Bloomsbury Branch - there are one or two of them here - and of course i used tocome to the meetings as secretary - and I used to sit at Rugby Chambers - and sometimes we got aquorum and sometimes we didn't. It wasn't a very pleasant business sitting in that room waiting ona quorum to turn up - and of course we got fed up with it.Young members of the Branch got competely fed up with it and said - look, we are actually carryingthe dead wood - we'll just have to get out and do something - so we did - we went out - that is a fewof us left Bloomsbury Branch - we didn't give them any notice - we formed another Branch - weformed the St. Pancras Branch - and among other things we said - look - we don't want to beconnected to this old branch because there is a lot of dead wood in it. We want to be active - wewant to run meetings - we want to do a host of things that these old people don't seem to beinterested in.Of course what we overlooked at the time - we didn't have any disagreements -we werefundamentally happy with the organisation - we said that the Party's case was OK - but we want tospend more time at it - we want to go at it a bit harder - but if we carry on like this we are just notgoing to get anywhere.