Socialist Fight

Where are the SWP opposition factions going? Back Rank and File Jerry Hicks for Gen Sec of Unite! Don’t capitulate to the bureaucrat McCluskey!
David Ellis wrote on Dave Osler's blog on Dec 31st, repudiating another post, but of the anarchist dual/base union variety. It said, in effect; ‘we organise `The problem with the organization of a the workers and the TU leaders will Leninist movement is that it empowers organise the running of the union and we won’t challenge for leadership posithe leadership over the membership. tions because all leaders become corThis is where democratic centralism rupt as George Orwell’s Animal Farm takes you.’ and 1984 explained so well’. The IS was Rubbish. Rubbish with nobs on in fact. then also anarchist influenced in their The scenario you paint is where the organisational methods and politics and abandonment of democratic centralism anti-Leninist. gets you. Which bit exactly of the democratic centrist formula do you think The 1977 Leninist turn to the party and DC seemed good but it was not real DC should be abandoned? If workers deat all but bureaucratic centralism, the mocratically vote for a strike should they then be casual about those who go same as the versions operated in the SLL/WRP of Gerry Healy and in Ted against the vote to break the strike? What use the democratic decision in the Grant’s Militant. As with these all serifirst place? You are just some anarchist ous criticism of leadership leads to rapid expulsions. But by relying on raving against communism not an opabove class ‘democracy’ there is a big ponent of tyranny and bureaucracy at danger the DO will go the way of the all. two previous splits to the right led by There is no democracy in the sects John Rees and Chris Banbury. These are which means it is not democratic cennow anti-Leninist, anti-democratic centrism but without the centrism we’d just tralists discussion groups who give left be a gaggle of liberal anarchists subcover to left bureaucrats who make verting democracy at every stage. vacuous speeches from their platform Comrade Dave is absolutely correct. while in practice doing nothing about This Democratic Opposition is progres- the cuts and shafting their own memsive in one way in that it is opposed to bership. The CPGB/Weekly Worker give bureaucratic expulsions and demands the DO uncritical support in the name the right to debate and disagree. But it of anti-Leninist 'extreme democracy'. goes back to the roots of the preDespite the problems of the 1970s 'Leninist' IS before the 1974 –77 turn. some very good work was done on the At that time the IS was rank-and-file-ist

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disgusted at the debacle of Respect. It is good that. Whilst the anarchist methods of operating had to be rejected in favour of DC in fact this was used as a cover to impose bureaucratic centralism. After the Unite faction deferred the decision to the CC on whether to back Jerry Hicks against Len McCluskey for Unite General Secretary the CC also failed to take a decision so the Conference has to decide. even if it was abandoned after 1977 by Hallas. facing the SWP Conference is ignored. abandoning women’s right to abortion (also Galloway’s reactionary position) and keeping its positions on the Unite Exec. by Pete Glatter and Duncan Hallas in particular. (1959) in the brief period of SLL Rank and Fileism under Gerry Healy after he had won many working class militants from the CPGB in the aftermath of Khrushchev’s Secret Speech and the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956.question of Rank-and-File-ism in the IS. Members are not really satisfied with the scapegoating of Rees and German. a bus driver who theorised the Rank-and-File for the IS. . But all this opposition is for nothing if the big question of practical politics Pete Glatter in the 1970s. The SWP leadership is torn between the push from a radicalised membership. work done by SLLer Brian Pearce in Some Past Rank-and-File Movements. the turn was away from the R+F tactic of winning the base towards capitulating to the ‘broad left’ TU bureaucracy. Contact: Socialist Fight: PO Box 59188. Jan 1975 by Pete is a remarkable document in that it charts in detail from a Marxist perspective the London busworkers struggles in the 1930s in what was the most powerful Rank-andFile movement ever seen in Britain. The article from 1975 London Busmen: Rise and Fall of a Rank & File Movement. unlike the SP who never bothered to consult their members. It build on the excellent. they acted on behalf of the whole CC. The GRL has set out the details of this argument. now republished. But the big political questions of the hour are the ones that really matter and both the DO and the Democratic Centralist faction are silent on these. Can Imperialism really sponsor revolutions in Libya and Syria for the greater good of the semi-colonial masses. IS. London. NW2 9LJ. let alone the world revolution? With Hicks or McCluskey – with the Rank-and-File candidate or the left Bureaucrat? In what ways are the war on Syria and the R+F tactic connected? These are crucial questions for all revolutionaries. the SWP has a real debate on this. where they were forced to adapt to the Islamists around the Muslim Association Of Britain (MAB).