Socialist Action, Shadowy Gurus of the new Labour Leadership – Exposed!
Labour Briefing AGM circa 1981. Pic: Sunday Telegraph.
Rumbled by the Telegraph and Andrew Gilligan!
For much of Labour’s history, the idea that the party was covertly influenced by revolutionaries, Communists and terrorists was dismissed as a fiction propagated by Right-wing tabloids.
But now it is true.
Mr Ross, now an economic adviser, was a prominent member of an international Marxist group. In an election speech in 1974, Mr Ross – quoted in a biography of former London mayor Ken Livingstone – said: “The ruling class must know that they will be killed if they do not allow a takeover by the workers. If we aren’t armed there will be a bloodbath.”
The Sunday Telegraph has also uncovered evidence of how other key figures around Mr Corbyn, including his chief of staff, Simon Fletcher, as well as Mr Ross are or were members of a tiny, secretive Trotskyite sect, Socialist Action, which seeks a communist revolution and believes that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a “tragedy for humanity”.
In secret documents (so secret they do not publish them NOTE) seen by this newspaper, Socialist Action calls itself the “revolutionary wing of the Labour Party” and describes how it performed a “clandestine form of entry” to infiltrate the party.
Among groups on the revolutionary Left, Socialist Action is unique in another way. It already has substantial experience of power.
Socialist Action started as an overt organisation fighting elections in its own right, initially known as the International Marxist Group (IMG). Mr Corbyn’s brother, Piers, was a prominent IMG member and fought an election for it in the 1970s.
Modesty prevents us from mentioning another prominent member of the IMG in the 1970s, behind a world-famous Blog.
A main focus of the group’s attention was the monthly news sheet London Labour Briefing, a key instrument of the takeover of the 1980s party in the capital by what became known as the “loony Left”.
Briefing, set up by a separate group of Trotskyites, was strongly influenced (?????) by Socialist Action. Mr McDonnell and Mr Corbyn, too, were both closely linked to it.
Some might possibly note the word “separate” and quibble about the word Trotskyist, but, hey, left’s continue the fun!
According to the authoritative Parliamentary Profiles by the late Andrew Roth, Mr Corbyn, a political activist and councillor, was the general secretary of its editorial board. His byline appears frequently from the first issue in 1980 and he usually chaired main fringe meetings of Briefing at events such as the Labour Party conference. According to the March 1983 issue, he ran Briefing’s mailing list.
Mr McDonnell, another bylined writer from the early 1980s, remains a key figure at Briefing, now affiliated with the ultra-Left party pressure group he chairs, the Labour Representation Committee (LRC).
Briefing’s pages seethed with calls for “mass extra-parliamentary action” and it ran hit-lists of “traitor” Labour MPs and councillors to be purged. The group gave 30 pieces of silver – well, “silver milk [bottle] tops” – to former Labour prime minister Jim Callaghan.
A lifestyle section agonised about whether it was “bourgeois” to have children, while municipal tea dances put on by London councils were denounced as “heterosexist” as well as “primarily racist” (because they “reflect comfortable white society”).
Mostly though, Briefing, like Socialist Action, avowed what it called a “British revolution” – its motto was Trotsky’s “Take the Power”.
Yes, we are well and truly rumbled.
They share the word “socialism” for a start!
We should ask politely, if not at all…
But here’s the rub: I can even now recall the warmth with which much-missed Briefing Editorial members, such as Leonora Lloyd and Mike Marquesse talked about their secret ‘guru’ John Ross.
Briefing, in a coded message to supporters, with due reverence, once published a photo of the Leader under the title, “A rare daylight picture of John Ross”.
Even today the influence of Socialist Action on the Briefing and the LRC is only equalled by the mighty forces of Socialist Fight and the Posadists, not to mention the Brent Soviet.
Andrew Gilligan: Bless!
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