Labour Party and Trotskyism: Spotting Marks for David Aaronovitch’s BBC Four Progamme.
Trotskyist Groups in the UK (to be Updated…)
Trotsky, Trotskyism and Trotskyites was on Radio Four last night.
The central committee of Tendance Coatesy gives the programme:
- 7 out of 10 marks for intelligibility Dr Bert Patenaude , historian of Trotksy,.
- 8 marks to Michael Crick for saying as many nasty things about Militant and the Socialist Party as he could in a few minutes.
- 1 Mark for the history of British Trotskyism and the International Marxist Group (IMG), for – well-established rumour has it – ex-IMGer Prof John Callaghan.
- 1o out of 10 for fun to Amy Leather of the Socialist Workers Party, for her breathless rant delivered in an authentic, and touching, Mockney accent
- Zero points to David Aaronovitch because he failed to repeat his funny dinner party story about International Marxist Group’s (IMG) Earth Mothers and Hip Acid trippers during his brief time as Oxford (was this just forgetfulness or because of something people have since reminded him of?).
The claim that Trotskyist groups are peripheral to Corbyn’s success, tiny in number, and peripheral to politics, may well be true.
It might nevertheless still be a slur on comrade Gerry Downing, The Posadists, Red Flag (of the League for the Fifth International), the News Line, and indeed the Brent Soviet, that their august opinions were not solicited on this, and many other, vital points.
But more important issues, on which they have little informed comment to make, are at stake.
The Central Committee wishes to let it be known that the programme, ostensibly about Trotskyist entrists in the Labour Party, had one big gap, and that gap has a name, Socialist Action.
Socialist Action is a small Trotskyist group in the United Kingdom. The group was founded in 1982 when the International Marxist Group entered the Labour Party and changed its name to the Socialist League. It became generally known by the name of its publication, Socialist Action, which first appeared on 16 March 1983…………
From the mid-1980s Socialist Action became an entryist organisation, attempting to take over other organisations, with members using code names and not revealing their affiliation. It maintains a website but no publicly-visible formal organisation.
The organisation was linked with the 2000–2008 Greater London mayoral administrations of Ken Livingstone, although Livingstone was never a member.[Four of Livingstone’s key advisers were Socialist Action members; all made the “top 25” in the Evening Standard‘s 2007 list of the most influential people in London.
Fast forward to the present,
Following Jeremy Corbyn‘s election as Labour Party leader and Leader of the Opposition in 2015, it was claimed (by former member Atma Singh) that Socialist Action were building “a real power base” around Corbyn. Simon Fletcher – who according to Singh had been on the SA central committee – was appointed Corbyn’s Chief of Staff while John Ross has been linked to Corbyn’s inner circle. Former SA member Kate Hudson also works closely with Corbyn as president of CND, with Corbyn now vice president.
Now we happen to know that this account is not entirely accurate.
But was this elite entrist group mentioned?
No it was not.
We were mortified to learn that the only person John Callagham and the rest of the people on the programme could recall from our halcyon days in the IMG was poor old Liberal Democrat voting Tariq Ali.
Or so it was claimed.
Was Callaghan a member of IMG Tendency B? Were any others involved in the broadcast members, ‘sympathisers’ or ‘moles’?
We think we should be told.