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Left Socialist Blog

Hard Right Express Gloats at “Labour Civil War” as call comes to widen purge to Labour Representation Committee.

with 14 comments

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Keir Starmer’s Group in the 1980s: the International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency.

Labour CIVIL WAR: Starmer to purge party and expel 1,000 members from ‘poisonous’ groups

KEIR Starmer has made plans to expel 1,000 Labour Party members who are considered far left and “poisonous”.

These groups have been said to promote communism, claim anti-Semitism allegations are overblown and demand the reinstatement of Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP.

The Labour national executive committee (NEC) meeting next Tuesday is expected to pass the new motion to ban the select groups.

The ban will affect approximately Labour Party 1,000 members who could be “auto-excluded”.

These groups have been said to promote communism, claim anti-Semitism allegations are overblown and demand the reinstatement of Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP.

Two of the groups that will be banned are Resist and Labour Against the Witchhunt.

Another group to be proscribed are the communist leaning Socialist Appeal.

It has been reported in the Daily Mirror that anyone found to be a member of any of the four groups will face an automatic expulsion from the Labour Party.

A Party source said: “Under Corbyn, those from the far left fringes with poisonous beliefs and warped world-views were welcomed into the party.

“Keir is right to stamp out anti-Semitism and toxic extremism.”

Call to widen the Purge.


….we hope that this is not the limit of current action on antisemitism. Other groups such as the Labour Representation Committee (whose President is John McDonnell MP) played a significant role in mainstreaming anti-Jewish racism and they too should be proscribed. Moreover, Keir Starmer must also address the provocative and inflammatory actions of some of his MPs who continue to promote the anti-Israel extremism that is described in the most recent CST report ‘A Month of Hate. There is still a long way to go and much work to be done.”

Socialist Appeal was formed in 1992 and was not threatened with expulsion under Tony Blair or any other previous Labour leader.

Keir Starmer was a leading figure in this small revolutionary Marxist group in the 1980s. Its international main body was, many would consider, far to the left of Socialist Appeal.

Socialist Alternatives was the British section of the International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency (IRMT), a formerly Trotskyist Pabloite group based in Paris.[1]

A small group in the UK it was best known for the Marxist magazine of the same name partially edited by Keir Starmer from 1986 to 1987.[2] The magazine is believed to have been produced by the Pabloist International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency (IRMT)[3] and advertised its events and publications, although one of the authors identified it as being an outgrowth of the Socialist Society connected with Ralph Miliband and Hilary Wainwright.[4] Paul Mason has called it a “Trotskyite front magazine”[5] although this is disputed.[4] The French Troksyite journalist Maurice Najman was also cited as a key supporter.[4]

Its politics were defined by one of its later authors Andrew Coates as being “aligned to the European ‘alternative’ movements of the time which stood for ecology, feminism and self-management. These were forerunners of later radical green-left groups, Los Indignados, Podemos, the left of Labour and similar currents within social democratic parties.”[6]

It was described by the left wing magazine Chartist as “the human face of the hard left”.[7] Peter Hitchens described Socialist Alternative’s “preoccupation with sexual politics and green issues” as presaging the politics of all today’s major British politicians.[8]

The magazine included articles by Michalis Raptis,[9][10][11] the leader of the International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency and the left wing Labour MP Eric HefferPeter Tatchell[6] as well as an interview with Tony Benn.[12][13] There were also advertisements for Michael Raptis’s “Self Management Lectures”[14] and IRMT publications.[15] Keir Starmer wrote articles on the Wapping strike,[16][17] the 1986 TUC conference,[18] criticising labour leader Neil Kinnock‘s moves towards the market economy,[19] a book review of Eric Heffer’s Labour’s future,[20] Trade Unions and pluralism,[21] an interview with Tony Benn[12] and left wing approaches to local government.[22]

The magazine was still publishing in 1989[23] and 1994.[24]

Starmer's Socialist Alternatives - The Social Review

This call for a purge has got completely out of hand and should be strongly opposed by democratic socialists.

Written by Andrew Coates

July 18, 2021 at 12:51 pm

14 Responses

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  1. The RMT had one member in the Netherlands, classical musician Maurice Ferares.


    July 18, 2021 at 1:01 pm

  2. Fat lot of good pointing out Starmer’s Pabloite heritage will do. Mussolini once edited a socialist daily paper.

    The left should just get its shit together and stand against New Labour in every marginal seat, as well as the safer ones, and screw them electorally. We don’t want a Blairite government and there are ways of making sure we don’t get one and laying the basis for the future.


    July 18, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    • Result of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Tividale ward ie West Bromwich Thursday 15 July
      Con 986 52.6%
      Lab 810 43.2%
      Ind 40 2.1%
      Lib Dem 30 1.6%
      TUSC Richard Gingell 9 0.5%
      Tory gain from Lab


      Andrew Coates

      July 18, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    • Once, I would have agreed with that. But Johnson is so terrible that I simply cannot.


      July 18, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    • Yeah and lose pick up a couple of hundred votes at best and kiss goodbye to your deposits. You have to be living in La La Land not to get the total electoral irrelevance of the hard left.


      July 18, 2021 at 10:55 pm

      • It’s funny how “the Left” are now referred to as the “Hard Left”. Even Jeremy Corbyn, a true Centrist, was referred to as “Far Left” by some. Labour has moved so far to the Right over the last 30 years that it’s all out of kilter.


        July 18, 2021 at 11:07 pm

        • Trev, what was called the ‘Hard left’ split, ,perhaps for ever, over Brexit.

          The pro Bosses Brexit, Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star), Socialist Party, SWP, Tariq Ali, New Left Review, the
          Yankee owned Tribune, Counterfire, not to mention the open red-brown fronts Like the Full Brexit and Spiked, backed Brexit

          Our mates (I was/am involved in this) from the Marxist left Socialist Resistance, Red Flag, Anticapitaliste resistance, Left Unity, and a host of radical left and Green groups in Another Europe is Possible, like my own group Chartist, fought against those who sided with the bosses as these class traitors did.

          Andrew Coates

          July 19, 2021 at 12:45 am

  3. I wouldn’t be surprised if Starmer is working for MI5, his secret mission to destroy the Labour party before expelling himself and doing the ultimate disappearing act!


    July 18, 2021 at 1:45 pm

  4. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre! Its not as though none of this was not foreseeable by anyone with an inkling of Marxist analysis to guide them. Its not as though it hasn’t been seen before in history, not just in terms of Popular Frontist politics, but also with the steady drift to the right, to nationalism and fascism that can be gleaned from the positions of Blue Labour, the wrapping in the flag, the kitsch philosophical/Gramscian apologism and so on. Indeed, I warned of it, in precisely these terms months ago.


    July 18, 2021 at 3:49 pm

  5. Andrew Coates

    July 18, 2021 at 6:07 pm

  6. Right-wing Labour MP calls for purge of Jewish Voice for Labour.

    Steve Walker puts his oar in:

    Andrew Coates

    July 18, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    • Does that also include ‘Progress’ Neil? Get rid of them too!


      July 18, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      • Apparently, from people I know, Progress caucus factionally in the London CLPs where they have any existence (including Tower Hamlets) before meetings, It is obvious that there are duplicate factionalists on the Labour right to Trotskyists. Anyone who can spot a factionalist knows there are similar in East Anglia. I could cite a local example.

        Andrew Coates

        July 18, 2021 at 9:34 pm

  7. It seems that for many holders of a Labour Party card, Labour is not an organisation they work for, it’s an organisation they work within in order to push their own particularist agendas, with little concern for any damage they might do to the party as a whole. This seems to hold true for right-wing factions as much as left-wing ones, not to mention various sectional groups – not least the pro-Israel ones. If the main enemy is your factional opponents in your own party, don’t expect the voters to flock to you any time soon…


    July 18, 2021 at 8:06 pm

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