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Leftist Trainspotting Quiz of the Year.

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Sectarian hilarity for the left-wing trainspotter! The UK Spartacist  League's papers from 1978-2011 now digitised and online – New Historical  Express

“One of Vladimir Lenin’s favourite stories was about seeing a man who was squatting in the street and waving his hands wildly. At a distance he seemed to be a maniac, but when Lenin came closer, he could see that it was somebody trying to read an article in Socialist Appeal.

The same, Lenin said, was true of the Trainspotting ideological struggle.”

2021 Left Trainspotting Quiz.

1) Who wrote this about the European Union?

“It may grate that, for all its woeful shortcomings – think only, beyond England, of the place of Scotland or Northern Ireland in the composite realm – Westminster is vastly superior to this lacquered synarchy” ?

a) Brendan O’Neill.

b)  Rev Giles Fraser.

c) Perry Anderson.

2) The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has stood in a number of local elections this year. In which May ward contest were they beaten by the Official Monster Raving Looney Party?

a) Cloud-Cuckoo Land (Coventry).

b)  Chessington South (Kingston). 

c) Glastonbury Tor.

3) There was a nasty NIP in the air earlier this year. What marked the first electoral intervention of the Northern Independence Party in the May Hartlepool By-Election?

a) They got 0.84% of the vote.

b) They weren’t competent enough to get the NIP name registered with the Electoral Commission.

c) They beat the Monster Raving Looney Party – 0,3% of the ballots.

4) What was the name of the tendency of the French Nouveau Parti anti-capitaliste (NPA) which split in June and announced their own ‘candidate’ for the 2022 Presidential elections?

a) L’étincelle.

b) Alternative révolutionnaire communiste.

c) Courant communiste révolutionnaire/Révolution Permanente.

5) Name at least 5 people at this August radical chic Jolly in Malta


6) Which International organisation held a conference this year with delegates from Leningrad, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia?

a) International Marxist Tendency (IMT).

b) The Fourth International Posadist.

c) The Whovian Tardis Alliance.

7) Which American left-wing newspaper failed to appear for its much awaited Anniversary.

a) The Militant.

b) Workers Vanguard.

c) People’s World.

8) In Argentina the Trotskyist Leftist Worker Front (FIT), Frente de Izquierda y de los Trabajadores – Unidad, FIT-U), won the third largest share of the vote in the November elections, 5.91% . Which of these British figures signed an international declaration of support for the Frente?

a) Alex Callinicos

b) Sebastian Budgen.

c) Chris Williamson.

9) Which of the following are now political parties in the UK?

a) The Breakthrough Party.

b) The Resist Movement.

c) Spiked.

10) Why did ‘Jack Conrad’ write in the Weekly Worker, “Tony Greenstein has abandoned any pretence of adhering to class politics: that is, the class politics of the working class” and has a ” short-sighted, philistine spirit” ?

a) A Court gave Greenstein a two-year restraining order, banning him from contacting the Labour Party disputes team.

b) Greenstein and his allies got Labour Against the Witch-hunt to ‘merge’ with the Labour in Exile Network (LIEN) and for “the newly merged organisation to “work and/or join forces” with groups including Chris Williamson’s Resist.”

c) Greenstein dislikes Philistines almost as much as he hates ‘Zionists’.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 24, 2021 at 11:55 am

Communist Party of Britain Congress to debate “sex-based rights and gender identity”.

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Communist Party of Britain - Wikipedia

Communists attack ” reactionary theories of gender identity.”

From the CPB party pre-Congress discussion:

Defending the rights of women on the basis of sex

“I believe the EC Domestic Resolution sets out an excellent strategy for the party in the short and medium term. In particular I commend its strong commitment, described in lines 438 – 457, to defending the rights of women on the basis of sex, which have come under increasing attack from both successive Tory governments and more surprisingly from the mainstream parties, which seem to be competing with each other to discard decades if not centuries of women’s hard-won rights. The CPB is almost alone in this regard and along with its revolutionary socialist programme was a major reason I recently joined the party. Women are half the working class and central to the fight for socialism and I hope that this section of the resolution is not watered down or compromised when Congress comes to debate the resolution.”

Sonya Andermahr MIDLANDS district.

56th congress discussion and contributions.

The EC Domestic Resolution defends the view that “sex is a material reality” and commends Woman’s Place, (440 – 445)

Ideological attacks on women’s struggle for liberation have intensified as reactionary theories of gender identity have spread in the l our movement. Setbacks to women’s economic and social progress are setbacks for the class struggle as a whole. For these reasons and because the expression of materialist understanding of women’s oppression under capitalism is essential to a Marxist-Leninist analysis, we welcome the recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision in the Maya Forstater case, which concluded that the belief that a person’s ‘sex’ is a material reality, which should not be conflated with gender or gender identity is ‘worthy of respect in a democratic society’ and is ‘not incompatible with human dignity and not [in] conflict with the fundamental rights of others’.

Much more study, discussion and education is urgently needed across the labour and progressive movements about the oppression and super -exploitation of women in class society and the importance of the fight for women’s emancipation in the struggle for socialism. Reactionary liberal and individualistic ideas which undermine and attack advances in women’s rights have to be challenged on the basis of class politics and the position of women in capitalist society. In recent years, the campaigning organisation Woman’s Place UK has won a wider understanding of the risks posed to women’s rights and helped hold back proposed changes to the law that could be detrimental to women. It deserves broader support across the labour movement. Much greater awareness is of the triple oppression borne by black and Asian women workers.

Back to the Congress…

It’s no secret that the Morning Star is independent of the Communist Party of Britain. It is wholly owned the friendliest co-op in Britain.

But the the labour movement and progressives are all talking about an important Communist event taking place this weekend.

“The 56th Congress of the CPB will be its biggest in decades due to the rapid growth of the party in the last three years.”

What’s in store for the Communist Party’s 56th congress?

The splinter group, the Communist Party of Britain, says it was “Founded in 1920” and “is a Marxist-Leninist party dedicated to fighting for workers rights & establishing Socialism in Britain!” Hardened veterans note that it is a split from the original Communist Party of Great Britain” and that, “In April 1988, a special congress of delegates from CCG and existing Party organisations declared the re-establishment of the Communist Party in Britain on the basis of democratic centralism, Marxism-Leninism and The British Road to Socialism.” The CPGB became the Democratic Left in 1991, and only hard-bitten gumshoes can say who its formers cadres are, in the New Politics Network and the Democratic Left Scotland.

THE Communist Party of Britain begins its 56th Congress today in a world in turmoil.

More than 140 delegates will gather at the party’s headquarters in Ruskin House, Croydon, to analyse, debate and propose responses to the challenges facing humanity.

This will be the biggest such congress in decades, reflecting a membership increase of two-thirds since the last one three years ago.

Election Results:

London Assembly20218,7870.3%London-wide list
Scottish Parliament20211,1420.2%[80]Contesting Glasgow (0.2%) and Lothian (0.2%) regional lists, and Motherwell and Wishaw constituency (0.6%)

Overseas guests include representatives from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Portuguese Communist Party, the Communist Party of Ireland, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and — visa permitting — the Palestinian People’s Party.

Officials from the embassies of Cuba, China and Vietnam will also be present and video messages will be broadcast from the communist and workers’ parties of South Africa, Israel, Cyprus and Venezuela.

Reflecting a long history of solidarity, representatives of banned or semi-legal parties in the Middle East and Africa will also be in attendance.

The main international resolution to be debated is proposed by the outgoing CP executive committee and headed Halting Imperialism’s Drive to War.

It begins its analysis of the international situation by considering the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and global warming on the poorest and most oppressed sections of society.

A host of amendments from party organisations at branch, district and Scottish and Welsh levels emphasise the scale and calamitous consequences of climate change.

This is the context in which the emergence of “a new cold war” aimed primarily at China will be considered.

The ability of US finance capital to continue extracting super-profits around the globe is now increasingly threatened by the rise of China, which is set to become the world’s biggest economy within the next decade.

The smaller imperialist powers — notably Britain, Japan, France and perhaps to a lesser extent Germany — share that fear.

Despite their rivalries with one another, they have stepped up their campaign of economic sanctions and political propaganda against China.

Alongside this go the build-up of Western warships in and around the South China Sea, the strengthening of EU military structures, the big expansion of Britain’s nuclear arsenal and the formation of the new US-UK-Australian pact which, among other objectives, intends to enhance Australian and Nato capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the same time, China’s willingness to engage in mutually beneficial economic relations with developing countries around the world makes it more difficult to enlist them in the new cold war on the side of the US, Nato and an unstable EU.

Hold, on I think we’ve already had enough of boosting the capitalist anti-working class, and-democratic Chinese red bourgeoisie.

Bla Bla Bla…

The CP congress will also analyse developments in the Middle East, Africa — a prime target for Western imperialist expansion — and the Americas, where the left, including the communist parties, are resisting US-backed attempts to roll back the anti-imperialist gains of recent decades.

Not surprisingly, there will be calls to escalate the campaign for Britain to ratify the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and build anti-war movements nationally and internationally, including the anti-imperialist World Peace Council and its affiliate the British Peace Assembly.

On the domestic front, an executive committee resolution declares: “The crisis is capitalism. Take the road to socialism!”

It analyses the major developments that have shaped the present political situation in Britain.

These include the outcome of the 2019 general election, when several million electors ceased voting Labour as that party dropped its commitment to respect the EU referendum result and instead — influenced by the likes of Keir Starmer, Lord Mandelson and their business backers — pledged to hold a rerun referendum.

The CPB actively campaigned and supported the Bosses’ Brexit.

Now they are trying to find a cover for their pro-sovereigntist, more borders, de facto alliance (and not so de facto in red-brown fronts like the Full Brexit) with national populists.

Instead of Boris Johnson’s centralised post-EU Britain, where sovereignty has been secured for British state-monopoly capitalism, the congress will consider a strategy to win “popular sovereignty” — for the working class and the people.

This includes the fight for a “progressive federalism” in which the nations and regions gain the democratic powers and financial resources needed to intervene decisively against the market forces of the capitalist monopolies.

The post-Brexit state aid powers stolen by Johnson from the Welsh and Scottish Parliaments must be taken back from Westminster and Whitehall.

Instead of splitting the political class struggle in three between Scotland, England and Wales, a united anti-monopolies alliance should be built — led by a reinvigorated labour movement — to challenge the wealth and power of monopoly capital.

Cop this one Cdes!

This will be the greenest congress in the Communist Party’s history. It is also likely to host major discussions on trade union and community action, sex-based rights and gender identity.

There it is.

Delegates will elect a new executive committee for the coming two years. However they vote in the secret ballot, it is almost certain that the Communist Party’s next leadership will be younger and more female than at any time since the re-establishment of the party in 1988.

One thing is certain: the Internationale will be sung with greater gusto than usual at the close of the congress, after a period of significant advance by both the Communist Party and the Young Communist League.

Robert Griffiths is general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain

Written by Andrew Coates

November 6, 2021 at 2:38 pm

50th Anniversary of Workers Vanguard (founded October 1971), Organ of the Spartacist League.

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Workers Vanguard 1971-1973 (includes Workers Action) Vol 1 #1-34 :  Spartacist Publishing Company : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming :  Internet Archive

Workers Vanguard is a Marxist bi-weekly newspaper published by the Spartacist League, a Trotskyist political organization in the United States. It is now affiliated also with the International Communist League (ICL), a confederation of similar groups.

WV was first published in October 1971 and absorbed Workers’ Action, a short-lived bimonthly newspaper published by the nominally independent ‘Committee for a Labor Party’.

Digitization of the Workers Vanguard was the project of the Riazanov LibraryDigitization Project organized by Dr. Martin Goodman This effort is part of the Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line’s Left Opposition Publications Digitization Project on the Marxists Internet Archive.

It was expected that celebrations of this honoured birthday would take place worldwide.

Sadly “18 August 2020: Until further notice, Workers Vanguard will have an irregular schedule.

The ICL is said to be on its last legs, the last members merely playing at factional disputes.

It is said that a Metaverse version of the Spartacist League is already in development.

Book page image

The all-time classic issue:

Jeet Heer on Twitter: ""Hail Red Army!" -- Workers Vanguard, 1980. “The  reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into  Russia.They were right to be there" -- Donald Trump,

Update: From Cradle to Grave- the Spartacist League (Britain)

One casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the international Spartacist tendency. In this tightly centralised outfit, crisis and paralysis in the US section has generalised across its ‘international’ the International Communist League and publication of its flagship fortnightly Workers Vanguard and all national section papers appears to have ceased.

Little light escapes the Spartacist event horizon but it would appear that the death of founder-leader Jim Robertson in early 2019 led to a deep, and presumably still unresolved, faction fight.

This was compounded by Covid and lockdowns- a perfect storm which led to the Sparts being all but absent from the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 publishing neither a paper nor a leaflet anywhere… Ironic given that the SL US has a strategic orientation toward the building of a Black led revolutionary party.

Of course, I do hope I am wrong and rumours of the Sparts’ demise are greatly exaggerated- after all, I have a subscription to Workers Vanguard, Workers Hammer and Spartacist with a few quid still to run.

Read more via above link.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 20, 2021 at 4:52 pm