This is the post excerpt.
Welcome to Splits&Fusions.
Here we will showcase documents from the various tendencies of what can broadly be described as the Trotskyist movement in Britain (with a nod to Irish, US and other publications in the English language).
In most cases items will be presented without much in the way of editorial, beyond a brief (and hopefully factual) description of the group. Continue reading “Splits and Fusions- an archive of Trotskyist publications in Britain”
Some readers will be interested in the publication of the book “Harry Constable in his own Words”. Harry Constable was a very important unofficial dockworkers leader in the 1940s and 50s. He was also a socialist who was active in the revolutionary left including joining the organisation led by Gerry Healy in the 1950s.
Details of the launch meeting, in Liverpool, for the book are on the flyer and we will post information about how to obtain the book in due course.
Following his departure from the International Marxist Group, Al Richardson (Richard Stephenson) was to become one of the founders of the Revolutionary Communist League which later became primarily identified with Socialist Charter and known as the Chartist Tendency. A brief sketch of the origins and direction of this group can be found here.
Our Archive contains a number of pamphlets and bulletins but is light on copies of the Chartist newspaper (a situation we would like to rectify)
A few items of note include four issues of The Chartist– Bulletin of the Young Chartists, two series of International Bulletin and three copies of Chartist International from the later 1970s.
Amongst the many pamphlets you will find nos 1 and 2 of a series on the Fourth International, copies of the Socialist Charter and also the Soldiers Charter which attempted to agitate amongst members of the armed forces. There is also a shorter leaflet version of the Soldiers Charter produced by Leeds University Labour Students.
Other gems include Chris Knight’s pamphlet The First Revolution on the origins of human culture. A fascinating read but, sadly, our copy is missing the last page. And, from the same author comes the legendary pamphlet “My Sex Life” in conjunction with the Women and Labour Collective and the Chartist Minority Tendency.
Also of interest will be the joint discussion bulletin of the Socialist Charter and the IC-L
For the best part of 50 years the Workers Power group has been a small but stable component of the British far left.
It traces its origins back to the Left Faction of the International Socialists in 1972 and was eventually expelled in 1974 at which point it began publication of the Workers Power magazine.
Following a short lived fusion with Sean Matgamna’s Workers Fight group it reconstituted itself and resumed publishing Workers Power, first as a magazine and then as a newspaper which continued through until 2015.
The core of our WORKERS POWER ARCHIVE is some 90 issues of the newspaper which originally appeared on the Workers Power website (now discontinued). We are grateful to Shane Bentley for downloading these and making them available to us.
Additional materials include some later issues of the newspaper, a large number of pamphlets and a nearly complete run of Red Miner, Workers Power’s bulletin for striking miners.
We also have copies of Trotskyist Bulletin and Trotskyist International– publications of Workers Power’s international body the Movement (later League) for a Revolutionary Communist International and also the WP theoretical journal Permanent Revolution.
We are currently still adding issues of Trotskyist International and Permanent Revolution to the archive.
Readers will note a substantial gap in our collections- copies of the paper for the 1990s and early 2000’s. If anyone can help with these, please get in touch.
Following the major schism in the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) in 1985, both sides of the split continued to unravel and give rise to new groups for a number of years.
The ‘continuity’ WRP, which still exists as the Torrance led Newsline group, at first took the side of Gerry Healy but in 1987 broke with him, and his supporters- notably the Redgraves. This group then formed the Marxist Party which styled itself the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (one of at least three competing ICFIs in existence at the time!).
A year after Healy’s death in 1989, the Marxist Party expelled a group of members centered on Healy’s personal assistant Corinna Lotz, and Paul Feldman, who then went on to form the Communist League.
The issues around the split are far from clear. A Communist League pamphlet The Split In The Marxist Party And The Struggle For Marxism covers some of the events in detail and includes contemporary correspondence but does not shed much light on the political differences at stake.
From March 1992 the CL published a magazine Socialist Future / Socialist Future Review of which we have 36 copies in our COMMUNIST LEAGUE- SOCIALIST FUTURE ARCHIVE
The Communist League later renamed itself the Socialist Future Group and the Movement for a Socialist Future before becoming part of a broader formation A World To Win which is still active and which continues to sell Lotz and Feldman’s uncritical biography of Gerry Healy.
The ISL is the British affiliate of the International Workers League (FI) better known by its Spanish language initials the LIT (CI)- the international tendency associated with the Argentinian Trotskyist Nahuel Moreno.
The origin of the ISL lies in the break up of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party (WRP) in the 1980s. It was founded as the Bolshevik Faction of the WRP (Workers Press) group in August 1987.
In February 1988 the future Bolshevik Faction, led by veteran Trotskyist Bill Hunter and Martin Ralph, split from the WRP. Its membership was concentrated mainly in the north of England in the Manchester and Liverpool areas.
The November 2011 special issue of Socialist Voice gives a brief history of the IWL(FI)
Our ISL ARCHIVE contains some 70 issues of the magazine Socialist Voice together with various ISL pamphlets, leaflets and supplements.
We also have a small number of English language IWL publications such as the journal International Courier.
As ever, if any readers can supply us with additional materials to scan, particularly those of the international current, please get in touch.
At Splits and Fusions we do like to bring you some of the smaller and lesser known of the groups operating broadly on the terrain of Trotskyism.
WORKERS NEWS GROUP / SOCIALIST ALLIANCE archive
One such was the Socialist Alliance of the early 1980s. This group was formed by the Lambeth, Battersea and South Yorkshire branches of the Workers Party- itself a split from the WRP in 1979 (later known as the International Leninist Workers Party and still in existence as the Economic, Philosophical and Science Review) in opposition to what it saw as the WPs capitulation to Stalinism.
From issue 8 of its magazine Workers News, in July 1981, the group styled itself the Socialist Alliance and this presumably marks the point at which it was expelled from the Workers Party.
By issue 21 of the approximately monthly magazine, a debate was opened in the organisation about whether to dissolve into a larger group (presumably something like the SWP or IMG) or attempt to produce a broader based paper with other groups.
However, the organisation appears to have gone into crisis at this point and the next copy of the magazine, which might have been the last, did not appear until some five months later in February 1983…
We would be interested to know more about what happened next!
Women’s Voice was the women’s magazine / newspaper of the International Socialists, later Socialist Workers Party.
We have managed to track down the 35 issues of series 1 and the 65 issues of series 2 and present them for the first time in a stand-alone archive:
WOMENS VOICE ARCHIVE
The site features a brief overview and chronology of Women’s Voice together with links to some relevant articles.